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Do you know about the need for long-term care? Do you know what “tasks” determine our need for it? Research says the majority of older adults believe they will never need long-term care, but reality is 70 percent of us will need it for at least two years. Read about the misconceptions of long-term care needs at

Start with the paperwork. Begin talking about financial concerns and your preferences about how you want resources managed if unable to make decisions.

Living Will – your wishes about medical treatment if you become incompetent.

Durable Power of Attorney (POA) – specifies who will be in charge of your elders’ affairs if you become incompetent.

Advance Directive – declares your preferences for end of life care.

Will – distribution of the estate after death.

The need for long-term care increases because research shows 52 percent of the 65 plus group will develop a severe disability that will require assistance. Here’s the actual breakout of services used for care.

86% will use an informal caregiver

61% will use home healthcare

51% will use nursing home services

19% will use assisted living

The need for care starts with the notion of having the ability to perform activities of daily living which includes, bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, transportation, using the toilet.

You have options to receive services in nursing homes, home care, adult day care programs, residential facilities, such as assisted living or board and care homes. But the trend shifts from institutional care to home and community-based services.

Adult day care

Home Healthcare aid assistance

Personal care

See home care services

Services offered in skilled nursing facilities target higher levels of care

Post-hospital and post-surgical care

Assistance with activities of daily living

Long-term custodial care

Individualized care plans

See nursing home services

Assisted living services offer help for those with minimal needs.

Activities of daily living

Medication management

Supervision & assistance



See assisted living services

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By Carol Marak

Aging Matters

Carol Marak, aging advocate, She’s earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

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