Comparing Elder Care Costs: Aging in Place vs. Assisted Living Facilities

As the number of American seniors is set to double, there are more options for senior care than ever before.

Inside the next 25 years, the number of American seniors will probably double, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Institute of Aging (NIA). In other words, every day for the next 20 years 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day.[1]

With America’s aging population comes an increased demand for residential care facilities (nursing homes, adult day care etc.) and in-home care services. And despite the Republican’s proposed health care act—which would financially cripple many senior Americans—what America needs is more elder care as well as retirement planning to support our aging population.

Different types of elder care, and their associated costs

Broadly speaking, there are five types of care available to seniors:

1.       Non-medical home care

Non-medical home care involves helping out with chores, personal hygiene, cooking and transportation. A home care aide will typically visit the home 2 or 3 times a week, with visits lasting from 2 to 8 hours at a time.

The average cost per hour for home care agencies varies from $15 to $26 depending on which state you are in.

2.       Home health care

Home health care aids don’t do chores, but they check a patient’s pulse, temperature and respiration. They will assist with medical equipment and visit the home as often as medically necessary.

In 2015, the average cost, per hour, was between $16 and $27 depending on which state you are in.

3.       Adult day care

Adult day care can be split into non-medical and medical. Non-medical day car provides seniors with supervision and social activities in a structured way during the day. The national average cost is $69 a day; however, it can range as widely from $35 to as much as $124 per day.

Medical adult day care offers all that non-medical day care does as well as necessary health care and therapeutic services. This costs, roughly, 5% to 15% on top on the adult day care fee.

4.       Assisted Living

Assisted living residences help seniors with daily living. Everything from basic health services to recreational and social activities.

Usually, the cost is a monthly rent with fees based on how much attention a resident requires. The national monthly average is just over $2,500 but can range from $1,200 to $4,800.

5.       Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, staffed 24/7, offer care by licensed professionals and cater to everything a senior requires. On average, it’s about $220 per day, with some states charging anywhere from $140 to $771 per day.

Cost of elder care in America

These costs are all averages, and they don’t take in to consideration the current fluctuating healthcare landscape. Planning ahead for retirement, and looking at what is best for your elder loved ones can help you—and them—find them the best care for their needs.



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