At any age and any state of health, deciphering medical terminologies and treatment methods can be a challenge. When it comes to later-in-life care, a wide variety of options make matters even more confusing.
If you or someone you love might be in need of long term care, selecting the right kind of care is essential, but difficult. Use this guide to begin learning what long term care entails, and what types are available. With patience, research, and this guide, you’ll be able to find the solution that makes the most sense for your family.
What Is Long Term Care?
Long term care refers to any and all services which help elderly people, people with a chronic illness, or people with disabilities who cannot care for themselves for extended periods of time. Long term care does not strictly refer to medical treatment, but instead encompasses any kind of assistance, including custodial services and help with daily activities like eating, bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. Selecting and setting up long term care requires life care planning. Often, a patient care advocate can help the patient and his family navigate care options.
What Types of Long Term Care Are Available?
Since no two patients or people are the same, each person requires a slightly different care approach. Luckily, many different kinds of long term care are available to provide the best solution. Here are just a few:
Home-based care allows patients to remain in their home environment while receiving assistance. A nurse or an aide visits regularly to check on the patient and help with any necessary tasks, such as taking medications or preparing food. This kind of care makes sense for individuals who do not need assistance at all times, but who still need help every now and then. Talk to your patient care advocacy service to learn if this route is right for you and your family.
This type of long term care involves the relocation of an individual to a care environment, such as an elder care facility or nursing home. Senior living facilities, including independent living communities, assisted living, nursing homes, and memory care units are usually for those age 55 and older. This option works best for individuals who could need assistance at any time. In many scenarios, patient care advocacy services can help individuals who do not live near family members find an appropriate facility for their needs.
One style of long term care that can help families retain control of patient care while still receiving assistance is adult day care. This option allows family members to care for elderly or disabled individuals in the evenings but gives them the freedom to go to work while their loved one is in a safe environment.
Many other services are available for those who need long term care. With so many options, you and your family can find a solution that makes the most sense for your unique situation. For more information, talk to a healthcare advocate. Patient care advocacy ensures that no person has to navigate long term care alone.