Thursday, February 18, 2010
Long-term care is the personal assistance that the frail elderly and other adults with disabilities require to maintain the best possible quality of life. The assistance may be delivered at home or in a nursing facility or other congregant care setting. In the U.S., most long-term care is provided by family members, and some by paid aides. The cost of formal care is quite high, averaging $75,000 per year for residence in a skilled nursing facility and $20 per hour for home health aides.
In Japan and much of Europe, public benefits for long-term care of the frail elderly have become a pillar of social policy, along with retirement and health care. While many nations have enacted major reforms over the past two decades, they have taken somewhat different approaches.
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