Skip to content

Paid for by funding provided by companies that make available AARP-branded products and services for AARP members. Content is managed by AARP Services, Inc.

Your Guide to Health Insurance & Discounts

Long-Term Care 

If you’ve ever been in a position where you’ve been a caregiver for an aging family member—or if you know someone who has—then you know how important it is to plan for your own long-term care needs. However, many people don’t know enough about long-term care: what it is, what it covers, and how to prepare for it.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care is a blanket term for services that can help you meet your needs beyond what your health insurance may cover if age, illness, disability or cognitive impairment affect your ability to take care of those needs yourself. Many Americans will need some form of long-term care at some point in their lifetimes, which is why it’s important to learn about it—preferably before you actually need it.

What types of services does long-term care provide?

A lot of people automatically think of nursing home care when they think about long-term care. But the truth is, long-term care can cover almost any service that helps you maintain your quality of life.

In fact, most long-term care has nothing to do with medical care. The term for this is “custodial care,” meaning services that help with everyday living activities.

Common Long-Term care services:

  • In-home medical care
  • Personal health and hygiene 
  • Housework assistance
  • Meal preparation
  • Pet Care services
  • Money management

How can I prepare?

You’re already taking a good first step by learning more about the basics of long-term care. Another important thing you can do is find out more about the financial options available to help cover the costs. Long-term care insurance is one way you can ensure that you’re prepared for long-term care needs and reduce the chances that you’ll need to rely on loved ones for care or financial assistance. However, no one answer is right for everyone. The best way to determine what long-term care protection options are right for you is to speak with a qualified professional who is well-versed in long-term care and takes the time to understand your individual needs and circumstances. 

Custom Long-Term Care Plans

AARP Long-Term Care Options from New York Life offers valuable resources to help members find the coverage that may be right for them.

Feel your best with expert health tips and information, including Medicare updates and more with the AARP health e-newsletter. Subscribe to the Your Health Newsletter

See all AARP Newsletters>

AARP and its affiliates are not insurers, agents, brokers or producers. Providers pay a royalty fee to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP.