A nursing home is a senior living facility that offers the highest level of care and security. Nursing homes provide 24/7 monitoring and support for seniors and their families, including keyed entries, emergency response and room and board. Seniors can move into a nursing home for a short period of time after a surgery or full-time if they are unable to live independently and safely.
Common services include custodial care like bathing and feeding, specialized medical care and housekeeping. Nursing homes also offer general entertainment and social activities, like live music, movie nights or field trips. Because of all the services they provide, they also come at a high cost.
How much does a nursing home cost?
How much a nursing home costs depends on the length of stay, what type of services are required and the type of facility. Costs can also vary greatly from state to state. In general, the table below outlines the average costs of a nursing home in the United States.
|Semi-private room||Private room|
Average nursing home cost by state
Not all states are created equal when it comes to cost of care. Monthly nursing home costs range from $5,627 a month in Oklahoma to more than $30,000 a month in Alaska. This chart, put together using Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care study, outlines the average cost by state.
|State||Average daily Cost||Average monthly cost|
Nursing home vs. other senior living costs
Cost for these services can range from $20 per hour to more than $8,000 per month.
|Facility type||Cost per month (rounded)|
You’ll also need to factor in specialized needs, like care for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, which can add an additional $1,500 on to your cost each month. In-home care costs vary based on how often you need a care provider in your home. In-home care can be provided for a few hours a week or several hours each day. Live-in home care is also available.
How to pay for a nursing home
Nursing homes can be expensive, but there are many different options for seniors and their families when it comes to covering the cost. This includes long-term care insurance. Other options include:
- Medicare: Medicare can cover a portion of short-term inpatient stays, like intensive rehabilitation, but it’s fairly limited in terms of coverage.
- Medicaid: Medicaid may be an option for low-income individuals (usually making less than $2,313 per month), but the coverage typically only covers custodial care, not medical services.
- VA benefits: As a veteran, your VA benefits may also be used to help cover the cost of nursing homes and other senior living options.
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