There are different types of longterm careLongterm care refers to a broad range of medical and personal services designed to assist individuals who have lost their ability to function independently. The need for this ongoing care arises when you have a chronic disability or when physical/mental impairments prevent you from performing certain basic activities, such as feeding, bathing, dressing, transferring, and toileting.

3 Levels of LongTerm Care

Some longterm care insurance policies will subsidize only certain forms of longterm care; therefore, it is important to understand the accepted terminology. Longterm care may be divided into three levels:

  1. Skilled care: Continuous “around-the-clock” care designed to treat a medical condition. This care is ordered by a physician and performed by skilled medical personnel, such as registered nurses or professional therapists. A treatment plan is established.
  2. Intermediate care: Intermittent nursing and rehabilitative care provided by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse’s aides under the supervision of a physician.
  3. Custodial care: Care designed to assist with one’s activities of daily living (such as bathing, eating, and dressing). It can be provided by someone without professional medical skills but is supervised by a physician.

*Please note that the above terms may be defined differently by other sources.

Where is longterm care provided?

Although longterm care can be provided in a number of places, longterm care insurance policies sometimes limit the facilities where you can choose to receive longterm care. Most longterm care is provided at home, but may also be provided by community service organizations and in longterm care facilities.

Some longterm care takes place in nursing homes that provide custodial care primarily, but many can provide skilled care, intermediate care, and custodial care. When a patient no longer needs skilled care, for instance, he or she can be transferred to an intermediate or custodial section within the same facility. Nursing homes provide 24-hour care and can usually offer a great range of care, including intravenous therapy and physical therapy.

Home Health Care

Home health care makes particular sense when you’re recovering from an injury or illness and don’t need 24-hour care. It also makes sense when the type of care you require is custodial. Home health care is most often provided by a visiting nurse, therapist, or home health aide. Often, several visits to your home are made each week to provide you with the appropriate care. Home health care can include a wide range of services, including, but not limited to, respiratory therapy, cleaning and bandaging of wounds, monitoring health, and assistance with bathing and dressing.

Adult Day Care

Adult day-care centers provide care in a group setting for aged or disabled people who live at home, and/or may need help with the basic activities of daily living due to physical or mental impairment. Often, these people live with a relative who works and cannot take care of them during the day. Adult day-care centers usually provide an elderly person with social interaction, therapeutic activities, preventive health services, and nutritional meals.

Hospice Care

Hospice care is quality compassionate care for those terminally ill patients nearing their end of life. Hospice can take place in a carefacility that provides comfort and care, or it can be administered in the home.

Respite Care

Respite care provides some time off for the caregiver (usually a relative) who regularly provides care for an elderly or disabled person. It can be offered in a local community center, nursing home or at home through the services of a home health aide.

Questions about Medicare?’s information and resources can help make it easy to find the quality and affordable Medicare plan that’s right for you. We offer free, accurate comparisons for Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare Supplement (Medigap), and Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plans.

Get an online quote for Medicare plans that fit your health care needs today! Or call (888) 815-3313 – TTY 711 to get answers and guidance over the phone from an experienced licensed sales agent.