In the past 10-plus years, there has been a trend away from nursing homes and to other, more home-like forms of long-term care for American seniors. MetLife estimates that today’s nursing home care costs upwards of $83,000 per year for a private room, on average.
“Previously, when someone required care outside of their home, their only choices were hospitals or nursing homes,” says Spiegel. “Now, there’s assisted living, continuing care, adult day healthcare, senior centers, receiving care at home—there are more choices, and choices are more home-like, which in general is more appealing to people.”
“Nursing homes are businesses and they’re trying to make a profit,” says Spiegel. Although both Medicaid and Medicare programs apply to nursing home residents, reimbursement rates from the government-funded programs aren’t as high as what a nursing home could receive from a private pay resident, says Spiegel.
For many people, assisted living is indistinguishable from a nursing home or other type of long-term, late-in-life care. Stock prices of large nursing home operators plummeted. That defies the image most Americans have of nursing homes. Homes can reprioritize how they spend money.