These days it seems the words “long term care” can be heard everywhere.  It’s in advertising, commercials and a in many conversations about aging parents and personal planning.  The two most common questions are: what is long term care and who does it affect? If you have ever known someone who needed extra help due to physical in-capabilities or mental impairments, no matter their age, then you may already be familiar. If not, then keep reading.

First and foremost, let’s define long term care. Long term care is when a person is in need of assistance when that person can no longer perform at least 2 of 6 daily living activities or has a cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Daily living activities are defined as:

  • Eating – able to feed oneself.
  • Bathing – able to bath/shower, brush teeth, and groom.
  • Dressing – able to dress and undress.
  • Mobility – able to sit, stand, and walk.
  • Continence – able to control bladder and bowel functions.
  • Toileting – able to use the restroom alone

Most people think long term care is just for the elderly; however, that is no longer true.  Yes, the elderly are more likely to need the care due to the natural aging process, but there are also many younger people that need the care too.   In fact, the statistics might surprise you: 63% of those needing care are age 65 and older and the other 37% are age 64 and younger. [ Rogers, S., & H. Komisar. Who needs long-term care? Fact Sheet, Long-Term Care Financing Project. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2003.]

Many people tend to think that they won’t ever need any long term care. Reality check – people are living longer and our environment is changing.  Each and every person has a 50/50 chance of needing long term care.  .  The question for you is what are you going to do about it? The answer is to give us a call to start your conversation because this is just the beginning.

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Be sure and check back next week for more incredibly valuable information. Cheers!


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