What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is a variety of services that includes not only medical but also non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Long-term care helps individuals meet their health and personal needs. Most long-term care is provided to assist people with their activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. However, other long-term care services include other things such as transportation, assistance with cooking, etc. Long-term care can be provided at a person’s home, in the community, in an assisted living setting, or in a nursing home. It is important to remember that you may need long-term care at any age.

While there are a variety of ways to pay for long-term care, it is important to think ahead about how you will fund the care that you will receive when the time comes. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, so what other options or programs are out there. Two options include:

  1. Family Care is Wisconsin’s managed long-term care options that provides services and supports to individuals who are both functionally and financially eligible. Western Wisconsin Cares  and Care Wisconsin are the Family Care / Managed Care organizations that serves Clark county. Family Care is a public program that provides care management for the long-term care needs of eligible individuals.
  2. Self-Directed Supports Waiver, otherwise known as IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) is another option for consumers to choose if they are eligible for long-term care services but they do not want to enroll into a managed care program. With this option, the individual directs his/her own services and supports with minimal help from an Indepdent Consultant and a Fiscal agency. This program is designed to give participants more choices, control, and freedome in designing their own support and service plans to meet their functional, vocational, medical and social needs.

Staff in the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) are trained and knowledgeable about both of these long-term care programs. The ADRC is considered the ‘front door’ for both long-term care programs. Contact them to discuss these programs, and to determine if you are eligible.

Choosing long-term care is an important decision. Planning requires you to think about one’s future health care needs, and it is crucial that a person looks at all of their choices and options. It is important to think about your long-term care needs before you may actually need assistance or before a crisis occurs. You can act now to plan for your future by designating someone you trust to make the decisions you want for yourself in the event that you are unable to on your own. Follow this link to learn more about designating a Power of Attorney. Even if you plan ahead, making long-term care decisions can be difficult. Our professional staff are available to help you explore your options.