Each year Genworth surveys long-term care providers in hundreds of local regions nationwide to determine the cost of various long term care services. This information can help consumers anticipate and plan to meet the high cost of care in their preferred geographic location and care setting.
Genworth recently issued its survey report for 2016. Here are some highlights with a focus on areas my law firm serves in Northcentral and Northeastern Pennsylvania.
What is Long-Term Care
Long-term care refers to the types of assistance you need if you have a prolonged physical illness, disability or severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s disease) and require ongoing support. These limitations may prevent you from carrying out basic self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing or eating, which are called "Activities of Daily Living" (ADLs). And you may need assistance with "Instrumental Activities of Daily Living" (IADLs), such as meal preparation, money management, house cleaning, medication management, and transportation.
The support may be provided in various settings including the care recipient's home, a personal care facility, or a nursing home. The care required can range from only limited in-home support all the way to 24 hour care provided by professional nurses and trained staff in licensed nursing facilities.
About 70 percent of people age 65 or older will need some long-term care services and supports at some point in their remaining lifetime.
Initially long-term care support may be provided by uncompensated family members. But a loved one’s care needs can easily overwhelm family caregivers and unpaid care must often be supplemented with paid assistance. Unfortunately, the costs of paid long-term care services and supports are typically not covered by Medicare or other health insurance. They can easily bankrupt the recipient and destroy a family's financial security.
The Genworth survey provides both national and local cost of care information that can help families understand, prepare for, and perhaps limit the potentially catastrophic financial impact of long-term care.
Care Costs for the Williamsport, Bloomsburg, Scranton and State College Areas
Long-term care is provided in a variety of settings. Costs vary by setting and by geographic location. The Genworth survey provides a list of costs incurred for various services in different settings and localities in each state.
In Pennsylvania, the survey places Williamsport, Bloomsburg, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and State College into separate regions and the average costs for similar services do vary somewhat between these regions. The median annual costs for various support services in each of these areas during the most recent survey were as follows:
Homemaker Services (based on 44 hours per week)
$50,336 State College
Home Health Aide Services (based on 44 hours per week)
$50,336 State College
Personal Care Facility (based on 12 months, private, one bedroom)
$41,940 State College
Nursing Home (semi-private room) (based on 365 days of care)
$98,003 State College
Nursing Home (private room) (based on 365 days of care)
$69,533 State College [Editor's note: this figure appears to be incorrect]
The above costs are staggering. Fortunately, there are a few programs including Medicaid and Veterans Benefits (for veterans and their spouses) that can often help finance the cost of care. Expert guidance from an elder law attorney can help families qualify for financial assistance sooner rather than later.
Planning, preparation, and expert assistance are critically important. Pennsylvania residents can meet with an experienced elder law attorney at Marshall, Parker and Weber to set up a plan that will help you find the most appropriate care and pay for it without bankrupting your family.
In addition, Marshall, Parker and Weber offers care management services that help families get the long-term care information and support needed to best manage health and personal care issues. A care manager can help you ensure that your loved one will get the best possible care whether at home or another location. And they can help relieve the enormous burdens and stress you face in being a caregiver.