Nursing Home and Assisted Living Rates Rise Significantly says Survey

NewImage.jpgNursing home and assisted living rates rose significantly in 2010 according to the Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs.

MetLife’s annual market survey found that private room nursing home rates rose 4.6% to $229 per day or $83,585 per year, while assisted living rose 5.2% on average to $3,293 per month, or $39,516 per year.  These increases come on top of increases from 2008 to 2009 when both nursing home and assisted living costs were up 3.3%.

Costs for home health aides and adult day services were unchanged in the past year, remaining at an average price of $21 per hour, while adult day services costs are still $67 per day.

The highest average daily rates for nursing homes continued to be in Alaska, where rates are now $687 for a private room and $610 for a semi-private room. Costs are lowest in Louisiana, outside the Baton Rouge and Shreveport Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), at an average of $138 per day for a private room.  For assisted living, the Washington, D.C. area had the highest average monthly base rate at $5,231, while Arkansas, outside of the Little Rock MSA, had the lowest average monthly rate of $2,073.

“The cost of care in nursing homes and assisted living has been and continues to be high and, in the past year, the increases have even outpaced medical care inflation of about 3%,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “As the population ages, there are more and more people among us who will need long-term care. While families continue to provide the lion’s share of care, paid care is commonly part of the equation and the costs can derail even the best financial plan. There is very good reason for individuals and families to look into savings plans, annuities and long-term care insurance to hedge the possibilities.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2009, 68% of nursing home residents were women, and only 16% of all residents were under the age of 65. The median age of residents was 83 years.

Current estimates from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging indicate that nearly one million people live in approximately 39,500 assisted living residences in the U.S. The average age of an assisted living resident is 86.9 years old, and the median length of stay in assisted living is 29.3 months.

View the full report here.

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