Survey Highlights High Costs of Long-Term Care

Long Island Elder Law and Estate Planning Lawyers

The high cost of long term care impacts many seniors and their families. Learn what you can expect to pay for long-term care services.
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The high costs of long term care impacts many seniors and their families. Research shows that seven in 10 adults aged 65 and older will require long-term care at some point in their later years. Meanwhile, the U.S. population continues to age rapidly. Americans aged 65 or older are on track to total 82 million in the next 30 years, up from 58 million in 2022.

More older adults will therefore be likely to rely on long-term care services. These services include in-home care, adult day health care, assisted living, and residential nursing. Unfortunately, the workforce of professionals trained in caring for the senior population has been facing a critical shortage.

Knowing what you can expect to pay for long-term care services is important for older adults and their families. However, as you plan for the future, you may worry that budgeting and saving for long-term care will pose a serious challenge.

In the face of inflation, for example, the costs of essentials like groceries, housing, and care have steadily climbed. For elders and their family members, it’s crucial to understand and compare these kinds of costs over time. This way, they can strive to make informed decisions about their best options going forward, including how to pay for long-term care.

Genworth’s new 2023 Cost of Care Survey sheds light on the latest national and state median costs for in-home care, community and assisted living, and nursing homes. The survey highlights the rising costs of long-term care services, which reflect inflation and worker shortages.

Genworth’s Research

Since 2004, Genworth has investigated the cost of different types of long-term care services nationwide. The current survey reflects data from September through December of 2023. For the 2023 report, Genworth surveyed more than 11,000 elder care providers, including:

  • 13 percent of certified and licensed nursing homes,
  • 15 percent of licensed assisted living facilities,
  • 6 percent of adult day health care facilities, and
  • 14 percent of home health care providers.

Key Findings

The research revealed the following national median care costs for in-home care, community and assisted living, and nursing homes for 2023.

In-Home Care Costs Saw the Biggest Increases

In-home care involves hired caregivers helping an older adult in their private residence, allowing them to continue living on their own. Homemaker services may help with housekeeping, such as cleaning, cooking, and errands. Home health aides, meanwhile, supply more extensive personal care, such as assistance with medication management and activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs comprise everyday tasks that reflect one’s ability to manage their own care, including bathing, dressing, and walking.

For a standard 44-hour week, the New York monthly median costs for these types of care have seen some of the steepest increase this past year. In 2023, these monthly costs were $5,148 for homemaker services and $6,673 for a home health aide. These figures reflect price increases of 6 percent and 9 percent, respectively, compared with 2022.

Community and Assisted Living Services

Community and assisted living services support older adults who need some help but not round-the-clock nursing care. Adult day health care is a community-based service that offers seniors health and therapeutic services as well as social activities in a community setting. It may also serve to give caregivers some respite. The median New York monthly cost of adult day health care was $2,2,75 in 2023.

Unlike adult day health care, assisted living is a form of housing. Staff assist with ADLs in a residential setting, but do not provide nursing care. For assisted living, the monthly median cost was $5,850.

Nursing Home Costs

When an older adult requires round-the-clock care, nursing homes can provide a safer alternative to independent living. Nursing home residents receive skilled nursing care, therapeutic services, medication assistance, and supervision. Because of the level of care provided, nursing homes are the costliest long-term care service. The New York median monthly fee in 2023 was $13,976 for a semi-private room in a nursing home and $14,813 for a private room.

Reasons for Increasing Costs

According to the survey data, costs increased across all long-term care domains. The rising costs reflect inflation and the ongoing shortage of long-term care professionals. Inflation was the top driver for assisted living and adult day care. Among nursing homes and in-home care, it was lack of workers.

Person-Centered Care

In addition to examining the costs of long-term care, the survey revealed providers’ growing focus on person-centered care. This type of care recognizes patients’ preferences, needs, values, and autonomy.

Respondents across all care settings indicated that person-centered care was important to them but saw barriers to it. The most significant barriers were the lack of staff training and perceived higher cost.

Protecting Your Assets

For those planning long-term care options, an elder law attorney can provide essential support to protect against the high cost of long-term care. In New York, the Medicaid program may be available to you to help pay for the cost of long-term care. However, Medicaid has certain asset and income limits, which for most requires planning. Tools such as an Irrevocable Trust can help protect the home and other assets. Contact the elder law attorneys at Kurre Schneps to schedule a consultation to learn how we can help you plan for long-term care costs.

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