Long-term care includes a variety of services for people with a chronic illness, injury or disability who cannot care for themselves for extended lengths of time. Long-term care involves providing medical care by skilled healthcare professionals to address some of the common issues or conditions often associated with aging individuals.
Although it may be needed by people of any age, long-term care is generally more commonly needed by senior citizens.
The need for long-term care is determined by a healthcare professional assessing an individual’s ability to perform routine tasks of life or activities of daily living (ADLs). The most common ADLs reviewed to determine the need for long-term care are:
- Mobility around the house – moving into and out of bed, chairs or wheelchairs; general ease of getting around the inside of the home.
- Using the bathroom – being able to use the toilet and address associated hygiene, getting into and out of the bathtub or shower independently and the ability to wash oneself effectively.
- Dressing – putting on and removing clothing, necessary braces and/or fasteners.
- Eating and preparing meals – being able to feed one’s self and cook proper meals.
There are additional activities to consider as well, like managing money, handling medications, doing light housework and shopping for groceries and necessities. These tasks are also necessary for independence and to maintain a good quality of life.
It’s common for a family caregiver to help out an elderly loved one so they can remain in their home as long as possible. However, they often find that they are not entirely qualified to provide the care their loved one needs, and many have their own responsibilities like a job or children.
When an aging loved one can no longer be cared for at home, if they have a high level of disability or need assistance with at least three of the ADLs listed above, long-term care can offer around-the-clock care by a specially trained team of healthcare professionals. The care can include all forms of therapy- physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as services like meals, laundry and housekeeping. These services are provided in a comfortable, home-like setting and encourage individuals to maintain a high level of independence while getting the most effective care.
To learn more about long-term care offered by American Senior Communities, visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com/ltc.