Every 13 seconds, estimates suggest another American turns 65-years old. That trend is expected to continue for the next 20 years. At a population of 40.4 million, seniors compose 12 percent of the U.S. population. In 20 years, that number will reach 70 million, or 20 percent of the population.
As America's population rapidly ages, there will be greater need for skilled home healthcare services among our nation's seniors. Home healthcare can meet the care needs of a diverse senior population and reduce America's healthcare costs as a low-cost care setting. Plus, a clear majority of American seniors (89%) say they want to age in place — i.e., live independently and remain in their home.
Home healthcare patients are among the poorest, sickest and most vulnerable beneficiaries in the Medicare program, underscoring the importance of consistent access to home health. Quality home healthcare services allow these patients to remain in their homes and receive necessary skilled nursing and therapy services, while avoiding unnecessary inpatient care and hospital stays.
Learn more about the Medicare home healthcare patients:
- Nearly 70 percent of home healthcare patients are senior citizens and 60 percent are women.
- Home healthcare patients are more likely to live alone and have poorer health status - an estimated 36 percent live alone.
- Home healthcare patients had an average of 4.2 medical diagnoses per patient at the time of interview, and 86 percent have three or more chronic conditions.
- Patients' most common diagnoses included: essential hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), osteoarthritis, malignant neoplasm, and cerebrovascular disease.
- Home healthcare patients are more likely to have 3 or more impairments with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
- More than half of these beneficiaries have an annual income below $21,780 and have a poverty rate 25 percent higher than the typical Medicare beneficiary.