Rehab Select Blog

Who Needs Long Term Care?

Posted by Bobby Stephenson

Aug 9, 2017 7:00:00 AM

long term care doctorsLong term care is a range of services designed to meet the needs of people who are, either temporarily or permanently, unable to care for themselves on their own. These services are designed to help these individuals live as safely and independently as possible and may be provided over a few weeks or months as people recover and rehabilitate from serious medical events, or on an ongoing basis for those who suffer from chronic and/or degenerative health conditions. So who needs long term care? Here are some issues that can indicate the need for this type of care:

  • A need for 24-hour medical care or medical monitoring.

  • A need for intensive rehabilitative therapy to aid recovery after a serious illness or injury, or from medical events, such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes complications or surgery.

  • Temporary or permanent mobility or balance issues that compromise safety.

  • Physical impairments that affect a person's ability to perform basic daily self care tasks – bathing, dressing, wound care, toileting and eating, for instance.

  • Issues with medication management, such as forgetting to take medications or overusing them.

  • Safety issues related to cognitive impairments or memory loss, pans frequently forgotten on the stove, for instance, creating a fire hazard.

  • Difficulty managing necessary medical care and appointments.

  • Inability to manage household tasks efficiently, such as meal preparation and cleanup, laundry, shopping, bill paying and general home cleaning and maintenance.

Basically, long term care is indicated when a person is unsafe or unable to function safely and independently in their home environment. If you are concerned that a loved one may be unsafe at home or unable to manage self-care and/or daily tasks on their own, taking action can prevent a serious accident or medical problem due to these issues.

If you aren't sure whether or not your loved one needs care, getting a formal needs assessment can help you clarify things. It can also help you determine what sort of long term care can best meet their needs as you are faced with choices between home-based services or placement in an assisted living center or skilled nursing facility. If your loved one is hospitalized, speak to their discharge planner or hospital social worker to get such an assessment. If not, speak to your loved one's personal health care provider or your local senior center for help in arranging a complete assessment of his or her needs.

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Topics: Long Term Care

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