Long term care is somewhat misunderstood outside of people who are currently dealing with it. However, it’s worthwhile to know what it actually is, so people can plan accordingly in case they end up needing it. It’s the full time care of a person who is not able to manage by himself at home, and people can need it if they are mentally aware but physically ill, or physically capable but mentally diminished. It doesn’t only refer to living in a skilled nursing facility, but can also take place in a home setting.
- My family will always be there
This would be nice if it always works out. The facts are, though, that family members are often not available to be complete caregivers. They may be very involved in the care, they may visit a lot, and they may love you, but they might be holding down full time jobs and taking care of their wives and children and not be able to give you full time care.
- I’m too young for long term care
Perhaps surprisingly, over 40% of people needing long term care are under age 65. They may have chronic conditions, long term disabilities, mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. There is no “too young.
- There’s always Medicare, right?
Medicare was set up to help older people pay for health care, but Medicare has limits. If it would cover total long term care costs for all seniors who need it, it would implode fairly quickly. In terms of care, it covers up to 100 days at a skilled nursing facility for someone who had a hospital stay of at least three days and went into the facility within thirty days. It might offer some assistance for people with help at home, but it does not cover the cost of an aide to assist people with ADLs.
Insurance will cover my bills
Standard medical insurance does not necessarily cover complete long term care. At most it covers rehabilitation from an injury or short illness, but not chronic conditions. You’d have to purchase long term care insurance to cover long term care, and as you might imagine, the premiums for this type of insurance rise significantly as someone ages.
- I can be taken care of in my home
This may be the case in some situations, but it will not always work. If people keep the future in mind when they buy a home, and fit their home for a long term care program, they can happen, especially if the people who love in the house can manage. However, unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out. The good news is, there are comfortable, convenient and efficient skilled nursing care facilities that can take of you if you can not be cared for in your home. At The Alameda Center for Rehabilitation, we love to provide warm and expert care for our patients, whatever their reason for joining us.
- I won’t need long term care
This is something we can never know. While there are many things you can do now to decrease the risk of your needing long term care, it can never be declared a given. The best you can do is exercise, eat a healthy diet, and make positive, healthy changes in your lifestyle.