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And with the Baby Boomers coming of age with increased longevity, the number of people requiring long-term care is projected to increase dramatically between 2020 and 2050.
The type of long-term care an older adult receives may be short and provided by a family member. However, the older a person grows, the more likely he or she will need long-term care for longer periods of time. This may require some form of home health care or a period of stay in a skilled nursing center.
Here are some statistics about long-term care:
- Nearly 70% of Americans over 65 will require some form of long-term care.
- Nearly 40% of Americans over 65 will spend some time in a nursing home.
- The average stay in a nursing home is 2.5 years.
- The average cost of a nursing home stay is about $70,000 a year.
ETA*: For additional pertinent numbers, see this 8/9/2012 news article by Christine Benz, which contains 40 separate statistics gleaned from caregiver organizations, government offices, and long-term care insurers.
It's not quite evident how we will rise to the challenge of caring for older adults, but the topic is increasingly more prevalent in public discourse. Do your part by staying informed on the issues related to aging, caregiving, long-term care, and government programs that support the frailest among our elders.
ETA=Edited to Add
Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
More Seniors than Ever: Population Pyramids
Life Span (122) vs Life Expectancy (84).