Saving up for retirement is more important than ever, as many senior living facilities can cost families a great deal of money to care for elders. The cost is largely based on the type of unit, such as semi-private, private and detached, as well as the services offered on site.
Nursing homes charge a daily rate, which includes room and board as well as care services such as nursing and housekeeping. As of 2012, semi-private rooms cost an average of $222 a day or more than $81,000 a year, according to a survey from MetLife cited by U.S. News & World Report. For private rooms, rates jumped to an average of $248 a day or more than $90,500 a year. With the average stay coming in at 835 days, you're looking at total costs ranging from about $185,000 to $207,000.
For seniors who don't need long-term care, an assisted-living facility may be a better and often cheaper option. In fact, many nursing homes have this type of living facility available to residents. Because of this, most assisted-living facilities provide similar services as nursing homes -- such as meals, support staff, housekeeping and health care -- but offer more independence. The one-bedroom units often come equipped with kitchenettes, allowing residents to prepare their own meals. As of 2010, assisted-living facilities charged an average of $3,293 a month for one-bedroom units, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This translates into more that $39,000 a year. However, extra fees for additional services can bring the total cost closer to $50,000 a year.
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Besides moving to a nursing home or assisted-living facilities, seniors may also choose to use in-home care to remain in their residences. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates the average pay of home health aides at $21 per hour, so around-the-clock care works out to just more than $500 a day, or more than twice the rate of a nursing home. Homemaker services that provide assistance with cooking, cleaning and running errands cost an average of $19 an hour. At four hours a day, you're looking at a cost of more than $530 per week.
Adult Day Care
Another option for seniors is adult day care centers. While prices can range anywhere from $25 to $100 per visit, the average cost was closer to $67 a day as of 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The wide range in cost is largely due to the types of services offered. Some facilities provide exercise, recreation and social activities as well as transportation, counseling, health screening and medication management services.