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Caregiver & Elder Care News

Nursing Home Cost Continues Climb; Jumps 3.4% to $77,745 a Year for Private Room

Genworth Study helps senior citizens and caregivers compare local costs; assisted living also climbing but home health care flat

May 10, 2011 – The cost of a private room in a nursing home jumped 3.4 percent in the last year to a staggering $77,745 a year, according to Genworth’s 2011 Cost of Care Survey. Not far behind is a 2.4 percent jump in the cost assisted living facilities, which is $39,135 a year. The bright light was on home health care, which most senior citizens prefer, that held steady.

At $18 per hour for homemaker services and $19 an hour for home health aide services, the median hourly cost to receive care in the home remained flat over the past 12 months.

Knowing Local Care Costs for Productive LTC Discussions

“Understanding local caregiving expenses is an essential first step for families faced with rising care costs,” said Buck Stinson, president, U.S. Life Insurance Products at Genworth.

“Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey arms consumers with the knowledge to have informed conversations, whether they are speaking with a family member, a care provider or financial professional, about how they might realistically pay for care.”

 

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Read more Elder Care & Caregivers News

 

Now in its 8th year, Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey not only provides Americans with national and local long term care cost data, but also information on cost inflation over time.

Armed with this information, consumers and their advisors can:

   ● Develop a comprehensive financial plan to cover anticipated future long term care costs

   ● Conduct an informed discussion with family members to address future long term care needs and preferences

   ● Negotiate more effectively with providers of long term care services

Negotiating With Care Providers: It Never Hurts to Ask

Some consumers may be surprised to learn that they have the power to negotiate with care providers to help contain costs, according to Genworth. Care providers, particularly assisted living facilities and home care agencies, often face stiff competition in their local markets.

Consumers should feel comfortable addressing the issue of costs, and the opportunity to lower them, when discussing care options with a provider of long term care services. Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey provides localized cost data that empowers families to confidently discuss care costs and options with service providers.

Know What to Ask: Tips for Reducing Caregiving Costs

While nursing homes generally do not discount their rates because they are strongly influenced by the effect of Medicare/Medicaid on their overall business plans, assisted living facilities and home care providers are more apt to do so. Tips on where to start when negotiating with a long term care provider include:

Know Local Costs:
Genworth’s Cost of Care Map provides the median cost of long term care across the U.S. to help consumers plan for the potential costs associated with the various types of long term care available in their preferred location and setting.

Fee Waivers:
Assisted living facilities often charge a one-time fee when a client first moves in. If the facility is in a competitive market, or has a surplus of vacant units, they may discount or waive this fee (or offer other discounts such as free rent for a period of time).

Special Rates:
Facilities will sometimes have a special rate if residents move in at the first of the month or during a time that is known to have higher vacancy rates.

Vacancy Rates:
Facilities may allow a resident to choose a more expensive room, at a lower price, if vacancies are currently high.

Lower Hourly Rates:
Home care agencies may lower their hourly rate if the services needed are easy to staff and long term, such as a weekday schedule that is predicted to last several months.

Shop Around:
If a home care agency’s fees are at the high end of the local range, they may lower rates if they know the client is interviewing several agencies and cost is an important factor. Let care providers know if a lower rate has been quoted elsewhere for the same services.

Premium Waivers:
Agencies usually charge a premium for weekend services. For a client that also engages services for a significant amount of weekday hours, the agency may waive this premium.

Ask for an Upgrade:
Nursing homes generally do not discount their rates, however, certain extra amenities, or a private room upgrade, may be available under certain circumstances.

It is important to note that most of these price concessions are based on the availability of staff, or residential units, which is a factor that fluctuates often for some businesses. Contacting several providers before making a final decision offers the best chance of securing safe, appropriate services at a reasonable rate.

“While consumers should seek out quality and value when shopping for long term care, it is crucial that they have a financial plan in place to pay for long term care,” said Stinson. “The cost of long term care remains one of the biggest risks to one’s retirement security, especially with ever-increasing healthcare costs.”

Check cost of care in your market

For consumers interested in learning more about the cost of care in their local market, Genworth offers an interactive map of long term care costs in 437 regions across all 50 states at www.Genworth.com/CostofCare. The site offers a range of educational tools that help consumers compare costs across geographies, project future costs and share comparisons and calculations with family, friends or a financial professional.

• Find specific cost information that matters to you — by state and type of care setting for 437 cities and regions across the country

 • Compare costs across up to three locations — for instance, where you live currently, and where you might like to retire

• Calculate the cost of care 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years out so you can plan well for your future • Print your comparisons and calculations to share with family, friends and your financial professional

• Download the full survey report, complete with executive summary, and overviews of long term care services and financing options, or just download a specific state’s data

Genworth’s “Let’s Talk” campaign was developed to help families initiate conversations about long term care preferences, options, and strategies.

Genworth Celebrates Caregivers Facebook Page: Caregivers can have their questions about caregiving challenges answered by a professional care advocate.

About Genworth’s 2011 Cost of Care Survey

Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, is described as the most comprehensive study of its kind, covering nearly 15,500 long term care providers nationwide. The survey includes 437 regions which cover all Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined for the 2010 U.S. census. Genworth annually surveys the cost of long term care across the U.S. to help Americans plan for the potential costs associated with the various types of care available in their preferred location and setting. CareScout®, part of the Genworth Financial family of companies, has conducted the survey since 2004. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, CareScout has specialized in helping families find long term care providers nationwide since 1997. Genworth’s 2011 Cost of Care Survey was conducted during January, February and March 2011.

About Genworth Financial

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE:GNW) is a Fortune 500 global financial security company. Genworth has more than $100 billion in assets and employs approximately 6,500 people with a presence in more than 25 countries.

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If you or a loved one have suffered due to the neglect or inadequate care of others, call us today. We offer the skill and knowledge gained in more than twenty years of success.

Free Consultation - Call toll free 1-877-795-3425 or Email

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