How much does care cost?!?!

The new numbers

Juneau, Alaska (TS) Juneau, Alaska (TS)

Genworth Financial Inc. has come out with its 11th annual batch of U.S. long-term care (LTC) cost survey data.

The good news: The median cost of various types of LTC services rose less than 5 percent between 2013 and 2014.

The cost of adult day health care services didn't rise at all.

The bad news: The median cost of most types of LTC services has been increasing faster than the overall inflation rate for the past five years -- from a sky-high base.

LTC services costs: The 5-year compound annual growth rate

Assisted living facility rent

4.29%

Nursing home, private room

4.19%

Nursing home, shared room

3.91%

Adult day care

3.40%

Homemaker services

1.20%

Source: Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey.

Prices for all kinds of goods and services have been rising about 2 percent since 2009.

The median cost of spending for a year in a private room in a nursing home, for example, is 4.35 percent higher this year than it was a year ago, and the five-year annual compound rate has been about 4.19 percent.

The monthly cost of a room in an assisted living facility rose 1.45 percent this year but has had a five-year annual growth rate of 4.29 percent, according to Genworth.

CareScout compiled the figures for Genworth by conducting a survey of about 43,000 providers.

Genworth breaks the survey results down by state and costs are much higher in some states than in others.

In Alaska, the median annual cost of a private nursing room actually fell sharply -- to $240,900. That's down from $255,891. Per year.

Spending two years in a private nursing home room in Alaska can be more expensive than buying a nursing home in some other parts of the country. A Texas real estate broker, for example, has posted a flier for a vacant nursing home that comes with 2.4 acres of land and 46 parking spaces for just $300,000, firm.

In Connecticut, the cost of a private nursing home room rose to $155,125, from $151,658.

In a guide to the survey results aimed at consumers, Genworth emphasizes that the true total cost of LTC services includes the effects of the care on the care recipient's loved ones as well as the cost of formal paid care.

Roughly one-seventh of informal caregivers who participated in a Genworth survey said they had lost jobs because of caregiving responsibilities, and 43 percent said they had had to work fewer hours.

Wendy Boglioli, a Genworth LTC planning specialist (and LifeHealthPro.com blogger) offers consumers some ideas about how to start thinking about what might be daunting topic for many:

  • Imagine the fun things you'll do in the future.
  • Estimate how much paying for those activities will cost.
  • Move from there to thinking about planning for other future costs.

See also:

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