Long-term Care

5 Types of People Who Need Long-Term Care

When we think of nursing homes, we think of the elderly who can no longer take care of themselves. However, long-term care is not about just the elderly. In fact, 40 percent of people requiring long-term care are between the ages of 18 and 64.

Nowadays, there are cheerful, homelike settings where those who need long-term care are given every opportunity to recover and reach their potential. There are five types of people, young and old, who need long-term care:

  1. Alzheimer’s: Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) branches into two types. Early Onset strikes people before the age of 60 and rapidly progresses. Late Onset strikes people age 60 and older. AD patients suffer from worsening dementia symptoms, including forgetfulness, cognitive skills (thinking and judgment), perception, language, memory, and emotional or personality behavior. People with severe AD can no longer understand language, take care of themselves or recognize family members.
  2. Chronic Sickness: Advances in diagnoses and treatments have changed the course of most diseases once considered terminal. A few chronic sicknesses are lupus, AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diabetes, and lung disease. Also, brain tumors and some types of cancer, such as mesothelioma, require long-term care.
  3. Paralysis: Approximately six million people in the U.S. are living with some degree of paralysis. Many suffer paralysis from a broken neck or back. Another cause of paralysis is a stroke, which is caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain, either by a blockage or by a hemorrhage. Paralysis can be temporary or permanent. Spinal cord injuries also occur in the womb when the spine of the fetus does not close. Known as Spinal Bifida, it results in paralysis after birth. When any paralysis is profound, long-term care is a necessity.
  4. Mental Sickness: Cognitive or mental impairments are due to countless factors. Seventy-five million Americans, or nearly one in three, suffer from a mental disorder in any given year. While some mental illness cases are temporary with the appropriate psychological help, others require hospitalization and long-term care. Mental illnesses that may require long-term care, depending upon the severity, are dementia, schizophrenia, depression, autism, bi-polar disease, and anxiety, mood, impulse-control, and substance disorders and more.
  5. Brain Injury and Coma: Innovative technology helps people with brain injuries recover as much as possible. Long-term care is necessary as a patient drifts into a coma, emerges, and learns to cope with disability. Treatment often consists of repetition. It may take hundreds of times of doing the same motion or action until the patient has learned the skill. This takes time. Patients recovering from a comatose state may have to learn even the most basic of human skills. Sadly, those who come out of a coma may never recover to the state of health as before the injury. Persons with brain injuries and those who may also have suffered a coma usually require long-term care.