How High Will LTC Costs Rise?
As the population ages, long-term care resources will be more in need. Older adults will comprise an increasingly larger portion of our total population, moving from 13 percent of our current population to approximately 20 percent over the next few decades. With this burgeoning growth in the population will come an increasing need for various forms of long-term care. However, a recent report paints a very costly and bleak picture for the affordability of long-term care services.
The report found that the national median private room rate for nursing care facilities in 2013 is $230 dollars/day, which is a 3.6 percent increase from 2012. The median annual nursing home cost increased $16,425 between 2008 and 2013. Moreover, since 2012, assisted living costs increased by 4.55 percent. In addition, costs for private home care providers continues to increase, often at a rate greater than yearly retirement income adjustments.
The report also states that in addition to this worrisome escalation in costs, many elderly have taken severe hits from the current recessionary environment, with many seeing their retirement savings depleted. Furthermore, many have also suffered severe reductions in the valuations of their property that they hold.
When you take these elements and add to it an increasingly growing elderly population that will be in need of various long-term care options without possibly being able to afford them, one can see that our country is possibly approaching a crisis situation for many older adults. Also, long-term care insurance is an option, but it is also a costly option and one that has not escaped the rising inflationary health care environment.
The report casts an ominous cloud for the future of many older adults. With health care costs increasing, an older adult population increasing, personal resources being depleted, and national resources already financially stressed, many older adults will be facing some significant anxiety-provoking challenges in the years ahead, especially for those that will need more extensive care due to some chronic and debilitating illnesses.
Kelly C. Covering the Rising Cost of Long-Term Care. The New York Times, May 14, 2013. www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/retirementspecial/covering-the-rising-cost-of-long-term-care.html?ref=eldercare&_r=0