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The long term care market has been projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% through to 2015, with the industry set to be driven by new healthcare reforms and the increasing use of cash-for-care schemes.
Long term care is a variety of services which help meet both the medical and non-medical needs of people with a chronic illness or disability who cannot care for themselves for long periods of time.
It is common for long term care to provide custodial and non-skilled care, such as assisting with normal daily tasks like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.
Increasingly, long term care involves providing a level of medical care that requires the expertise of skilled practitioners to address the often multiple chronic conditions associated with older populations.
Long term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living facilities or in nursing homes. Long term care may be needed by people of any age, although it is a more common need for senior citizens.
This year, approximately nine million Americans over the age of 65 will need long term care, and by 2020 that number will grow to 12 million. In 2030, when the last of the baby boomers turn 65, and the first wave are well into their 80s, the number of older adults requiring long term care will increase even more.
A recent analysis indicates that Americans spent $119 billion on long-term care services for the elderly in 2009. Nursing home spending accounts for the majority of long term care expenditures, but home and community based care expenditures have increased over the past 25 years.
In 2012, the average annual cost of nursing home care in the United States was $81,030 for a semi-private room. The average annual cost for assisted living was $42,600. Home health aides were paid on average $21 per hour, and homemaker services averaged about $20 per hour. The average cost of a nursing home for one year is more than the typical family has saved for retirement in a 401(k) or an IRA.
This market - in which healthcare services are delivered in a variety of settings, including skilled nursing homes, assisted living facilities and retirement communities, as well as in the patient's home - represents a sizable growth opportunity for drug manufacturers and the pharmacies that dispense their products.
For more information on the long term care market, see the latest research: Long Term Care Market
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