Understanding the Cost of Long-Term Care

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understanding the cost of long term care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care during their lives. But what exactly does long-term care encompass, and what does it cost? Long-term care services include medical and non-medical care for people with a chronic illness or disability. It can be provided at home or in a senior living community. Here’s how the cost of long-term care compares between the two.

The Cost of Long-Term Care at Home

There are three types of long-term care at home, each supporting different needs. Here are their average monthly costs according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

  • Homemaker Services – Help with household tasks like cooking, cleaning, and errands that cannot be managed independently. The average monthly cost is $4,957, assuming 44 hours per week.
  • Home Health Aide Services – Assistance with personal care, but not medical care. The average monthly cost is $5,148, assuming 44 hours per week.
  • Adult Day Care – For seniors who need assistance during the day but not round-the-clock care. Typically provide health services, therapeutic services, and social activities during normal business hours, five days a week. The average monthly cost is $1,690.

The Cost of Long-Term Care in Senior Living

Senior living also offers different types of long-term care for needs that include:

  • Assisted Living – This type of long-term care provides assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management as well as onsite medical care. These communities also feature a convenient, active, and social lifestyle with social and enrichment opportunities to enjoy. Home upkeep, cooking, and housekeeping are provided in addition to a range of amenities. The average monthly cost for a private, one-bedroom is $4,500 according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
  • Memory Care – Designed for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, memory care offers 24-hour support in a secure, nurturing environment with specially trained staff. Residents have the comfort of a structured daily schedule, plus enrichment activities, fitness, and social opportunities to help them thrive. Published data on the average monthly cost for memory care also varies greatly, but you can usually expect a range between $2,000 to $7,000 a month.

Comparing the Costs 

When comparing the cost of long-term care at home versus in senior living, make sure to calculate the total monthly cost of living at home rather than just the mortgage or rent; this includes food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, entertainment, and healthcare. It’s important to do so because while you pay those things out of pocket at home, they are actually included in the monthly cost of senior living! Use this handy worksheet to help compare your specific costs.

Monthly ExpensesCosts at Home Senior Living Costs 
Mortgage or rent
At-home careincluded
Property tax and insuranceincluded
Home maintenance and repairsincluded
Lawn care and yard maintenanceincluded
(electricity, gas, water, trash removal, etc.)
24-hour securityincluded
(insurance, gas, registration, repairs)
Social and Entertainmentincluded
Exercise and wellnessincluded
24-hour emergency alert systemincluded
Total Actual Costs

For more information on the cost of long-term care, download our Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour.