Long-Term Care Market Topped $300 Billion in 2015

The long-term care industry is not slowing down, according to a recent report that revealed the market reached $305 billion in 2015, with home care leading the charge as the most affordable option.

Demand for all types of long-term care has continued to steadily grow across home care, hospice, nursing and assisted living, health care market research firm Kalorama Information found in its report, “The Long Term Care Market.” The market is expected to continuing growing over the next several years thanks to ever-increasing demand from baby boomers and rising life expectancy.

“Boomers represent[ed] approximately 76 million individuals in the United States in 2015,” Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information, said in a statement. “This enormous group will be making decisions about whether senior living is the right option for their aging loved ones and eventually for themselves.”

Long-term care services vary widely, from help with daily living activities in home care to institutional care. Most recipients of long-term care receive services over an extended period of time across four main types of care: home care, hospice, nursing and assisted living.

Most Americans would prefer to receive medical care services in their own homes, performed by home health agencies.  Compared to institutional care, home care is also the most affordable option, around $20 per hour in any areas, the report noted. However, these costs can also quickly add up to more than $1,500 per month.

Long-term care services provided by nursing homes cost more than $250 per day for a semi-private room, a Genworth study revealed. Expenses for basic care at an assisted living facility is also high, more than $3,600 per month.

The report also noted that demand for long-term care services will likely be driven by women, who have longer a life expectancy and are more likely to be widowed later in life. By comparison, men are more likely to be married and cared for by their spouse. In fact, men are about twice as likely to be married and living with their spouses, while elderly women are there times as likely as elderly men to be widowed.

While demand is anticipated to rise with an estimated two out five Americans needing long-term care at some point during their lives, affordability is an issue, particularly for elderly women who live alone. In 2015, the estimated median household income for householders 65 and older was $32,000, with Social Security payments making up a large portion of this income, the report cited.

Written by Amy Baxter