If you're like most Baby Boomers, you're used to being in control. When situations turn sour, you assess the situation and take action. Laid off from your job? You take the bull by the horns and find another one - or maybe even start your own business. Child's grades dropping? You meet with his teachers and maybe hire a tutor.So it's more than difficult for most Boomers to imagine a day when they may not control their destiny. That day happens when they experience a dramatic decline in health, and they run short of money to pay for the care that they desire.

That's when government programs or charity - the kindness of strangers - comes in. Friends and family can sometimes intervene, though there are usually limits to their ability to help. After all, they have jobs, children and financial obligations of their own. The friend or relative who visits in the hospital, and may even open her house to you for a short-term stay, is unlikely to sign up to help when the need for care stretches for years on the horizon.

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