Long-Term Care Basics

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Long-Term Care Basics

What is Long-Term Care? Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can’t perform everyday activities on their own.

What Is Long-Term Care

Who Needs Long-Term Care?

  • Elderly individuals, especially those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
  • People with severe, ongoing health conditions or disabilities.
  • Individuals recovering from surgery or other temporary conditions.

Types of Long-Term Care

  1. In-Home Care: Professional assistance at home with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.
  2. Assisted Living Facilities: Residential communities providing personal care support and housing.
  3. Nursing Homes: Facilities offering extensive health care services, including medical supervision and physical therapy.
  4. Adult Day Care Centers: Provide social and support services in a community setting during daytime hours.
Long-Term Care Planning Guide

Paying for Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care Options

Care TypeDescriptionBest For
In-Home CareAssistance in your own homeIndividuals who need minimal assistance
Assisted LivingCommunity living with personal care supportThose needing regular personal care
Nursing HomesFull medical and personal careIndividuals with serious health issues
Adult Day CareDaytime community care and activitiesSocial interaction and support


Understanding long-term care basics is crucial for making informed decisions about your or your loved one’s future care needs. It includes various services ranging from in-home care to nursing homes, each catering to different levels of care requirements. Assessing your personal situation and financial resources is key to choosing the right option. Contact us today for a free quote.

Long Term Care Planning Guide

Request A Quote

Get help or a quote from a licensed financial professional. This service is free of charge.

Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the reasons that cause someone to live in long-term care?

There are many reasons why someone may need to live in LTC. These reasons may include severe health conditions or disabilities, chronic illnesses, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, a need for assistance with activities of daily living, or a lack of family support. LTC can also benefit individuals who need specialized care, such as those with developmental disabilities or mental health issues.

What three factors are the most influential in the increased demand for LTC services?

The three most influential factors in the increased demand for these services are an aging population, the rising cost of health care, and decreased funding for public LTC programs. As the population ages, more people will need these services, and the cost of these services is increasing. At the same time, public LTC programs face reduced funding, making it difficult for individuals to access the medical care they need.

What happens when you run out of money for long-term care?

If you run out of money for long-term care, you may be eligible for assistance from the government or other organizations. For example, Medicaid eligibility may cover these services if you meet specific income and asset requirements. Community services, such as home health aides or respite care, may also be available. In some cases, family members may be able to provide financial support. It is essential to research all of your options to determine the best course of action.

What are some examples of long-term care facilities?

Long-term care facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, memory care units, speech therapy, human services, and adult daycare centers. Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical assistance and personal care services such as bathing, dressing, and eating for people who cannot care for themselves due to illness or injury.

What are examples of long-term care?

The three main long-term care types are home-based, facility-based, and community-based services. Home-based care includes home health care, homemaker services, friendly visitor/companion services, and emergency response systems. Facility-based care as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential homes for older people. Community-based services include meals, adult day care, and transportation services.

Why is Long-Term Care Important?

Long-term care is vital because it offers individuals access to specialized medical and personal care services and provides support and assistance with activities of daily living. It also helps to ensure a person’s safety and well-being while improving their overall quality of life.

How long do people survive in long-term care?

The average length of stay varies, depending on the type of care and needed services. Generally, the average length of stay in an assisted living facility is around 28 months, while the average size in a nursing home is 835 days. The mortality rate of individuals moving into a skilled nursing facility is death within the first 12 months by as much as 50%-60%.

Why is long-term care critical?

Long-term care is vital because it can provide support, assistance, and medical care services to individuals unable to care for themselves due to physical or mental impairments. In addition, it helps to cover the costs of that care when a person has a chronic medical condition, disability, or disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease. LTC can also help maintain independence and quality of life and provide seniors with a safe and secure environment.

How do nursing homes relate to long-term care?

Nursing homes are essential parts of a continuum of LTC. Their job provides 24-hour healthcare to chronically ill persons who need medical treatment but do not have an independent lifestyle. Nursing homes offer medical services and a place where patients can enjoy their own life while interacting with other patients to improve their overall wellness. Additionally, nursing homes provide services such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. The diversely skilled nursing facilities can help patients live confidently, safely, and with dignity.

How long does the average person stay in a nursing home?

Studies indicate that the average length of stay in a nursing home is almost 2.5 years. However, this will depend on the person’s age, medical condition, and many other factors, such as family support. Additionally, the median stay before death is five months, with 53% dying within six months of admission.

What is the primary goal of LTC?

The main goal of long-term care services is to help people live as independently and safely as possible when they cannot perform everyday activities independently. These services focus on providing personal care and support to help people achieve their highest potential functioning and quality of life.

How does Long-Term Care help seniors?

LTC insurance can help seniors cover long-term care costs, including those that Medicare or Medicaid does not cover. It can also provide financial protection against the high costs of LTC and help other seniors live and maintain their independence and quality of life. Also, this can help ensure that individuals receive the quality of care they need in adult daycare centers, which provide activities and companionship for seniors who cannot be left alone.

Does long-term care cover personal emergency response systems?

Long-term care may cover personal emergency response systems such as medical alert systems. These systems are designed to give individuals an easy way to contact emergency services.

What is the primary goal of long-term care, and how can it help individuals maintain their independence and quality of life?

The main goal of long-term care is to provide individuals with the support and assistance they need to manage their daily activities and maintain their independence, health, and well-being. Long-term care can help individuals maintain their independence by providing the necessary support and assistance to continue living in their homes and communities.

Can Medicaid pay for long-term care?

Medicaid becomes a viable option for individuals who may not have the financial means to afford long-term care. However, specific criteria, often related to income and assets, must be met to be eligible for Medicaid. Understanding Medicaid eligibility, especially in long-term care, becomes crucial in planning and ensuring access to necessary care services.

Can you cash out a long-term care insurance policy?

Long-term care insurance cannot typically be cashed out like a life insurance policy. It’s designed to cover the costs of long-term care services. If benefits aren’t used, you generally don’t receive a refund. However, some policies offer a return of premium option, but these often come at a higher cost.

Does long-term care insurance cover assisted living?

Yes, long-term care insurance often covers costs associated with assisted living. These policies are designed to cover services that regular health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid do not, including assistance with daily activities. Coverage details vary, so reviewing specific policy terms for exact benefits is important.

What is the average length of stay in a memory care unit?

The average length of stay in a memory care unit can vary depending on the individual’s needs and the progression of their condition. On average, individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia may stay in a memory care unit for two to three years, although some may stay for a shorter or longer time. The length of stay is typically determined by the progression of the disease and the individual’s level of assistance required.

What is the difference between nursing home and assisted living?

The main difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities lies in the level of care provided. Nursing homes offer 24/7 medical supervision and assistance for individuals with complex health conditions, while assisted living provides more autonomy and assistance with daily activities for seniors who require minimal medical care.

What are the 3 main types of long-term care facilities?

The three main types of long-term care facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and independent living communities. Nursing homes provide round-the-clock medical care for individuals with severe health conditions. Assisted living facilities offer support with daily tasks and some medical assistance. Independent living communities are designed for individuals who are mostly self-sufficient but want access to social activities and services.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

Scroll to Top