Number of seniors who need personal care help increasing, CDC says

7.2% of American seniors require help with personal care tasks, the CDC says
7.2% of American seniors require help with personal care tasks, the CDC says

A “significantly” increasing number of adults over age 65 need help with personal care, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data, released last Tuesday by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, shows 7.2% of seniors required help with activities of daily living in 2015, compared to 6.6% in 1997. The report included eating, bathing, dressing and getting around as personal care needs.

Seniors over age 85 were twice as likely as adults between age 75 and 84 to require personal care help, and were five times as likely as adults age 65 to 74. The report also found 6.4% of white seniors required personal care help, compared to 9.6% of black and 11.3% of Hispanic seniors.

Click here to read the full report, which also includes data on other health issues like diabetes, influenza vaccinations and alcohol consumption.

The CDC report comes in the midst of an “aging boom” in the United States, where an estimated 20% of the population will be 65 years or older by 2030. By that same year, 19 million seniors will require long-term care, more than double those who required LTC services in 2000.

A recent study determined that at least 2.5 million workers will need to join the long-term care industry in the next 15 years to keep up with the growth of the aging population.