Long-term care is made up of many different services and may include help
with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, eating, and using the
bathroom, as well as help with care most people do themselves like taking
medications. Long-term care can take place at home, in senior centers, at
community centers, in special retirement or assisted living facilities, or in
nursing homes. Someone with a long-term physical illness, a disability, or a memory
or thought problem (such as Alzheimer's disease) often needs long-term care.
Choosing long-term care is a very important
decision. You should plan and think about long-term care before you need care
or before a crisis occurs. Planning ahead allows you the time to talk with your
doctor about your health and any problems you may be having. It is also very
important to talk with your family about the kind of long-term care services
you think you might need someday, how much they would cost, and how you would pay
for them. The best time to talk about long-term care is before you need services.
This section gives you some steps that may help you choose the type of long-term care
that meets your needs.