Home Health Care

The preferred option for seniors and their families who choose the convenience of quality health care at home.

LTC Financing Proposal Prioritizes Home Care

Aging in Place, Home Health Care
Policy makers recommend putting an end to institutional care as the go-to solution.

Policy makers recommend putting an end to institutional care as the go-to solution.

Providing long-term care services to older Americans in community- and home-based settings could be part of a solution to one of the industry’s greatest challenges, a newly-released finance reform report recommends. A major part of the recommendations includes putting an end to institutional care as the go-to solution. (Home Health Care News, Baxter, 2/22)

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GAO: Up to 80% of Seniors in Need Lack Home Care

Home Health Care
About 12 million out of 16 million older adults who likely needed home-based care did not receive it.

About 12 million out of 16 million older adults who likely needed home-based care did not receive it.

An overwhelming majority of seniors in need of home-based care services do not receive them, according to recently updated findings from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), reports Home Health Care News.

In 2011, GAO analyzed data from 2008 and found that approximately 12 million out of 16 million older adults who likely needed home-based care did not receive it. The agency also found that about 9% of low-income older adults—an estimated 1.6 million—received meals like those provided by Title III programs under the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965.

The OAA was enacted to help older adults remain in their homes and communities, by way of providing authorized programs and funding via OAA Title III grants that provide a range of assistance to seniors in need of home-based care, transportation services, as well as congregate and home-delivered meals.

As Congress considers reauthorization of the OAA, GAO brought it upon itself to update the findings of the 2011 report in efforts to examine older Americans’ reported need for home- and community-based services, such as those funded by the OAA, as well as the potential unmet need for these services based on national survey data.

In conducting its research, GAO analyzed the most recent data from two national surveys, the 2013 Current Population Survey (CPS) and the 2012 Health and Retirement Study. GAO’s analysis of CPS data focused on adults age 60 and older living in households with incomes below 185% of the poverty threshold.

What the agency found was that many older Americans age 60 and older who are in need of essential home-based care, transportation or meal delivery services, either receive them on a limited basis or not at all.

Per the 2013 data, an estimated 83% of low-income seniors who have difficulties with two or more daily activities do not receive meals, according to GAO’s updated findings.

While some figures are similar to those GAO found using 2008 data, the agency notes that more low-income seniors are food insecure than in 2008, meaning they report three or more conditions such as skipping meals because they don’t have enough money for food (19% in 2008 vs. 24% in 2013).

But in terms of home-based care, GAO estimates that 27% of people age 60 and older (about 16 million) likely need home-based care like the services provided by Title II programs.

Furthermore, depending on the number and type of difficulty, between 67% and 78% of older adults who likely need home-based care receive limited or no help with their difficulties—either formally from sources such as Title III programs and Medicaid, or informally through family members.

Among those who have difficulty with activities of daily living, such as housework or shopping, fewer than half of seniors receive home-based care, which GAO notes is more than in 2008 (an estimated 34% in 2008 vs. 44% in 2012).

GAO’s report echoes similar, recent reports that have indicated that huge proportions of in-need homebound Medicare beneficiaries do not receive medical or other services.

The findings are noteworthy especially when looking at current funding trends and how they will impact providing home- and community-based services to an increasingly growing aging population in the U.S. in the years to come.

Between 2009 through 2013, funding for Title III grants fell from $1.178 billion to $1.128 billion, according to GAO. In fiscal year 2014, approximately $1.156 billion was provided in grants to states for home- and community-based services under Title III of the OAA.

As funding has declined over the years, the number of older adults living in the U.S. has risen, and continues to rise. Census data estimates there were approximately 62.9 million people over age 60 in the U.S. in 2013, compared to 55.5 million in 2009.

“As Congress considers reauthorization of the OAA, if current trends continue, the number of adults who need services like those provided by OAA Title III grants may continue to increase with the retirement of the baby boom generation,” writes Charles Jeszeck, GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security issues, in a letter preceding his agency’s report.

Courtesy Home Health Care NewsJason Oliva


Home Care and Home Health Sectors Set for Rapid Growth

Home Health Care
Home health aides rank four out of 10 top occupations expected to create the most jobs.

Home health aides rank four out of 10 top occupations expected to create the most jobs.

The home care and home health sectors are poised for growth in the years ahead, and not just because an aging population is increasingly looking to age in place at home, Home Health Care News reports.

New research shows the sectors rank among the fastest-growing occupations and also top the list of occupations expected to generate the most new jobs.

Personal care aides (PCAs), specifically, are projected to register the largest numeric growth across the entire economy, creating roughly 580,800 new jobs between 2012 and 2022, according to analysis by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI).

Home health aides come in at No. 4 on PHI’s list of top ten occupations expected to create the most jobs — following registered nurses at No. 2 and retail salespersons at No. 3.

Additionally, PCAs and home health aides rank at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the list of occupations expecting the overall growth in the country. Both will increase by 49%, not far behind No. 1-ranked industrial-organizational psychologists, the top occupation which stands to grow 53% by 2022.