Understanding the Cost of Elder Care in America

Every one of us has to come to terms with the idea of aging. For some, it happens sooner than others. Regardless, of whether you are boldly embracing your age or denying it, it’s important to consider how you will have enough money to pay for the care you may require well into your old age.

If you haven’t yet considered what elder care will cost when you need it, now may be the right time to stop and think about it. People are living longer than ever before. While that’s a great thing for most, the downside is that, based on the old “supply and demand” concept, the price of elder care in the U.S. is rising along with life expectancy.

Based on research conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 70 percent of people over age 65 will need long-term care services at some point in their lives. This means there will likely come a time when the care family members can provide alone will not be enough.

In New Jersey, the median annual care cost varied based on the level of care you’re seeking. No matter how you slice it or what you’re looking for, elder care is extremely expensive. It’s best to begin long term planning before an emergency situation presents itself to be prepared to handle the cost. You do have options and, like anything else in life, if you plan ahead you can usually save money.

In-home care: In-home services include getting homemaker services or a home health aide. If round-the-clock attention is not required, this option may be for you. The median annual cost of home health aides is $48,345, and homemaker services are at $45,760, according to Genworth Financial.

Nursing home: This is for seniors who need 24-hour monitoring and medical attention. A nursing home is the highest most expensive level of senior care. The median annual cost for New Jersey is $118,625 in private rooms, and $109,500 in semi-private rooms.

Assisted living: An assisted living facility provides seniors with nursing care, housekeeping, meal preparation and other day-to-day activities, but does not provide 24-hour surveillance. The median annual cost in NJ is $65,160.

Depending on your means, many families hit with this cost will have to scramble, scratch and scrounge to come up with the necessary funds. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to start preparing sooner rather than later.

Bratton Law Attorneys at Law is pleased to announce a new addition to the team. Anne Markel –Crozier BSW, CSW, works closely with clients in the areas of elder law and life care. Call our offices today to speak with her or one of our knowledgeable elder care attorneys about your specific needs.