Home Healthcare for Elderly Sees Largest Price Increase Ever

The Hill - Changing America / By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

Costs for home healthcare for the elderly and bed-ridden have gone up by 14.2 percent over the past year, according to new Consumer Price Index data released Wednesday.  
That represents the largest percent increase in home healthcare costs during a 12-month period since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting data on such costs in 2005.  

The United States has an aging population, and the need for care among the nation’s roughly 73 million Baby Boomers is driving up the cost of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home healthcare.  
About 70 percent of American adults aged 65 and older will need some form of long-term care in the future, according to the Administration for Community Living.
There are two main types of in-home care providers for the elderly or bed-bound: home health aides who help with personal care and homemaker aides who assist with household chores.  
The prices for these aides’ services vary by need and location, but in 2023 the median cost for a home health aide was $33 an hour and that for a homemaker aide was $30 an hour, according to insurance company Genworth.  
The reason behind the striking increase in in-home care costs stems from shortages in the country’s home health workforce coupled with rising wages for these workers, according to Marc Cohen, co-director for the Leading Age Long Term Services and Supports Center at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.  
In 2022, there were about 4.8 million direct care workers, a category that include home health aides, according to an analysis from KFF. These workers helped 9.8 million people at home, 1.2 million in residential care facilities and 1.2 million in nursing homes.
The direct care sector is expected to add over 1 million new jobs by 2031, according to that same analysis. But those additional jobs will not be enough to meet the country’s rising eldercare needs.