Getting Old Is Unaffordable

Around two-thirds of Americans over age 65 will need long-term care, either through at-home health care services in the home or an assisted living facility or nursing home. Yet more than 90 percent of those surveyed in the Genworth Financial "2013 Annual Cost of Care" report haven't talked about critical long-term care issues with their spouse, partner or adult children.

Genworth Financial asked survey participants how long-term care issues impact relationships, jobs, stress and anxiety for those in the circle of care -- care recipient, primary caregiver, secondary caregiver and families involved.

Having a plan before there is a need is crucial.

"Discussions about long term care issues often lead to patients experiencing less depression, less pain and less anxiety," says Amy D'Aprix, an expert in aging and care giving. Care recipients should talk to their loved ones about what their options are for care, how it will be financed and what family members might be involved in care giving. Genworth offers help starting the conversation.

Average costs

The survey reveals the average cost of various services nationwide:
  • Homemaker services (hands-off non-medical care like cooking and running errands): $18/hr.
  • Home health aides (hands-on non-medical care like bathing and dressing): $19/hr.
  • Adult daycare (social, non-medical, community-based setting for some part of the day): $65/daily
  • Assisted living facility (single occupancy, 1 bedroom, hands-on medical care): $3,450/monthly
  • Nursing facility (semi-private room, 24-hr care): $207/daily
  • Nursing facility (private room, 24-hour care) $230/daily

Nursing facility care has increased more than $16,000 a year since Genworth's 2008 survey. The cost of a private room in a nursing home has risen 4.45 percent annually, nationwide, since 2008, with this year's median cost at $83,950 per year.

Assisted living facility costs vary dramatically by state. In Florida, the average annual cost is $36,000, in Texas; $40,035 and in New York; 47,400.