Looming Workforce Shortage Pressures Long Term Care Costs, According to Research

Source: Genworth Financial

From press release:
Not only has the cost of long term care in U.S. nursing homes, assisted living facilities and in the home increased for the fifth consecutive year, but the nation faces an impending shortage of direct-care workers, further driving up long term care costs. Those are two of the key conclusions drawn from cost of care research by Genworth Financial.

Each year Genworth surveys the cost of care in more than 10,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home care providers in all 50 states and 90 geographic regions including the District of Columbia. This year the survey adds adult day health care findings. The most comprehensive cost analysis in the industry, it surveys three times the number of providers and offers more regional detail than similar studies, and is the only survey that provides comparative data for the past five years.

This year, Genworth’s study found the price of most long term care services are rising faster than inflation, and by 2050, the nation’s bill for providing long term care services is expected to top $379 billion. In 2008, the average annual price of a private nursing home room reached $76,460 nationally – more than one and a half times the average annual household income in the U.S. of $48,2011. The most preferred form of care is in the home, and the cost of home care performed by a non-skilled home health aide remained flat in most regions of the country.

This year’s Cost of Care Survey is complemented by additional research released today by Genworth entitled “A Workforce to Care for Our Aging.” This study identifies an imminent shortage of caregivers as the driver of increasing long term care costs. By 2030, the number of Americans 65 years and older will double. The U.S. will need to recruit 200,000 new direct-care workers each year to meet future demand among our aging population.

Cost of Care Survey (PDF; 1.2 MB)
2008 Cost of Care Map (interactive)
Survey Trends and Findings

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