In the minds of many people, long-term care (LTC) refers to the institutionalization of a small percentage of elderly people who possess minimal awareness of their surroundings.
While such individuals might certainly receive—and, possibly, benefit from—long-term care, this characterization fails to reflect the different types of long-term care, the wide variety of settings in which such care may be delivered, the likelihood of needing long-term care, and the possible appropriateness of long-term care for individuals of any age.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—generally referred to simply as CMS—states:
“. . . long-term care is a variety of services that includes medical and nonmedical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Long-term care helps meet health or personal needs. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.”¹