While the home care sector has been the number one job creator in the country for a few years, that’s been driven, in large part, to an increase in demand. Approximately 10,000 baby boomers retire each day in the US.
However, due to various challenges in attracting and retaining valuable caregivers, there aren’t enough providers for those who need in-home care support. As a result, the cost of care in Massachusetts has been increasing, even to the point where some seniors are unable to get care at home.
As noted by Mass Live in its news blog, In-home care costs make it difficult for elderly to live at home in Massachusetts, written by Douglas Hook:
“In-home care providers that are consulted by Genworth point to several factors that are driving up the cost of in-home care; the shortage of skilled workers, the costs of complying with the new mandates in local, state and federal certifications and regulations, the shift in post-acute Medicare reimbursement, which is spurring hospitals to discharge patients sooner and with greater care needs.
Hands-on personal assistance, that would be done by a home health aide, with activities such as bathing, dressing and eating increased 1.48 percent to $62,920 for the same amount of time.”
The cost of in-home care has increased steadily over the past few years. At the moment, 13% of Americans are 65 or over and that is expected to increase to about 18% in just the next decade. It’s also expected that spending on home health care in the United States will increase from $103 billion this year to approximately $173 billion in just six years.
This popular choice -the preferred option for aging seniors- may no longer be as attractive or even feasible due to the rising cost of care. While these factors are not new, they are being compounded by the federal government cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates for in-home care services.
The article also noted:
““The cost of homemaker services, which includes assistance with “hands-off” tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and running errands, increased 5.63 percent during the last 12 months to $62,234 for 44 hours/week for 52 weeks,” said a statement from Genworth, an insurance company which released a nationwide study of the costs.”
As the cost of in-home care increases for providers, including agencies, it increases the cost to receive this type of care, making it unaffordable for a growing number of the American population, especially those on fixed, limited incomes in retirement.
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