By 2030, it is projected that the number of individuals age 65 and older will be more than 71 million, almost twice the number today. Second, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetimes. Over 40 percent will need care in a nursing home for some period.11 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information Web site,

  • More than 6 million elderly Americans need assistance from family or friends if they are to live at home.4
  • At least two-thirds of all home-care assistance is provided free by family members and friends.5
  • By the year 2020, one of six Americans will be 65 or older.6
  • Of people turning 65, 69 percent will need some long-term care before they die.7
  • More than half of the U.S. population will require some type of long-term care during their lives (nursing home care, home health care, assisted living, or rehabilitative facility care).8
  • Of men turning 65, 58 percent will need some long-term care.9
  • Women are more at risk than men—once they turn 65, 79 percent of women will need some long-term care at some point before death.10
  • Among those turning 65, 52 percent will need long-term care for at least one year before they die, and 20 percent will need more than five years of care.11
  • The average nursing home stay is approximately two and a half years.12

4 Americans for Long-Term Security, Americans for Long-Term Security (ALTCS) Web site, (accessed September 4, 2007) (hereafter cited as ALTCS).

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid.

7 Peter Kemper et al, “Long-Term Care Over the Uncertain Future: What Can Current Retirees Expect?”Inquiry, Volume 42, Number 4, Winter 2005/2006, pp. 335-350 (hereafter cited as LTC).