Long-Term care is a specialized service offered by a close-knit network of professionals managed by an organization providing an array of services comprising of primarily Healthcare services and also affiliated services like providing domiciliary/ Home-care services like nursing, medical/non-medical services, assisting the patients or people who are physically/mentally disabled. They may be needing physical assistance for regular activities like taking medicines, maintaining personal hygiene like helping the patients even for brushing, bathing, keeping the premises in and around the patient in a healthy environment.
These organizations play a crucial life-saving role especially in Critical situations where providing timely medical treatment will be a lifesaving factor, as it has been seen that taking the patient to the hospital at the right time may save his life. As long term care works in close association with the Health care service providers, they are also adept in providing emergency health care, transportation of patients to hospital, taking them for Diagnostic tests, X-rays, etc. In short, long-term care provides a holistic and comprehensive health care service and assists the patient to restore good health and also more importantly sustain the good-health.
Long-Term care services can be availed by availing membership of the Organization providing the service. It is an annual membership fee which may be renewed every year. The most important aspect of long-term care services is that they are provided at an economical cost to its members.
It is a widely prevalent concept in developed countries like U.S.A, U.K, Canada etc. and is gaining prominence in the Indian context too, though it is in a nascent stage and people are gradually acknowledging the importance of professional management of health, especially for the elders in the family. They are generally cared for by other family members but due to various factors as mentioned below, the elders might not get comprehensive health care and supervision. This paves the way for the much needed professional assistance and comprehensive management, which is only possible by an organization.
There is both a need and necessity for long term care in India due to population explosion and also the proportion of the elderly aging population and dependency on the children for the health care needs both physically and financially is a situation for Health Risks and the financial implications arising thereof resulting in an efficient Risk-management of the personal finances
Enhanced Longevity and Life Expectancy
It has been observed that scientific advancement has tremendously changed the way of living leading to changing life-styles. Though the hap-hazard life-style, untimely food-habits, atmospheric pollution, etc. have had an adverse impact on the health of people, still statistics suggest that 3 of 10 people in the age of 30-40’s are diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, etc. implying these can result in further health complications adding to more health care expenses in the years to come.
On the other hand, better health care facilities than earlier times, phenomenal discoveries and inventions in health care, new cures and prevention for life-threatening diseases all have significantly enhanced the lifespan of people not only in India but across the world. Ironic it may sound but the bitter fact of life is living too long is also a costly affair. Medical inflation at a staggering 12-15% world-over is escalating medical expenses year on year.
Emergency Of Nuclear Families
Modern times have also witnessed a paradigm shift in the structure of the family in India, due to many reasons, one of which being the division of joint-families into nuclear families due to several reasons. This division may deprive the elderly or patients in the family who would be needing continuous supervision which was provided in a joint-family system. This is an important factor and need for the long-term care services like the home-care/domiciliary care provided by the long term care organizations.
Urban Chaos – Migration From Rural Areas To Cities
The migration from villages, towns to cities citing better job-prospects, for pursuing Higher Education, changing life-styles, influence of the western culture, increase in income etc. all such factors have contributed in creating a gap between the elders/parents and the children. This gap may also lead to the adverse impact on the health of the elders who prefer to stay in home towns and villages which may lack proper health care facilities. Due to fast-paced life and professional responsibilities, children may not be able to give both time and attention to the good-health of elders who are more vulnerable to health risks due to old-age, pre-existing diseases which require undergoing continuous and regular diagnostic tests, medical-checkups, etc.
Women Empowerment – Changing Roles
One of the significant change in the role of women in the Indian society from the traditional homemaker to the modern-age working women, who is a multi-tasker has resulted in creating the need for the long-term care services. Traditionally women used to take care of the elders in the family/ailing family members but with increased education levels among women which in turn makes them more career-oriented, change in priorities from family roles to career oriented roles has led to a dynamic change in the roles and responsibilities of the women. With higher disposable income at hand, the family can afford professional services provided under the ambit of long-term care for taking care of the elderly family members at home. They can rest assured about the well-being of the loved-ones as they are constantly updated by the long-term care organization.
Family Vs Professional Care
One of the key-aspects that has led to the advent of the Long-term care services in India is the need for professional management of health. People acknowledge the fact that professionally provided health care is crucial for the family and also for the financial wellbeing of the family as well.
Finally, we may say that the long-term care services would lead to a new dimension of providing health care services which a conventional Life insurance, health insurance, etc. may not address. It leads to better management of the health of the family and more importantly in safeguarding the financial health of the family as well. It is highly recommended to avail the services of a Comprehensive Financial Planner like ARTHAYANTRA for the assessment of the Financial health to ascertain the quantum of Insurance and risk for the family to tackle pure-risks like Life-risk, health risk etc.