What is Long-term care?
When a person is unable or needs help to perform routine daily activities like having bath, using the toilet, and partaking food and water, he or she would require long-term care (LTC). Typical examples are ageing people, individuals who have met with near-fatal accidents, and the terminally ill. This type of home care does not help cure someone. It is thorough care that someone might need for the rest of his or her life.
Who needs it?
Chronically ill elderly
Long-term care is usually required for very old people who have grown very weak and cannot carry out activities of daily living (ADLs). Such care is also given to the terminally ill or those whose lives have been affected by a serious illness.
Elderly with cognitive disorders
Individuals with moderate to severe dementia or any other cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s Disease often require LTC. This includes supervision (sometimes 24 hours a day), specialized communication techniques, and management of difficult behaviour.
Caregiver with an elderly
Who can provide it?
A family member or a certified nursing assistant can provide LTC. A vast majority of older adults receive long-term care at home usually from family members.
Impact on family members providing LTC
The presence of elder(s) in a family who require long-term care can be very stressful for the family especially the primary caregiver. In most cases, the primary caregivers have other tasks to attend to like a full-time job, cooking, and attending to the needs of spouse and children. They are left with little or no me-time. The length of LTC is another factor, the longer the period of care the more it takes the toll on the family.
The age of the patient and the extent of long-term care that the individual requires can be a defining factor on the health of the patient’s family. Stress could manifest itself in the form of mental and physical health issues.
The pros of professional caregiving for LTC
Respite in the form of LTC offered by elderly home care providers like Life Circle can help alleviate the stress of primary caregivers and also families of the elderly. As life expectancy goes up, the percentage of elderly requiring LTC also proportionally increases. Roping in professionals from home care providers is a good idea for the long term.
About the author
Aparajita, has a background in dentistry and has done a Masters in Public health from the EHESP- French school of public health. She has worked at organizations such as WHO(Geneva), URC- Eco(Paris), HandsOn Suburban Chicago & NWSRA(Chicago). Now she is working at Life Circle as the care coordination officer. She believes it’s best when career and passion come together. Her vision to bring some grass- roots level change through organized efforts gives her the drive to work. In her spare time, she loves moving around the city, exploring new places and making memories.