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The Cost of Aging: 2011 MetLife Survey

Worried elderly womanIt’s no secret that aging is expensive. As seniors transition into their golden years, and begin to need more assistance with activities of daily living, or to aid in recovery from an unexpected health event, the bill can often be immensely troubling for seniors and their families. However, by being aware of realistic long-term care costs, and planning ahead, seniors can help prepare their finances for the funding of long-term care.

The MetLife 2011 Market Survey of Long Term Care Costs was recently released and revealed the average cost of long-term care, both in-home, and facility-based across the country. According to the report, the costs vary from State to State, and one locale to another based on economic status and availability of care. However, the Nationwide average cost may be able to help seniors set a baseline in financial planning.

Home Care:
The national average cost of in-home care, according to the MetLife 2011 Survey, stood at $21/hour for a home health aide, and $19/hour for homemaker or companion-type care. Ideally, seniors using a home care provider should seek the assistance of an agency with a robust home care software or home care system to help manage care. With a home care software or home care system, like ClearCare, available to help manage care, seniors and their loved ones can be assured that all of their needs are being met.

Assisted Living:
Assisted living facilities checked in with a national average cost of $3,477/month for assisted living services for an individual. While this cost typically includes a residence, moving to an assisted living facility requires seniors to leave familiar surroundings behind, which many seniors are resistant to. However, assisted living allows seniors to maintain some level of independence while ensuring that assistance is always nearby in case of emergency.

Nursing Home:
Seniors in need of full-time, medical-based care reported paying an average of $214/day for a shared room, or $239/day for a private room, bringing monthly costs between $6,509 and $7,269; significantly higher than the cost of home care or assisted living.

These figures can be a valuable tool for both families working on elder care planning, as well a home care agency owners working to market their business. For example, home care agency owners would be wise to market the value of their hourly rate in comparison to the cost of assisted living, which allows seniors to tailor their care to specific times and dates when assistance is needed most. Additionally, with the use of a home care software or home care system, such as ClearCare, home care providers can grant instant access to care logs and other vital information for family caregivers to have at hand.

While the needs of each senior are unique, knowing the going rate for different elder care services, and providing a high level of service in your sector; such as with the aid of a home care software or home care system to aid in-home companions, will allow agency owners to market the true value of their services.

For a full summary of the MetLife 2011 Survey of Long Term Care Costs, click here.

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