Long-term care refers to a range of services and support a person may need to meet their individual health care needs. Recent research shows that most individuals reaching age 65 will need some type of long-term care during their life. Many people do not realize that their private health insurance and Medicare will not cover the costs and expenses of long-term care, including care in the home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing facility.
Typically, long-term care is not medical care, but rather it involves assistance with the basic, personal tasks of everyday life. These personal tasks are often referred to as Activities of Daily Living (or “ADLs”) such as:
Using the toilet
Caring for incontinence
Transferring (to or from bed, or chair)
People often believe that “long-term care” refers only to certain types of insurance policies. Although a thorough long-term care insurance policy may be part of the overall solution, long-term care should be an ongoing family plan involving a strategy for long-term health care services, finances, and personal decisions such as where you would like to live.
For Medicaid eligibility purposes, long-term care services are the services provided to an individual who requires a level of care equivalent to the type of care received in a nursing facility.