Many people strive to stay as independent as possible, but as Kansas City residents grow older, their health may ultimately take a turn for the worse. When this happens, those individuals may need at-home care or may need to enter into an assisted living facility or a nursing home. These options, however, can be expensive, making long-term care planning more important than ever.

While senior citizens have many options for care, these options come at a price. For example, in 2010, the average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home in the United States was over $6,000 per month. If an individual wanted a private room in a nursing home, this raised the average cost to nearly $7,000 per month. Living in an assisted living facility cost significantly less. In the United States in 2010, on average it cost over $3,000 per month for an individual to reside in a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility.

Of course, assisted living facilities and nursing homes are not the only options for seniors who need help taking care of themselves. For example, in 2010 in the United States, the cost of a home health aide averaged just over $20 per hour. If an individual needed homemaker services, this cost just under $20 per hour on average. Finally, if an individual needed the services of an adult day health center, on average in 2010 in the United States this would cost $67 per day.

Other factors also played a role in determining the costs of services. The cost of long-term care services could be contingent on the kind of care the individual needs and the time of day the care is needed. For example, if an individual needs care in the evening, on holidays or on the weekend, this could increase the costs of home care services. In addition, if an individual is receiving services in an assisted living facility or nursing home beyond meals, board and housekeeping, this could also increase the costs of such facilities.

With these costs in mind, it is important for all residents of Kansas City to be proactive and consider elder care planning. By planning ahead, individuals in Kansas City can make sure that they are able to afford the help they need in their senior years.

Source: LongTermCare.gov, “Costs of Care,” Accessed Jan. 18, 2016

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