Long Term Care

What is long term care? Long-term care refers to a collection of services that are intended to meet the medical and non-medical needs of disabled or chronically ill patients. These services include social, medical/nursing, and community services. They often require assisting the patient or patients in performing day-to-day tasks like dressing, bathing and eating. Long-term care can be provided for anybody and can be performed in a nursing home, in the individual’s residence or in assisted living centers.

What is continuum of care services in the United States? Continuum of care is a concept involving an integrated system of care that guides and tracks patient over time through a comprehensive array of health services spanning all levels of intensity of care, providing a framework to guide day-to-day decision-making and providing a framework for delivery of optimum health care to patient populations.

Basically what that means is that it allows for you as a patient to have your care managed effectively from basic care, like prescriptions and making appointments, to more advanced care, like in-hospital and critical care. It creates the “medical community” where the doctors and ancillary staff involved in your treatment all communicate regarding your diagnoses, procedures, treatments etc. It links all your services and avoids duplicating them. Meaning, your primary care orders tests that your specialists don’t repeat.

Everyone sees everything and it allows for better treatments! Why is long term care one of the greatest challenges facing the healthcare delivery system today? Why I think it has become a challenge is because a lot adults in this world rather put their parents into long term care than taking care of them, and it costs thousands of dollars to be able to pay for that kind of treatment. Some people have that kind of money and some don’t, to even consider putting their parents into a facility.

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Because of the great number of adults now reaching 65 and retirement age, as well as reaching the time in life when medical problems increase. Many seniors also are living alone & may need help at home as they age. Also many children have moved away due to out of state jobs, so the seniors are alone. Some have medical problems and they will need or do need help with physical care & meals, and before there were many family members living together, but now everyone wants to be independent.

Many seniors want to remain in their homes, but living on a limited income, they can no longer pay mortgages & high taxes. Does everyone really want to give up their independence, their homes, their pets, their flowerbeds, their cars and their privacy to wind up in a facility where they don’t know anyone & may have to share a bedroom with someone who they may in fact don’t even like? It’s always better for people to be able to stay in their own homes, but how on a fixed income.

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