Receiving and Paying for Long Term Care – The Importance of Being Prepared for Disability (part 3 of 6)

Long Term Care

Nursing Home Stays

According to the National Nursing Home Survey 2004 Study, the most recent of its kind, the national average length of stay for nursing home residents is 835 days, with over 56% of nursing home residents staying at least one year. Significantly, only 19% are discharged in less than three months. Those residents who were married or living with a partner at the time of admission had a significantly shorter average stay than those who were widowed, divorced or never married. Likewise, those who lived with a family member prior to admission also had a shorter average stay than those who lived alone prior to admission.

While a relatively small number (1.56 million) and percentage (4.5%) of the 65+ population lived in nursing homes in 2000, the percentage increased dramatically with age, ranging from 1.1% for persons 65-74 years to 4.7% for persons 75-84 years and 18.2% for persons 85+. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 68% of nursing home residents were women, and only 16% of all residents were under the age of 65. The median age of residents was 83 years.

Long Term Care Costs Can Be Staggering
Not only will many individuals and families face prolonged long term care, in-home care and nursing home costs continue to rise. According to the Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs Texas averages for long term care costs are as follows:

  • Monthly base rate (room and board, two meals per day, housekeeping and personal care assistance) for assisted living care is $3,515 (or $42,180 annually).
  • Monthly rate for a private room in a nursing home is $5,931 (or $71,172¬†annually).
  • Daily rate for a semi-private room in a nursing home is $4502 (or $54,024 annually).

In the next post in this series, I will take a look at some of the options for paying for long-term care.