Genworth Financial surveyed care costs nationwide and found this: care is becoming more expensive, in most cases, each year. This means that planning for the financial costs of caregiving is paramount for seniors and their loved ones. That starts with knowing what the potential costs may be. For those who are just beginning (or have not yet begun) their caregiving journey, or who have not yet read the survey results, below is a summary of Genworth’s five types of long-term care, the average costs of care nationwide, and the growth rates in cost for each type of care.
For many seniors, especially those without significant health complications, aging does not require them to move into a facility or relocate to a loved one’s home. As time passes, though, they may need help around the house. Assistance with cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and even transportation to doctor’s appointments may be needed.
The average cost nationwide for this type of care is $20 per hour. This is only an average and can also vary based on the amount of work these caregivers do; cooking one meal and doing minor housecleaning may only take a few hours a day, but spending time doing laundry and running errands for someone takes longer (and, therefore, requires more money). This cost is up 2.56% since 2015, and Genworth pinpoints the five-year annual growth rate at 2.13%.
Long-Term Care and Home Health Aide Services
Is more advanced care needed? A home health aide can be most useful. This usually involves more personal care than homemaker services, including bathing and getting dressed. Some of these types of services are especially helpful after surgery or an accident, or if medical disabilities make mobility difficult. Although they cannot offer medical care, home health aides are excellent general caregivers. They are especially helpful for those who are in need of a personal, experienced touch.
The average cost nationwide for this type of care is also $20 per hour. It has grown 1.25% since 2015, and the five-year annual growth rate is 1.28%. The costs for this type of care are growing more slowly than for homemaker services.
Adult Day Care (ADC)
ADCs are part-time caregiving facilities. Typically used when a family caregiver is at work, school, or caring for children, ADCs allow seniors to engage in social activities while also creating a safe environment. Many ADCs also address personal care needs like meals and transportation. Social engagement and intellectual stimulation are important parts of senior care. ADCs can provide that, with activities or trips for seniors that keep them active.
The average cost for this type of care is $68 per day. It has decreased by 1.25% since 2015, but over the last five years, its costs have risen by the largest ratio for aging in place care —2.53%. Although the costs did decrease last year, the trend is that costs for these services will likely continue to rise.
Assisted Living Facility (ALF)
ALFs are facilities which provide living spaces and care for seniors, especially those with significant medical complications that make living at home unsafe. Seniors often live with their spouses and receive personal care (bathing, meals, etc.) and medical care (doctor’s visits, medications, etc.) through the facility. Each facility is different, but most will provide for basic health care needs and transportation to specialists, and some have partnerships with local emergency centers for quick transport in case of a crisis.
The average cost for this type of care is $3,628 per month. Its growth rate is the lowest of the group, at .78% since 2015, but it has an annual five-year growth rate of 2.16%, showing that costs overall are rising somewhat rapidly.
Nursing Home Care
An ALF sometimes cannot provide all the necessary care for seniors with medical needs. In that case, it may be time to consider a nursing home. These facilities provide more care and supervision than ALFs, plus residential services, and on-site nurses for healthcare needs round-the-clock.
The average cost for this type of care is $225 per day for a semi-private room. A private room cost jumps to $253 per day. Costs have grown by 2.27% and 1.24%, respectively, since 2015, and its five-year annual growth rates are 3.12% and 3.51%, making this type of care the most rapidly increasing cost of all five.
The lesson to learn is that care is growing more expensive with each passing year. This means plans for senior care, must take rising costs into consideration. The growth rate also changes based on location, so planning for such care may include checking on growth rates by state to get a better understanding of the costs of care in a specific area. Planning ahead means greater success down the road.
Genworth Financial. Annual Median Costs for Care. Genworth Financial, 2016. Available at https://www.genworth.com/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/cost-of-care/179703_CofC_Annual_060316.pdf. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
Genworth Financial. Beyond Dollars 2015. Genworth Financial, 2016. Available at https://pro.genworth.com/riiproweb/productinfo/pdf/157453C.pdf. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
Genworth Financial. Compare Long Term Care Costs Across the United States. Genworth Financial, 2016. Available at https://www.genworth.com/about-us/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
Genworth Financial. Summary of 2016 Survey Findings. Genworth Financial, 2016. Available at https://www.genworth.com/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/131168_050516.pdf. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
CORRECTION: The original article referred to Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) erroneously. Some of the activities seniors need help with through Homemaker Services, where the reference occurred, are, in fact, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). An alert reader pointed