Don’t Get Stung by the High Cost of Care

Is your loved one living in an assisted living facility or nursing home or staying in their home?

Are you paying, or helping to pay, the bill or overseeing their care?

If so, then you have felt firsthand the pinch as costs for caring for an older person in a facility or at home have risen.  We hear and read about the cost of medical care skyrocketing, but as many seniors and their families are learning, the cost of long term care is going up just as fast or even faster.

According to the “Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs” by MetLife

  1. Nursing home private room rate national average in 2010 is $229 and semi-private $205; it was $219 and $198 in 2009.
  2. Assisted Living monthly fee base rate national average in 2010 is $3,293; it was $3,131 in 2009.
  3. In home care for a trained aid in 2010: from an agency $21/hour, homemaker $19/hour; often there is a minimum number of hours required
  4. Adult day care services average cost per day in 2010: $30-$150; sliding scale rates apply

These are just some of the costs that are mounting.  We also have many out of pocket expenses that we pay for the care of our older family members including basic necessities like housing, medications, food and clothing that continue to increase sometimes beyond our reach.

Financial planning for aging and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent chronic diseases become even more important if we want to be able to help our loved ones live out their life as they desire.  It almost always costs less for your loved one to live at home through the aging process (called “aging in place”) and a healthy lifestyle may make that possible for longer.

Even if the desire is to live at home, seniors and those helping them plan need to consider the possibility of needing to live in a residential care facility of some sort.  Being able to choose where you live means having sufficient funds of some sort, being savings or long term care insurance, to afford your choice.

We would love to hear your suggestions!