Long-term care involves a variety of services for people who need health or personal care for a set amount of?time. The most common type of long-term care is personal care — help with everyday activities. These activities include bathing, dressing, grooming, using the bathroom, eating, and moving around — for example, getting out of bed and into a chair.? Despite the name, long term care can be for a short time, such as aiding people recovering from surgery; or it can be permanent, helping people who can no longer perform everyday activities on their own. Long-term care also includes community services such as meals, adult day care, and transportation services.
One of the most difficult aspects?of aging is becoming dependent and less?self-sufficient. ?The fact is, as we age, things we are use to doing for?ourselves may no longer be possible.? The limitations will?depend on the individual?s state of physical?and mental health. Statistics show that about 70 percent of people over age 65 will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. More than 40 percent may?need care in a nursing home for some period of time.
So what are the factors that may determine whether long time or permanent care is necessary? Several factors increase the risk of needing long-term care:
- Age — The?likelihood generally increases?with age.
- 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?outside provider.
- Lifestyle — Poor diet and exercise habits can increase a person’s risk of developing conditions that will require a care giver
- Health and family history?can also?increase a person’s risk of developing certain conditions.
The decision to use long term care should be made by both the patient and the patient?s family.? A home care nursing professional is not only a qualified care giver, but often becomes a valued companion; someone to take much of the burden and responsibility of treatment and care off the family?s shoulders as needed.