As one of my friends so bluntly put it, “Getting old is not for sissies!” So my mission is to make the process of getting older comfortable and gracious. I’m Jerry Linville with Dean & Draper and I can answer your questions about Long-Term Care Insurance. First let’s start with some basics.
Long-Term Care services are those services designed to assist someone who has lost some or all of the ability to care for him or herself due to an illness, an accident or simply the frailty of aging.
Long-term care includes a wide range of services which help people maintain the normal activities of daily living; activities like bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring (like moving from a bed to a chair or from a chair to standing, etc.). Long-term care services can be provided in your home, in and through community resources or in a formal setting such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Health insurance was not designed to cover the long-term care expenses for those who may have suffered permanent paralysis from an accident or stroke, developed Alzheimer's, or perhaps need care as a natural result of aging.
This is where Long-Term Care Insurance comes in. Long-Term Care Insurance has been designed to pick up and provide coverage where Health Insurance leaves off. So in the case where the individual's condition has progressed to the point where he or she requires constant supervision or assistance carrying out basic activities of daily living (like bathing, eating, toileting, dressing and moving about), Long-Term Care Insurance would provide funds to help cover the insured's long-term care expenses.
To understand how long-term care services are provided, it is first important to understand the overall concept of Long-Term Care. Many people think of Long-Term Care only in terms of being confined in a nursing home due to a complete incapacity. And while Long-Term Care does include and provide for this possibility, the complete picture is that Long-Term Care encompasses a variety of services which are generally divided into four categories:
- Home Health Care
- Community Care
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Nursing Homes
Home Health Care
Simply put, Home Health Care is exactly what the name implies - long-term care services provided in your home. More specifically, Home Health Care is care administered in the home by family members or friends with assistance from professional caregivers. For example, a husband taking care of his wife would be considered the primary caregiver and Home Health Care would include any professional and informal caregivers that assist in the home.
Home Health Care Providers offer two types of services:
Skilled or Professional Caregivers Caregivers include Registered Nurses and Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists. These are licensed and trained individuals who come into the insured's home and provide a specific service. Once they have completed their task, they leave. Usually their stay will not be much longer than an hour.
Custodial or Informal Caregivers include Home Health Aides, Personal Care Attendants and Certified Nursing Assistants. Their help would consist of services like preparing meals, light housecleaning, doing laundry and assisting with baths and personal hygiene. They generally spend 4 to 8 hours daily with the patient. These services may also be provided by family members or friends.
Community Care goes hand in hand with Home Health Care. Whereas Home Health Care is designed to be provided in the home, Community Care is provided in community resources - outside the home - on a temporary basis with the understanding that the individual requiring care will continue to reside in his or her own home. Additionally, Community Care allows those receiving care to live at home longer by providing a break for the primary caregiver.
Adult Day Care facilities are equipped to handle adults who need care due to a loss of cognitive ability or loss of ability to perform activities of daily living. Activities of Daily Living are the normal functions one must perform to be able to make it through the day. These include bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring (moving from a bed to a chair, for instance). Some states require that the definition of the transferring Activity of Daily Living include mobility or the ability to move with or without the use of an assistive device like a cane or walker.
Respite Care is short-term care designed to provide temporary relief for a primary caregiver who cares for the insured in the home. Many times, Respite Care is provided in a nursing home or assisted living facility that accepts respite care patients.
Assisted Living Facilities
When care at home or in the community is no longer an option, Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Facilities may be considered.
- Assisted Living Facilities provide apartment or condominium-like settings and 24-hour assistance for those who can, for the most part, live on their own but who also need assistance with personal and custodial needs. Assisted Living Facilities are fast becoming the top choice for long-term care because they provide a combination of independent living and ready care services. In essence, they allow people to remain as independent as their infirmities or illnesses will permit.
- Nursing Facilities provide daily, 24-hour skilled, intermediate and custodial care. Nursing Facilities provide the highest level of long-term care that you can receive. The level of care one needs at this point is greater than what can be provided at home, in the community or in an Assisted Living Facility.
Considering Your Options
Please contact me if you have questions about Long-Term Care Insurance. I welcome the opportunity to talk with you, discuss the choices, and answer your questions. I’m Jerry Linville and my direct phone number is: 281.794.3783.
Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients. ContactUs.
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