Genworth 2018 Annual Cost of Care Survey: Overall Long Term Care Costs Increased in Georgia

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

According to the 15th annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the overall cost of long term care in Georgia increased from 2017 to 20181. Despite this rise in costs, Georgia was still one of the three least expensive states for assisted living facilities.  

Overall, long term care costs across most care settings in Georgia, including home health aide services, assisted living and nursing facilities, increased from 2017 to 2018. The cost of assisted living facilities increased 10.71 percent, exceeding the national year-over-year percentage increase1.

Nationally, the blended annual median cost of long term care support services increased across the country an average of 3 percent from 2017 to 20181, with some care categories exceeding two to three times the 2.1 percent U.S. inflation rate2. This is significant because, as people live longer, the likelihood of of needing long term care increases3, a proposition that is getting more costly with every passing year4.

"For the past 15 years, Genworth has been a leader in educating families about the potential of needing long term care by providing our annual Cost of Care Survey and underscoring the importance of planning ahead for these costs," said David O'Leary, President and CEO of Genworth's U.S. Life Insurance division.  "Most people assume government programs will pay for some or all of these costs5, but that's not always the case. That's why it's so important for people to educate themselves about the costs and how they will pay for them -- well before they need care -- so that they can live on their own terms as they grow older."     

Cost of Care Statistics for Georgia

Care Category


State Costs

National Costs

Homemaker Services

Median Annual Cost




Change from 2017



Home Health Aide

Median Annual Cost




Change from 2017



Adult Day Care

Median Annual Cost




Change from 2017



Assisted Living Facilities*

Median Annual Cost




Change from 2017



Nursing Home - Semi Private Room

Median Annual Cost




Change from 2017



Nursing Home - Private Room

Median Annual Cost




Change from 2017



*Referred to as Residential Care Facilities in California.

Why Costs Are Rising

Several factors6 are driving up the cost of care across all care options, according to long term care providers surveyed by Genworth:

  • The shortage of skilled workers. It's a simple case of supply and demand:  With demand outpacing the supply of workers, caregivers know they can demand more and companies are willing to pay more for the best workers.  Also, fewer caregivers mean more overtime, which means consumers pay more for care.   

  • Higher minimum wages and changes in overtime pay rules.

  • Difficulty attracting and retaining qualified workers.

  • Business constraints facing home care agencies, such as differing laws on certification of caregivers, compliance obligations, razor-thin margins, balancing care quality and costs.

  • The increasing incidence of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia, which is increasing the need for more specialized care – and higher hourly wages.

  • Aging Americans needing more specialized care, the result of waiting too long to receive professional care. By then, the diagnosis has progressed beyond the need for basic care to very specialized and intensive levels of care, which is more expensive.

Resources for Understanding Care Financing Options
Genworth believes people of all ages should understand the opportunities and challenges associated with living longer in today's world. Planning well now helps expand the choices available for care later as we grow older.  People of all ages can take advantage of the following resources to educate themselves about the cost of care and alternative funding options:   

"Increasingly, people and their loved ones are finding that the cost of long term care services is staggering and often they are unaware of it in advance," said Gordon Saunders, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Genworth, who manages the Cost of Care Survey.  "Our mission is to help people who need care age on their own terms and live their lives the way they want.  We do that by providing research and resources that can help educate people about the cost associated with long term care well before they need it.  We hope these resources will encourage them to start meaningful conversations with family and friends about their care because to live well, we all must plan well."