Long Term Care and Home Health Care

Long Term Care and Home Health Care

by Donn J. Sinclair, MBA   March 12, 2020

Long Term Care (LTC) is the help people require to perform the basic activities of daily living.  These activities include bathing, dressing, eating, transferring to and from bed and chairs, toileting, and maintaining continence.  The need for Long-Term Care typically arises as part of the normal aging process.  A serious injury or  illness such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis might also trigger a need for LTC.  Early onset cognitive impairments including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease often trigger a Long Term Care need.

What is Home Health Care ?

A wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury make up Home Health Care (HHC).  HHC can be less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you might receive in a hospital or Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF).  

Skilled Home Health Care services include:

  • Wound care that treats pressure sores or a surgical wound
  • Education for patients and care givers  
  • Intravenous and/or nutrition therapy
  • Injections and medicine monitoring
  • Serious illness and unstable health status that needs to be monitored

Home Health Care’s goal is to provide treatment for an illness or injury.  HHC should help you get better and regain your independence.  Thus you should become as self-sufficient as possible.

Who Needs Long Term Care ?

70% of people turning age 65 can expect to need some form of Long Term Care in their lifetime.  This estimate is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Women on average outlive men by five years.  When you outlive your spouse and live alone then you are far more likely to need paid care.  This explains why women make up more then 60% of HHC users.  Note that 75% of assisted living residents are women !

Where Can You Receive Long Term Care ?

LTC settings are adult day-care, assisted living centers, board and care homes, continuing care retirement communities, and skilled nursing facilities.   Note that most Long Term Care is provided at home.  We all seem to prefer the comfort and convenience of care at home.  Home Health Care should promote the individual returning to independence and their normal daily routine.  Home Health Care should provide high level care, and at a cost considerably less than many other settings.  More details and information on Long Term Care settings and costs is available at www.LongTermCare.gov.

Home Health Care Insurance and/or Long Term Care Insurance

These plans can provide peace of mind today that you should be able to pay for Long Term Care expenses in the years ahead.


Updated by Donn J. Sinclair, Winthrop MBA

in Charlotte NC and Rock Hill SC

March 12, 2020      (803)329-0615

DJS: More information is available at Medicare.gov.

See Publication 590-A and Publication 590-B.