Search Articles

Find Attorneys

Study Reveals Unmet Needs of Seniors Relying on In-Home Care

  • November 7th, 2022

senior hispanic woman eating pasta at home alone.When an older person requires help with daily living, options range from residential facilities to in-home care. Typically, less expensive than care facilities, professional in-home care can benefit older adults by allowing them to remain in a home setting. Although some view staying in one’s home as favorable to nursing home care, recently released findings have shed light on the serious issues facing those who rely on in-home care.

A staggering 50 percent of all older adults using professional home care are not getting the help they need, according to an analysis of the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Half of all adults who rely on home care do not have adequate help with showering, dressing, laundry, or cooking. Compared to those residing in facilities, older adults in in-home care are more likely to miss meals and medication and remain in soiled clothing for extended periods.

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Older adults with in-home care were also nearly five times more likely than adults in living facilities to have persistent unmet needs. Fulfilling these needs may require care for longer durations or more complete care that addresses the full range of an adult’s needs, from laundry to food preparation.

The Effect of Stepfamily Relationships

While challenges can affect all older adults aging in place at home, the negative consequences can be more pronounced for those with stepfamilies. Societal changes have made stepfamilies more common, and one in eight older adults with mobility limitations now has a stepchild. Yet in comparison to older adults with only biological offspring, those with stepchildren are half as likely to receive help from their children, research shows.

Stepfamilies might see children’s attention divided between a greater number of parents. Adult stepchildren who never received care from their stepparents because, for instance, the marriage occurred later in life, might not feel obligated to help. Children might also feel closer bonds and a sense of responsibility to their biological parents.

Although biological children are more likely to help, even adults who lived with partners and had biological children still had unfulfilled needs when they remained at home. 

Challenges Facing People With Dementia Who Receive Home Care

Like those with stepchildren, low-income individuals with dementia are also more susceptible to the inadequate in-home care. Many older adults with dementia are dual enrollees in Medicaid and Medicare and, consequently, have fewer assets to cover in-home services. They also have less family support.

Individuals with dementia are twice as likely to have unmet needs compared to older adults without dementia who utilized in-home care. Many older adults with dementia could not afford sufficient in-home care and had less family support to fill in the gaps in care.

Older adults evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of different care options should speak with an attorney who can help them assess their unique needs and plan for their care. 


Last Modified: 11/07/2022

ADVERTISEMENT
Medicaid 101
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
Medicaid Planning Strategies

Careful planning for potentially devastating long-term care costs can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.

READ MORE
Estate Recovery: Can Medicaid Take My House After I’m Gone?

If steps aren't taken to protect the Medicaid recipient's house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.

READ MORE
Help Qualifying and Paying for Medicaid, Or Avoiding Nursing Home Care

There are ways to handle excess income or assets and still qualify for Medicaid long-term care, and programs that deliver care at home rather than in a nursing home.

READ MORE
Are Adult Children Responsible for Their Parents’ Care?

Most states have laws on the books making adult children responsible if their parents can't afford to take care of themselves.

READ MORE
Applying for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is a highly technical and complex process, and bad advice can actually make it more difficult to qualify for benefits.

READ MORE
Alternatives to Medicaid

Medicare's coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. For those who can afford it and who can qualify for coverage, long-term care insurance is the best alternative to Medicaid.

READ MORE
ElderLaw 101
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Long-Term Care Insurance

Understand the ins and outs of insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home care, including when to buy it, how much to buy, and which spouse should get the coverage.

READ MORE
Medicare

Learn who qualifies for Medicare, what the program covers, all about Medicare Advantage, and how to supplement Medicare’s coverage.

READ MORE
Retirement Planning

We explain the five phases of retirement planning, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, types of investments, asset diversification, the required minimum distribution rules, and more.

READ MORE
Senior Living

Find out how to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, when to fight a discharge, the rights of nursing home residents, all about reverse mortgages, and more.

READ MORE
Social Security

Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.

READ MORE
Special Needs Planning

Learn how a special needs trust can preserve assets for a person with disabilities without jeopardizing Medicaid and SSI, and how to plan for when caregivers are gone.

READ MORE
Veterans Benefits

Explore benefits for older veterans, including the VA’s disability pension benefit, aid and attendance, and long-term care coverage for veterans and surviving spouses.

READ MORE