Medicare coverage won't pay for most of the costs associated with long-term care for the elderly, whether it's in-home care or residency in a nursing home. Most won't qualify for Medicaid, though Medicaid will cover a large portion of expenses for those who do [source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services].
The cost of in-home elder care (as well as residency in a nursing home or retirement community) varies depending on where you live and what your needs are. On average, three visits a week from a home health aide will cost $18,000 a year [source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services]. Your needs may be less or more than that, but in-home elder care is less expensive than other options, and there are financial advantages to extending the use of in-home elder care for as long as possible.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average elder-care costs in the United States include the following:
- $198/day for a semi-private room in a nursing home ($219/day for a private room)
- $3,131/month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
- $21/hour for a home health aide
- $19/hour for homemaker services
- $67/day for care in an adult day health care center