Long-Term Care in Indiana: A Comprehensive Examination

Long-term care is a critical aspect of health care and well-being, particularly for the elderly and those with chronic conditions. This article provides an in-depth look at the state of long-term care in Indiana, including home-based services, community-based services, facility-based care services, costs, planning, and future trends.

elderly couple

Understanding Long-Term Care

To fully grasp the scope, benefits and value of long-term care, we must first understand what it entails. Predominantly, long-term care refers to a broad range of medical and support services designed to meet an individual’s health or personal care needs over a prolonged period. These services come into play when people are unable to perform everyday activities independently due to aging, chronic illnesses, injuries, or disabilities.

Who needs long-term care?

Long-term care is required by individuals who have a chronic illness, disability, or infirmity due to old age that prevents them from performing daily tasks independently. People require more care as they get older and frailer or as a serious, ongoing illness or health condition worsens.

In some instances, the need for long-term care may arise due to an accident or chronic illness causing significant disability. Between the ages of 40 and 50, on average, eight percent of people need long-term care.

Long-term care services are crucial for individuals who experience, or are at risk of developing, a significant loss of intrinsic capacity. The term applies to a broad range of services and supports that individuals may need to meet their personal care needs.

These services include around-the-clock skilled nursing care for those with prolonged physical illness, disability, or cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. Long-term care can also cover the cost for a nursing home, assisted living facility, or in-home care as individuals grow older and begin dealing with health issues.

It’s estimated by experts that at least 60% of people will require some form of long-term care at some point in their lives.

Therefore, anyone facing chronic illnesses, disabilities, or advancing age that impacts their ability to carry out daily tasks independently may need long-term care.

The State of Long-Term Care in Indiana

Indiana’s long-term care system is multifaceted, offering a variety of services to meet diverse needs. It comprises home-based services, community-based services, and facility-based care services. Each type of care caters to different needs, from physical therapy and skilled nursing to assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating.


Home-Based Services

Home-based services are an ideal choice for individuals who prefer to stay in their homes but need assistance with day-to-day activities. These services can encompass personal care, meal preparation, transportation assistance, and medication management. In Indiana, there are various programs that provide benefits to pay for home-based care, one of which is the CHOICE (Community and Home Options to Institutional Care for the Elderly and Disabled) program.


Community-Based Services

For those who may not require full-time care but still need some level of assistance, community-based services for residents are a viable option. These services can range from adult day care centers that offer social and health services to seniors during daytime hours, to meal delivery programs like Meals on Wheels that ensure seniors have access to nutritious meals even when they can’t prepare them themselves.

Facility-Based Care Services

When more intensive care is required, facility-based services come into play. Such services include assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Assisted living facilities offer housing, meals, and help with daily activities, allowing individuals to maintain some level of independence while having access to care as needed. On the other hand, nursing homes and facilities provide 24-hour skilled nursing care for those with serious health conditions.

The Cost of Long-Term Care in Indiana

The cost of long-term care in Indiana can vary significantly based on your income and the type and intensity of care required. According to the Genworth Financial 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the median monthly cost for home health aide services in Indiana is $4,195. On the other end of the spectrum, a semi-private room in a nursing home costs a median of $7,604 per month.

Planning for Long-Term Care

Planning for long-term care is a crucial step due to the potentially high costs involved. Various strategies can be used to plan for these costs, including long-term care insurance, personal savings, and Medicaid coverage for those who qualify. In Indiana, the Indiana Long Term Care Insurance Program (ILTCIP) offers residents affordable and quality long-term care insurance coverage options.

old lady

The Future of Long-Term Care in Indiana

Like many states, Indiana faces several challenges in its long-term care sector. These include a rapidly aging population, escalating costs, and workforce shortages. However, the state is actively working to address these issues. For instance, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has developed a comprehensive plan to reform the state’s long-term care system. This plan aims to expand home and community-based services, improve quality care, and safety in nursing homes, and ensure fair wages and benefits for long-term care workers.


Long-term care in Indiana encompasses a wide spectrum of services designed to meet the diverse needs of its residents. While the cost of full term care alone can be significant, proper planning and resources for future long term care, can help manage the financial burden. As Indiana continues to reform and adapt its long-term care system, the focus remains on providing high-quality, accessible care for all its residents. The future of long-term care in Indiana is undoubtedly a topic to watch closely as the state navigates the challenges and opportunities ahead in health care.