Long-term services and supports (LTSS) may involve, but are distinct from, medical care for older people and adults with disabilities. Definitions of the term vary, but in this report, we define LTSS as: assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living provided to older adults and other adults with physical disabilities who cannot perform these activities on their own due to a physical, cognitive, or chronic health condition that is expected to continue for an extended period, typically 90 days or more.
LTSS include human assistance, supervision, cueing and standby assistance, assistive technologies and devices and environmental modifications, health maintenance tasks (e.g., medication management), information, and care and service coordination for people who live in their own home, a residential setting, or a nursing facility. LTSS also include supports provided to family members and other unpaid caregivers.
Individuals with LTSS needs may also have chronic conditions that require health or medical services. In a high-performing system, LTSS are coordinated with housing, transportation, and health/medical services, especially during periods of transition among acute, post-acute, and other settings.
For the purpose of this Scorecard, people whose need for LTSS arises from intellectual disabilities (ID) or chronic mental illness (CMI) are not included in our assessment of state performance. The LTSS needs for these populations are substantively different from the LTSS needs of older people and adults with physical disabilities. Including services specific to the ID and CMI populations would have required substantial additional data collection, which was beyond the scope of this project.