Long Term Care Awareness Month
November is officially National Long Term Care Awareness Month. To honor our mission of empowering families and protecting seniors, we’ve put together a two-part blog series on myths vs. facts about long term care.
Learn the first five myths – and realities – below:
Myth 1: Few people go into long term care.
Fact: More than half of us (52%) will require some sort of long term care once we reach our golden years. That amounts to an estimated 12 million people as of 2020 – and over the next three decades, that population will only continue to grow as Baby Boomers age.
Myth 2: Only the elderly or terminally ill go into long term care.
Fact: Long term care facilities serve a wide variety of patients, including:
- Patients living with Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Those in need of physical, occupational or speech therapy
- Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- People in need of rehabilitation after a hospital stay
In fact, nearly two-thirds of short-term nursing home patients return home after receiving rehabilitation therapy.
Myth 3: Medicare pays for long term care.
Fact: Traditional Medicare does not pay for long term care. Most long term care is considered “personal care” under Medicare, meaning families must pay 100% out of pocket, get long term care insurance, or qualify for Medicaid. You can read more about paying for assisted living here.
Myth 4: Long term care should be a last resort for my loved one.
Fact: While a loved one may prefer to age at home, the truth is that caregiving can become extremely difficult for both your loved one and their support network. Planning ahead for long term care can ensure your loved one’s health and prevent isolation, while acknowledging your own limits as well. Read more about planning for long term care here.
Myth 5: Long term care options are all the same.
Fact: No two care experiences are the same. There are many different types of long term care available depending on an individual’s unique needs:
- Independent living communities offer older adults amenities in a community setting
- Assisted living communities typically provide some health care and personal care services (like help with bathing, dressing and eating) in a home-like setting
- Nursing homes provide care for individuals who have complex medical needs and require round-the-clock care as well as rehabilitation services
- Intermediate care facilities offer services for individuals with disabilities, allowing them to function at their greatest potential in a protected, residential setting
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