|What is Long Term Care?
First of all, let’s clarify what it is NOT. It is NOT simply about Long Term Care Insurance. What it is… is about long term care planning. Long term care includes a wide range of medical & support services for people (young and old) who have a degenerative condition (eg; Parkinson’s, stroke, etc), a prolonged illness (Cancer) or a cognitive disorder (Alzheimer’s).
Long term care involves custodial care…care that provides assistance with activities of daily living or the supervision of a person who is cognitively impaired. Activities of daily living are best explained by examining what your morning looked like this morning:
- you got out of bed (transferring)
- you went to the toilet (toileting)
- you showered or bathed (bathing)
- you got dressed (dressing)
- you ate breakfast (eating)
- you had bladder & bowel control (continence)
A healthy person takes these activities for granted, however when a loved one has a degenerative condition, a chronic illness or a cognitive disorder some or all of these activities are impossible to perform without the assistance of another person. This type of care is custodial.
Why is the subject of Long Term Care so important today?
In the ‘good old days’ if you had a heart attack, stroke or cancer…you died. Today these conditions are becoming more and more of a treatable nature. So, when you don’t die of the things that would have killed you in those ‘good old days’, what happens?
- you live
- when you live you get old
- when you get old you get sick
- when you get sick you need care
- care costs money
What types of care are there?
You have two types of care.
1) Skilled and/or rehabilitative
2) Custodial, or non-skilled
Who pays for long term care?
Many people think that long term care services are covered under their health plan, disability insurance or Medicare. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Skilled care is paid by insurance and Medicare. Custodial care - Long Term Care - is your responsibility.