What Is Long-Term Care?

Long-Term Care services are those designed to assist someone who has lost some or all  ability to care for oneself due to an illness, an accident, or simply the frailty of aging.

Long-term care includes a wide range of services which help people maintain the normal activities of daily living; activities like bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring (like moving from a bed to a chair or from a chair to standing, etc.). Long-term care services can be provided in your home, through community resources or in a formal setting such as a nursing home or assisted living facility. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Who Needs Care?

About 70% of people will need some form of long-term care at some point in their lives. There are a number of factors that affect the possibility that you will need care:

Age

  • The older you are, the more likely you will need long-term care

Gender

  • Women outlive men by about five years on average, so they are more likely to live at home alone when they are older

Disability

  • Having an accident or chronic illness that causes a disability is another reason for needing long-term care
  • Between ages 40 and 50, on average, eight percent of people have a disability that could require long-term care services
  • 69 percent of people age 90 or more have a disability

Health Status

  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure make you more likely to need care
  • Your family history such as whether your parents or grandparents had chronic conditions, may increase your likelihood
  • Poor diet and exercise habits increase your chances of needing long-term care
  • Living Arrangements -If you live alone, you’re more likely to need paid care than if you’re married, or single, and living with a partner

How Much Care Will You Need? The duration and level of long-term care will vary from person to person and often change over time. Here are some statistics (all are “on average”) you should consider:

  • Someone who is 65 today will need some type of long-term care services and supports for three years
  • Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years) -One-third of today’s 65 year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years