To live independently, you must be able to handle certain essential functions, called activities of daily living (ADLs). These standard activities include eating, dressing, bathing, moving from a sitting to a standing position, taking medication, and using the bathroom.
If you are unable to perform two or more these ADLs, you generally qualify to begin receiving benefits from your long-term care insurance policy. Each insurer's list of ADLs may vary slightly, but should always include bathing, as that is often the first activity that a person struggles with.
Cognitive impairments, such as those that result from Alzheimer's disease, are not considered ADLs. A comprehensive long-term care policy will use a different test to determine when policyholders suffering from these impairments qualify to collect benefits.
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