There is an ever increasing demand for elder care. As the number of older American continues to grow, so does the need for services to assist those aging individuals. Research shows, that as baby boomers will reach the age of 65 years old in 2011. By, 2030 they will comprise roughly 20% of the population. Those that live to age 65 years old can expect to utilize some sort of assistance as they age. These services can range from in-home care, assisted living or a nursing home environment.
A 2008 long term care study done by Prudential insurance has some surprising information regarding the costs of care for services needed as we age. This is information is important to assist in making plans for the “golden years”.
The study shows that the average cost of a nursing home can exceed $70,000 a year for a semi private room. A break down of the daily charges is $194 per day. A private room can exceed $79,000 a year or $217 a day. These costs will, of course depend on the area of the country you live in. Some areas will be more and some less. It was also noted that there has been a 7% increase in the cost of living in a nursing home over the past 2 years. Nursing home costs have had an increase of over 30% in the past 5 years.
Assisted living facilities have seen the greatest increase in costs over the past 2 years. The average for living in an assisted living facility rose to nearly $39,000 per year. This is an average daily charge of just over $100 per day.
There was an average of a 15% increase in rates for the assisted living facility that provide care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
In -home care has had the smallest increase rate of all the service providers. The rate of in-home care has had an increase of 5% over the past two years and only 17% over the past 7 years.
The average cost for a certified nursing assistant providing in-home care is $21 per hour. The services provided by a certified nursing assistant are bathing, dressing and care provided under the supervision of a register nurse. These services are ordered by a physician and generally covered by insurance. These services are only provided intermittently and for a limited amount of time.
The 2008 Genworth Financial study of cost of care also covers the non skilled in home care. This is a growing segment of the in-home care services, as many individuals want to remain in their homes as long as possible.
The average cost for homemaker services is $18 an hour. The rate of these services has increased by 4% over the last year. A homemaker provides companionship, light housekeeping duties, assistance with cooking and running small errands.
In- home care also provides home health aides. These individuals are able to provide basic assistance with personal care, but are not permitted to perform and medical tasks.
The average rate of a home health aide is $19 an hour. This is an increase of 3% over the past year.
In-home care services surveyed provide training for care of Alzheimer’s dementia patient, and almost all surveyed do not charge an additional fee for their trained staff.
The Met Life Market survey of 2008 on adult day services states the average cost for adult day care services is $64 per day. There has been an increase of 5% in these services in the past year. There is growing trend in the utilization of adult day care services, as it is a cost effective way maintain an aging loved one at home. More than half of the adult day care programs surveyed provide transportation back and forth to the program. If transportation is provided, the average cost one way was a little over $7.
As a community based service, adult day care provides care for those individuals that require some supervision or socialization during the day, but do not require round the clock care. Many adult day care services offer therapeutic support services, health services and recreational activities.
For many caregivers, adult day care services gives them an opportunity to continue to work or have time to get out and do important activities while their aging senior is cared for in a safe and secure environment.
Costs of elder care services will continue to rise. Surveys show that the trends will continue. The largest increases will be in the assisted living and nursing home areas of elder care services.
Over the past five years there has been an increase in assisted living rates by 41%. Nursing homes have had an increase in rates of over 30% in the past 5 years. More than half of all facilities surveyed expect to increase their rates over the next year. Only one in four providers of in-home services plan to increase their rates this year.
Becoming aware of the cost of elder care can assist you in preparing for the future. It is important to educate yourself in the different options available and how you may need to utilize those services in the future. Proper planning can prevent you from relying on family, friends or Medicaid to provide the services you need. If you want to be in control of your future and health care needs, it is important to be proactive and investigate avenues to pay for your future health care needs.