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An Overview of Long-Term Care

by Gary Reis

Gary Reis trained as an emergency medical technician at the Community College of Rhode Island. In 1996, he founded Med Tech Ambulance Services with a single used ambulance; the company today operates six facilities statewide and is the largest ambulance service in Rhode Island. Aside from his business interests, Gary Reis enthusiastically supports several nonprofit and charitable endeavors in the Pawtucket area, including the YMCA and the Alliance for Better Long Term Care.
Long-term care refers to a range of services provided to help people meet their personal care needs over an extended period of time. Often associated with the elderly, it’s also provided for some younger people with disabilities and consists of assistance with what are called activities of daily living. The most common of these are eating, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, continence, and getting around, such as from a chair to a bed.
The least costly form of long-term care is provided at home by family members. In addition, it may be provided at home by home health aides, in community-based facilities like adult day-care centers, and in dedicated facilities like assisted-living centers and nursing homes.
Many people believe that long-term-care costs are covered either by health insurance or by Medicare. Except for a relatively short period of time following a major illness or surgery, however, this is not the case. Some people have insurance policies to cover those costs, but many more pay from their own resources until they’re depleted, at which point they usually become eligible for Medicaid, which does cover long-term care.
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