Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sticker Shock: What Long-Term Care Costs

Long-Term CareThere are few sticker shocks that are as bracing as the price of long-term care. Who knew that hiring someone to help with the simplest activities, such as bathing, toilet use, dressing, eating and moving, could cost so much? Whether recovering from surgery or a stroke or suffering from a debilitating disease such as Parkinson’s, skilled help is costly and the prices keep increasing.

A 2013 report by Genworth Financial estimates that the national median daily cost of a private room in a nursing home is  $230 a day (nearly $7,000 a month), an increase of 3.6 percent over 2012. Sharing that room is only $27 less a day, according to the report.  In 2008 the median annual rate for a private nursing home room was $67,525, compared with the 2013 median annual rate of $83,950. This means that Americans can expect to pay approximately $16,425 more per year today for a nursing home than they had to pay in 2008. In Northern Virginia, the cost of a Nursing Home can range from $10,000-$12,000 a month, which equates to a whopping $120,000 to $144,000 a year.

Nearly 730,000 Americans live in assisted-living facilities. The average resident of an assisted-living facility stays only two years, entering at the age of 87. For these residents, who need less care, an assisted-living facility’s median national daily cost is $3,450 a month, an increase of 4.55 percent since 2012. Those able to remain in their homes will pay a median national wage of $21 an hour for a licensed home health aide or $19 an hour for a helper.

In the past, retirees typically relied on their pensions to help defray the costs of long-term care and were often able to sell their homes for a healthy sum, providing the means to pay for institutional care, while those with more limited means would rely on Medicaid. But the stock market crash of 2008 diminished the value of many nest eggs, and the housing market has not fully recovered in some regions. Preparing for the cost of long-term care is now a concern for many aging Americans, whose money and hard-earned assets would run out quickly if they tried to pay for long-term care out-of-pocket.

With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day for the next 19 years, the issue of how to pay for long-term care is more pressing than ever. Do you have a loved one who is in a nursing home or nearing the need for nursing home care? Are you looking to plan ahead for yourself in the event nursing home care is needed in the future? Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting assets from having to be spent down in connection with entry into a nursing home, while also helping ensure that you or your loved one get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Learn more at The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Medicaid Asset Protection Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.
P.S. We now have an office in Downtown Fredericksburg, VA. Please call us at 1-800-399-FARR to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation at our new second location!

Fredericksburg Elder Law

Estate Planning


  1. Good post which speaks about the cost concerns of seniors and caregivers.
    Senior Care at Home is the most preferred option since it is also cost effective when compared to assisted living or nursing homes.

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  3. Good article.
    I'm thinking of my parents now that they are aging. I want them to experience a worry free life. A good retirement for taking care of us.
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