Nearly 3 times more people are receiving long term care at home rather than in a residential facility, a new study concludes.

Around 7.5 million individuals are receiving LTC at home for an acute or terminal illness, long term health condition or permanent disability, according to the study by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, Westlake Village, Calif., and Homewatch Caregivers, Greenwood Village, Colo. In comparison, only 1.5 million are receiving extended care in nursing homes and 1.1 million in assisted-living facilities.

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“When possible, home is almost always the preferred setting for people who require care,” stated Leann Reynolds, president of Homewatch CareGivers. “This has been a clear and growing trend for more than a decade, as more and better home services have become available. The vast majority of people want to receive support care in their homes in order to maintain independence and quality of life for as long as possible.”

Individuals with long term care insurance receive significantly more home care, the study found. Almost 71% of those covered by LTC insurance received an average of between 5 and 7 days of care each week, while only 35.1% of those without insurance received similar care as often, the study found.

Of those with insurance, 41.2% received care for longer than a year; compared to about 30% of those without coverage.