What are the costs for Long-Term care?

Long-term care is expensive. One year of care in a nursing home, based on the 2008 national average, costs over $68,000 for a semi-private room. One year of care at home, assuming you need periodic personal care help from a home health aide (the average is about three times a week), would cost almost $18,000 a year.

Costs for long-term care services vary greatly depending on the type and amount of care you need, the provider you use, and where you live. For example, many care facilities charge extra for services provided beyond the basic room-and-board charge, although some may have “all inclusive” fees. Home health and home care services are usually provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as “visits.” An evening, weekend or holiday visit may cost more than a weekday visit. Some community programs, such as adult day service programs, are provided at a per-day rate, and rates may differ based on the type and variety of programs and services offered.

LTC includes a broad range of health and support services that people need as they age or if they are disabled. The majority of these services are personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living that many families are able to provide all, or some of, free. But, as care and support needs increase, paid care is usually needed to supplement family provided services and supports, provide respite to family caregivers, or to pay for more extensive services in a facility, such as a nursing home or assisted living, when individuals can no longer be cared for in their homes.

There are variations in costs based on the type and amount of care you need, the provider you use, and where you live. Home health and home care services, provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as "visits," are generally more expensive in the evening, or on weekends or holidays. The costs of services in some community programs, such as adult day service programs, are often provided at a per-day rate, but vary based on overhead and programming costs. Many care facilities charge extra for services provided beyond the basic room-and-board charge, although some may have "all inclusive" fees.

The average costs in the United States (in 2009) are:

•$198/day for a semi-private room in a nursing home
•$219/day for a private room in a nursing home
•$3,131/month for care in an Assisted Living Facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
•$21/hour for a Home Health Aide
•$19/hour for a Homemaker services
•$67/day for care in an Adult Day Health Care Center

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