Long-term care refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. There are three levels of long-term care.
Skilled care: Generally round-the-clock care that’s given by professional health care providers such as nurses, therapists, or aides under a doctor’s supervision.
Intermediate care: Also provided by professional health care providers but on a less frequent basis than skilled care.
Custodial care: Personal care that’s often given by family caregivers, nurses’ aides, or home health workers who provide assistance with what are called “activities of daily living” such as bathing, eating, and dressing.
Long-term care is not just provided in nursing homes–in fact, the most common type of long-term care is home-based care. Long-term care services may also be provided in a variety of other settings, such as assisted living facilities and adult day care centers.