What is Long-Term Care?

What Long-Term Care Costs

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that total expenditures for long-term care services for the elderly in 2004 - excluding the value of donated care - totalled about $135 billion, or roughly $15,000 per impaired senior.

Despite the amount of money currently spent on long-term care, the vast majority of long-term care is provided by family and friends; more specifically, women and daughters.

In 2004, the average cost of long-term care provided by a nursing home in the United States was $70,000 per year. This cost is expected to rise by 5% every year. So if you are 50 years old now, by the time you are 80, you can expect to pay up to $260,000 per year for the long-term care you stand a 50% chance of needing at some point in your life.

And while more desirable forms of long-term care such as home-based care, or care in an assisted living facility can be less expensive, they are generally not available once your own assets are exhausted.

Click here for the cost of different care options in your state