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True cost of elder care, nursing homes

March 12, 2013 at 10:03 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, March 12 (UPI) -- In-home U.S. senior care costs $16-$26 per hour, or $150-$280 for 24-hour live-in care, while a nursing home costs $180-$400 a day, experts say.

Caregiverlist.com, a website involving elder care, compiled information from more than 18,000 long-term care nursing centers as well as in-home senior care options. The options are easily searched by zip code or state.

Julie Northcutt, chief executive officer of caregiverlist.com, said many Americans do not realize the true cost of long-term care.

"Nursing home care has become the place for rehabilitation after a hospital stay, and seniors and their families often have not planned ahead for these costs, which Medicare does not cover," Northcutt said in a statement.

Medicare, the health insurance program for all seniors beginning at age 65, does not cover long-term care costs after 100 days; but Medicaid, for very low-income seniors, does cover nursing home costs but participants must meet a minimum annual income.

Senior medicaid care varies from state to state, but most states spend about one-half or more of their Medicaid budget on nursing home care or care for the elderly. Some patients "spend down" their bank accounts in order to qualify for Medicaid, Northcutt added.

Prices seniors and their families face include:

-- Nursing home costs range from $180-$400 a day or $5,400-$12,000 a month.

-- A private nursing home room can cost up to $493 a day or $14,790 a month.

-- Senior home care costs $16-$26 per hour for hourly care.

-- 24-hour live-in care ranges from $150- $280 per day.

-- Assisted living costs range from $2,500-$5,000 a month.

-- Continuing care retirement community on average costs a down payment of $250,000 with a $4,000 monthly rental fee. These facilities guarantee lifetime housing, social activities and increased levels of care including nursing home care.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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