The long-term care system in the United States is a complex, fragmented one. In this class, we consider both formal and informal care - why it's needed, what is in place today, and what needs to change. We take a number of field trips to local facilities and invite experienced speakers from a variety of fields to class. In the fall of 2011, we visited 4 facilities and heard from a social worker, an elder-law attorney, a nursing home administrator, and a geriatrician. Students also look at the long-term care system in other countries to bring a broader perspective.