A long term care association is an advocacy organization which works within the long term care industry. This aspect of the health care profession includes a wide range of residential facilities used to provide long term care, along with professionals who work in these facilities and companies which supply the long term care industry, ranging from medical equipment suppliers to restaurant suppliers. Long term care associations typically cover regions such as specific states, provinces, or territories, with offices in a central location.
The need for long term care is constantly evolving and growing, whether it takes the form of a facility where older adults live independently with nominal support from staffers, or a skilled nursing facility in which patients require intensive nursing care from highly trained staff members. Long term care associations were founded as representatives of the people who work in long term care, and they serve a number of functions in the areas where they operate.
In many cases, a long term care association provides information to consumers who are evaluating long term care facilities and thinking about their options. Resources can include listings of member facilities, general information about how to pick a facility, and information about the different levels of long term care which are available. The consumer education aspect of a long term care association can be very important and very useful for members of the public.
These organizations also establish and uphold standards, to ensure that their members provide a basic standard of care and are held accountable. Long term care associations can also lobby for their member companies in the halls of government, promoting the passage of legislation which will benefit their members, and these organizations may coordinate efforts with other groups associated with the health care industry. For example, a long term care association might work with a professional organization for nurses to increase the training standards for nurses working with older adults.
Members of a long term care association may have access to benefits, ranging from sharing the good reputation linked with the association to having access to special rates on insurance provided to member companies. A long term care association can also provide a united voice for long term care providers. These associations can respond to media inquiries, issue statements about scandals involving long term care, negotiate on behalf of their members, and engage in other activities in which the voices of many organizations joined together may be more powerful than the action of a single organization working alone.