Care & Support

Care and support is provided in several different ways and operates under a range of formal and informal settings. While hospitals and physicians provide a clear image of a country’s health system, care provided outside of these lines is not always so easy to assess. Firstly, care and support is offered to a vast array of people, although mostly to those who require assistance with their daily living due to old age, disease, mental disorders, or disability. Secondly, care can be provided in diverse settings, such as health care facilities, nursing homes, or a private home. Thirdly, caregivers include a wide range of different community health actors. For these reasons, assessing the full extent of care and support is a complex matter.

Number of caregivers in the U.S.
Around 53 million
Disability prevalence in the U.S.
13 percent
Disability in people aged over 65 in the U.S.
41 percent

Industry Insights

Caregivers in the U.S.


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Market size

Care and support structures
Number of care recipients of caregivers in the United States as of 2019
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Care and support is provided in a variety of formal and informal structures. In most countries, however, hospitals account for the largest share of health expenditures. In 2018, long-term care facilities in the U.S. represented only five percent of the country’s total health expenditure. Long-term care is provided in the person’s home by unpaid caregivers (such as family or friends), nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or rehabilitation centers.

Nursing homes in the U.S.
Home care in the U.S.

Market segments

Care and support recipients
Age of predominant care recipients in the United States as of 2019
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Care is most often provided to the elderly. Thus, since populations are aging in many developed countries, elderly care has become an increasingly discussed issue. As a person ages, the likelihood of requiring long-term care increases. Women are more likely than men to use long-term care due to a longer life expectancy. Care and support recipients are also often younger adults with mental or physical disabilities. As of 2017, around 13 percent of the U.S. population had some type of disability.

Long-term care
Hospice care
Rehabilitation in the U.S.

Market segments

Distribution of informal unpaid caregivers in the U.S. between 2015 and 2017, by age
Further details: Visit original statistic

In 2020, more than 1 in 5 Americans were caregivers, which represented around 53 million caregivers in the United States. Caregivers can be paid but are often unpaid family members, friends, or other people from the individual’s social network. Caregivers provide care to an adult or child with special needs. Typical tasks of caregivers include helping the individual to eat, bathe, dress, and use the toilet, as well as pay bills, clean the house, manage medicine, and monitor health.

Caregivers in the U.S.
Caregivers in the U.S.
Geriatric health in the U.S.

Industry trends

The responsibility of caregiving
Distribution of caregivers in the U.S. as of 2019, by time spent per day providing care
Further details: Visit original statistic

For those who have full- or part-time jobs, the responsibility of caregiving can prove an added burden. Assuming such a role can have multiple consequences on a person’s life. Some people might reduce their working hours, others may resign from their job. Furthermore, caregiving can be particularly stressful, especially when caring for someone with a loss of mental abilities.

Mental health
COVID-19 and mental health
Veteran health in the U.S.

Industry Definition

In order to form a greater understanding of care and support, it is imperative to examine all the activities associated with this vital branch of the health care sector. Care and support is inherent to life. The core element of care is helping an individual to fulfill their fundamental human needs. These daily acts maintain and upkeep existence on an individual, collective, and social level.

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Skilled Nursing and Residential Care


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