Cost Of Long Term Care
Assisted Living Cost vs. Long-term Care
If you’re contemplating long-term care for a parent or other senior family member—whether it’s assisted living or skilled nursing care—one of your first thoughts could very well be, “How much is it going to cost?”
The answer depends, of course, on the type of services needed and the setting in which they are given.
Assisted living or skilled nursing?
Generally, assisted living is the appropriate level of care if your parent or family member needs some assistance with daily self-care or other activities, such as:
- Minimal assistance in and out of the shower
- Taking oral medications (as well as some injections, such as insulin for diabetes)
- Periodic help to and from the bathroom
- Walking, sitting down, or standing up after being seated
- In some cases, memory care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia
When is it time for assisted living?
Declines in health can be so gradual that they might go unnoticed. If your father or mother begins to show signs of atypical behavior—perhaps something like skipping breakfast or lunch, when that was normally part of the daily routine, or no longer keeping up with his or her appearance as usual—the extra personal interaction with a care provider that’s available with assisted living could make a big difference in your parent’s quality of life. We see it happen all the time.
Long-term skilled care, by comparison, is more intensive care provided by a licensed nurse, therapist, or other certified medical professional and is available 24/7. These services include, but are not limited to:
- IV therapy and injections
- Monitoring vital signs
- Tube feedings
- Managing rapid changes in health status
- Attending to complex wound dressings
- Treatment for chronic conditions when self-care is not possible
When is it time for skilled nursing care?
If your father or mother is extremely frail, very sick, or no longer able to move around on his or her own, skilled nursing care could be the safest choice. In most cases, a doctor will recommend skilled nursing care when the time is right.
The cost of assisted living
In most cases, the cost of assisted living includes monthly rent and services as they are needed. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey for 2016[i], the national median monthly cost of assisted living was $3,628. Here at John Knox Village East, the monthly cost is $2,400 for a semi-private room and $3,120 for a private room.
If supportive memory care is required, the cost can be considerably higher.
The cost of long-term skilled care
Given the level of certification required of providers and the round-the-clock nature of skilled nursing care, it is more expensive than assisted living. The Genworth survey placed the national median cost at $225 per day, or $6,844 per month, for a semi-private room and $253 per day, or $7,698 per month, for a private room. At John Knox Village East, the monthly cost is $4,200; all rooms are semi-private.
Resources available to help pay for long-term care
Certain federal and state programs can help cover the cost of care—but be sure to check out the specifics. For example, some seniors are eligible for veteran’s benefits that can help pay for home care or assisting living expenses.
Do not expect Medicare to cover senior living or long-term care. But, in many cases it will pay for short-term skilled nursing care (up to 100 days).
If your parent or other family member meets certain income and health requirements, Medicaid will often cover nursing care. Eligibility and coverage vary from one state to another, so it’s important to contact the Medicaid program in the state where your relative lives to find a Medicaid-certified home.
If you find that you must act quickly to get your loved one into assisted living or skilled nursing care, a bridge loan can help with cash flow while other financial assets, such as real estate, are being liquidated.
Private health insurance typically doesn’t cover senior living expenses or custodial care, but find out if your parent has long-term care insurance. Another option might be to borrow against or sell a life insurance policy if your parent has one.
A financial planner or an attorney who specializes in elder law can walk you through the various options so you can make the most informed decision for your situation.
Plan for tomorrow today
It’s beneficial to plan ahead for long-term care costs, rather than waiting until the need arises. Options such as purchasing long-term care insurance or moving to a Life Care community like John Knox Village East can help you get out in front of these costs. In either case, you need to secure protection while you’re healthy enough to qualify.
While long-term care insurance helps protect you financially when you need skilled nursing care , residing in a Life Care community like John Knox Village East can protect you financially by keeping you out of the nursing home. Toward this goal, we offer a variety of programs, including:
- Health and wellness
- Fall prevention
- Chronic disease management
A Life Care community also protects you with substantial discounts in the health center, and through social activities. Being involved socially is a key step toward enhancing your quality of life, and it can even extend your life. Some of the more popular activities we offer are the Supper Club, coffee groups and trips to the theater, just to name a few.
To find out what we can do for you, call us at 660-584-4416.