Long Term Care

Information on long term health care

If a loved one is in a situation that requires long term care, it's important that you thoroughly research caregiving services to find a provider with specialized skills and a strong reputation. Long term care costs can be significant, and you want to be sure you're getting value for your money, regardless of whether you're paying out of pocket or covering the costs through a long term care insurance plan.

First, consider the basics: how long has the long term health care provider been in business? What type of training do their caregivers have, and do they have extensive experience with patients in the same situation as your loved one? From there, do more thorough research to ensure you're going to be working with a quality provider. Ask them plenty of questions, and trust your gut -- if you don't get a good feeling from a certain provider, don't hire them or commit your patient to their facilities.

What to Look For in a Long Term Health Care Provider

Long term care can be provided in-home, or in a specialized facility. For home health care, look for:

  • Care providers who have proven training in the type of care your loved one needs
  • A fully bondable and insured in-home care company
  • An all-inclusive payment structure; you don't want surprises on your bill
  • Emergency response support; work with a provider who can offer 24/7 service in the event of a crisis

Here's what you should demand from live-in long term care facilities:

  • Clean and safe facilities; ask for copies of recent inspection reports
  • Fully trained staff that is equipped to respond to a comprehensive range of medical situations
  • Inclusive and affordable fees with no surprises
  • An open and welcoming atmosphere that invites visits for prospective patients and allows you to spend time with the patient during his or her stay

Always get references, from both in-home and residential care providers, and follow up on them. Ask people you trust about the service or facility. Query the patient's doctor as well as friends and family members who may be in the know about certain long term care providers in your area.