Americans crave independence. If given the choice, most of us would choose to grow old in our own homes. We value sleeping in our own beds, sitting on our own porches and cooking in our own kitchens. We want to live on our terms. By our own rules. However, that's not what happens as we get older. Our once-sturdy bodies become fragile, our reactions slow and our energy subsides. Simple things that were once easy suddenly become more difficult. As much as we want to keep living on our own, sometimes it's just not possible.
The Golden Years should be a time to relax after a lifetime of hard work. Yet as medical costs climb and life expectancies increase, many seniors are finding themselves in scary and precarious situations. Public and private insurance policies often help cover the costs of surgeries, doctor visits, medication and nursing care at hospitals. Many seniors have health problems that extend beyond the hospital -- and often these costs fall between the cracks of standard insurance policies. These people need long-term care. Problem is, they can't afford it.