Approximately 7.6 million individuals currently receive home care because of acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disability, or terminal illness."
- U.S. Census Bureau,
2002 Economic Census
Many people think all long term care is provided in nursing homes. However, long term care is most often provided at home, in adult day care facilities or in assisted living facilities.
Who Provides Long Term Care?
Most long term care services are provided by family members and friends. This type of care, informal care, also includes long term care services provided by unlicensed caregivers who are not arranged or supervised by a home care agency.
Care can also be provided by professionals trained in the field of long term care. This type of care, formal care, is provided by a home health aide or homemaker arranged or supervised by a home care agency or provided by a nurse or therapist.
In today's society, adult children are more apt to live further away from their parents. In addition, many adult children are taking less vacation time and working longer hours. Taking care of a family member is a time-consuming commitment that often demands a significant number of hours from multiple family members.
Even if family members can find the time to provide caregiving to a family member, it often comes at a tremendous financial cost. Caregiving can cost the average caregiver in lost wages, pension benefits, and Social Security.
While having a family take care of you might be an option, it might be difficult to do without additional assistance.
Learn more about common long term care myths.