Donna Nickerson spent her last working years as the activity and social services director at a Turlock, Calif., nursing home.
But when she developed Alzheimer’s disease and needed that kind of care herself, she and her husband couldn’t afford it: A bed at a nearby home cost several thousand dollars a month.
“I’m not a wealthy man,” said Nickerson’s husband Mel, a retired California State University-Stanislaus professor. “There’s no way I could pay for that.”
About half of all people turning 65 today will need daily help as they age, either at home or in nursing homes. Such long-term care will cost an average of $91,100 for men and double that for women, because they live longer.