The Basics of Long Term Care

Last updated on January 8, 2023

Long-term care comprises the services that include medical and non-medical care provided to people who are unable to perform the normal ‘activities of daily living‘ (ADLs) such as dressing or bathing.

The need for long-term care is most frequently developed as part of the normal aging process, but can also be due to a serious injury or illness such as a stroke, neurodegenerative disorder, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

The activities of daily living (ADLs) are most commonly defined as:
– Eating
– Dressing
– Bathing
– Toileting (including support for incontinence)
– Impaired mobility (getting out of bed, or rising from a chair)

To qualify for long-term care insurance claims, individuals generally must need assistance with two or more activities of daily living (ADLs), or suffer from cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Long-term care can be provided at home or in assisted living or nursing homes. Individuals may need long-term care at any age. Medicare and most health insurance plans don’t pay for long-term care.

Long-term care costs can quickly add up and result in draw downs from retirement assets to pay for care.

The goal of long-term care is to support independence to the highest degree possible in light of these impairments to ADLs.

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