Long Term Care

Long Term Care

Long-term health care is a phrase which is used to describe a variety of services in the area of health, personal care, and social needs of persons who are chronically ill, infirm, or suffer from a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer's disease.

Many people perceive long term care as simply the care received at a nursing home. Long term care is actually many services that enable an individual to maintain a certain level of quality of life.

These types of services might include:

  • Help with daily activities such as bathing and dressing
  • Respite care
  • Home health care
  • Adult day care
  • Or care in a nursing home

Nationally, nursing homes average $36,000 per year and costs in metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C. range from $50,000-$70,000 per year.

An American Health Care Association Study published in 1993 reported that if you received skilled nursing care in your home, by a nurse three times a week (two hours each visit) the bill would be about $12,300 per year.

Care received from a home health aid three times a week for a year with each visit lasting two hours would result in a bill of about $8400 per year.

Does Medicare cover any long term care?

Long term care expenses are generally not paid for by Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, or major medical health insurance provided by most employers.

Medicare does not pay for personal or custodial care unless the assistance is related to an injury or illness. Even in this instance benefits are severely restrictive.

Do I really need long term care?

Recent studies based upon nursing home admissions, indicate that 43% of all persons aged 65 and over will enter a nursing home in the future. In fact, a New England Journal of Medicine report (February 1991) suggested that of the 43% who enter nursing homes, 50% would stay an average of two years.

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