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Florida Matters: Planning for Long-Term Care

Baby boomers have seen it coming for quite some time -- retirement, senior living and senior survival. 

Experts say most of us begin planning too late for the help we might need as we get older.

On Florida Matters this week, we take a look at long-term care, including costs, legal issues and how you can start the conversation with your loved ones. 

Elder law attorney Emma Hemness tells WUSF's Carson Cooper few middle class people can afford long-term care.

"I think that is the biggest crisis that we have is the misinformation, or just simply individuals not understanding how significant the cost is," Hemness said. "The other piece of misinformation is that they also believe that Medicare will cover long-term care when it does not."

Donna Damiani is the vice president of the Florida Assisted Living Association and operator of two assisted living facilities in Dunedin.  

"Back in the 80s, assisted living facilities were more of a bed and breakfast, but over the years, it has changed so much from a social model to a medical type model," Damiani said. 

She said assisted living facilities assist in day-to-day activities, like bathing and dressing, and supervision of self-administered medication. Home health companies and outside physicians come in to handle medical needs, she explained. 

The show on planning for long-term care airs again Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7. 

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Lottie Watts is our Florida Mattersproducer, and she also covers health and health policy for.