Cost of Senior Care

Friday, April 12, 2019, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

As the population ages, one of the key challenges facing seniors is finding housing that meets their personal preferences, financial capabilities, and their healthcare needs.

This is a significant issue given that the American senior population is forecasted to double in size in the next 25 years, according to the National Institute on Aging.

So what are the options available to seniors and the associated benefits and costs of each? If you’re healthy enough and don’t need any assistance with activities of daily living, you can live independently at home or in a retirement community. If you need help with daily living activities or health related ailments you can choose between an in-home care agency, assisted living community and a nursing home.

  • Types of Senior Living

    • Living Independently: In a survey conducted by AARP, it was revealed that “90% of older adults nationwide want to remain living in their homes for as long as possible.” The reasons include comfort, familiarity, privacy and proximity to friends and family.

      That said, even the most independent older adults may want access to help in the event of an emergency. The Centers for Disease control recommends seniors “think about wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall or can’t get up.” How much is a medical alert per month? Anywhere from $19.99 to $60 depending on the type of medical alert system you get and the options you choose, like fall detection, mobile and GPS tracking.

    • In-Home Care: Some people want to continue living in their own homes, but may need assistance with bathing, toileting, dressing, meal preparation and even some health related functions like medications. One option is in-home care with a paid caregiver. In-home care can cost anywhere from $3,360 to $5,760 per month for 24 hour care. You can bring down the cost of in-home care by hiring your caregiver for less than 24 hours a day.

    • Assisted Living: For those who need help with activities of daily living, but don’t require any help with medical conditions other than the administration of medications, an assisted living community is another option. It costs on average around $2,500 to $6,800 a month, however it includes rent, 3 meals a day, housekeeping, social activities and some level of transportation usually.

    • Nursing Home: If you need help with medical care, not just personal care, a nursing home is the solution. A nursing home will have registered nurses on staff who can help with medical conditions and rehabilitation for ailments such as strokes, severe dementia, a broken hip, pulmonary disorders, etc… Medicare and Medicaid do provide funding for nursing home care. If you need to go pay out of pocket, a semi-private room can cost on average $6,800 and up, while a private room can cost $7,700 and up.

    With such a large swath of the population entering the senior stage of life, the need for the public sector and for individuals themselves to plan ahead through retirement savings and pensions for various housing and care scenarios is essential.

    Care Type In-Home Care Nursing Homes    Assisted Living(private)
                (semi-private) (private)
    Hourly Rate  $14-$24   N/A     N/A  N/A
    Daily Rate   $112-192   $181   $205   $90
    Monthly Rate $3,360-5,760 $5,430  $6,150  $3,823

  • Planning Ahead & Doing Your Research

    Seniors and their families often opt for independent caregivers because of the cost saving. But it’s important to factor in the value an in-home care agency and understand what they have to offer as screened and bonded trained professionals. Many states require accreditation and licensing for in-home care agencies, whereas there are no such standards for independent workers. Doing your homework is important. Have questions? Our expert Senior Living Advisors can help you simplify your search.

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