Need for In-Home Care Continues to Grow in Colorado and the Nation – newsletter 5-13-24

According to a report from THE HILL, the Consumer Price Index and new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the price of in-home care for older adults increased by 14.2 percent in the year between March 2023 and 2024. Prices have similarly risen noticeably for care in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. This represents the largest percent increase in home healthcare costs during a 12-month period since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting data on such costs in 2005, said THE HILL report. Demographics is a key reason as the U.S. population ages, including among its 73 million baby boomers. The continuing shortage of in-home care workers and rising wages also figure in. “About 70 percent of American adults aged 65 and older will need some form of long-term care in the future,” the report went on to observe. It listed two main types of in-home care providers for the elderly or bed-bound: home health aides who help with personal care and homemaker aides who assist with household chores. The prices for these aides’ services vary by need and location. In 2023 the cost for homemaker or home health aide service ranged from $13 to $33 an hour in Colorado, according to insurance company Genworth. THE HILL also cited an analysis by KFF, which does health issues analysis, showing that in 2022 there were about 4.8 million direct care workers who helped 9.8 million people at home, 1.2 million in residential care facilities, and 1.2 million in nursing homes. The direct care sector is expected to add over 1 million new jobs by 2031, according to that same analysis. But those additional jobs are not expected to be enough to meet the country’s rising eldercare needs.

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