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The History of Long-Term Care

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The History of Long-Term Care

Introduction

One of the most difficult aspects of creating a history of long-term care is simply defining the term: long-term care. The term's definition has varied through time depending upon the social structures and payment policies of the day as well as the type of clientele for whom care is provided. Public social policy that establishes the availability of funding for payment of long-term care residents has determined the types of long-term care as much as has the need or the commercial demand.

To further confuse the issue, there is no one standard, universal and accepted manner to simply spell the term. Various peer-reviewed publications spell it either as "longterm," or "long term," or "long-term." This paper has adopted the later spelling convention for use. Most people would probably associate long-term care with a nursing home, but that is not the only association such care is connected too. For various psychological, social, political, and economic reasons, other care modalities such as home care can also be so classified. This paper will address the history of these issues.

The Historical Roots of Long-Term Care

In the traditions of western civilization, the Patriarch Abraham has been given the credit for creating the institutions of hotels and hospitals by legends that describe his hospitality to travelers. It is said that he pitched his tent in the Moreh plain near the junction of two major trade routes. There he gave succor to all who passed, both the hale and hearty as well as the ill (Shore, 1993). This tradition of helping others was reinforced by the Deuteronomy verse that stated that God "loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment" (Bible Gateway Website, 2005).

These biblical roots lead to social support for the care of others from the three western religions that grew from it. The very idea of giving all types of aid to those in need, and

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