Planning for Long Term Care
When families, couples, or individuals begin long term care planning, it can be overwhelming and confusing. There are lots of things to consider like living situations, safety, and of course finances. Long Term Care is expensive, so it requires planning in advance and thorough understanding of options. Specifically for the areas we serve, long term care costs in Tennessee span a wide range.
Some of the long-term care services and options in Tennessee are assisted or independent living facilities, in home care (homemakers, home health aides, non-medical care), adult day health care, nursing homes. If you would like a deeper explanation of what each of these services can offer, check out our blog article about different types of senior care here. In this article, we’re going to briefly give a rundown of long term care costs in Tennessee as well as provide some resources regarding paying for these services.
A Short History of Long Term Care in the US
The KFF lists an in-depth history of long term care in the United States here. Briefly stated, the federal government passed the Social Security Act in 1935 which in short provided financial help to states to assist seniors with paying for care services. Over the next 30 years, various amendments were added to the SSA including Medicare and Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, establishment of the Administration on Aging, allowance for states to “govern the licensing of nursing home administrators,” and then the “Moss Amendments” which provided standards for nursing homes to meet before receiving federal funding.
Following these amendments, more community-based services gained access to federal grants. These are services like adult day health care, home health services, social services, etc. From the mid-1960s until still today, there have been amendments, changes, and updates to the policies on long term care in the US.
Long Term Care Options in Tennessee and Their Costs
In Tennessee, we have many LTC options for families or individuals to access. Each option has its own pros & cons and cost ranges. To get into the specifics of each would take a very long time, so we will discuss the averages for a few different types of LTC.
In-home care, sometimes called homemaker services, home health aides, non-medical home care, etc., is for those that wish to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the monthly median cost of 40 hours per week of in-home care was $4160.
Then, there’s community based services like an adult day care. Genworth lists its monthly median cost at $1733. Adult Day Cares provide activities and some therapeutic or health services for seniors that do not need around the clock care. Adult Day Cares are good for seniors with family caregivers that may have day jobs or need a break from the care they provide.
Assisted Living Facilities in Tennessee came in at a median monthly rate of $4105. ALFs provide housing and some health services for residents that may need assistance with activities of daily living but not as much assistance as residents of a nursing home need. The monthly median cost for a nursing home according to Genworth was around $7665. Nursing homes offer housing, meals, medication administration, skilled nursing, and more 24/7.
For more detailed information and cost of care details, visit the Genworth Cost of Care survey article.
Paying and planning for these services can be overwhelming. It’s important to discuss these decisions with professionals that have a background in the resources available to assist with these services. There are various government programs (TennCare, CHOICES, Long Term Care Insurance, etc.) that may be right for you or your loved one.
Care Around the Block offers Care Management to help with any confusion or anxiety experienced with long term planning and healthcare decisions. Our Care Managers are licensed healthcare professionals with expertise in local resources to guide you or your loved one through their unique aging journey. You can find more information on Care Management on our website here, or you can call our office directly to speak to someone right now at 865.444.6787.
We also offer in-home non-medical caregiving for seniors that want to age in place for as long as possible. Our trained caregivers can assist with activities of daily living like personal care, meal prep, chores, and more from anywhere between 2-24 consecutive hours. If you would like more information on our caregiving services, you can find that on our website here. Or you can call our office at 865.444.6787.