Long Term Care Basics

Because long term care is not typically covered by health or other types of insurance, it is most often provided at home by adult children, other family members, and friends.

Even though family members may be the first to step in and want to help a loved one in need, being a caregiver for someone who requires ongoing assistance can be a time-consuming commitment that demands significant hours from multiple people. It may not be a direct cost for you, but it can come at a significant financial, physical, and emotional cost to the caregiver.

Caregiving can be stressful, and often takes a toll on a caregiver's health and well-being.

How long term care affects caregivers

Family & friends
of care at home is provided by unpaid caregivers such as family members and friends1
Intensive care
have provided intensive care, assisting with personal care such as bathing or feeding1
Average time
hours per week is the time caregivers spend giving care, and about two-thirds are women1
1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "The Basics," https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/ (accessed July 2019).

Where long term care is provided

While receiving care at home may be your preference, it may not always be the best option. It's important for you and your family to understand all of the care options that are available.

Home health care

Receive care in your own home, including nursing care, home health aide and homemaker services, social services, and occupational, physical, respiratory, and speech therapy.

Home health aide

Receive care in your own home from a certified, trained health-care worker who provides assistance with personal care and light household duties.

Nursing home

Receive care in a licensed residential facility that provides 24-hour room and board, skilled nursing care, and personal care services. Nursing homes also provide medical care, therapy, and other health related services.

Adult day care center

Receive care in a community setting that provides social activities and personal care services for adults who need care or supervision during the day. Adult day care centers are another option to help you stay in your own home and can provide much needed relief to a family caregiver.

Assisted living facility

Receive care in a residential facility that provides room and board and 24-hour health and personal care services. This is a great care option when you're unable to manage at home, but do not need the level of skilled care provided in a nursing home.