Home health shortages seen for boomers

September 27, 2006

The in-home caregiver shortage in the United States is expected to worsen and cities aren't ready for aging baby boomers' health needs, two reports show.

"Caregiving in America" said the pool of future home health providers is murky because of low wages and scattered families, USA Today said. The International Longevity Center-USA and the Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education were set to release the report Thursday, USA Today said.

About 20 percent of adults currently don't get in-home assistance they need, and that number is expected to jump when baby boomers begin experiencing conditions of old age, the paper said.

The second report said about half of the nation's communities don't have plans to meet the needs of aging boomers, USA Today said. "The Maturing of America: Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population," predicted that the number of people over age 65 will rise to nearly 72 million by 2030.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, which sponsored the report, said municipalities must begin planning now to provide services that can keep older people out of nursing homes, the paper said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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