The elderly population is among the fastest expanding group, since science and medicine have made it possible for people to live much longer. Many of the conditions that require Long Term Care were not as common in the past because few people survived to an age where these ailments might appear. Longevity is a blessing, but its cost might be the prevalence of cancer, memory problems, strokes, heart attacks, and other afflictions.
Also, the dynamic of the household has changed greatly in recent years. With women often taking an equal role of wage earner with her husband, there is no one home to care for an aged relative. It was customary for a parent or parent-in-law to move in with a younger generation and be cared for (if they had survived that long). Yet more and more, the independence of both older and younger generations coupled with inability of some families to provide care makes Long Term Care the only viable option.