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The median cost of a private room in a nursing home now tops $100,000 a year, which is 1.6 times the median national annual household income, according to a survey of long-term care costs by Genworth Financial Inc.
According to Genworth’s 2018 “Cost of Care Survey,” the cost of long-term care has increased 67 percent in assisted living facilities and 54 percent for a private room in a nursing home. Genworth, a financial services corporation whose products include long-term care insurance, has issued this survey for the past 15 years.
While the cost of care has skyrocketed at these facilities, the charges for in-home care costs have risen far less steeply — up 19 percent for a home aide and 26 percent for homemaker services since 2004, with the largest increases coming in the past two or three years. AARP research has found that older adults overwhelmingly prefer to remain in their own homes as long as possible.
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The annual median cost of care now ranges from $18,720 for adult day care services to $100,375 for a private room in a nursing home. Genworth reported annual costs for a variety of other long-term care services, including homemaker services, $48,048; home health aide, $50,336; adult day health care, $18,720; assisted living, $48,000; and a semiprivate nursing home room, $89,297.
According to Genworth, the factors driving the increased cost of care include a shortage of skilled workers, higher minimum wages and changes in overtime pay rules, difficulty attracting and retaining qualified workers, a greater need for specialized care and the increasing incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
"This year's study shows cost increases across all care settings — costs that affect the economic reality for individuals, families, employers and communities,” says David O'Leary, president and CEO of Genworth's U.S. Life Insurance division.
For the 2018 survey, Genworth conducted 15,500 surveys of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health facilities and home health care providers. Genworth’s cost calculator provides information on hourly, daily, monthly and annual costs of care by state and metropolitan region.