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Consumers of long-term care are primarily the elderly, whose numbers are approaching 25 million; they comprise almost eleven percent of this nation's population.1 They experience higher incidents of chronic disease and long term illness, with the most serious health care problems occurring in those over 75.2 These health care problems are usually costly because of the need for hospital and nursing home care, as well as other forms of intervention, and the unavailability of suitable, less costly alternatives, particularly in rural areas. In addition, these problems are compounded by lack of mobility, poor nutrition, lack of primary care and other elements often related to limited financial resources.



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