Study: Spouse In Nursing Home Increases Poverty Risk

Study: Spouse In Nursing Home Increases Poverty Risk


The Squared Away Blog, published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, profiled a recent study from the Michigan Center for Retirement and Disability Research Center that found a 30 percent probability that when one spouse goes into a nursing home, the person who is still living in the home can face serious financial hardship and even poverty.

The researchers followed nearly 2,000 older couples over two decades through a survey that asks individuals to report if they or a spouse is in a long-term care facility and how much it costs.

The average for the couples experiencing a nursing home stay was nine months, which racked up about $20,000 in out-of-pocket costs, according to the Michigan study. Not surprisingly, stays lasting more than 100 days – and past the period when Medicare might pay the bills – doubled the couple’s previous levels of out-of-pocket spending on medical care and greatly heightened the risk of falling into povertyRead the full blog post, which includes a link to the Michigan study.

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Darryl Hicks

Darryl Hicks is Vice President of Communications for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. In this capacity, Hicks writes for NRMLA's publications, manages the association's web sites and social media accounts, assists committees and the Board of Directors, and manages the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional designation. Prior to joining NRMLA in 1999, Hicks spent three years in the Washington, D.C. bureau for National Mortgage News.