Long-term care has begun to rely heavily on assessment as a basis for determining eligibility and payment for services, as well as for planning needed care. Mandated assessments have been introduced into nursing homes and will soon be required for home health care and rehabilitation. Many states use a formal structured assessment process to establish clients' eligibility for institutional or community-based care. The common feature of such assessment is attention to physical functioning, but other domains are also relevant, including affect, social function, cognition, pain and discomfort, and satisfaction. Taken together, this cluster is often referred to as quality of life. While some measures attempt to infer this information from clients' behavior, it is best obtained directly from clients' responses whenever possible. The other major component of a long term care assessment relates to obtaining information on clients' preferences and values. These data are important both for weighting the individual components of an assessment and for directly addressing preferences about the care and lifestyle available.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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