Many people are unaware of the actual costs associated with long term care. in 2001, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) conducted a survey of Americans age 45 and older, and it revealed that only 15% of participants could accurately estimate the national average cost of a nursing home, 24% of respondents didn’t know, and 51% thought it would cost less than it actually does – $55,848 per year. Furthermore, over one-third did not know the average monthly cost for assisted living – between $2,000 and $2,500. These figures reflect present costs. However, some long-term care experts project that in 2030 the average yearly cost for a nursing home could be as high as $190,000!
What is the likelihood that you or someone you love may need long-term care? The Department of Health and Human Services predicts that 43% of individuals over the age of 65 will ultimately require some form of long-term care. Long-term care refers to the broad range of services that assist those with chronic conditions in performing the essential activities of daily living (ADLS), such as getting around the house, dressing, bathing, or eating or the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), such as travel outside the home, preparing meals, or taking medication. A person is generally considered to be in need of long-term care if he or she has difficulty performing two or more ADLs, or IADLs, because of physical limitations, cognitive impairments, or both. The most common forms of long-term care assistance are nursing homes, assisted living/residential care facilities, adult day-care centers, and in-home care.