It’s no secret: None of us are getting any younger, and more people who are growing old are living longer than ever before. But what most of us tend to shove to the back of our minds is the cost of getting old — a price tag that only gets bigger with each passing year beyond retirement age.

The median cost of nursing home care in many states has gotten more expensive.

Medicare for senior citizens can help, but has limitations that can still leave seniors and their families holding a big — and sometimes crippling — financial bag.

“As elderly people age and become more frail, the cost of providing long-term services and support grows for them and their families, and it can eventually deplete their income and savings,” the Congressional Budget Office reported last year.

Only a small percentage of senior citizens or their families have adequately prepared, with either savings or insurance, for the potential costs of long-term care. Such care can range from medical, to in-home personal care or homemaker assistance, to adult day care, to care in an assisted living center or nursing home that can cost hundreds of dollars a day or tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Even those who have long-term care insurance — or those thinking about buying a policy — must thoroughly assess their needs and understand what they get for their money.

“Every policy is different, and it depends on the client,” said a certified long-term insurance counselor. “People need to know what it covers, how many days of coverage it provides, and when they can use it. Some policies cover home care, some cover skilled nursing or nursing homes, and some cover both. But they’re not all the same.”