Can You Afford Long-Term Care

Long-term care costs a fortune. Genworth, a long-term care insurance provider that has been tracking the cost of long-term care, reports that costs have risen dramatically since they began tracking them in 2004. Families are often astounded when they find out how much long-term care can cost, especially when they learn that Medicare benefits are limited for these services. Unless the person has long-term care insurance, they will likely pay for this care out-of-pocket—from savings, home equity and, often, other family members’ assets.

What, exactly, is long-term care? It can be many things. Long-term care can be provided in a variety of settings, and many people use the full range of services as needs increase. Knowing what kinds of services are available, the current costs, and the historical rates of cost increases can help you plan for your own long-term care or for the care of someone in your family.

Homemaker Services

These include help with “hands off” care such as cooking, cleaning, running errands, and providing companionship. The national median monthly cost in 2020 was $4,481, which represents a 41.14% increase over 2004 prices.

Home Health Aide Services

This is “hand-on” personal care for which a skilled nurse does not need to be present. A home health aide will typically help with bathing, dressing, transferring and toileting. In 2020, the national median monthly cost was $4,576, a 30.22% increase over 2004 levels.

Adult Day Health Care

These community-based facilities provide social and support services in a protective setting for those who are functionally and/or severely cognitively impaired, helping the individuals live more independently in the community and giving relief to caregivers. Most are designed to offer socialization, supervision and structured activities. Some provide personal care, transportation, medical management and meals. In 2020, the national median monthly cost was $1,603 (based on five days per week).

Assisted Living Facilities

These residential facilities provide personal care, health services, and room and board, but the level of care may not be as extensive as that of a nursing home. Both small group homes and large multi-service facilities qualified as assisted living facilities for purposes of this survey. The national median monthly rate for 2020 was $4,300, which represents a 79.17% increase over 2004.

Nursing Home Care

These facilities often have a higher level of supervision and care than assisted living facilities, with personal care assistance, room and board, medication, therapies and rehabilitation, and 24-hour on-site nursing care. In 2020, the national median monthly cost for a semi-private room was $7,756. The national median monthly cost for a private room in 2020 was $8,821, 62.38 % more than in 2020.

From 2004 to 2020, the cost for facility and in-home care services has risen on average from 1.88% – 3.80% per year. That’s an increase of $797 annually for home care and up to $2,542 annually for a private room in a nursing home. At this rate, some care costs are outpacing the U.S. inflation rate of 1.8%.

When someone you love needs long-term care, will you be able to afford it? Now is the time to find out. Life Care Planning Law Firms are in a unique position to help you plan, offering expertise in care needs assessment, asset protection, Medicaid planning, and VA benefits planning.