The continuum of care either means healthcare over a period of time or, in the case of a progressive disease, care from diagnosis to end of life. The continuum of care refers to the range of services inside and outside of the health care sector. The term is usually used to refer to an increasing intensity of care, and not to an unvarying list of services.
Another array of the continuum of care may be the arrangement of preventative public health services, primary care outpatient clinics, local general hospitals, and regional hospitals with intensive care and specialty care units.
In the case of the elderly, though, continuum of care begins as physical limitations demand additional assistance.
A frail elder may, for example, enter the continuum of care with receiving help in getting to and from medical appointments, progress on to the services of a home health agency so that they may age in place at home, go on to assisted living, and finally, end with entry into a skilled nursing facility.
In theory, seniors enter care at the lowest level capable of dealing with their problem, and go on to higher levels when their problems become more complex. But, because of financial constraints involving access to care, the profitability sought by the care providers, an overall lack of information assisting seniors in making good decisions, and some other factors, the continuum of care seems to be more of a theoretical model than an actual care delivery system.
To learn more about the Continuum of Care, and what you can expect in your care, call the Kabb Law Firm: 216-991-KABB (5222).