The Continuum of Long-Term Care
November 28, 2010
A variety of services that provides medical and non-medical needs toward individuals who are suffering from chronic illness, disability or old age is known as long-term care. Long- term care meets the needs of individuals who are no longer able to do many activities, which include bathing, dressing, cooking, and using the bathroom. This year, about nine million men and women over the age of 65 will need long-term care (Medicare.gov).
By 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. Most will
be cared for at home; family and friends are the sole caregiver for 70
percent of the elderly.
A study by the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services says that people will likely have a 40 percent chance
of entering a nursing home will stay there five years or more
The goal for long-term care in the twenty-first century is to be organized as an efficient, coordinated continuum of high-quality care (Evashwick, 2005). According to Evashwick and Rundall continuum of care is defined as more than a collection of fragmented services; it is an integrated system of care. Therefore, in order for long-term care to provide an quality of care, each services provided must work together as an organization. Managing Health Care Resources for Long-Term Care
In order for long-term care to continue providing services they have adapted to change during the last decades. The organization has created different ways of providing services to individuals, especially now that a lot of individuals are at a certain age and they know exactly what type of service they want. Long-term care consumers want to maintain their current lifestyles and increasingly willing to shop around for providers who can accommodate them (Pratt, 2004).
They want to receive care at home whenever possible, resulting in more
demand for home health care and other home based services. Their desire
for a homelike environment even when institutionalized has led to assisted
living, congregate housing, and other similar modifications of the more
traditional types of long-term care (Pratt, 2004).
Long-term care have noticed competition from other providers such as hospitals that would like to capitalize on such services because they are trying to survive, so they have decided to change certain aspects (Pratt, 2004). The changes in the system have also created new opportunities for those long-term care providers clever enough to see and take advantage of them. They must decide whether they should compete by themselves or join forces with others to strengthen their strategic position (Pratt, 2004). Long-Term Care Services
Individuals that need long-term care in some point in their life have many options to choose from that will not interrupt their independence to a certain aspect. there are many programs that can be found in the community such as adult day service centers, transportation services, and home care agencies. Also, there are other providers that needed when the individual has certain medical needs such as assisted living, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and nursing homes.
Majority of long-term that is provided starts at home and a member of the family is usually the caregiver. Its estimated that individuals currently turning 65 may need 3 years of long-term care in their lifetime, with almost 2 years of that care provided at home. The majority of care that is provided at home-about 80 percent- is provided by unpaid caregivers (National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care, 2008). Each organization under long-term care provides medical and non-medical care and social settings that fulfills the agreement of continuum of care. The programs and housing available includes support from health care providers that will try to maintain the quality of care individuals need.
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