Posted on Sunday, January 1, 2012
Long Term Care

About 70% of individuals over the age of 65 need some form of long-term care throughout their lifetime and more than 40% need care inside an elderly care facility for a much longer time period.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care involves a number of services made to meet an individual's health or personal care needs throughout a brief or long time period. These types of services help people live as independently and securely as you possibly can whenever they can no longer perform everyday activities by themselves.

Long-term care is supplied in various places by different care providers, based on an individual's needs. Most long-term care is supplied in your own home by family and friends. Care may also be supplied by compensated care providers, usually in your own home, but additionally inside a facility like assisted living for elderly care.

The most typical kind of long-term care is personal care – this consists of helping with activities of everyday living. These activities include bathing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet, eating, and getting around -- for instance, getting up from lying down and sitting down in a chair.

Long-term care includes community services like food preparation, adult daycare, and transportation services. These types of services might be provided free or for a small fee.

People frequently need long-term care whether they have a significant, ongoing health problem or disability. The requirement for long-term care can arise all of a sudden, for example after heart disease or stroke. Most frequently, however, it evolves progressively, as people grow older and frailer or because an illness or disability will get worse.

It is not easy to calculate just how much or which kind of long-term care you may need. A number of things increase the chance of requiring long-term care including the following:

- Age -- The danger generally increases as people grow older.

- Gender -- Women are in greater risk than males, mainly because they frequently live longer.

- Marital status -- Single men and women are more inclined to require care than married couples.

- Lifestyle -- Poor dieting and exercise habits can increase an individual's risk.

- Health insurance and genealogy -- These factors also affect risk.

Planning Long-Term Care

The optimum time to consider long-term care is before you really need it. Planning the potential of long-term care gives you a chance to find out about services in your neighborhood and how costly they will be. Additionally, it enables you to make important choices when you are still able.

Start by considering what can happen should you grow to become seriously ill or disabled. Engage with your family and friends about who'd provide care should you need help for any period of time.

You may delay or prevent the requirement for long-term care by remaining healthy and independent. Speak to your physician regarding your medical and genealogy and lifestyle.
Healthy eating, regular exercise, not smoking, and limited consumption of alcohol will help you remain healthy. Likewise, an energetic social existence, a secure home, and regular healthcare can provide this as well.

Planning long-term care includes legal planning. This means creating official documents -- frequently known as "advance directives" -- that list out your wishes for health care in emergency situations as well as end of life.

You should consider what you would like before you decide to receive long-term care. Discuss the choices with family members, an attorney, and possibly others. These discussions can be difficult, but telling others your wishes in advance may later take the responsibility off your loved ones.

Legal Documents to Assist in Long-Term Care

Experts recommend creating three kinds of legal documents, or advance directives.

- healthcare energy of attorney

- full time income will

- do-not-resuscitate order, if preferred.

A healthcare power of attorney, is a legal document that names the one who can make medical choices for you personally, if you are unable. This healthcare "agent" is the substitute decision maker.

A living will, also known as a healthcare directive, is a legal document that records your wishes for end of life treatment. It spells what treatment you do or don't want if you're critically ill, permanently unconscious, or perhaps in the ultimate stage of a fatal illness. For instance, the document can condition whether you need to receive artificial breathing if you're not able to breathe by yourself.

A do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order informs healthcare companies to not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or any other life-support methods in case your heart stops or you stop breathing. A DNR order is signed with a healthcare provider and set inside your medical chart. Hospitals and long-term care facilities have DNR forms that the employee will help you complete. You don't have to possess a DNR order.

Lawyers along with other professionals will help you create legal documents to make sure that your healthcare wishes are expressed. These experts understand condition laws and regulations and just how changes, like a divorce, moving, or death in the family, modify the way documents are prepared and maintained.

Make sure to discuss your requirements and provide copies of the legal documents to family, your healthcare proxy, as well as your physician. You need to review documents regularly and modify them when needed.

Although it may never be the “right time” to look into long-term care, the best time to prepare for it is before you even need it.

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