Long-term care is the kind of care you require when a chronic illness, accident, cognitive disability, injury, or the natural aging process leaves you unable to care for yourself.
This type of care is not the kind of skilled medical care you receive from a doctor or in a hospital; nor is it the short-term rehabilitation you might need after a minor accident or surgery.
Rather, long-term care provides the ongoing assistance you might need in order to perform what are known as the Activities of Daily Living (ADL's); things like eating, bathing, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, dealing with incontinence or just moving around. Care required because of a cognitive problem is also referred to as long-term care, even though a person may be able to perform all their ADL's.
Long-term care can be received at home, in a hospice, an adult day care center, an assisted living facility or a nursing home. This kind of care can be provided by a nurse, home health aide, spouse, family member or other personal care provider.