LTC Bullet:

What Really is Long-Term Care?

Wednesday March 1, 2000


The Center for Long-Term Care Financing receives frequent feedback on our Bullets which often includes insightful comments about long-term care in general. Here is an e-mail we received from Bill Schwieder of Virginia Beach, VA about helping people understand the concept of long-term care.

"As a LTCI [long-term care insurance] specialist, I spend a lot of time educating potential clients about many basic issues. 'What really is long-term care?' is one of the most basic questions. Most people read about the ADL's [activities of daily living], but still can't relate to the definitions fostered on us by legislators, doctors and insurance companies.

"One day, while preparing for one of my workshops, I had a revelation about a simple explanation that everyone could relate to. At the beginning of the workshop, I introduced myself and spoke of my family's experiences. Then I asked the question, 'Who else has had a personal experience with long-term care?' [Only a few] people raised a hand.

"'That was a trick question!', I said. 'Everyone here has had at least 4 years of long-term care.'

"After a brief pause for effect I said, 'Everyone here was born; someone bathed you, dressed you, fed you, changed your diapers, and carried you about. We call those things the activities of daily living. Here's the guarantee: If you live long enough, you'll need someone to help you do them again.'

"Then I asked, 'Now who understands the concept of long-term care?' Every hand rose up."

Bill Schwieder, Virginia Beach, VA 757-340-3768