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Caring for People with Alzheimer's, Dementia and other long term Illnesses.

Looking after the Terminally Ill.
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Long-term care is a national problem. We have an aging population, with fewer sudden deaths and longer life expectancy. As people become older, there are urgent needs for supportive medical, social and personal care increases, as people become older than when we maintain a relatively younger population. At the same time, as in most industrialized countries, we have a decreasing pool of formal and informal caregivers. This current health demand puts a severe strain on the current care system. 

Who needs Long-Term Care?

Long-term care refers to a broad range of services needed by people, who are unable to meet their basic living needs, for an extended period. The health issues may be the result of accidents, illness or frailty, brought about by old age. The services for long term care, have to cover an individual's inability to move about, dress, bath, eat, use a toilet, take the necessary medication and help with other accidents of incontinence. Also, care may be needed to help the disabled, with ordinary household tasks, such as cleaning, preparing meals, shopping, paying bills, visiting the doctor or answering the phone. If you want to solve these problems with
in-home carer, click here to see what is normally offered and, how much it would cost.

Disabilities caused by impairments from stroke, depression, dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, make significantly higher demands on the caregiver.

Long-term care requires a healthy person, a relative or professional caregiver, to provide support for the disabled person. Alternatively, to home care, institutions can offer support. Those who are disabled prefer to stay at home. In many instances, the deciding factor of whether to receive home care or institutional help centers on the nature of the disability.

A relative caring for an overweight patient may be unable to help him bathe, dress, use the toilet or even transfer from the bed to a chair. The caregiver will either have to hire aides to come to the home or put him in an institution. Alzheimer's patient may also become unmanageable and must receive constant supervision, and an Alzheimer's facility may be the only solution.
There are several ways to go about providing care for your loved ones when dealing with long term care. You may want to consider nursing homes or assisted living communities. Both will require substantial funding and some organizational planning, both regarding financial planning and day to day organization. We have a page that helps you select the right facility. Remember, not all facilities are the same, and you will learn very quickly that some institutions are outright frightening.

To find a community that offers the best care and attention for your loved one, you will have to do some local research. The cost of a nursing home ranges from $42,000 to $90,000 per annum. Home and community care can range from $20,000 to $90,000 per year. The financial burden may e a considerable strain for many families. Statistics show that after paying for 1 year of long term care, 72% of elderly Americans are impoverished. If there is a spouse in that unfortunate household, that person's standard of living will be greatly reduced from the loss of assets.

Should you buy Long Term care Insurance

One way of overcoming the financial problem is getting long-term care insurance. Getting this type of insurance requires long-term planning because you cannot wait to get Long Term Care insurance until you need long term care. It has to be arranged a long time before you call upon to help you cover your expenses.
There are many long term care insurance plans available in the marketplace. Each offers a unique combination of benefits and pricing structure, making side-by-side comparisons difficult. The Federal Government has a Long-term care Insurance and provides you with a means of comparing Long-term Care Insurance's offered to the public. It is not easy to follow
but click here to start getting the tools to compare.

When you have obtained long-term care insurance, it is still a rather risky business. Having to sue the company that should provide the benefits is not uncommon. The Consumer Law Pages have some good advice on that. Buying a policy is a function of your age, health status, overall retirement objectives, revenues, and wealth. If the only source of income is a minimum Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), do not purchase a policy. If paying utilities, food or medicine stretches an individual's budget; this person should not buy a policy.

Long-term care policies are only for people with significant assets they want to preserve for family members, to assure independence and not burden family members with nursing home bills. Never buy a policy if paying the premiums will be a problem. If you have existing health problems that will result in the need for long-term care, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, no company will sell you a policy because the probability of losses exceeds the probability the carrier will earn a profit on its contract with you.

When Home Care is the only Alternative

Often, the only option when caring for an elderly family member with a long-term illness such as Alzheimer's or dementia is "at home care." Preferably caring could be done alone by family members or with the assistance
part-time/full-time care giver or visiting care givers.. If you click on that page, you will find some definitions of what kind of care you can get, what they do and how much it costs.

If you are considering caring for a senior at home, you might want to familiarize yourself with the problems and difficulties involved in home care. has a selection of videos and material available to help with the care of Alzheimer's patients and the long-term care they require.

At home care will require products and supplies such as beds, clothing and safety and security to provide the best possible environment for patient and caregiver alike. Good places to start looking for the products you may need, are, . They provide products that make a living with Alzheimer's disease as easy as possible., and also offer products that cater to the elderly.

As a caregiver, you need to stay abreast of information and issues regarding Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other medical conditions. You will want and need to be an active participant in your loved one's medical care. For this, you need to be able to communicate easily and efficiently with numerous members of the medical field. Such exchanges may include discussions with other caregivers, nurses, doctors, and nutritionists. To begin your education and to make yourself familiar with the issues, and the way physicians and other medical personnel see the patient and his health problems can be reading some of the books shown below.

Some Books on the Topic from

They are all available from Amazon, and you can buy most books second hand (used). Just click on the links.

The important aspect to be aware of is that you are not alone when dealing with a long-term care patient. Though it often seems like that. While we do not want to bore you with statistics, it might help you understand the problem better, and you might even become politically active on behalf of long-term care patients and their home-based caregivers.

A few Facts About Long-Term Care

More long-term care is received at home and in community facilities than is received in nursing homes. Of total care provided, 78% is home or community-based. One-quarter of American households are directly or indirectly involved in a caregiving environment. The quarter of US families represents 25 million households, 70 % of them trying to manage the demands of full-time jobs with the demands of caregiving. The type of long-term care we are talking about is not restricted to the old. Out of the total population receiving long-term care, 45% are under the age of 65. Out of 15 million Americans receiving care, more than 7 million are of working age For those over 65, there is a 41% chance they will spend an average of 2.5 years in a nursing home. The combined lifetime risk of needing home and community care, as well as nursing home care, is about 6 out of 10.

Care provided by government agencies is diminishing. Medicare spending on home care dropped from $17.5 billion in 1997 to $14.9 billion in 1998 and $9.7 billion in 1999 and had rapidly dropped further since then. Even conservative projections show that an aging population over the next 40 years will cause a huge drain on state Medicaid programs, which are still the primary source of funding for nursing homes. Congress has sent a clear message it has no intent to create a new government-sponsored, long-term care entitlement program.

Despite increasing pressure from the AARP and the demands of a voting public that is increasingly growing older, the government's attitude has not changed. At the moment (2017), it looks as if the population as a whole, the Federal as well as State governments, and especially Congress, has little intention to intervene in solving a continuing long-term care crisis.

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