Long-term care is a concept people often hear about but are usually unsure as to how to go about achieving it or what the specifics are. The best way to describe LTC is that it’s a group of services intended to meet the needs of a person suffering from a long-term or terminal illness. Although it’s frequently associated with senior citizens, it might be requested by people of any age. Long-term care can be formal or informal, depending on whether the care is provided by paid professionals or by loving family members. The service also involves community-based activities that can help the patient rehabilitate and socialize, or clinical services such as physical therapy and nursing.
Be aware that in most cases long-term care won’t require medical assistance but instead requires continuous support from someone in the household to help the patient whose condition stops them from performing even the most basic routines, including tasks like bathing, dressing and feeding. Caregivers are asked to help move an immobilized person or assist them in using the toilet. LTC also covers instrumental activities around the household, like cleaning, shopping, cooking and arranging medical support.
In most cases long-term care is provided by friends or family members that work without a fee, because the patient’s insurance often won’t cover the employment of a full-time caregiver. Long-term care insurance does exist but they are scarcely used because of the high annual fees and their complicated nature. Other companies, such as Medicare, will only pay if someone can prove their treatment requires skilled assistance and which cannot be attended to by family members.
Long-term care might also apply to services available in community centers or other local facilities. Community-based care provides seniors with organized transportation (i.e. bus rides), adult day service programs, meals and respite care. In short, these services play a supplementary role in a senior’s life, helping them stave off isolation, physical or mental decline, and depression.
Seniors who partake in adult daycare activities are supervised by professional care attendants and the community centers often host medical check-ups for the aging participants. Visiting community-based care programs can help seniors socialize after a long recovery from a serious illness.
It’s important to note that community-based care isn’t the same as facility-based care. The latter incorporates nursing homes, retirement care facilities and assisted living, all of which grant long-term care in-house. Community-based care, however, is for visiting seniors who otherwise live alone or with their family.
Protecting Your Loved Ones With Medical Alert Systems
According to the official government site dedicated to long-term care, these services are often utilized soon after the elderly resident falls. In other words, seniors can save themselves from a world of trouble if they know how to prevent falls.
Equipping the bathroom with shower benches and grab bars is a good start, but they’ll also need adequate night lights and possibly a stairlift. If the aging relative is stressed out by the mere thought of falling then their mind can be put at ease with a medical alert system that uses fall detection technology.
In fact, these personal emergency response systems are highly recommended for any patient that requires long-term care. The 24/7 monitoring is a safety net that all seniors can rely on, while the devices are easy to use and won’t require deep technological know-how.
There are alternative monitoring options, too, that help caregivers keep an eye on their patients. There are activity sensors that help family members learn about a senior’s daily life without constant video surveillance, while caregiver pagers and bedpan alerts are vital when it comes to catering to bed-ridden patients.
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