By the year 2030, the number of 65-plus Americans is expected to double, which poses serious problems for the long term care industry, according to research from Genworth Financial. The company says the United States will need to recruit an additional 200,000 direct-care workers to meet the demand over the next 20 to 30 years. That potential shortage could affect both the quality and cost of care.
Genworth also found that by 2050, the U.S. bill for providing LTC services could top $380 billion.
Caregiver turnover is affecting the industry in a negative way, too. Paraprofessional long term care workers turn over at a rate 13 percent to 18 percent higher than the overall work force, and 20 percent higher than comparable service workers.
“Unless something is done to directly address this growing care gap, not only will paying for long term care be difficult for many, but finding it may be as well,” says Buck Stinson, president of Genworth’s Long Term Care Insurance business. “With 78 million baby boomers set to retire in the next few decades, America faces an impending work force crisis in the long term care industry that could strain the economy and negatively impact millions of Americans and their families.”
Genworth also looked at the cost of LTC in its “Cost of Care Survey.” It found wide cost disparities by region, but the national average for a private room in a nursing home is up to $76,460, which amounts to $209 per day. Alaska weighs in at $515 per day, Louisiana at $125.
Assisted living facilities are less expensive but still 25 percent higher than 2004, with a private one-bedroom unit going for $36,090 per year. The hourly rate for a non-Medicare certified home health aide is $19.18, up just 4 percent from 2004.
Interactive maps of the states and regions surveyed can be found at www.genworth.com.