Trying to pay for nursing home costs can cause an enormous amount of stress. The cost of long-term care is high in Philadelphia; it can reach even higher than the national average. However, you don’t have to keep worrying about the costs because there are plenty of options as well as a good selection of facilities that can fit almost any budget.
Over one-third of Pennsylvania's nursing homes rated at above average in health inspections.
5.9% of the U.S. population or 79,442 people live in nursing homes in the state of Pennsylvania.
1.4 million people in Pennsylvania are providing in-home care to a loved one, totalling about $15.6 billion in costs.
Pennsylvania spends about 11% of its Medicaid funds on long-term care for the elderly.
After you look at the average cost of nursing homes in the Philadelphia area, you might get some sticker shock. Keep in mind these numbers aren’t the whole picture and there are ways to make a nursing home fit your budget. In 2015, a semi-private room in the U.S. averaged in at $80,300 and a private room came in at about $91,250. For Philadelphia, the average for a semi-private room was $114,610 and a private room was $127,750.
Yes, those numbers are high and you might start to panic, but keep in mind those are just the averages. You can find a wide price range right within the Philadelphia area that will fit your budget. Also, the kind of nursing home and services that you need can greatly affect your total cost.
What are the services offered in a nursing home and will they be able to cater to your needs? The standard nursing home is equipped with a medical staff that are trained to take care of your day-to-day medical needs. These doctors and nurses, along with therapist and specialists, can handle any medical condition whether it is pre-existing such as diabetes or wound care from a recent fall.
You can also find nursing homes that have specialized training to deal with conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or even cancer. Many facilities are also the final home for many patients, so staff are trained in hospice care and can provide support to patients and their families at the end of their life. Your basic daily needs will also be met including healthy and, if necessary, specialized diets, daily exercises to increase strength and flexibility as well as regular mental health screenings.
Outside of the medical realm of nursing homes, there is also an extracurricular side. Nursing homes aren’t just a place to receive medical care, but the home of many residents. Directors are conscious of this fact and will schedule fun activities that can help the residents enjoy a higher quality of life. This can be things like live performances from local groups, visits from therapy dogs or Scout troops, arts and crafts, movie screenings and, if possible, day trips and outings.
How can you find a place that is right for you? Make a list of your needs and requirements and come up with as many questions as possible. Then, go and visit each place, talk with the director, and ask to see the state inspection report. Ask about any deficiencies in the report and see how they are fixing them.
It’s also a good idea to walk around the facility and interact with the staff and current residents. Make sure you can see the living areas as well as the communal areas and try to have a meal there too. All of this will help you feel comfortable in your possible home and make a more informed decision.
You might think that you have to pay for everything out-of-pocket, but that isn’t necessarily true. You do have a few options that can help lower the cost as well as get some of the care covered completely. A semi-private room is always going to be cheaper than a private room and can translate into thousands of dollars saved. You can also look into selling or renting out your home while you’re gone to use that money towards your care cost.
Long-term care insurance policies are a great way to have your nursing home stay covered. If you don’t have this insurance, you can look into Medicaid. If you’re a low-income family and you meet the requirements, you could have up to two-thirds of your cost covered. Veterans can also have some of their long-term care covered under their VA benefits, you just have to check with your local office.
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