Home care is becoming a more popular option among elderly persons who need help but are not yet ready for a nursing home; this trend is expected to increase as life expectancies grow and the U.S. population continues to age. In addition to the elderly, however, home care may be utilized for younger adults who are disabled or recuperating from an accident or illness, and for children and infants who need medical treatment that can be delivered in the home.
Persons of all ages who need care for a terminal illness are opting to spend as much time as possible in home care, rather than in a nursing home, hospital, hospice or other inpatient facility. Because of its convenience and relatively lower cost compared with institutional care, home health care is by far the most widely used option for individuals requiring long term care. In the U.S., more than 10 million individuals of all ages are estimated to need long-term care
Most of those receiving professional home are were older. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 70% of persons receiving home health care services are age 65 or older, and a fifth are over 85. About 64% are female. Although with age, the proportion of women becomes considerably larger than the proportion of men due to women’s longer life expectancies, this somewhat high utilization of home health services by males makes sense in the context of women’s traditional role as caregivers. Elderly men living on their own are generally less able to perform household tasks than elderly women, due both to their advanced age and their historic lack of expertise in these areas. However, utilization of home care and visits per patient varies greatly