Long term care is not just for elderly people who require care in a nursing home. Whether it’s age, illness (mental or physical), or injury, some people find themselves in need of help with the six Activities of Daily Living: eating, bathing, dressing, toilet and continence requirements, and/or general transferring (from chair to bed, etc.). These individuals can benefit from long term care insurance. In general, if you can’t perform two or more of these ADLs, or if you have a cognitive impairment, you need long-term care.
In spite of its title, long-term care does not necessarily last a long time. Some people who need ADL services might only need them for a few weeks or months.
Long-term care can be provided in several places, including a nursing home, an adult day care center, an assisted living facility, or even at home.
Custodial vs. Skilled Care
It is important to know that Medicare and most private health insurance pay only for skilled care–not custodial care. Custodial Care, which is assistance with ADLs, should not be confused with Skilled Care, although they may be provided in the same place. Skilled care includes medical, nursing, or rehabilitative services. This includes assistance taking medicine, undergoing testing (e.g. blood pressure), or other similar services.