NIHSeniorHealth.gov, the website for older adults, makes aging-related health information easily accessible for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy-to-understand online health information. This site was developed by the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIHSeniorHealth features authoritative and up-to-date health information from the NIH. In addition, the American Geriatrics Society provides expert and independent review of some of the material found on this website. Health topics include general background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). New topics are added to the site on a regular basis. Here is a sample of FAQs patients may ask regarding long-term care.
Below are FAQs regarding Long-Term Care.
What is long-term care?
Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person's health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform many everyday activities on their own.
What types of services does long-term care provide?
Long-term services can include:
- Home-based services: home health care, homemaker services, friendly visitor/companion services, and emergency response systems.
- Community-based services: adult day service programs, senior centers, transportation services, meals programs, and respite care.
- Facility-based care: adult foster care, board and care homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities.
How common is the need for long-term care among older people?
About 70% of people over age 65 need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. More than 40% need care in a nursing home for some period of time.
How can I tell if I will need long-term care?
It is difficult to predict how much or what type of long-term care you might need. Several things increase your risk of needing long-term care.
- Age – The risk generally increases as you get older.
- Gender – Women are at higher risk than men, primarily because they often live longer.
- Marital status – Single people are more likely than married people to need care from a paid provider.
- Lifestyle – Poor diet and exercise habits can increase your risk.
- Health and family history – These factors also affect risk
Doesn't Medicare cover most long-term care costs?
No. Contrary to what many people think, Medicare does not cover most long-term care costs. It does pay for some part-time services for people who are homebound and for short-term skilled nursing care, but it does not cover ongoing personal care at home, like help with bathing. It may cover part of the first 100 days in a nursing home.
Is long-term care insurance a good option for me? I've heard it's expensive.
Long-term care insurance pays for many types of long-term care. The exact coverage depends on the type of policy. Some policies cover only nursing homes. Others cover a variety of services. The cost of long-term care insurance does go up for people who are older, have health problems, or want more benefits. However, it can be a good choice for younger, relatively healthy people at low risk of needing long-term care.
For more information about long-term care, visit LongTermCare.gov.
Added July 13, 2017: A notice posted on the NIHseniorHealth.gov Website:
NIHseniorHealth.gov will be retired on August 1, 2017. To continue finding reliable, up-to-date health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health, we’re referring you to https://medlineplus.gov/ or https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/.