Are you in need of Long Term Care?

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What exactly is long term care?

According to the National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information (www.longtermcare.gov), long-term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your health or personal needs over a long period of time.

These services fall into two major categories:

Activities of Daily Living: include bathing, dressing, transferring to or from a bed or chair, and eating.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living: include (but are not limited to) housework, taking medication, errands, caring of pets, and using communication devices.

The need for long-term care, which can be provided at home or in a special facility, usually stems from a health condition, such as a chronic illness or disability. Age-related factors can also increase the likelihood for needing services.

The National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information is a government Web site that provides information and resources to those who are inquiring about long-term care needs for themselves or a family member.

Here’s a short list of age-related factors or risks they cite when considering long-term care:

Age: The older you get, the more likely it is that you’ll need help.

Living alone: If you live alone, you’re more likely to need paid care than if you live with others.

Gender: Women are more likely to need long-term care than men, primarily because women tend to live longer.

Lifestyle: Poor diet and exercise habits increase the chance that you’ll need long-term care.

Personal history: Health and family history can increase the chances you’ll need long-term care.

The cost of long-term care is a major issue to consider, and you may benefit from signing-up for coverage early on.

Medicare, VA benefits and employer programs cover some costs of long-term care, but more and more people are adding private long-term care insurance policies to their retirement planning.

Make that decision sooner rather than later; the younger you are when you buy the policy, the less it will cost you.

And once you have a major health issue, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, metastatic cancer or Parkinson’s, you may not be able to get coverage.

Reach Kelvin Collins, the president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and the CSRA Inc., at (800) 763-4222 or www.bbb.org.

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