The majority of seniors are expected to need long-term care at some point in their lives, and the cost for everything from home health services to nursing home care continues to rise. What’s more, costs can vary by thousands of dollars per month from one area or housing community to the next for older adults and their families looking at senior housing options. Those choices include independent living – for those who generally don’t require ongoing care or have limited needs that may be met through arrangements like in-home care services; assisted living, which provides individualized support services and care; or a nursing home – the highest level of care.
The most recent annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey provides a snapshot of long-term care costs nationwide and how those can vary widely. It found that the 2017 national median monthly cost for nursing home care, for a private room, is $8,121. But in Oklahoma that figure is $5,293 per month – the lowest median nursing home cost for a private room in any state, according to survey data; that compares with $24,333 per month in Alaska, the state with the highest median nursing care cost. What’s more, there’s significant variation in housing and care offerings and cost – and ultimately in what individuals pay out of pocket – even within the same senior living community. And it’s not easy to get useful cost information upfront while checking out senior housing and care options.