Each year Genworth surveys long-term care providers nationwide to determine the cost of various long term care services. The information collected can help consumers understand and plan to meet the cost of care in their preferred geographic location and care setting.
Genworth recently issued its survey report for 2021. According to the report rates for home health aides and homemakers saw the sharpest rises.
In the past year, Genworth reports that the national median annual cost of home health aides shot up 12.50 percent to $61,776, and the median annual rate for the services of a homemaker also jumped 10.64 percent to $59,488. Home health aides provide hands-on personal care, but not medical care. Homemaker services help with household tasks like cooking or cleaning that cannot be handled alone.
What is Long-Term Care
Long-term care (sometimes called “custodial care”) refers to the types of assistance you need if you have a prolonged physical illness, disability, or severe cognitive impairment (such as dementia) and require ongoing support. These limitations may prevent you from carrying out basic self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing or eating, which are called “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs). And you may need assistance with “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living” (IADLs), such as meal preparation, money management, house cleaning, medication management and transportation.
The support may be provided in various settings including the care recipient’s home, a personal care facility, or a nursing home. The care required can range from only limited in-home support all the way to 24-hour care provided by professional nurses and trained staff in licensed nursing facilities.
A need for help with everyday activities is not an inevitable aspect of aging. But as we age, we are increasingly likely to develop an impairment that causes us to need the help of someone else. The statistical reality is that a majority of people aged sixty-five or older will need some long-term care services and supports at some point. (The Genworth report states that “7 out of 10 people will require long term care in their lifetime.”)
Initially long-term care support may be provided by uncompensated family members. But a loved one’s care needs can easily overwhelm family caregivers and unpaid care must often be supplemented with paid assistance. Unfortunately, the costs of paid long-term care services and supports are typically not covered by Medicare or other health insurance. The Genworth study documents the average cost that people privately pay for various types of long-term care services. These costs can eventually bankrupt the recipient and destroy a family’s financial security.
Long-term care is provided in a variety of settings. Costs vary by setting and by geographic location. The Genworth survey provides national, state, and local cost of care in various settings. Average state-wide cost information for Pennsylvania is provided below.
Here are the 2021 Median Average Care Costs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The median annual costs for various support services in Pennsylvania from the most recent survey were as follows:
In-home Homemaker or Home Health Aide Services (based on 44 hours per week)
Adult Day Health Care
Personal Care Facility (based on 12 months, private, one bedroom)
Nursing Home (semi-private room) (based on 365 days of care)
Nursing Home (private room) (based on 365 days of care)
These costs threaten financial devastation for older adults and their families. Fortunately, there are a few programs including Medicaid and Veterans Benefits (for veterans and their spouses) that can often help finance the cost of care. You can protect yourself and your family if you know what you are doing. Expert guidance from an elder law attorney can help families qualify for financial assistance sooner rather than later. Better options are often available if planning is completed well in advance of a crisis. Procrastination can be very costly.
Long-term care is growing ever more expensive. But you can learn how you can protect some or all of your family’s assets from being swallowed up by these rising costs. Pennsylvania residents can meet with an experienced and certified elder law attorney at Marshall, Parker and Weber to set up a plan that will allow you to get the most appropriate care and pay for it without bankrupting yourself, and your family.
The Genworth survey was based on responses from 14,698 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health facilities, and home care providers.