Causes of Long Term Care

Quite simply, the causes of long term care needs are any injury or illness that takes away your personal independence. Personal independence is represented by the Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. These include eating, bathing, dressing, transferring (in and out of bed for example), continence, and toileting. Typically an inability to perform two of these is a sign that long term care services may be required.

Any number of conditions may inhibit your ability to be independent, but here are some common culprits.

  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Injury induced by fall or other activity
  • Dementia, Alzheimer's, or other mental illness
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Nervous system disorders (ex. Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis)

Some of these illnesses and injuries can strike someone of any age, though the likelihood does increase with age. Women, who generally live longer than men have a higher chance of needing these sorts of services. After age 65, women face a 50 percent greater likelihood than men of entering a nursing home ("A Guide To Long Term Care Insurance," Health Insurance Association of America, 2003).

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