Essential Facts and Stats About Homecare Services in the United States

As the adult child of a parent who may be in need of assistance with tasks of day to day living, but definitely does not need nursing homecare, you may wonder what options are available. There are two primary avenues you may want to explore at this time:

  • Homecare services
  • Assisted living

In this article, we present to you some essential facts and stats about in-home care. This information is designed to assist you in determining whether or not homecare is the proper course for your aging parent in need of some assistance in tending to the essentials of life.

Homecare Aide Services Are Widely Available

In this day and age, homecare aide services are widely available throughout the United States. In other words, in larger and midsize communities in the country, you will have multiple homecare services and professionals to choose from to provide assistance to your parent.

With that said, there are some key tips to bear in mind when considering engaging in-home care for your father or mother:

  • Only work through a properly licensed homecare agency. 
  • Ask to see proof of current certification and licensing.
  • Always make sure any individual in-home caregiver is insured or bonded. 
  • Go ahead and ask for pertinent information from homecare candidates, including prior experience.
  • Check out the background, credentials, and criminal history of providers. The internet makes this easier to do.
  • Check references. It is not enough to have this contact information. Make sure you do actually talk to others who are familiar with the potential candidate.

Homecare Aide as a Family Support

A prevalent misconception about a homecare aide is that they attend to the needs of an older individual (or a younger person with some type of disability or limitation) day in and day out. There certainly are instances in which a homecare aide does provide assistance on a daily basis. There are even instances in which an older person has a homecare aide at a residence around the clock. However, these most definitely are not the only scenarios in which a homecare assistant is utilized.

In the United States, most caregivers are family members you devote their time and effort to assist a loved one without compensation. Indeed, they typically undertake caregiving efforts in addition to holding down jobs and tending to the needs of their other family members. 

Family and primary caregivers need support, too. Caregiver burnout is real. Caregiver burnout impacts both the senior and the caregiver. More than 65 million people, or 29 percent of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill or disabled senior loved one annually. On average, such a caregiver spends an average of 20 hours per week assisting a loved one. 

Homecare aides are important resources for family members who serve as primary caregivers. Homecare aides provide respite for family members who are primary caregivers. Homecare aides ensure that family member caregivers can have much needed time for themselves to recharge and live their own lives. 

In the interests of providing complete information, some of the more commonplace symptoms of caregiver burnout include:

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • A lack of patience and empathy
  • No desire to socialize or engage in leisure activities
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • More susceptible and prone to illness

Who Will Provide Long-Term Care? A Look at the Stats

While the data is a few years old, the study was comprehensive and exhaustive. This data sets forth which adults in the United States will provide them with long-term assistance with basic living tasks when they are in their Golden Years:

  • Spouse or partner – 41 percent
  • Family members – 31 percent
  • Child or children – 31 percent
  • Professional facility (assisted living, nursing home) – 19 percent
  • In-home care provider – 18 percent
  • Friends – 9 percent
  • Other – 3 percent

These stats do not add up to 100 percent because respondents were able to note that they expected to experience assistance from different categories of providers. For example, respondents indicated that a spouse or partner would provide assistance followed by in-home care, followed by assisted living. For many people, the provider of caregiving is a progression from spouse or family to something different. The majority of people receiving care with tasks of day to day living at this moment in time are provided assistance by family members. 

Growth of the Homecare Industry in the United States

The number of agencies that provide homecare assistance for elderly individuals and others has increased dramatically since the end of the 1960s. 

  • 1967 – 1890 agencies
  • 1970 – 2,333 agencies
  • 1975 – 2,290 agencies
  • 1980 – 3.012 agencies
  • 1990 – 6,461 agencies
  • 2000 – 7.099 agencies
  • 2005 – 8.090 agencies
  • 2010 – 10,914 agencies
  • 2013 – 12, 459 agencies (most agencies of any year since 1967)
  • 2020 – 11, 221 agencies

The number of in-home care agencies has stabilized in the 11,000+ range since 2017. 

Adults Over 65 Who Access Long-Term Care Services

Statistics regarding the rate of access to different types of long-term care services is also illuminating. Long-term care services do cater to a full spectrum of adults of different ages who do benefit from these different types of care.

  • Adult day service participants over 65 – 63 percent
  • Home health agency patients over 65 – 82 percent
  • Hospice patients over 65 – 95 percent
  • Nursing home residents over 65 – 84 percent
  • Residential care community (assisted living) residents over 65 – 93 percent  

Transition to Assisted Living: A Few More Stats for You 

A notable number of people who receive in-home care associated with activities of daily living eventually may elect to transition to an assisted living community. Thus, a few stats about assisted living in the United States is helpful:

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 30,000 licensed assisted living communities in the United States. These range from sprawling facilities with hundreds of residents to home-like residences with six to 12 people in house. 

There are almost 2 million licensed beds (in private and semi-private rooms) associated with assisted living communities today. There are ample openings at assisted living facilities at this time in many locations. At any given time, there are about 1 million people residing at an assisted living community. 

The vast majority of assisted living facilities are privately owned and operated. The bulk of the remainder are owned and operated by nonprofit entities, including religious organizations and other similar types of associations.