Baby Boomers To Put More Pressure on Home Health Demand

Two out of three older adults with disabilities who receive long-term care services at home get their care exclusively from family members; yet, a significant share of the youngest baby boomers, aged 50 to 59, do not have children who might take care of them as they age, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the AARP Foundation.

Currently, just 9% of older adults with disabilities who receive long-term care services at home rely solely on paid help, and that may be attributed to cost, said Chris Herbert, acting managing director with the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The median monthly cost for a home health aide is $2,568 — or $30,810 annually, data show.

Despite the reasons why family caregivers are more common, the ratio of potential family caregivers to those over 80 will decrease from 7- to-1 today to 4-to-1 by 2030, and to less than 3-to-1 by 2050, AARP estimates.

“The family care ratio is going the wrong direction, and is going to put more pressure on other resources of care,” Herbert said.

Those other resources of care, including personal care and home health aides, are projected to see a surge in demand in the coming years, with those professions topping the list of the top 10 fastest growing jobs in America, according to a recent article by 24/7 Wall St. 

The growth in employment for home health aides is projected to grow by 48.5% between 2012 and 2022, just .3% less than the projected growth for personal care aides.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

Cassandra Dowell