What You May Not Know About Long-Term Care
Aging Matters

Do you know about the need for long-term care? Do you know what "tasks" determine your need for it? Research says many older adults believe they will never need long-term care but the reality is 70% of us will need it for at least 2 years. Read about the misconceptions about long-term care needs at Seniorcare.com.

Start with the paperwork. Begin talking about financial concerns and your preferences about how you want resources managed in the event you are unable to make decisions.

  • Living Will - your wishes about medical treatment if you become incompetent.
  • Durable Power of Attorney (POA) - specifies who will be in charge of your elders' affairs if you become incompetent.
  • Advance Directive - declares your preferences for end of life care.
  • Will - distribution of the estate after death.

As we grow older, the need for long-term care increases because 52 percent of the 65 plus group will develop a severe disability at some point. Here's the actual breakout of services used for care.

  • 86% will use an informal caregiver
  • 61% will use home healthcare
  • 51% will use nursing home services
  • 19% will use assisted living

The need for care starts with the notion of needing help to perform activities of daily living which includes, bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, transportation, using the toilet.

You have options to receive services in nursing homes, home care, adult day care programs, residential facilities, such as assisted living or board and care homes. But the trend shifts from institutional care to home and community-based services.

  • Adult day care
  • Home Healthcare aid assistance
  • Personal care

See home care services https://www.homehealthcareagencies.com/resources/non-medical-home-care-services/

Services offered in skilled nursing facilities target higher levels of care

  • Post-hospital and post-surgical care
  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Long-term custodial care
  • Individualized care plans

See nursing home services https://www.skillednursingfacilities.org/resources/services-offered-in-skilled-nursing-facilities/

Assisted living services offer help for those with minimal needs.

  • Activities of daily living
  • Medication management
  • Supervision & assistance
  • Transportation
  • Lodging

See assisted living services https://www.assistedlivingfacilities.org/resources/services-provided/

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Carol Marak, aging advocate, Seniorcare.com. She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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