November is a Month to Remember Those Who Need Help at Home and for the Long Term

November 2nd, 2016 by Attorney Roger Weinberg

This month has been designated National Home Care & Hospice Month as well as National Long Term Care Awareness Month. If you or a loved one are receiving these services in Maryland, you understand how common they are and the number of people served. For the rest of us, November is a good time to think about how important these services are now and, given our aging population, how much more important they will be in the future.

The Family Caregiver Alliance has some statistics that bring home the importance of these services to individual families and the nation as a whole:

  • Each year an estimated 8,357,100 people get help from five main long-term care services: home health agencies (4,742,500); nursing homes (1,383,700); hospices (1,244,500); residential care communities (713,300); and adult day service centers (273,200).
  • Of those currently aged 65 or older, an estimated 69% will develop disabilities before they die and 35% will enter a nursing home at some point.
  • The probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living (ADL) or of becoming cognitively impaired is 68% for those who have reached age 65 and older.
  • About 80% of elderly people getting help due to their health live in private homes in the community, not in institutions.
  • By 2050 the projected number of people using all forms of paid long-term care services will probably double, from the 13 million using these services in 2000 to 27 million people.
  • Those 85 years and older are one of the fastest growing segments of the population. In 2012 there were about 5.9 million people in that age group in the U.S. Those 85 and older are expected to increase to 19.4 million by 2050. Unless there are effective treatments developed, this could mean that the number of those with severe or moderate memory impairment could reach 6.2 million people by 2050.
  • Not all of those who need long-term care are elderly. About 63% are 65 and older (6.3 million) and the rest (37%) are 64 and younger (3.7 million).
  • About 30% (or 1.5 million people) of the older population with long-term care needs have substantial disabilities (three or more ADL limitations); about a quarter of them are 85 and older, and 70% report they are in fair to poor health.
  • Cognitive impairment among the older population has gone up over the past ten years while the proportion of the population with physical impairments has stayed the same. In 2002 about 5% of those 65 to 69 had moderate or severe memory impairment, while about 32% of those 85 or older suffered that impairment.
  • Total spending for long-term care in 2012 was $219.9 billion or 9.3% of all U.S. personal health care spending. This is expected to increase to $346 billion by 2040.

Given the increasing number of those needing help at home and in nursing homes, it’s no surprise that many who are elderly or disabled are caught in gaps in the healthcare system. They don’t receive the care they need and are victims of abuse or neglect committed by employees who are unqualified, untrained, unsupervised and uncaring.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed by the staff of a Maryland nursing home or a home health agency, we can help you address the situation and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. At the Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg, you’ll find compassionate support and experienced advocates to help your family through the tough times. Call 410-825-3161 today to schedule a free consultation.

 

 

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