Northwestern Mutual

What is long-term care?

Planning for long-term care can keep your plans for the future on track.

You hope it never happens, but there may come a day when you or a loved one has trouble living independently. When an illness, disability or injury leaves you needing ongoing help with everyday living or tasks—such as bathing, dressing and eating—you may need long-term care.


Long-term care refers to services provided to chronically ill people. These services are generally needed for an extended period of time and may not “cure” or “heal” the individual receiving them. Long-term care services help with routine  activities including:

Personal care, such as help with:

  • Eating
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Dressing
  • Using the toilet
  • Getting out of a bed and into a chair

Home-related tasks, such as:

  • Preparing and cleaning up after meals
  • Keeping up with housework
  • Managing money
  • Taking medication
  • Shopping for groceries, clothing or other needs
  • Using the telephone or other communication devices
  • Getting to and from appointments

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