In Connecticut, as in most other states in the Union, there has been a deliberate shift away from nursing home care to more affordable options, especially for an aging population. In the Nutmeg State, however, because the baby boomer generation is retiring and will comprise a larger demographic of the overall population, the need for long-term care will also increase.
A recent report by Mercer Human Services Consulting has determined that the demand for in-home care support services will increase by almost 15 percent, reaching 82.3 percent by 2040. That number was 67.6 percent in 2017.
Not only is this increase due to an aging population, but it’s also the result of a move away from nursing home care and other costly long-term care options to the more affordable in-home care support. As states grapple with budget constraints and deficits, they look for ways to save money and by shifting away from nursing home to in-home care, that’s one way to help save financial resources.
According to The Middletown Press blog, Study: CT home health care demand to climb rapidly in next 20 years, written by Christine Stuart for CTNewsJunkie.com:
“Connecticut has been moving in the right direction on long-term care for a number of years and this report indicates we must continue to adapt,” Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw said. “We currently have an array of effective home and community-based services that promote both personal choice and our commitment to continually improving care. While high-quality, skilled nursing facilities will continue to be a vital part of our continuum of care, it’s becoming more apparent that consumers often prefer to receive services in their homes when they can.”
McCaw added: “As the paradigm shifts, we will make certain state government can be flexible to shift with it.”
As has been the case elsewhere, though, the larger bureaucracies are, the slower they move. The Connecticut legislature will need to be agile enough to improve funding for in-home care support services as demand increases. An aging population is more likely to choose to “age in place,” meaning to stay where they are rather than to go to a facility, but if the financial resources to help pay for them are not available, some seniors may not have a choice.
In-home care is growing in popularity, not just because it allows aging men and women to remain home, even as they grapple with chronic health issues and limited mobility, but also because it is a more cost-effective long-term care option.
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