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Chronic Disease and Long-Term Care

Created June 1, 2015

Chronic Disease and Long-term Care

Worldwide, chronic diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the leading cause of death and disability. Chronic diseases like COPD, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), cancer, arthritis, back problems, asthma, diabetes and chronic depression are becoming more prevalent in aging populations. In fact, more than half of Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases and Kentucky has some of the highest rates of chronic disease of any state in the U.S.

The number of chronic conditions increases with age. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older suffer from two or more chronic diseases, and more than 15% have six or more.

Chronic conditions may significantly impair every day physical and mental functions and reduce an individual's ability to perform activities of daily living. Physical limitations, which are associated with insufficient physical activity, being overweight, and the consequences of chronic conditions, decrease quality of life, increase the need for costly long-term care, and make challenging demands on family members and other caregivers.

According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, nearly two-thirds of Americans over the age of 65 are estimated to be candidates for long-term care facility placement. However, alternatives to long-term care facility placement exist, and recent studies have shown that many elderly individuals would prefer to receive care in their home when possible. What's more, in-home care is usually less costly than placement in a long-term care facility.

Lifeline Homecare provides non-medical, in-home care that enables older adults with MCC to live independently and helps prevent unplanned hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Results of a research study by Health Quality Ontario show that there is a significant beneficial effect of in-home care on unplanned hospitalizations and emergency room visits. The same study also found a significant beneficial effect of in-home care on activities of daily living in persons with MCC.

To learn more about how Lifeline Homecare can help you or a loved one live independently at home, click here to read about our services and request a free in-home assessment.

The National Association of City and County Health Officials has created a toolkit that can be used by public health officials, nonprofit health organizations, and members of the public to raise awareness and improve education about chronic disease prevention. The toolkit contains case studies, presentations, fact sheets, drills, evaluations protocols, templates, reports and training materials. Click here to access the toolkit.

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