When you need care over the long-term – whether at home or in a long-term care facility, it's important to understand your options.
Long-term care is the help you need when you're not able to perform daily activities by yourself such as preparing food, dressing, bathing, managing medications or handling personal paperwork. Long-term care is not just for older adults – it's for people of any age who require regular assistance with activities of daily living. Long-term care is NOT nursing home care. Long-term care can be provided in a variety of settings, including: your home or a caregiver's home, adult day centers, group homes, and assisted living facilities.
Many people learn about long-term care the hard way: when they or a loved one need care, and quickly. Too often, that's when they discover:
- long-term care can be expensive
- Medicare and other private insurance plans offer limited coverage at best
- there are many complex issues – finances, insurance, legal matters – that can't be dealt with properly in a crisis
- options may be limited if you haven't planned ahead
The information and resources in this section will help you understand what options are available for you or a loved-one, should you need long-term care at some point in your life. Most of us will. Research shows that 70% of us will need some type of long-term care during our lifetimes.