First, it is necessary to apply for certification of needing long-term care at your local municipality. Then, if you are certified as needing long-term care or needing support, you can use the services. Procedures No.1-No.5 (written immediately below) are required.
No.1 Application for the certification of needing long-term care
Persons apply for the certification of needing long-term care at the long-term care insurance counter of the municipality where they reside. As persons aged 65 or over are provided with long-term care insurance cards, they are asked to bring the cards to the counter. The application can be handled by the person himself, a family member, or an entity such as a designated in-home care support business, a long-term care facility or a community comprehensive support center.
No.2 At-home screening and submission of attending doctor's opinion
After the application, investigators visit the applicant's home, etc. and conduct an interview to assess the applicant's mental and physical condition and the level of care necessary. Submission of the attending doctor's opinion is also required. Based on the home screening and the attending doctor's opinion, the long-term care approval board receives and judges the applicant's condition, whether he or she is in need of long-term care or support, and if so what level of care is required.
No.3 Notification of certification results
Within 30 days after the application, a notice of results will be delivered from the municipality. The notice informs the applicant of the level of care certification, effective duration of certification, and the limits of the care service amount per month according to the level. Three levels exist in long-term care certification. (Chart 3) The certification becomes valid retroactively to the date of application. If the applicant is dissatisfied with the results, he or she can appeal to the "long-term care insurance board of review" for re-consideration.
[Chart3] Level of certification and available services
No.4 Creation of long-term care service plans (care plans)
Before the start of services, long-term care service plans (care plans) and preventive care plans are created suited for each individual's life-style, based on the information received. (Chart 4)
[Chart4]Plan creation according to level of certification
No.5 Use of services
Based on the created care plans, patients sign contracts with long-term care service businesses designated by prefectural governors, and start using the services.