5 ways to save on the high cost of long-term care

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Caring for an aging parent or parents doesn’t come cheap.

According to Caring.com, a Bankrate-affiliated caregiver website, the average nursing home cost is $6,000 to $7,500 per month, and in-home care can range from $12 to $30 per hour, making it cost-prohibitive for many families.

Long-term care insurance can take care of a lot of the bills, but many Americans can’t afford that type of insurance or have never given it a second thought.

“People don’t realize Medicare is not covering this,” says Alex Guerrero, director of operations for American Elder Care Research Organization, a group that helps people find elder care financial assistance. “That lack of a realization as to who is going to pay for this is definitely part of the problem.”

Demand for care to rise

The problem is expected to only get worse as baby boomers age. Consider this: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some form of help as they age.

While one-third of people who are 65 today may never need long-term care, 20% will need it for more than 5 years.

Caring for your aging loved one doesn’t have to put you on the brink of bankruptcy. You won’t get a free ride, but there’s a host of ways to defray some of the costs.