February 5, 2019

Three Different Types of Long-term Care

Before we dive into the different types of care, let’s first talk about what long-term care is. Long-term care provides around-the-clock services for someone based on their health needs and is offered for the rest of that person’s life. Three of the most common kinds of long-term care are:

  1. Skilled Nursing
  2. Assisted Living
  3. Home Health Care

There’s an infographic at the end of this guide to help you access this information quickly, but if you want all the details, continue reading to discover what type of long-term care you or your loved one might need.

  • Skilled Nursing

These communities are licensed to give several types of care based on someone’s needs. Skilled nursing is required if you or your loved one needs 24/7 medical care or supervision. Communities with skilled nursing have advanced medical services, rehabilitation therapy programs, meals, activities, laundry services, housekeeping, and a full 24/7 nursing team. Skilled nursing is also usually recommended after someone has surgery or a hospital stay for a medical condition. Skilled nursing communities can be great options for both long-term and short-term patients.

  • Assisted Living

Assisted living comes in many different forms such as condos, suburban neighborhoods, and apartments. These facilities offer assistance with medication, housekeeping, laundry, and other personal care needs. The biggest difference between assisted living and skilled nursing is that most assisted living facilities don’t provide 24/7 nursing care teams. For that reason, assisted living is best for people who are aging and need extra help, but do not have serious medical conditions or complex care needs.

  • Home Health Care

Home care can be medical or non-medical. There are some forms of home care that give skilled nursing inside the patient’s home, and some forms of home care that assist with housekeeping, personal care, and other activities of daily living. Home care can also be offered as a 24/7 service or just a weekly visit; it depends on the patient and their needs. This option is preferred by people who need assistance but don’t want to leave their home. Depending on the level of care, home care can be the most expensive option of the three types of continuing care.

After reading this guide, you should sit down and assess the needs of the person interested in long-term care.

Do you have a medical condition such as COPD or Alzheimer’s? Then skilled nursing might be your best option.

Is your mother aging and having a hard time doing chores, but doesn’t have any serious medical conditions? Then assisted living or home care might be good for her. Talk with your doctor as well to determine what types of care might be best.

Types of Long-Term Care


Resources: Touchstone Communities Services

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