Did you know that in Kentucky 735,000 citizens are caring for adults at an estimated value of $7.1 billion ?

This is just one of the many bits of information that can be found in the newly published report from Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission on Caregiving in Kentucky as directed by last year’s Legislature.

The report is based on information collected from interviews with family caregivers and questions posed to those at long-term care forums conducted by the Department of Aging and Independent Living in each area development district.

The findings are very interesting, and locally help is available for some of these concerns at the free i know expo taking place on April 12 at the Lexington Center. The expo brings more than 100 local resources together on one day and in one place for caregivers.

Read the full report at: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/lrcpubs/rm517.pdf

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Individuals aged 65 and older are projected to comprise 20 percent of Kentucky’s population by 2030, an increase of 321,415 seniors. Approximately one-fourth of those seniors will be aged 80 and older.
  • Approximately 735,000 Kentuckians are caregivers helping their family members to age in a home setting rather than in an institutional setting.
  • The majority of seniors indicate a preference to age in a home setting rather than in an institutional setting.
  • In the future, there will be fewer children to care for more aging parents. The pool of family caregivers is likely to expand to include other family members, close friends, neighbors, and other nonrelated people.
  • Aging in a home setting with appropriate supports for seniors and family caregivers may be more cost effective than nursing home care. Kentucky’s Medicaid program pays approximately $48,000 per year for a nursing home bed compared to $15,000 for in-home supports.
  • Kentucky ranks low nationally compared to other states on indicators of supports for family caregivers such as respite care, family and medical leave, and home health and personal care services.
  • Kentucky spends approximately 81 percent of all long-term care dollars on nursing homecare and the remainder on supports to help seniors age at home. The growth of the senior population may outpace available Medicaid funds without a redistribution of spending.
  • Since 2009, the budget for the Department for Aging and Independent Living has decreased by 27 percent. Nonetheless, the Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living provided 55,834 family caregivers with supports such as respite care and caregiver training in fiscal year 2014 and additional services for seniors that help family caregivers provide care such as homemaker services and home-delivered meals.