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Most Older Adults Would Have to Liquidate Assets for Home Care

Fewer older adults with significant disabilities could afford extensive care

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MONDAY, June 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The oldest and sickest Americans are least likely to be able to afford home care, according to a study published online June 3 in Health Affairs.

Richard W. Johnson, Ph.D., and Claire Xiaozhi Wang, both from the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., simulated the financial burden of paid home care for a nationally representative sample of non-Medicaid, community-dwelling adults age 65 years and older.

The researchers found that 74 percent of adults could fund at least two years of a moderate amount of paid home care if they liquidated all their assets, and 58 percent could fund at least two years of an extensive amount of paid home care. However, among older adults with significant disabilities, only 57 percent could fund at least two years of moderate paid home care and 40 percent could fund at least two years of extensive paid home care by liquidating all their assets.

"Home care is less affordable, however, for those most likely to need it, including older adults with significant long-term services and support needs, single adults, and those ages eighty-five and older," the authors write.

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