Humans are now living longer, better quality lives than at any time in our known history. Many of the ailments that killed or debilitated millions of humans in the past, such as polio and bubonic plague, have been eliminated by the discoveries of such great scientific minds as Jonas Salk and Marie Curie. But such advances do not come without a price, and living for so long is not accomplished without incurring the ravages of time.
The average, annual cost for one person to stay in a nursing home is now $73,000. For a private room in a nursing home the cost is even greater, running an average of $248 a day. That’s right; it costs an average of $90,000 – the cost of a college education – for one year in a private room at a nursing home.
At assisted-living facilities, the average rent is now $3,486 a month. That is a 17% increase in the last five years, and it only accounts for facilities that provide assistance with day-to-day activities. The costs seem even more outrageous when one discovers that most facilities are “bundling” their services. On average, this means that such facilities are charging each resident for six to nine services that he or she may not require. At the high end of the spectrum, about 31% of facilities bundle 10-plus services.
The greatest increase in costs has occurred in the home-healthcare category, where spending by Medicare beneficiaries increased over 129% from 2000 to 2010. In fact, the total number of dollars spent on such care in 2010 was $19,000,000,000.
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