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Survey: Most Don't Plan for Long-Term Care

About 2 out of 3 Americans over age 40 have done little or no planning for long-term care, a new survey finds. Only one-quarter even believe they'll need help, although about half have cared for an older friend or relative themselves. The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research did the survey. Most people polled said family or friends would help them if needed. But 6 out of 10 have not talked with them about it. About 7 out of 10 U.S. adults need some sort of long-term care after age 65. This may be given by a relative or in assisted living or a nursing home. On average, the care lasts about 3 years. More than one-third of those surveyed said, mistakenly, that Medicare pays for nursing home care. Medicare pays only for a short time, after a hospital stay. Medicaid, the government health insurance for the poor, pays for most long-term care in the United States.

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