Long term care commonly includes two different groups of people: those who are elderly and too frail to take care for themselves and those who are physically or mentally disabled and unable to care for themselves. Many people fall into both categories.
Disability long term care services include:
- Home health aide or home care services
- Assisted living
- Meals on Wheels
- Self-directed personal care services
- Case management
- Community transition services
- Environmental home modifications
- Driving services
People with disabilities often have a team of health professionals who administer their care. They may have psychiatrists, multiple doctors, aides and nurses who assist them and create care plans specifically for their personal needs.
In-home care consists of assisting people with disabilities with range of motion exercises, washing and dressing, going to the bathroom, small household tasks, eating, preparing meals, and other daily living activities such as applying braces and assisting with ambulation. CNA’s or state tested nurse aides in long term care facilities do all of the above as well as assist with group exercise and entertainment activities.
Meals-on-Wheels is a program that provides daily meals to people who are homebound. A lot of people with disabilities benefit from this program.
People with physical disabilities and a high level of awareness are able to direct their personal care services on their own. Most people prefer to do this from the comfort of their own home. They still fall under the umbrella of long-term care.
Case management services help to coordinate medicines, treatment plans, meal services, doctors’ visits, driving services, and long term care equipment like wheelchairs, braces and Hoyer lifts. These case managers are usually nurses with a Master’s degree. They coordinate with long term care facility employees or directly with the patient who is being cared for at home or who is directing their own personal care from home.
There are services that ease the transition from hospital to home for those who have newly developed disabilities, such as veterans of war or victims of automobile accidents. Community transition services are likely to provide education and counseling for those trying to adjust to a different lifestyle including disability.
Environmental home modifications are often necessary for people with disabilities. Small adjustments include railings on the bathtub, a seat in the shower, or a bedside commode, while larger home modifications can range from rearranging furniture to moving walls, enlarging doorways, or adding ramps for wheelchair access.
Driving services are available to transport those who do not have access to driving their own car or anyone to take them to their appointments. These services need only a phone call a day or so ahead of time and a vehicle capable of handling persons with many types of disabilities will arrive at the patient’s home ahead of schedule to transport the patient to their appointment.
All of these services are wonderful additions to long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities.Read more