Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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Long-Term Care

About Long-Term Care

Long-term care is the assistance or supervision given to a person who no longer can function independently and requires services to meet health or personal care needs over an extended period—months, years or the rest of the individual’s life. This typically results from an injury, disability, chronic illness or the normal aging process. Cognitive and physical impairments resulting from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia often prompt the need for long-term care.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at least 70 percent of people older than 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives. However, someone of any age may need long-term care.

Multiple factors increase the risk of needing long-term care, such as:

  • Age - The longer a person lives, the greater the risk.
  • Marital status - Single people are more likely to need care from a paid provider.
  • Gender - Women are at a higher risk than men, primarily because of their longer lifespan.
  • Lifestyle, including poor diet and exercise habits
  • Health and family history

Everyone’s situation varies in terms of the extent of support and the length of time that care will be required. A major determining factor is the person’s level of disability. Most long-term care involves non-skilled personal care assistance or help with performing everyday tasks, known as activities of daily living (ADLs); ADLs include bathing, dressing, eating, transferring and using the toilet.

For more information about long-term care, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care.