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Study Compares Costs And Pricing Structures of Long Term Care Options

Although rates have increased for both nursing homes and assisted living communities, a new study finds that a private room in a nursing home is still more than double that of an apartment in an assisted living community. The research also outlines typical pricing structures and average rates on a state by state basis.

The study found that the average assisted living rate increased by 2.1 percent over the 2011 data. The average cost of assisted living is now $42,600 annually. While, the average rate for a private room in a nursing home is now $90,520 annually, a 3.8 percent increase over 2011. The average rate of a semi-private room in a nursing home increased by 3.7 percent over 2011 data to $81,030 annually. The average rate for home health aides remained stable at $21 an hour. 30 percent of home health agencies surveyed offer a 24 hour live in rate, averaging $251 a day of $91,615 annually.

79 percent of assisted living communities are stand alone, which means they are not connected to a hospital or nursing home, and more than half of assisted living communities provide care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Of assisted living communities that report a different rate for those requiring memory care, the average rate for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia is $57,684 annually. For nursing homes that charge a different rate for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the average rate for a private room is $95,265 annually. Most home health agencies do not charge an additional rate for those with Alzheimer’s, but only 68 percent of home health care agencies provide training related to Alzheimer’s care for their employees.

The survey finds that pricing structures vary across assisted living communities. 65 percent of assisted living communities include six to nine services in their standard rate, 31 percent include 10 or more services in their basic rate, while 4 percent of communities include 5 or less services in the base rate.  Typical services include bathing and dressing assistance, medication management, and other forms personal care. The report also outlines overall costs of assisted living, nursing home, home care, and adult day care on a state by state basis. For assisted living communities, Washington DC had the highest rates, averaging $5,933 annually, while Arkansas had the lowest rates at $2,355 annually.

Read the full report: 2012 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs for more information.

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