Facts About Elder Care

  • Each year, over 7.6 million people are provided with home health care services.
  • The number of people in older age groups is growing faster than the total population.
  • Each year the U.S. spends more than $309 billion caring for the frail and elderly.
  • Today about 10 million elderly adults need long-term care, and most are living in their homes.
  • The majority of them rely on the “informal” help of family and friends to get by.
  • A recent estimate puts the market value of this “informal care” market at $102.7 billion in 2005. (That’s more than twice what the government spent on Medicare that year.)
  • 35% of American workers reported caring for a senior relative in a 2002 study.
  • Insurance giant Met Life’s Mature Market Institute says its studies indicate that informal care givers don’t just give up time (on average 25 hours a week) but also earning potential.
  • According to their 1999 study of the issue, people who took on a caregiver role for an elderly parent or friend give up more than $650,000 in lifetime earning potential.
  • Employers chip in for the cost of informal elder care as well. A recent Met Life study says that American businesses see $33 billion in lost productivity each year thanks to their employee’s caregiving obligations.
  • Most caregivers are women (69.5 percent) and work full-time (53.1 percent).



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