Most people will need some form of assistance as they age. In Washington, there are 6,899,123 residents, with 908,491 of those people over the age of 65, representing 13% of the population. The majority of these seniors are currently in the market for care assistance to address their changing needs.
While several options for care exist, care can be expensive. People primarily pay for care with their own private or family funds. Long term care insurance or long term care protection combined with life insurance and annuities are another way to help pay for care. Medicare and Medicaid may contribute towards some long term care expenses, but are limited in coverage and by asset requirements.
Expenses are based on the type of care option received. Using 2015 Cost of Care data from Genworth, here is a comprehensive breakdown of the primary elder care options available in Washington: Home Care, Adult Day Care, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing.
In Washington, home care is the most popular option. Home care agencies are not Medicare-certified because they do not offer skilled nursing services. Rather, home care typically involves an aid who can help at home with most personal care and homemaker tasks. Personal care tasks include bathing, dressing, transferring, and toileting. Homemaker services include shopping, meal preparation, errands, and transportation in addition to general companionship.
Home care is available for a few hours a day, or 24/7. The hourly cost of home care in Washington ranges from $16-38. The median hourly cost of home care in Washington is greater than the national average of $20. The annual cost is $54,912, for 44 hours of care per week for 52 weeks, though many people use home care only part-time.
Adult Day Care
Adult day care is generally used to provide a break for family caregivers. Adults who need assistance or supervision during the day, but not around-the-clock, can receive care through a community-based center.
The daily cost of adult day care in Washington ranges from $40-165. The median daily cost in Washington is less than the national average of $69. The annual cost is $17,563, for 5 days per week for 52 weeks.
Assisted-living is also community based, providing care and health services to people who may need assistance with activities of daily living, but not as extensively as assistance from nursing homes.
The monthly cost of assisted living in Washington ranges from $1,845-9,750. The median monthly cost of assisted living in Washington is greater than the national average of $3600. The annual cost is $55,500 for one bedroom in an assisted living facility.
Skilled nursing, or nursing homes, provides a high level of care for people who need close 24-hour supervision. They offer residents personal care assistance, room and board, medication, rehabilitation, and on-site nursing care.
For private rooms, the daily cost of skilled nursing in Washington ranges from $191-525.The median daily cost of skilled nursing in Washington is greater than the national average of $250. The annual cost is $105,631.
The most cost effective way to pay for care is to plan for care. Start the conversation with the entire family today to assess the care needs of your loved one and figure out how to pay for care. Planning today will ensure your loved ones comfort and wellbeing as they grow older without the added worry of uncertainty.