Choices for long-term care


Being able to care for oneself independently can be a source of pride. However, illness or age can affect people in ways that require them to seek assistance with medical needs or daily activities for an extended period of time. In such instances, long-term care services can fill a need.

Long-term care assists people in their homes, in the community or in various types of facilities with various daily and medical requirements. According to WebMD, research shows that many people are unaware of long-term care options or may be misinformed about what’s out there. 

Home care

Various services can be used in the comfort of home. According to the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Office on Aging, services can include home-delivered meals, pest control, minor home modifications or visiting nurses and health aides. Other benefits may include shopping or physical therapy. 

Community care

Community services can include adult day care centers, meal programs, senior centers, community transportation and others. Community services enable people to continue to live in the community with some support. They also may help family or friends serving as caregivers enjoy a break from the assistance they have been providing.

Care facilities

Long-term care may be mistaken as strictly nursing homes, but facilities extend to places that provide other 

services. Here’s a look at the care facilities.

Independent senior living

Independent living facilities may provide assistance only when needed. Amenities are designed to make things easier and more convenient for residents.

Fitness centers, pools, dining venues, and transportation may be included. These facilities tend to provide the most independent form of senior living. Some independent living facilities are part of larger continuing care retirement communities that have staged care that goes from independent to skilled nursing.

Assisted living

These homes provide 24-hour supervision, meals, healthcare services, and other forms of assistance in a home-like setting. Types of services include laundry, housekeeping, medication dispersal, and dressing.

Skilled nursing homes

Nursing homes provide care for those who cannot care for themselves at home or in the community. These facilities offer many services all under one roof, like rehabilitative services, meals, activities, and around-the-clock care. Some skilled nursing homes offer temporary care after an injury or illness and are used in lieu of an extended hospital stay. 

It is never too early to begin planning for elder care that may include long-term care possibilities. Individuals are urged to work with an elder care lawyer to help navigate the complexities of planning for medical care and their potential financial needs. (MC)

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