Long term care is needed when a person becomes ill or suffers a disability that makes them unable to carry out their activities of daily living, with the probability that this disability will continue over the long term. Usually, but not always, it is the elderly who require care over the longer term. This is typically caused by either increasing frailty due to ageing or the chronic aftermath of acute conditions such as a stroke or a fall, or severe arthritis.
Long term care can also be required if a person is mentally impaired. The most common form of impairment for elderly people is dementia, and a common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. A person suffering from dementia will need personal supervision and assistance to carry out normal daily activities.
The care required can take many forms, from simple domestic assistance to daily medical help and medication.
Long term care may be provided in a care or nursing home or in the person's own home.
As it is long term in nature and often the person is unlikely to recover (they have a chronic condition), is why it is not covered by Private Medical Insurance, which covers acute medical conditions (i.e. conditions from which a recovery is expected).
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