Consumers may hear many confusing statements regarding the topic of long term care, both published in the public domain and repeated by misinformed individuals.
Over the next few weeks, I will be submitting a series of columns containing accurate information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website http://longtermcare.gov. I encourage you to watch for and read these informative columns.
The LTC Basics #1:
What is Long Term Care?
Most people over 65 will need some kind of medical and/or personal care for months or years because of a health issue or the natural decline of eyesight, hearing, strength, balance and mobility that comes with aging. Your path will be unique to you, and based on your preferences and circumstances. Let’s look at the basic questions.
Many people think the phrase “long term care” refers to an insurance policy. While insurance may be part of your strategy, long term care encompasses everything from your future medical care and finances, to where you will live and how you will navigate the myriad of legal, family and social dynamics along the way.
Long term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your health or personal needs over a long period of time. Most long term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as:
- Using the toilet
- Transferring (to or from bed or chair)
- Caring for incontinence
Other common long term care services and supports are assistance with everyday tasks, sometimes called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) including:
- Preparing and cleaning up after meals
- Shopping for groceries or clothes
- Taking medication
- Using the telephone or other communication devices
- Caring for pets
- Responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://longtermcare.gov.
Sue Hofmann is an Agent and Long Term Care Professional (LTCP) at The Jemez Agency, http://www.thejemezagency.com, 2610 Trinity Dr, Los Alamos, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-662-5181.