Families considering long-term care for seniors have to keep an eye on shifting prices as health care costs keep rising. And while the priciest among nursing homes seem to cluster in the North and Northeast, the cheapest states for care are pretty much in the South.
Time to Move?
While there are plenty of other reasons to consider relocation — job markets, climate, cost of living overall — it’s possible that a dealmaker (or breaker) could be the potential costs of long-term care for oneself or for a member of the family. Members of the sandwich generation — caring for growing offspring and at the same time caring for parents — might find themselves uprooting home and family just to be able to afford care for a parent or other elderly relative.
And those with dementia or other ailments that run in the family might be considering their own futures as they try to get a handle on what the cost of care may be.
So How Much Have LTC Costs Increased?
It’s no small matter to figure out the most reasonable place to get care, but Genworth’s study, in its 15th year, offers a sometimes stark look at what could lie in store. The study looked at facilities in 440 cities and towns across all 50 states, and among its findings are some disturbing facts.
From 2004 to 2018, the study has tracked the pace of increases in the cost of different types of care. For facility and in-home care services, the increase has been on average within a range of 1.5%–3.8% per year. Says Genworth, “That’s an increase of $700 annually for home care and up to $2,500 annually for a private room in a nursing home.”
Paychecks aren’t keeping up with the cost of health care as it is; adding the cost of long-term care to the package is a real struggle for many families — particularly since, the study adds, “At this rate, some care costs are outpacing the U.S. inflation rate of 2.1% by almost double.”
With the annual median cost of care now ranging from $18,720 for adult day care services to $100,375 for a private room in a nursing home, the states in the gallery above offer some of the lowest-cost options.
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