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How Much Do Lincoln Nursing Homes Cost?

Nursing home care is known to be expensive, and each day the bills continue to rise.  Luckily, the average cost of nursing home care is less than the national average in Lincoln. You can find a variety of amenities and services along with various price ranges to suit your budget.  Below is some information on the search for the right nursing home care.

Nursing Homes at a Glance

In 2014, there were 15,600 nursing homes with 1.4 million residents in the US.

Nebraska had 11,863 nursing home residents in 2015, which ranks 32nd in all US states.

On average, nursing home costs equal about 246 percent of the annual median household income for seniors.

How Much Do Nursing Homes Cost in Lincoln?

Nursing home care prices can vary significantly by geographic location and type of services. According to Genworth Financial, the 2016 national median rate for a semi-private nursing home room was $82,128 per year, and the price for a private room was $92,376. Lincoln’s averages were significantly less expensive than the national average. In Lincoln, the average rate for a semi-private nursing home room was $73,913 per year, while the private room averaged $87,418.

These prices are averages, so depending on the amenities offered, some nursing homes may be more or less expensive.  You should shop around to find the best home for your budget. Also, consider nearby communities or living outside of city limits to help lower costs.

What Nursing Homes Offer

Nursing homes have a nurse on staff at all hours to provide medical care such as giving medication, wound care, and scheduling needed therapy like speech, physical, or occupational. There are also certified nurse assistants (CNAs) to provide patient care.  They work under the RN’s supervision to provide daily care. The CNAs will report patient’s conditions to families and report any changes they observe.

Nursing homes concentrate on long-term care for residents, and some offer various types of health care including memory care for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients in a separate wing or a standalone facility.  High Plains Alzheimer’s Special Care Center provides memory care and is a winner of SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2017 Best of Senior Living Awards. You can find skilled nursing homes, like Homestead Healthcare & Rehabilitation, with short-term or rehab care after a hospital stay or surgery. Most nursing homes also offer hospice care for families and patients.

To keep residents as healthy as possible, the meals from the kitchen follow strict guidelines to accommodate various diets such as diabetic, low-sodium, vegetarian, and kosher. Residents can choose to eat in the large, community dining room or in their rooms.  The staff will help patients eat who need assistance.

Beyond Health Care

There is more to a nursing home than just medical care. Because residents live in the facility, there are various activities to keep them active and engaged. These activities include crafts, movies, games, exercise, dances, parties, and outings. To help with the spiritual well-being of residents, the chaplain can counsel both patients and families. Typically, each nursing home also has worship services or religious study groups.

If your loved one has a pet, some nursing homes allow pets including 2017 SeniorAdvisor.com’s Best of Senior Living Award Winner Bickford of Lincoln.  Some communities have on-site salon care and visiting dentists and podiatrists. Complimentary transportation is available for residents to run errands or go to doctor’s appointments.

Choosing a Nursing Home

When choosing a skilled nursing facility, you should visit each facility at least once.  Ask about the staff, activities, meals, licensing, services, and spiritual support.  The state inspection report is a great resource to see if there are any issues.  Be sure to ask how they have resolved any issues reported. AARP posted a list of questions to ask when you are visiting a nursing home to help you with your decision.

You will want to get a feel for the community, Talk to current residents and staff when you are visiting a community. Visit during a mealtime and eat there to try out the food.  Also, get an itemized list of the monthly bill to so you know what services are extra.

Visit the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for information and resources to find the best care for you. They can help answer any questions or concerns about long-term care.  

How You Can Lessen Your Expense and Pay for Care

You can notice the largest savings with nursing home care if you choose a semi-private room versus a private room.  Using the 2016 Genworth median rates for Toledo above, a patient could save about $13,500 annually. A roommate may also help you or your loved one feel more comfortable and meet others in the community.

Now you are probably curious how you are going to pay for this great expense.  A long-term care insurance policy does cover skilled nursing care.   If your loved one has a policy, find out the coverages, limits, and other terms. If you or your loved one does not have a long-term care policy, there are other viable options.

The government program, Medicaid, is an option for low-income seniors with limited assets. Veterans who served in the war along with their widows may be eligible for the VA’s Aid & Attendance pension.  For more details on this benefit, visit the local Nebraska VA Service Office.

For senior homeowners, they may be able to get a reverse mortgage, which utilizes the equity in their home.  Some life insurance policies can be cashed out early for payment.  Be sure to discuss with your tax advisor, lawyer, or estate planner to understand the fees, taxes, and other stipulations before making one of these choices.

To help you understand more about a reverse mortgage, the US Housing and Urban Development Department offers this guide. For information on a life insurance policy, visit the Nebraska Department of Insurance or contact your agent.

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