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Long Term Care Industry

Long term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

Long Term Care Industry

Long term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

What is long term care?

Long term care is a variety of services which help meet both the medical and non-medical needs of people at all ages, from children to elders, with a chronic illness or disability who cannot care for themselves for long periods. Long term care is focused on individualized and coordinated services that promote independence, maximize patients’ quality of life and meet patients’ needs over a period of time.

The most common type of long term care is personal care—help with everyday activities, also called “activities of daily living.” These activities include bathing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet, eating and moving around—for example, getting out of bed and into a chair.

Long term care services also address the needs of individuals who are recovering from illness or disability, such as those who have experienced a stroke or hip or knee replacement and require rehabilitation services such as physical therapy and additional nursing care before they can be independent in the community.

Long term care is provided in the home, assisted living residences and nursing homes.

Who needs long term care?

People often need long term care when they have a serious, ongoing health condition or disability. The need for care can arise suddenly, such as after a heart attack. Most often, however, it develops gradually, as people get older and frailer or as an illness or disability gets worse.

Several things increase the risk of needing long-term care:

  • Age—The risk generally increases as people get older.
  • Gender—Women are at higher risk than men, primarily because they often live longer.
  • Marital status—Single people are more likely than married people to need care from a paid provider.
  • Lifestyle—Poor diet and exercise habits can increase a person’s risk.
  • Health and family history—These factors also affect risk.

What are the different types of long term care services?

Home Health Care

Home health care involves part-time medical services ordered by a physician for a specific condition. These services may include nursing care to help a person recover from surgery, an accident or illness. Home health care may also include physical, occupational or speech therapy and temporary home health aide services.

Homemaker and Personal Care Services

Homemaker and personal care services can be purchased without a physician’s order. Homemaker services include help with meal preparation and household chores. Personal care includes help with bathing and dressing.

Assisted Living

Assisted living includes personal care and health services provided in a residential setting. The level of care is not as extensive as a nursing home.

Nursing Home

Nursing homes are residential facilities that provide a high level of supervision and care for  people needing more help with their day-to-day activities. Personal care, lodging, supervision, nursing, help with medication, therapy and rehabilitation are all provided on site, 24 hours a day.

 

Personal Care AssistantHome Health AideCertified Nursing Aide
Most work in clients’ homes or assisted living facilities
Most work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and rehabilitation centers
May work with one patient or a small number of patients
Administers medications and checks vital signs
Helps clients with daily living—exercise, walking, bathing, grooming
Assists with light housekeeping, meal prep and errands
Requires formal training and certification in NYS*
40 hours for PCA II
None for PCA I
Exam required

75 hours
Plus clinical training and final exam

100+ hours
Plus clinical training and standardized testing and certification
Requires criminal history record check
Requires a physical exam
May require a high school diploma, GED and/or reading comprehension standard
Most direct path to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or RN
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