The most comprehensive cost analysis in long term care in the industry and the only one that provides comprehensive data for the past five years was released by Genworth Financial. The study found that nationwide the cost of long term care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in the home increased for the fifth consecutive year. The national average for a year in a private nursing home is now $76,460, more than one and a half times the average annual household income in the U.S. of $48,201. In short, most long term care services in this country are rising at a rate faster than inflation. In fact, for one year in a private nursing home in Miami, the cost is an astounding $91,022. Each year Genworth surveys the cost of care in more than 10,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and among home care providers in all 50 states and 90 geographic regions including the District of Columbia. This year, it also included adult day health care costs for the first time. The study also reveals an imminent shortage of caregivers. In actuality, the U.S. will need to recruit 200,000 new direct-care workers each year to meet future demand among the 78 million Baby Boomers as they age. Moreover, the care-giver workforce is dwindling and faces issues of retention. “Rising long term care costs are creating significant financial planning challenges for millions of Americans and their families,” say Buck Stinson, president of Genworth Financial’s Long Term Care Insurance business. As it stands now, a private one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility has an average annual cost of $36,090. For home care, the average rate for a non-Medicare certified, state licensed home health aide is $19.18, a cost that translates to $43,884 per year for 44 hours per week of care. As far as adult day health care is concerned, first year research findings indicate the average annual cost for five days a week in an adult day health care facility is $15,236 nationally. The survey, 2008 Cost of Care Survey, along with a research paper, “A Workforce to Care for Our Aging” is available at Genworth./com/CostofCare.
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