Wisconsin Nursing Home Costs and Star Ratings Updated

I used to spend my summers in Wisconsin. Those nights were filled with lakefront bonfires, days at the Dells, and evening fish boils. Now, I visit Milwaukee for its world-class (and beautiful) art museum on Lake Michigan and lunch at Lakefront Brewery. And let's not forget about the one and only House on the Rock. There’s a lot to love in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s elderly population—age 65 and over—will have increased from 77,500 in 2010 to 1,535,500 in 2040, nearly doubling in 30 years. The very elderly population—age 85 and over—will have risen steadily from 118,500 in 2010 to 145,500 in 2025, then nearly double to 283,500 in the following fifteen years increasing—140 percent, according to David Egan-Robertson at UW-Madison Applied Population Laboratory. It is estimated that about one in eight people age 85 or older (13 percent) resided in institutions like nursing homes.

Caregiverlist® estimates the average annual price of a semi-private room in a Wisconsin nursing home is $212 per day, which translates to $77,380 per year or about $6,448 per month. The average daily price of a private nursing home in a Wisconsin is $236, or $7,178 per month or $86,140 annually. While Wisconsin’s nursing homes are the 18th costliest in the nation, Wisconsin is home to the most expensive nursing homes in the Midwest. Neighboring states Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan all have lower daily nursing home rates and adjacent Iowa’s average shared nursing home room rate is $142 per day.

Below is a snapshot of Wisconsin nursing home costs and ratings. You can also see our findings on our Wisconsin nursing home cost infographic.

Total Number of Nursing Homes: 417

Average Single Price: $236
Average Double Price: $212
Average Rating: 3.1 (out of 5)

Star Rating Snapshot:
5-Star: 29
4-Star: 202
3-Star: 135
2-Star: 25
1-Star: 26

The nursing home talk is a difficult one and most families avoid the discussion until the need is imminent. We believe an informed consumer is in the best position to make those critical long-term care choices. Wisconsin seniors and their families should understand the costs of nursing homes in their chosen area, along with their overall ratings. Hospitals often discharge the senior to a nursing home for post-hospital stay rehabilitation after a stroke or major surgery. If the senior’s stay is longer than the Medicare-covered 100 days, those costs becomes private pay.

In-home caregiving can be an attractive option if 24-hour care is not needed. In home care agency caregivers are also fully vetted, insured, and taxed, per federal requirements.

“The cost (of in-home senior care) is variable, but usually less expensive than an assisted living,” says Jeff Huguet, Caring Partner at Nurse Next Door Home Care Services in Green Bay. “Unlike a nursing home, which can have a ratio of 20-40 patients for each caregiver or a 20/1 or a 40/1 ratio, our home care service is 1 client-1 caregiver. That 1/1 ration allows us to focus all of our energy on the client, in their home. The costs can be as low as $60/week to an average of $1,500-$2,500/month, costs can be higher if the patient needs Skilled Nursing Care, but it will still be generally less than most nursing homes.”

Every family has to determine their own breaking point between cost and level of care. We recommend you consult with a professional who can come up with a financial action plan to anticipate future long-term care costs. They will help assess your future spending needs. Seniors and their family caregivers can research nursing home costs and ratings in any state nationwide through the Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Directory, the only resource with this trademarked information.

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