Costs For Elder Care Increases

Armen Hareyan's picture
Advertisement

Costs fornursing homes, assisted living facilities and some in-home care services haveincreased for a fifth consecutive year and might continue to increase as aresult of an expected shortage of long-term health care workers, according to astudy released on Tuesday by GenworthFinancial, the AP/HoustonChronicle reports. For the study, researchers examined data from more than10,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and in-home care providersnationwide.

The study found that private rooms in a nursing home this year on average cost$76,460 annually, or $209 daily, a 17% increase from $65,185 in 2004. Inaddition, the study found that assisted living facilities this year on averagecost $36,090 annually, a 25% increase from $28,763 in 2004. The study alsofound that Medicare-certified home health aides this year on average cost $38per hour and that the cost has increased by 7% annually over the past fouryears. Non-Medicare certified in-home care providers this year on average cost$18 per hour for homemaker services and $19 per hour for home health aide services,about the same as in 2004, the study found.

Advertisement

Buck Stinson, president of the long-term care insurance business at Genworth,said the study indicates that the "expense of just a few years oflong-term care in a facility or at home can very quickly wipe out a lifetime ofsavings." He added that baby boomers "need to do more thinking abouttheir own retirement plan and how they're going to age."

A companion study released by Genworth found that low wages and benefits, aswell as a lack of training and career-advancement potential, have led toproblems with recruitment and retention of employees in the elder careindustry. Stinson cited a need to "recruit close to 200,000 people a yearto keep pace with the aging demographic." In addition, the companion studyfound that adult day health care this year on average cost $15,000 annually, or$59 daily (Alt Powell, AP/Houston Chronicle, 4/29).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

Share this content.

If you liked this article and think it may help your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.
Advertisement