Many Americans Will Need Long-Term Care. Most Won’t be Able to Afford It.

Many Americans Will Need Long-Term Care. Most Won’t be Able to Afford It.

May 22, 2019

Gretchen Harris likes the small brick house she bought in Norman, Okla., 36 years ago. She’s fond of her neighbors and the magnolia tree she planted in the front yard. And having a single-story residence proved helpful after knee replacement surgery last summer.

“It’s always been a good size for me,” she said.

But Ms. Harris, 72, a retired attorney, has grappled with assorted health problems — heart disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis — and takes a long list of prescription drugs.

Though she feels well enough to hear cases a few days a month as a state administrative law judge and to stay involved in educational and church activities, she worries about the future.

“It weighs on my mind some,” she said. Divorced, childless and without family nearby, “I am going to need some long-term support, independent or assisted living, rather than just living by myself.”

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