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5 Types of Long-term Care Settings

Smiling Senior Patient with Nurse

Where do you think of when you hear the words “long-term care?” Often times people think of a nursing home. However, long-term care services are provided in a number of settings. It is important to note that your hybrid long-term care insurance policy may cover services offered in these settings. Hence, it is just as important to know what these settings are. The 5 types of long-term care settings are the following:

  1. Adult Day Care Facilities
  2. Assisted Living Facilities
  3. At Home
  4. Hospice Care Facilities
  5. Nursing Homes

Adult Day Care Facilities

Seniors spending time in an adult day care facility
Male And Female Seniors at an Adult Day Care Center

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, adult day care facilities offer care and companionship for elderly adults. In addition, they provide supervision and assistance during the day. They are not intended for older adults who need care 24/7.

Adult day care facilities are generally community-based centers. Therefore, they are often referred to as “adult day care centers.” Typically, several services are offered at the centers including:

  • personal care
  • providing hot meals and snacks
  • performing physical or occupational therapy
  • social activities
  • & providing transportation

The centers provide a wide range of well-balanced services. For example, the therapeutic services offered at the center involve exercise and mental interactions. Staff members at the facility may also manage or monitor medication for the seniors. In addition, they also provide personal care by helping with activities of daily living such as toileting and eating.

Adult day care centers can also be a great source of respite care. They provide helpful relief to family caregivers. This allows family caregivers to go to work, handle personal business, or just relax from the demanding responsibilities of caregiving.

The goal of adult day care centers are to delay or prevent institutionalization. This is done by providing alternative care, working to enhance seniors’ self-esteem, and by encouraging socialization. Some adult day care centers even focus on individuals with cognitive impairments such as Dementia.

Assisted Living Facilities

Support Staff at Assisted Living Facility talking with Resident
Support Staff at Assisted Living Facility Talking With Resident

Assisted living facilities provide older adults personal care in a residential setting. They offer help with activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, and dressing. Also, they are an alternative for seniors who don’t need the in-depth skilled nursing care associated with nursing homes.

The facilities are similar to independent living communities except for the residents needing personal care. Residents usually receive their own units or apartments but must go through a health assessment according to state regulations. The assessments are done so residents can receive individualized service plans that meet their personal care needs.

According to statistics by the National Center of Assisted Living:

  • 64% of assisted living residents need help with bathing
  • 48% of residents need help with dressing
  • 40% of residents need help with toileting
  • & lastly 4 in 10 residents are living with Alzheimer’s

Hence, assisted living facilities give elderly adults a high level of personal care while allowing them to maintain their independence.

Assisted living facilities do offer other services aside from personal care. These services include providing meals, health care management and monitoring, help with medications, recreational activities, and transportation.

At Home

Home Health Care Worker Assisting Elderly Man Transfer Out of Bed
Home Health Aide Transferring Man from Bed to Wheelchair at Home

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 80% of older adults receiving long-term care are living at home. The type of long-term care services received at home are generally home health care services.

Home health care is medical in nature and professionals are typically licensed practical nurses or home health aides. In addition, these professionals are often associated with home health agencies or hospitals licensed by the state. Their services can include

  • medical care
  • nursing care
  • personal care
  • medication management
  • homemaker services
  • social services
  • & occupational or physical therapy.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, home health care helps older adults live independently for as long as possible. Hence, it can often delay the need for long-term nursing home care. Also, if you live in a neighborhood that offers home delivered meals, accessible transportation services, and other needed resources, it makes it easier to remain at home and receive care.

Hospice Care Facility

Elderly Woman with Cancer Being Comforted by Hospice Staff Member
Elderly Woman with Cancer Being Comforted by Hospice Staff Member

Hospice care facilities focus on care for individuals who are terminal. They provide “end-of-life care.” Their goal is palliative in nature. Therefore, they work to reduce pain and discomfort experienced by the terminal patient. This allows for the patient to adjust to a decreasing quality of life and helps ensure that death occurs as pain-free as possible.

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, hospice staff members make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services. Also, hospice care staff members are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The staff members are made up of a combination of professionals including nurses, medical directors, social workers, as well as clergy or counselors. The assortment of professionals provide physical, emotional, spiritual, and social comfort in the terminal phase of life.

Nursing Homes

Nurse Hugging Her Patient at Nursing Home
Nurse Hugging Her Patient at Nursing Home

As stated earlier in our post, when people think long-term care they often think “nursing home.” This may be due to the fact that more than a third of older adults receive long-term care services in a nursing home. This is according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Nursing homes generally provide the most comprehensive range of services for long-term care patients. They are often referred to as “skilled nursing facilities.” They are licensed facilities that provide skilled nursing care to those who are chronically ill or cannot do one or more activities of daily living. Some of them even have special care units for older adults with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Nursing homes must meet strict criteria and standards in order to be certified. Services provided by nursing homes generally include:

  • medical care
  • nursing care with 24-hour supervision
  • daily meal provisions
  • physical and occupational therapy
  • & assistance with everyday activities

According to the National Institute on Aging, most residents who live at the nursing homes live there permanently. This is because they have ongoing physical or mental conditions that require constant care and supervision. This is a main reason why nursing homes often strive to provide a more “homely” feel for their patients.


Needing long-term care is not an event we hope happens to us. Nevertheless, if faced with this life changing event, it is good to know our available placement options. When we consider the various methods to pay for long-term care services (as noted in our post “ 4 Ways to Pay for Long-term Care”) it is important to know what services our payment options will cover and just as importantly where. 

When it comes to hybrid long-term care life insurance, most policies cover services in ALL of the settings listed in this post. It is good to know that there are policies that provide options. For more information regarding Hybrid LTC-Life insurance request a free quote or call us to start the conversation today!

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