Long-Term Facility Care: Main Types

Reviewed on 3/24/2021

Long-term care provides adults with disabilities or over the age of 65 with the support they need to maintain their quality of life. These services can include home care, community services, supportive housing programs, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.
Long-term care provides adults with disabilities or over the age of 65 with the support they need to maintain their quality of life. These services can include home care, community services, supportive housing programs, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

Long-term care describes services and support people need to maintain quality of life, functionality, and routine if they become ill, disabled, or otherwise impaired. Long-term care is not the same as medical care, which is focused on treating illness. 

About 70% of Americans age 65 years and older will need some form of long-term care at some point, along with about 41% of adults below 65 years who will need long-term care due to chronic illness, injury, or a mental illness. 

The main types of long-term care include: 

  • Home care
  • Community services
  • Supportive housing programs
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes

What Is Long Term Care?

Long-term care is focused on helping people complete “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL), which includes:

  1. Eating
  2. Bathing
  3. Dressing
  4. Toileting
  5. Continence 
  6. Transferring (moving a person)

Another component of long-term care involves support with everyday tasks called “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living” (IADL), which includes:

  1. Household chores
  2. Medication management
  3. Meal preparation
  4. Grocery shopping
  5. Making phone calls
  6. Pet care

What Are the Main Types of Long-Term Care?

Long-term care can be provided in home, in the community, or at a facility. Types of long-term care include the following services in the table below.

Types of Long-Term Care
Facility/Service Options for Care
Home Care
  • Family caregiving, in which a person close to the patient provides care
  • Home health care, which provides assistance during an illness or injury
  • Homemaker services to assist people with daily household tasks
  • Home telehealth, which delivers virtual, medical, health, and education services
Community Services
  • Adult day care centers which care for the elderly during the day
  • Home care agencies which can provide caregiver visits or assistance with household chores 
  • Continuing care retirement communities, which are collections of housing for elderly people who want to live independently but have access to some basic care
  • Transportation services for those who can no longer drive
  • Respite care provides temporary care to give relief to regular caregivers
  • Meal programs
  • Villages, in which local volunteers help the elderly in the community remain in their homes through various neighbor-helping-neighbor systems
Supportive Housing Programs
  • Programs developed by The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offer low-cost housing to seniors with low to moderate income
  • Many facilities help with daily living activities 
Assisted Living Facilities
  • These provide 24-hour supervision and assistance such as medication management, and homemaker services in a home-like setting
  • Also provides social and recreational activities
  • This allows some independence among the residents
Nursing Homes
  • These provide 24-hour supervision and comprehensive long-term care for chronically ill residents and people unable to receive care at home or in a community

The type of service you select depends on your needs, so choose the type of facility and care that works for your family.

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Reviewed on 3/24/2021
References
https://www.altcp.org/long-term-care/