By: Kristin Daugherty, Long-Term Care Planner, Certified Medicaid Planner™
I have read a few articles lately that are circulating the internet about living on a cruise ship or hotel instead of a nursing home. I’ll tell you, it’s an interesting concept – living in luxury, being waited on, and possibly traveling the world at the same time – why not?
In 2019, the average cost of a nursing home in Pennsylvania was $342.58 per day or $10,420.14 per month! I did some research of my own and the average nightly cost of a hotel in Pennsylvania is around $100. A cruise ship is a bit more with an average nightly cost of $150. For between $3,000 - $4,500 you can live your golden years traveling across the ocean or trying out different hotels. Sounds great, so what are we missing?
A hotel or cruise ship will provide services such as room and board, maid service, and meals. A nursing home is a skilled facility. It provides the highest level of care for individuals who are medically compromised, or have capacity issues and can no longer stay home safely. Nursing homes provide hands-on 24-hour care, which includes supervision, medication distribution/management, ADLs (bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting), mobility/transfers, meals, and most importantly, the residents' medical care. These tasks are the reason that the average cost of nursing home care is over $10,000 per month. It takes a team to provide this level of care.
And what about medical care? At age 65 many individuals enroll in Medicare which is a federal health insurance program that works with your supplemental health plan. Medicare is a great program but falls short when we are talking about long-term care in a nursing home – only providing coverage for up to 100 days per calendar year. Most often, Medicare recipients only qualify for a few short weeks of coverage. If you are depending on Medicare to pay for your long-term care, then you will be very unhappy when you receive your first bill from the nursing home (remember it costs an average of $342.58 per day or $10,420.14 per month - and that was in 2019, it's only likely to go up in 2020)!
So, where will you choose to live out your golden years? I get it, none of us want to move into a nursing home, but the reality is that there is a 1-in-4 chance you will require nursing home care. What can you do to prevent your life savings from going to your nursing home bills (and maybe take an extra vacation or cruise now)? The answer is simple – meet with an elder law attorney. Working with individuals and families to protect their life savings from long-term care is what we do every day. At Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak we work with you to protect your life savings from the devastating cost of long-term care. Call us today at 1-800-351-8334 to schedule your FREE initial consultation with our Certified Medicaid Planners™ and attorneys so you can live in a place that can meet all your needs without losing your life savings.