The Cost of Care

With care costs high and rising, many Americans struggle to afford care services that are so desperately needed, especially in situations like Don’s:

“I care for my wife who has advanced Alzheimer’s. It is my intention to keep her at home surrounded by her familiar things. However, I am 71 years old and I am totally exhausted by the day’s end. She falls when she tries to walk, she cannot feed herself, nor can she dress herself or manage any of her daily needs. She can no longer talk and has no viable memory of our past life. I realized quickly that I am imprisoned in our home, for I cannot leave her side. My solution has been to hire a private caregiver (RN) for 30 hours/week. The cost is exorbitant, and I spend all of my wife’s Social Security, her retirement fund, and our savings. This also does not include her medications and physician visits, which cost thousands each year. But being able to leave for a few hours or to lie down and rest is worth it.”

How much do long-term care services cost? Here’s a breakdown from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey:

Care ServiceMedian Annual Rate
Adult Day Health Care$17,680
Assisted Living Facility (private room)$43,539
In-Home Services$46,046
Nursing Home (semi-private room)$82,125
Nursing Home (private room)$92,378

Most Americans have not planned accordingly for this substantial price tag, and these rates are rising by close to three percent every year.

Consider this startling fact:

The majority of Americans 65 and older (62 percent) have less than $1,000 in savings, according to a 2016 GoBankingRates survey.

Americans may not be able to count on government assistance to help them out either. Federal entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable in their current form as the population receiving benefits grows exponentially larger than the population contributing to these programs through payroll taxes. In 2016, net Medicare expenditures totaled $588 billion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2025, net expenditures will reach $995 billion.

Out-of-pocket medical expenditures are also increasing for Americans. They grew 3 percent to $338 billion in 2015, according to CMS.gov. With little savings to cover out-of-pocket expenses, families are left unable to meet their own or a loved one’s care needs and are one crisis away from bankruptcy.

Non-medical in-home care can play an important role in keeping care costs down across the board—from potentially reducing the number of doctor visits and hospital readmissions, to providing an alternative to an already strained Medicare system. Learn more by reading Paid In-Home Care: Offering Substantial Economic Savings.