If you are old and destitute and do not have the money to care for yourself in your old age, the state will care for you automatically, as part of the Medicaid Commitment. This is only available for folks with little or no assets and cannot take care of themselves and to get this you must qualify as per state law. If you have assets or the ability to pay, you must spend all your own money first and if you run out, you can then apply as a person who has no ability to pay.
For those who have money, but do not want to spend all their money to take care of themselves, sell their home and sell all their remaining assets there are other options, such as long-term care insurance. If you are wealthy beyond belief you can of course self-insure and just pay for it out of your life’s savings or your family’s money.
Long Term Care insurance is getting very popular now and the government regulators as well as the heads of the major government health care agencies believe this is a viable option for the elderly. In fact, financial planners are now required to advice their clients of this option or risk reprimand that could potentially cause them to lose their license.