Acute vs. Long-Term Care

Acute Care vs. Long Term Care

Kaplan University

HI125-01 Unit 1

Acute Care vs. Long Term Care

When it comes to healthcare there are many different categories and specialized subcategories providing the best care possible to all people. Two of the most important categories overall within the healthcare system are acute care and long term care facilities. Each represents two completely different ends of the healthcare needs of today’s society. While acute care provides a service to anyone of any age, long term care is typically designed for the elderly or those with disabilities. The difference in the type of care provided and the goal of the treatment varies greatly between acute and long term care because of who they were designed to benefit.

Acute care is open to anyone that requires medical attention. These facilities are the everyday hospitals, clinics, and doctor offices. People are able to visit acute care facilities for any reason from a cold to a serious car accident. These facilities are equipped to handle anything needing immediate treatment with the goal to cure the ailment and send the individual back home to continue preventative measures on their own. Long term care facilities, however, are equipped to help elderly individuals and those with disabilities who need around the clock care. Long term care is commonly referred to as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, and sometimes home care. The goal of long term care is to provide the best possible care within the home or in a supervised facility to improve the quality of life until the individual is deceased and care is no longer needed. In Stafford, Virginia one of the most commonly used acute care facilities is the Stafford Hospital Center while a popular long term care facility is the Greenfield Senior Living Center.

Keeping up with personal healthcare is now a life-long journey and is seen as a necessity, especially now that it is readily available to all people of any age. Acute care can help bring about the birth of new life while long term care simply improves the quality of life until it is no more. As Sayles (2012) said, “…healthcare is now viewed as a continuum of care.” Healthcare has drastically improved throughout the years and society is lucky enough to have care for any need that may arise now thanks to the constant developments within the healthcare field.


Greenfield Senior Living. (2015). Services & Amenities at Greenfield of Stafford. Retrieved from

Sayles, N. B. (Ed.). (2012). Health information management technology: An applied approach (4th ed.). Chicago, IL: American Health Information Management Association.

Virginia Health Information (VHI). (2016). Stafford Hospital Center. Retrieved from