California Partnership for Long Term Care

Cost of Long-Term Care

We never want to think about the possibility that we'll one day need help with dressing, eating, bathing or using the toilet, yet someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term careCare given to someone who can no longer perform activities of daily living. in their remaining years.1 When daily activities become difficult and you or a loved one need long-term care because of a chronic physical condition, such as arthritis, or a degenerative mental disease, such as Alzheimer's, who will pay for this care?

The duration and level of care varies from person to person, but even average long-term care costs can be out of reach for many Americans without some kind of financing in place. We have calculators to help you understand the financial costs, but you also have to weight the human costs of time, emotional stress and suffering. There's no amount of planning or money that will remove all of these problems, but simple advance planning can significantly reduce some of these challenges.

Long-term care can be very expensive and many people will need care for an extended period of time (one year or more).

  • Nursing home costs in California averaged $290 a day in 2017, with the annual cost of care close to $110,000.2
  • On average, people require two years of long-term care3, but one in five will need it for longer than five years.1
  • Generally, women need care for longer than men (3.7 years versus 2.2 years).1



  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 10 Dec. 2017, Accessed 23 Jan. 2018.
  2. Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development's LTC Annual Financial Data Profile report, 2014.
  3. Long-Term Care Services and Supports for Older Americans: Risks and Financing.” ASPE Issue Brief. HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy. February 2021. Available at: