Cost of Long-Term Care

The cost of long-term care services will depend upon the type of care you are receiving, where you live geographically, and whether you live in a metro or rural area. Typically costs will be higher in metro areas compared to comparable services in rural areas. Costs are also much higher in the northeast versus the Midwest.

  • Of the $235 billion spent on paid [Long-Term Services and Supports] in 2017 (public, out-of-pocket and other private spending), out-of-pocket spending accounted for 23 percent of the total national expenditures.1

In the early progression of care, typically an individual relies on family to provide the bulk of the caregiving. The visual cost of care during this time involves additional expenses incurred by family members including additional gas expense, miscellaneous items purchased for caregiving, possible loss of income, etc.

  • Today, more than one in five Americans (an estimated 53.0 million adults) are caregivers, having provided care to an adult or child with special needs at some time in the past 12 months.2
  • In 2017, about 41 million family caregivers in the U.S. provided an estimated 34 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $470 billion.3

Look up your state’s Home Health Care, Assisted Living, and Nursing Home costs by visiting our Cost of Care Map.

1. Edem Hado, Harriet Komisar. Long-Term Services and Supports. Washington, DC: AARP Public Policy Institute. August 2019.
2. AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregiving in the United States 2020. Washington, DC: AARP. May 2020.
3. Reinhard, Susan C. Lynn Friss Feinberg, Ari Houser, Rita Choula, and Molly Evans. Valuing the Invaluable: 2019 Update – Charting a Path Forward. Washington, DC: AARP Public Policy Institute. November 2019.