One of the topics the bring ups questions when caring for a loved one, is the type of care that you will need for them. Below you will find answers to about getting care and the difference between short-term and long-term care.
What is long-term care? Basically, long-term care means a range of services, delivered in the home, that help individualstake care of the basic necessities, provided on an ongoing basis. Bathing. Dressing. Toileting.Eating. Getting out of bed. It also means assistance with other activities like housework and petcare. While, for the most part, long-term care is not directly medical-related, it may also involvehelping people with their medications. (This US Department of Health and Human Services siteis a good source for information on long-term care.)
What is short-term care? With short-term care, the same needs are covered as for long-term care. It’s just that they’reprovided on a temporary basis, generally when someone is recovering from an illness, injury, orsurgery. Because these medical situations are recent, short-term care may involve a greaterlevel of medical care – e.g., changing dressings on wounds – than does long-term care.(Agingcare.com offers a good overview of the differences between long- and short-term care.)
Who needs care? The majority of those who require long-term care are elderly folks who need help with theelemental tasks of daily life. (Agingcare.com has a useful article on the signs that an elder maybe in need of long-term help.) A significant minority of those using long-term care is made up ofthose with chronic conditions that make every day living more difficult, and those with adisability.
Where can you get care? The short answer is: locally. That said, there are a number of websites that are an excellentsource of information on how to find it: longtermcare.gov, the AARP, eldercare.gov.
At somepoint in our lives, we’re all very likely to be looking into long-term or short-term care for loved ones or ourselves. The difference will be that, by the time that many of us need it, the answer to the question “where can you get care?” will no longer be a reflexive “locally.” While there’ll always be the need for the human touch, more and more, there will be assistive technology that will remotely help with many of the needs that enable the elderly, the chronically ill, and those with disabilities to stay in their homes.