Many people identify long-term care with nursing homes, the predominant provider of long-term care in the United States is the family.
The elderly express strong preferences for remaining in their own homes as long as possible and for being cared for by relatives. Only about 21 percent of the disabled elderly were in nursing homes in 1985. The rest were in the community, mostly in their own homes. Those with more severe disabilities were more likely to be in institutions, but even among the severely disabled considerably less than half were in nursing homes.