Magazine article Aging Today

Nursing Home Cost Hits $77K

Magazine article Aging Today

Nursing Home Cost Hits $77K

Article excerpt

The basic rate for a private nursing home room in the United States rose to a whopping annual average of $77,745 this year, up 3% from 2006, and a semiprivate room hit $68,985 a year, according to the latest survey conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute in conjunction with LifePlans Inc., a consulting and data analysis firm.

The MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home and Assisted Living Costs also found that growth in assisted living base rates remained flat during the last year, with a national average private-pay rate of $35,628 annually.

The 2007 survey was conducted by telephone last June and July in 87 major markets in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The study includes data from 1,239 nursing homes and 881 assisted living facilities.

Daily private-room nursing home rates ranged from a low of $123 in the Baton Rouge, La., area to a high of $510 in Alaska. Assisted living rates also ranged considerably by region, with Indianapolis, proving to be the lowest ($1,963 per month) and the Washington, D.C., area topping the list ($5,031 monthly). The study reports that base rates are often affected by facility size, with smaller facilities providing more services in the base price.

The study also determined that more assisted living facilities are providing dementia care (59% vs. 48% in 2006) and that the additional costs for those services average $1,110 per month. The average monthly rate for facilities charging an extra fee for Alzheimer's care is $4,270, or $51,240 annually. The 18page survey report provides cost averages for each market

GROWING NUMBERS

The MetLife study notes that the population of those age 85 or older in the United States grew from 4,240,000 in 2000 to 5,096,000 in 2005, a 20% increase. …

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