December 01, 2018

Short- vs. long-term care

Understanding options

You've wanted to reside in your home for as long as possible. But as your dexterity has gotten more limited, perhaps it's time to look into other options.

It's estimated that two-thirds of adults turning 65 today will need some type of long-term care services in their remaining years. Here's a look at many of the common options for both short and long-term care.

Short-term options

With short-term care services, the need for care is seen as temporary. Short-term care is typically provided if you experience a sudden illness, injury or surgery and need assistance in returning to your prior level of function and independence. Examples of short-term care include:

  • Transitional care and rehabilitation services — Transitional care, or a short-term stay at an assisted living center or nursing home, may be an option to meet your health care needs as you move from one setting to another, such as while you're recovering from a hip surgery or an injury from a fall.

    Rehabilitation services help you maintain, improve or recover skills and function for daily living that may have been impaired because of an illness, accident or disability. Rehabilitation programs are common after a stroke, a significant physical injury, a heart attack or a heart procedure, or an elective orthopedic procedure.

    Services may include physical or occupational therapy, nutrition and exercise education, speech therapy and mental health counseling. While rehabilitation is a form of transitional care, entry into...