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Care cost survey: Home is tortoise to facility's hare

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The cost of home-based care in Pennsylvania is going up, but not as fast as the cost of facility-based care, according to the 11th annual Cost of Care survey by Genworth.

The median hourly cost for homemaker services in Pennsylvania has increased 1.6 percent annually over the past five years, and the hourly cost of home health aide services has increased 1 percent over the same time, the survey said. The median hourly cost for their services is now $20.

By comparison, the median annual cost for care in an assisted living facility has increased 5.2 percent annually over the period in Pennsylvania, to $39,360 annually. The comparable cost for a private nursing home room also increased over that time, rising 4 percent annually to $107,493 for a private room and $99,196 for a semi-private room.

"Over the past 40 years, Genworth has worked hard to educate today's families on the need to plan for the significant financial risk that long term care could impose on them," Tom McInerney, Genworth president and CEO, said in a news release.

"With the number of Americans over 65 projected to double over the next 40 years, continued increases in the cost of care and limited public financing options available to cover these costs, long term care is one of the most important social issues of our time," McInerney said.

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