Eldercare is a term that refers to caring for older people who are sick or disabled and who need assistance with daily living tasks or health care needs.
Recognizing the challenges many face in finding suitable caretakers, the federal government offers a searchable database
— by ZIP code or city — to help connect care workers with families who need them. The database is also searchable by topics, including Alzheimer's disease, food and assistance, legal assistance, and transportation among several others.
The need for eldercare is increasing. For those 65 and older, the number is expected to rise from 35 million in 2000 to 72 million in 2030, according to the University of Chicago
, which noted that life expectancy is also on the rise for both men and women.
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The Associated Press, in a July 2015 story
, called the cost of eldercare "stunning." Whether using home health aides or a care facility, most families struggle to afford it.
"Within the first year most people are tapped out," Joe Caldwell, director of long-term services at the National Council on Aging, told the AP. "Middle-class families just aren't prepared for these costs."
Care needs tend to increase costs. For example, noted the AP, "hiring an aide to spend the day with an elderly parent living at home is often the cheapest option… But hiring them to work around the clock is often the most expensive," Liz Taylor, a geriatric care manager in Lopez Island, Washington told the AP.
"Needing help to get out of bed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night means you need a nursing home," Taylor said.
Nursing home costs are outpacing the U.S. inflation by twice its rate, CBS News reported in April 2015
, calling the costs for eldercare "staggering."
According to Genworth Financial, the annual median rate for a nursing home in the United States is $91,250, CBS reported. It added: "The cost of staying in a nursing home has increased 4 percent every year over the last five years."
Investopedia outlined strategies for paying for eldercare
, which included buying privately purchased insurance for long-term care as well as applying for Medicaid.
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