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May 27, 2022

When is Long Term Care the Right Choice?

By: Country Meadows | Senior Living

When searching for a senior living community, terms to describe available levels of care, such as long-term care, may be confusing.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care includes a spectrum of options and levels of care. It provides supportive services to help meet the needs of people living with chronic care conditions that affect their ability to perform every day activities such as eating, bathing, dressing or taking medications.

When is it time for long-term care?

Long-term care is typically a continuum of services from independent living through personal care, skilled nursing and memory support. Long-term care may be helpful as seniors develop mobility issues such as the inability to get in and out of a chair safely or when symptoms associated with chronic conditions worsen.

Initially in-home caregivers may be able to support an older adult in their own home. If changing needs require additional assistance, many older adults can benefit by moving to a long-term care community where they can meet receive services to help with daily activities and make friends with new neighbors.

In what care levels is long-term care available?

Long-term care can be delivered in several levels of care offered at the best retirement communities. Differences between each service level are the amount of care delivered by specially trained staff members.

Long-term care is available in these care levels at a senior living community listed in ascending services provided:

  • Independent Living. While technically not a level offering long-term care, independent living residents live in private apartments or cottage homes and receive no personal care services unless contracted privately. Residents can choose to enjoy meals with their neighbors in elegant dining rooms and enjoy a plethora of activities and outings.
  • Personal Care and Assisted Living. This level of retirement living is designed for seniors who need assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, getting in and out of a chair and managing medications. Long-term care services are provided by trained staff and residents live in homelike apartment settings, enjoying meals as well as a plethora of opportunities for social interaction, activities, entertainment and outings to prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation.
  • Restorative Care. Residents who require more support than is typically provided in personal care and assisted living benefit from the additional services provided in this specialized level of long-term care. Whether recovering from an injury or surgery, or living with a chronic condition, residents receive a customized plan with achievable goals in mind. The plan may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, rehab care, fitness programs and emotional and spiritual support. Therapists work with each individual to determine solutions to help individuals accomplish daily tasks.
  • Memory Support. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia can be scary. Seniors who exhibit certain kinds of behavior that affect everyday living may benefit by receiving memory support services at a long-term care facility with a memory care program. Memory support programs can be provided in either secured or non-secured settings by staff members specially trained to provide supportive care. There are some tell-tale signs to look out for when it may be time to find a formal memory support program for a loved one living with dementia.
  • Skilled Nursing Care. Skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers provide round-the-clock care for people who need supervision and specialized medical care to manage complex medical needs such as wound care, IV medications, pressure ulcers and speech and occupational therapies. Long-term care residents in skilled nursing receive assistance with everyday tasks such as bathing, showering, managing medications and eating.

What is the cost of long-term care?

Whether for yourself or a loved one, people often experience “sticker shock” at the cost for long-term care. Long-term care services in independent living, personal care, assisted living and memory support are not covered by Medicare. The only level covered by Medicare and Medicaid is skilled nursing since it provides medical services.

It is a good idea to have conversations with loved ones to put a plan to cover the cost of long-term care before it is needed. Long-term care insurance may help cover costs for some service levels in a senior living community. There is a lot to keep in mind when shopping for long-term care insurance.

Country Meadows offers senior living services at its nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus in Frederick, Maryland. Country Meadows offers a variety of services from independent and assisted living, to personal care, memory support and restorative care. If you would like more information about how we can support you or a loved one, please contact us today. Our co-workers can answer questions and provide information on our services.


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