Long-Term Care

Rosalie A. Kane

in Encyclopedia of Social Work

Published by NASW Press and Oxford University Press

Published online June 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199975839 | DOI:

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  • Developmental and Physical Disabilities Social Work
  • Practical Ethics


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Long-term care (LTC), also called long-term support services, refers to personal care and services for people of all ages who cannot perform daily activities unaided. This entry reviews trends across LTC settings—nursing homes, assisted living, and consumers' own homes, emphasizing efforts since 1990 to downsize nursing homes and expand community services, while transforming the remaining nursing home sector into caring communities with individualized services and improved living conditions. Key themes include sustaining a frontline work force, developing a cross-disability unified agenda, defining and assuring quality, and ethical issues in balancing safety and autonomy. Opportunities for social work leadership in LTC abound.

Keywords: assisted living; culture change; de-institutionalization; functional limitations; home care; housing with services; negotiated risk; nursing homes; personal care; quality of care; quality of life; safety

Article.  3955 words. 

Subjects: Developmental and Physical Disabilities Social Work ; Practical Ethics

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