Long Term Care

Long-term health care is a phrase which is used to describe a variety of services in the area of health, personal care, and social needs of persons who are chronically ill, infirm, or suffer from a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer's disease.

Many people perceive long term care as simply the care received at a nursing home. Long term care is actually many services that enable an individual to maintain a certain level of quality of life.

These types of services might include:

  • Help with daily activities such as bathing and dressing
  • Respite care
  • Home health care
  • Adult day care
  • Or care in a nursing home

Nationally, nursing homes average $36,000 per year and costs in metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C. range from $50,000-$70,000 per year.

An American Health Care Association Study published in 1993 reported that if you received skilled nursing care in your home, by a nurse three times a week (two hours each visit) the bill would be about $12,300 per year.

Care received from a home health aid three times a week for a year with each visit lasting two hours would result in a bill of about $8400 per year.

Do I really need long term care?

Recent studies based upon nursing home admissions, indicate that 43% of all persons aged 65 and over will enter a nursing home in the future. In fact, a New England Journal of Medicine report (February 1991) suggested that of the 43% who enter nursing homes, 50% would stay an average of two years.

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