This article has a lot of interesting data about nursing home care. It explains how long people are likely to need a nursing home stay and how much it could cost. It also makes the interesting point that elderly people with adult children are likely to need less long-term care than others. You can use the piece to sort through the marketing hype about how much long-term care people need and develop useful probabilities.
The study found that Americans between 57 and 61 had a 56 percent chance of having a nursing home stay of at least one day, higher than in some previous studies. That’s likely due in part to hospitals discharging people faster than in the past, and to a rise in stays in post-hospitalization rehabilitation centers. As long as someone has been in the hospital for three days, Medicare fully covers the cost of post-hospitalization rehab for up to 20 days, and then pays part of the cost for stays of up to 100 days.
The bad news: The averages on cost and nights spent in a nursing home are skewed by some huge numbers for a small percentage of people. Those who fall into that unhappy camp would need to save about $47,000 at 57 to cover the costs, assuming a long-term return of 3 percent on that money. Assume zero growth and the amount they’d need to save swells to $115,000.