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Statistics of Long-term Care

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Have you ever wondered how likely it is that you will need long-term care in the future? Have you ever wondered what it costs, on average, to reside in a nursing facility for a month, on average, in Pennsylvania? The statistics of long-term care can be downright scary.

Approximately 70% of individuals over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care services at some point in their lives. Long-term care is a broad term that describes the kind of care someone receives when they need help performing some of the activities of daily living[i] (bathing, dressing, or cooking for example).

When a loved one starts to need help with some of these activities of daily living, family members often become concerned. There are a flurry of questions the family may ask – whether their loved one can stay home, what other housing options may be available, what caregiver agencies may be able to help, what care is actually necessary, and how are all of these potential services paid for? At this juncture, a care manager can help lay out the family’s options and coordinate the necessary services. To learn more about care management, click here. Attorney Marshall recently wrote an article about care management which you can find here.

When most people talk about long-term care, they talk about long-term care facilities. In Pennsylvania, the two most common types of facilities are personal care homes and nursing homes. Personal care homes cover a wide range of care needs and each facility is different in the type of care they provide. Nursing homes, on the other hand, provide the most comprehensive care and are appropriate for individuals who need assistance with multiple activities of daily living.

Personal care homes are what we call “private pay” meaning residents need to pay their bill each month and government assistance is not generally available to help. Veterans and spouses of deceased veterans may be eligible for help through a VA program called Aid & Attendance if the applicant meets certain service and financial criteria. You can learn more about Aid & Attendance and read some related articles by clicking here.

The cost of nursing home care is approximately $293.15 per day, or $8,916.65 per month in Pennsylvania.[ii] Many people know that nursing home care is expensive, but are still surprised to find out just how expensive it really is. Concern about this is usually well founded in light of the fact that the likelihood of needing some type of long-term care is about 70%.

A major difference between personal care homes and nursing facilities is that nursing homes generally accept Medical Assistance, Pennsylvania’s version of the Medicaid program. Because of this, when a loved one needs nursing home care there are often opportunities to engage in planning that can help protect assets for a spouse or children. To find out more about the long-term planning services that Marshall, Parker & Weber offers, click here. You can also click here to read related blog articles written by Marshall, Parker & Weber attorneys and staff members.

Although the statistics in this article are startling, the team at Marshall, Parker & Weber is here to help. Whether you’re planning ahead or facing a long-term care crisis, our team can help you understand your options.


[ii] The figures posted in this article are the estimates used for the Medical Assistance program in PA. Each year, Genworth also puts out statistics from a cost of care survey, which can be found at

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