Long Term Care Highlights
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ADLs and IADLs in Long Term Care Insurance: What Are They?

As you age, you may get wiser but your body unfortunately gets weaker. With a decrease in energy, even doing everyday chores seems like a herculean task. Around 70% of people above retirement age (65 years) are estimated to be either living in a nursing home or in need of assisted care, which can be very expensive.

Typically, by the time you need long term care, your kids have moved out and you are living on your own. This is where long-term care insurance (LTC) can help, primarily since it ensures that your savings and income are not wiped out because of illness/accidents/injuries that require extended care.

What Is Long Term Care Insurance?

LTC insurance is a much-needed coverage for when you get old. It also comes in handy if you need care because of an illness or injury after suffering from an accident. It primarily includes taking care of activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), which we’ll look at in greater detail below:

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) – These activities involve everything that requires physical effort, and for which physical care is covered by long-term care insurance. However, before you can benefit from them, a legal certificate from a physician is required to prove that such activities cannot be carried out by you.

Standard long term insurance policies stipulate a minimum requirement of being unable to perform at least 2 of the following 6 ADLs on your own, and thereby cover services that include:

  1. Eating: Help with all kinds of liquid as well as solid intake that corresponds to the dietary needs of the person.
  2. Bathing: Helping a person into the bath, bathing them in the required manner and then helping to take them out of the bath too.
  3. Clothing: Aiding the person in and out of clothes. Such help is also extended in case the person needs to put on or take off prosthetic limbs, braces, etc. The scope of this includes shoelace-tying, buttoning and unbuttoning clothes and more.
  4. Using the Restroom: Helping with all restroom related activities including helping the person sit on the toilet, etc.
  5. Transfer: Helping the person move from one place to another, including from bed to wheelchair, etc.
  6. Continence: Helping the person control excretion, and in case the person can no longer control those functions, helping with all hygiene-related tasks.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) – These are considerably advanced activities carried out with assistance provided via the long term care package. These skills usually comprise of activities you learn to perform during your teens in order to make you more independent.

You might not need help with all IADLs but just one or two of these 6, which have been listed below:

  1. Financial Management: There are certain privileges given under this category which may involve the handling of all or some financial activity.
  2. Vehicle Transportation: This includes transporting the person from one place to another in a vehicle. The duties may include driving that person around.
  3. Shopping: This is done on behalf of the impaired person. It may include shopping for groceries or any other item of necessity, including procurement of required medicines.
  4. Using Communication Devices: Helping the person use telephones, computers and any other devices required for communication.
  5. Administering Medication: Giving medicines as required by the prescription to the person, keeping in mind their frequency as well as quantity.
  6. Household Chores/Maintenance: This includes daily chores such as cooking, washing, etc., and generally maintaining the house hold.

What is Cognitive Impairment?

Cognitive impairment is illness of the mind that keeps you from carrying out everyday tasks because you are no longer mentally competent enough to do them, and for which you need assistance. This includes ailments like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autism, etc., and can also be a result of a head injury.

Some of the areas that are covered under cognitive impairment include learning disabilities, forgetfulness, decreased intelligence, loss of reasoning, etc., and LTC becomes very important for anyone suffering from this disability.

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