KFF Health News and The New York Times published the first phase of an investigation into America’s long-term care crisis, which has left many in the boomer generation facing the prospect of exhausting their financial resources as the price tag for care explodes. Dying Broke, the investigative series, uses KFF polling, original analysis and interviews with experts and impacted individuals and their families to examine the challenges facing families and caregivers in navigating long-term care.

The financial and emotional toll of providing and paying for long-term care is wreaking havoc on the lives of millions of Americans. Paid care, either at home or in a facility, is often so expensive that only the wealthy can afford it, and many of the for-profit companies providing care raised their prices sharply during the pandemic. The ongoing shortage of health care workers is also worsening the situation.

The project found that nearly three million older Americans who need long-term help are not receiving it, in large part because of the high costs of assisted living facilities, nursing homes and aides at home. The United States spends less on long-term care than do most wealthy countries.