The cost of living at nursing homes has soared to a new high of more than $80,000 per year. Over the past five years, the average yearly price of private nursing homes has jumped 24% from $67,527 to $83,950, according to Genworth’s 2013 Cost of Care Survey, based on data from nearly 15,000 long-term health care providers. From 2012 to 2013 alone, the price climbed 4%. A combination of factors is pushing expenses greater, said Bob Bua, V. P. of Genworth. Expenses like insurance, food, building maintenance and labor expenses are all going up and being passed along to customers as a result. “Nursing home employees hardly ever get pay decreases, food hardly ever costs less, rent hardly ever goes down, it’s an ever-increasing cycle,” Bua said.
It’s not much cheaper for a semi-private room at a nursing home, where space is shared with at least one other person. This brings up at an average $75,405 per year, up 23% from five years ago. A less expensive alternative to nursing homes are assisted living facilities because they don’t offer the same level of care, but these are also seeing significant price increases from year-to-year. The average yearly price of care in an assisted living service is $41,400, up nearly 5% from last year and 23% greater than five years ago, Genworth discovered.
The price of at-home care, such as home health aides or homemakers, is rising at a much slower pace. Hiring a homemaker, who typically assists elderly people with cleaning, cooking and transportation, currently costs an average $41,756 per year, up just 1% from last year and a mere 4% increase from five years ago. Home health aides, who provide more hands-on care like bathing and grooming, cost $44,479 per year, up 5% from five years ago. At-home care is also the most attractive option for many elderly people. A separate Genworth study discovered that 78% of respondents would prefer to receive care in their own houses rather than go to a nursing home or assisted living service.