by Internet Medical Society

Choosing the Right Type of Health Care for Your Condition


We live in an age when most chronic conditions are manageable with adequate health care and treatment, and some are even curable. Although there are two basic types of long term care (home, and hospital care), treating illnesses and looking after patients depends on a variety of factors.

Long-Term Care Types

  • Home care – this type of care can be provided in one’s own home by their family members, friends, volunteers and paid professionals.
  • Community services – these include adult day care, senior centers, meal programs, transportation and the like. Usually applied when friends or family members that are looking after an individual need a greatly deserved break.
  • Assisted living – under a non-stop supervision, this type of a service offers assistance, meals and health care in home or home-like settings.
  • Retirement communities – Here, a full range of services and care is made available based on what each resident needs.
  • Nursing homes – People who cannot be cared for at home or in the community are often put in nursing homes, which provide skilled nursing care, meals, activities, as well as rehabilitation services.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded – These facilities provide home-like settings and a variety of services for those who are mentally challenged and/or developmentally disabled.

Who is in Need of Care

People who require assisted living can be divided into several categories and all vary in what they need.

When it comes to age, the older a person is, the more likely will they need long-term care. Putting the elderly into nursing homes is often frowned upon, but also necessary and smart in a majority of cases – nursing homes provide better care, for one!

Based on gender, on the other hand, the members of the fairer sex are more likely to be in need of long-term care, seeing as how women outlive men on average, which means that they are more likely to live at home alone once they reach a certain age.

Disabilities are a bit of a different story – the afflictions that render people unable to live by themselves don’t choose their victims based on age, even though older people are manifold more likely to suffer from a disability. Old age, accidents and chronic illnesses are the common causes of being unable to provide self-care.

The lifestyle that an individual is leading plays a vital role in whether or not they’ll need long-term care. Smokers and heavy drinkers are a common risk group, but so are the people who have bad eating habits.

On the other hand, genes are also to be blamed, at least in part. For example, if one of your parents suffers or has suffered from a chronic disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you are more likely to require in home care at the very least, farther down the line. This is why paying attention to our parents’ conditions and medical histories is so important!

How to Choose

Making a choice between home and hospital care comes down to approximation. If a person needs help with home maintenance, paying bills and doing errands, this can all be done from their home, using a wide array of available services. On the other hand, if they need help with dressing, grooming, bathing and/or going to the bathroom, staying in a home environment means torture for all the parties involved.

Coming to terms with the need for long-term care isn’t easy, but is sometimes unavoidable. If you are a person who is considering opting for this type of care, think about the friends and family that are currently looking after you; make things easy for them. If you are thinking of putting your parent or relative into a nursing home, talk with them and make a unanimous decision.

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