We have frequently touched upon the high cost of nursing home care in the United States on this blog. It is important for people in the elder law community to raise awareness because so many people don’t understand the facts.
Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of convalescent care under certain circumstances, but it won’t pay for long-term care. Nursing home expenses can devastate your savings, and of course that is going to impact the estate that you have left to leave to your loved ones.
When you are budgeting for the future you have to make some projections, including where you would stand if you did in fact need nursing home care. Clearly, the length of stay that you could potentially expect is a very big part of the equation.
The average length of stay is just that, an average. There is no particular reason why you would necessarily expect to spend this average length of time in a nursing home, but it is a useful benchmark to consider. Data compiled by the National Nursing Home Survey places the average length of stay at 835 days.
To look at some of the extremes, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance tells us that one out of every 10 nursing home residents between the ages of 75 and 84 will spend at least five years receiving care. On the other end of the spectrum, about 30% of people in nursing homes who are within this age group will spend one hundred days or less.
The safest course of action is to be financially and legally prepared for an extended stay even though it may never be necessary. If you would like to discuss how to prepare for potential long-term care with a licensed professional, contact our firm at (408) 356-9200 in Campbell or (831) 476-2400 in Aptos to set up a free consultation.