Where to Find the Cheapest Long Term Care in America


The price of long term care for aging adults continues to rise, with assisted living and nursing home costs increasing more rapidly than the cost of hiring an in-home caregiver, according to Genworth's 2015 Cost of Care study.

Here are the current median price tags for the three most common types of long term care, based on an analysis of 15,000 long term care providers nationwide:

It's important to note that these costs can vary widely, depending on geographic location as well as what type of services an older adult requires. Nationwide, in-home care costs range between $8 and $40 an hour; a single-occupancy assisted living room runs anywhere from $600 to $11,250 a month; and nursing home prices can be between $90 and $1,255 a day for a semi-private room and $101 and $1,255 a day for a private room.

Louisiana, West Virginia, Missouri and Oklahoma are the four states with the cheapest median long term care rates in the country:

  • Home care: Homemaker, Louisiana—$15 per hour; Home health aide Louisiana/West Virginia—$16 per hour
  • Assisted living: Missouri—$2,525 per month
  • Nursing home: Oklahoma—$165 per day (private room)

North Dakota, the District of Columbia and Alaska have some of the priciest median long term care rates in the country:

  • Home care: Homemaker, North Dakota—$26 per hour; Home health aide, North Dakota—$27 per hour
  • Assisted living: District of Columbia—$7,838 per month
  • Nursing home: Alaska—$771 per day (private room)

When planning for an older adult's future care needs, cost is one of the most significant areas of concern. There are a variety of resources that families can tap into, based on their financial situation such as Medicare, Medicaid and long term care insurance.

To learn more about the options available for covering long term care costs, see Paying for Care.

Specific information on each category of long term care can be found in the Senior Living section.

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So you are looking at around $60,000 per year for the least expensive nursing home.

If all other things are the same, ie: level of care, ease of access, constant health, then it would make sense to cross state lines in order to obtain more affordable, or better care for the same price.

The question then becomes how far is too far away? The choice comes down to time vs. money. An extra $2000 a month may allow your loved one (who may have Alzheimer’s and not know who you are) to be in the same zip code. Or you can drive an extra hour once a week, or a $150 flight. Only you can do the math for your situation. But the whole spend down approach just seems backwards to me.

And $280,000 per year for a Nursing Home in Alaska: As beautiful as it is up north you must really love the Aurora Borealis to stay in a NH there.

I went the other direction; I took my Grandmother abroad to Transylvania with a respite program, for about $2500 per month. More personalized care, higher staff to patient ratio. Yes I caught some grief from family, but in the last year she stayed with me no one from the family came to visit her. Thankfully there is Skype that allows me to see her more often than the traditional drive across town.

Angels Respite Program is another way to buy some time, and protect your family.

Love to All