The average cost of nursing home care

Written by denise stern
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Nursing home care may end up ranging between £32,500 and £48,750 per year. Many seniors don't understand that Medicare doesn't cover long-term nursing care costs, and long-term health insurance policies only go so far in providing benefits. Understanding the average cost of nursing home care and how those costs may fluctuate depending on need will help consumers make informed decisions about their long-term care needs.


With the Baby-boomer retirement bulge expected by 2011, a rapid increase in costs and the demand for more seniors requiring care is expected to overburden Medicare due to increased enrolment in the program. The average cost of care in a nursing home is approximately £130 a day. Nursing home care costs rise about 6 per cent every year.


Costs of care are dependent on geographical location. For example, a semi-private nursing homeroom in Colorado averages about £42,250, while in Washington D.C., costs may reach about £48,750 for a similar semi-private room. In Phoenix, Arizona, costs may average about £30,550, and in Iowa, residents may pay roughly £24,375. This disparity of nursing home care costs is based on supply and demand and available resources and specialised technology.


When comparing average costs of nursing homes, many seniors or children of seniors look at the cost of specialised care, such as when a parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Such care can triple the costs. Costs for caring for a resident with Alzheimer's disease can run approximately £13,000 more, according to a report by MSNBC. Costs of care typically include dietary services, housekeeping and laundry services. In some cases, therapeutic services and activities and religious services are included.


A private room in a nursing home anywhere around the country may range from about £130 to £325 a day, making the average annual cost of care in a nursing home reach at the low end, £45,500 a year. Private rooms are those with one bed, while semi-private rooms generally have two beds. Semi-private rooms are often divided with a curtain that separates the room, which typically offers each resident a small side table and sitting chair, although closet space and a bathroom is usually shared.


Services and therapies offered in many nursing homes are essential for many residents but also cause an increase in cost. Costs naturally accelerate when a resident needs specialised physiotherapy, oxygen therapy, wound care or speech or occupational therapy. Skilled care, custodial and personal care needs will also have an impact on monthly rates, as well as the costs for nurse's aides, janitorial or laundry services.


Private insurance and Medicare only pay for nursing home care for a limited period of time. To qualify, the resident must have been hospitalised for at least three days and entered the nursing home within 30 days of that hospitalisation. The first 20 days are covered 100 per cent, following which the resident must pay a daily deductible. A 100-day maximum stay is related to any hospitalisation or diagnosis episode, and progress must be noted in your chart. Insurance will end if progress toward independence no longer occurs.

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