Many people think of long-term care as the nursing home. However, the fact is there are many levels to the senior healthcare continuum, several of which are considered long-term care. As people age and make their way through the senior healthcare continuum it is inevitable that they will use a service classified as long term care.
That probably changes your view of long term care. So let me give you a simple definition to determine whether a service is or isn’t a long term care service.
Simply put, any health problem that can’t be “fixed” with a doctor’s visit, hospital, or rehab stay is considered long term care. This includes chronic illnesses or conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Arthritis, and COPD, decreased mobility or memory care. What more is that insurance coverage for these conditions are short term, once the patient is stabilized insurance coverage often stops. For this reason almost all of long term care services are paid for out-of-pocket.
A common question asked by seniors is about insurance coverage of long term care services. The majority of the time our Senior Care Sherpas have to tell them services aren’t covered under Medicare or traditional health insurance.
The post referenced above explains some different payment options for long term care services, so we won’t go into those here. Instead, now that we know how long term care is defined, let’s look at five options that don’t include going to the nursing home.
Private Duty Home Care
This service features non-medical personal who are hired to come into the home and help the senior with day-to-day tasks. Healthcare professionals call these tasks “Activities of Daily Living” and they include things like bathing, grooming, housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation. Private Duty Home Care companies can also provide companion services for patients suffering from a Dementia based diagnosis.
Home Chore Services
Need work done outside the house? Home Chore services can help. Many communities offer these services through Area Agencies on Aging or community groups funded by private and government grants. Home Chore service workers will mow lawns, remove snow, clean gutters, clean-up debris and anything else an elderly home owner may need to maintain their property.
With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, many traditional services have evolved to include services for seniors who are at risk for returning to the hospital. Consequently, one of these evolutions is the transitions care manager. They are nurses who visit the senior’s home and set-up services to help them maintain their independence. Insurance companies sometimes offer these services as well. They are often limited in scope but can provide the insight and resources a senior needs to remain at home.
SeniorCareSherpa.com also offers transition services that include a senior care plan. CLICK HERE for more information.
Independent Senior Living
These are communities of seniors who can live independently with minimal services. These communities often feature services such as outdoor maintenance and housekeeping. They also work in conjunction with home care companies to provide additional services as needed.
With more service offerings than Independent Living, Assisted Living offers services that can almost mirror that of a nursing home. Assisted Living communities offer a variety of services that enable the seniors to age in place without leaving the community. A senior care get 24-hour care in an assisted living environment if they have the resources and medical conditions warrant.
Senior Care Planning
Want more information? Our Senior Care Sherpas can help guide you through the process of understanding services and identifying needs. Use the form below and we will be happy to guide you through the list of long term care options.