Continuum of Care
We as people are all faced with the same issue of getting older or possibly becoming sick to the point that we are not able to do our normal activities on a daily basis. Getting older means that the retirement stage is on the horizon and it also means that our health may start to decrease. Even though anyone can get sick at any age, elderly people are more likely to become sick just because failure of the immune system. If a person breaks a bone, they may have to have some type of rehabilitation. In the event that something happens to us and we are not able to take care of ourselves there is a service that can help.
This paper will give a general background behind long term care; provide a brief description of the services provided by long term care; and give the future trends of long term care. What is Long Term Care? In most cases when people become too old or sick to take care of themselves they require assistance from other people. Many times a family member is not able to care for their loved one so this is where long term care comes into play. Long term care services include non-medical and medical services for people who have a disability or some type of chronic illness (Medicare).
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Long term care services were designed to assist people with support services to help with normal routine activities such as putting on clothing, taking baths, and going to the bathroom. Long term care can consist of social services, skilled nursing care, rehabilitative therapies, and palliative care (Medicare). Who needs long term care? A large amount of the people who receive or require long term care services are at the age of 65 or over. There are only 37 percent of people under the age of 65 requiring long term care (KFF).
Many of the people who receive long term care require this service for a lifetime. The children who come into this world with severe physical impairments, developmental disabilities, or a degenerative disease often need care throughout their lifetime (KFF). Another group of people who require long term care are the teenagers and adults to suffer from severe brain damage and the care may be never ending. More often than not elderly people will require assistance due to decreasing mobility and lost of normal functionality that occurs as people age.
Long Term Care Services Most communities offer services and programs to assist senior citizens and other people who are disabled. The available services are generally free of charge or the charge is very small to those qualified individuals (Medicare). Long term care is not just provided in a nursing home setting. Long term care can be provided in an at home setting, an assisted living location, or just in the local community. The US Department of Human Services offers a list of services provided by long term care.
The following is a description of some the services available along with a description of the what those services include: Some of those community services available include Meals-on Wheels, transportation services, personal care, chore services, adult day care and a variety of activities for senior citizens. The home health care services, depending on the need, include help with laundry, bathing, cooking and cleaning. The home care is usually handled by family members, friends, or volunteers. It is strongly encouraged to ask family to assist or setup arrangements for someone else to assist.
Family member don’t always qualify to assist someone with special needs, some people require aid from a licensed professional. A family member can hire a home care agency and the services can be covered by Medicare, but everyone is not eligible for Medicare coverage. In- law apartment is a housing arrangement within a single family setting. It is a separate unit from the rest of the home. The apartment is completely furnished including a private bathroom and kitchen. The apartment is normally setup for the caretaker or can be used to generate additional income for the owner.
One thing to keep in mind is that some governments have guidelines for having additional housing on one lot. The government and most states offer programs that help pay for the housing of elderly people who have low income or moderate income, usually the income bracket is less than $46,000 for a single person and $53,000 for a married couple (Medicare). This type of program requires a person to apply for assistance and there is normally is a strong possibility of a waiting list. A board and care home is a group living arrangement that provides assistance with normal activities of daily living.
These activities include eating, bathing, and using the bathroom for people who can not survive on their own. These services are covered by private long term care insurance or other programs that provide assistance. Most of these people do not receive assistance from Medicaid or Medicare and the price is normally based on a percentage of their monthly income. Assisted living provides clients with their own private room or and entire apartment within a building that provides some or all meals for the entire group. The cost for this type of assistance can vary depending on the location.
Residents do have to pay monthly rent, and also the pay additional fees for any services they might receive. Again the above information was found on medicare. com. Who pays for Long Term Care and who qualifies for coverage? I am sure that any person would think that Medicaid would cover the long term care expenses for any one who needed the services. The problem is that Medicaid doesn’t cover everyone who needs long term care. Medicaid only accounts for about 42 percent of the spending (KFF). Most of the funding of long term care comes from the person and that person’s family and friends.
Medicare only provides limited assistance post acute care in a nursing facility; also 20 percent goes towards the home health care benefit (KFF). Medicaid does provide assistance in some cases but not everyone is eligible for coverage. Under normal guidelines anyone receiving Medicaid is determined based on their income. The rules don’t change when it comes to long term care; there actually is one additional requirement. In addition to income restriction the applicant has to meet functional criteria also (KFF). According to the Kaiser Family Foundation thirty-three states allow the “medically needy” to spend to a state-set standard (KFF).