Long term care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks (activities of daily living) by yourself due to a chronic illness, injury, disability or the aging process. Long term care also includes the supervision you might need due to a severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s disease).

This type of care isn’t intended to cure you. It is chronic care that you might need for the rest of your life. You can receive long term care in your own home, a nursing home or another long term care facility, such as an assisted living facility.
People often confuse long term care with disability or short-term medical care.

Long Term Care is not:

• Care that you receive in the hospital or your doctor’s office
• Care you need to get well from a sickness or an injury
• Short-term rehabilitation from an accident
• Recuperation from surgery

Who Needs Long Term Care?

Anyone can need long term care at any time in their life. Automobile and sporting accidents; disabling events such as strokes, brain tumors, and spinal cord injuries; and disabling illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease are examples of injuries and ailments that can happen to anyone at any age.

There are many people under the age of 65 who require long term care because they need help taking care of themselves due to diseases, disabling chronic conditions, injury, developmental disabilities, and severe mental illness. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long term care services at some point in their lives. Moreover, contrary to what many people believe, Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long term care services that most people need. Planning is essential for you to be able to get the care you might need.