What is Long Term Care?

. . . and why it’s important for you to know.


The Health Care field, including Long Term Care (LTC) uses a lot of jargon, making it very confusing when trying to navigate care and services. Even the media interchange terms, such as ‘nursing home’ and ‘assisted living,’ adding to the confusion. Today, I thought it would be appropriate to explain the term, Long Term Care, in greater detail, since you need to know all that I offer as Your Long Term Care Coach.

Many people think that Long Term Care is the same as a skilled nursing facility (SNF) often referred to as a Nursing Home. Long Term Care actually falls with a broader category, Post-acute Care. When a patient is discharged from the hospital following an urgent medical need (Acute Care,) and requires additional health care services it’s referred to as Post-Acute series. Depending on the needs of the patient, post-acute services can be provided at home, through Home Health Services, or in a Long Term Care facility such as a SNF or an Assisted Living Facility (ALF.) Long Term Care, is broken down further into the various levels of care (see below.)

The major distinction between a SNF and an ALF, is that a SNF provides 24/7 skilled nursing services, under the supervision of a physician. A person must require skilled nursing services 24/7 to be admitted to a SNF. An ALF provides assistance with a person’s daily activities of living (bathing, toileting, grooming, dressing, eating, walking etc.) to varying extents of assistance, depending on the type of license, and level of services permitted by the State. The assistance is provided under the supervision of a physician, and may be provided by a licensed nurse or a non-licensed qualified caregiver, again, depending on the license and State’s regulations. An ALF isn’t permitted to provide skilled nursing services 24/7.

Did you catch that last sentence?

An ALF isn’t permitted to provide skilled nursing services 24/7. The same is true of home health. So when you hear commercials for home health or assisted living services that promise that your Loved One can stay home, “age in place” I want you to dig a little deeper and ask some questions. How and who will provide 24-hour care when your Loved One needs it? Even hospice doesn’t provide 24-hour care until the patient is deemed to require “crisis care,” which is very near to their passing.

This is why it’s so important for everyone to understand what Long Term Care is, and to become comfortable talking about skilled nursing or nursing home care.

There may come a time in each of our lives when we need the services of a skilled nursing facility. Why be frightened, when you can become empowered through my easy, digital courses!