MetLife: Long-Term Care Costs Continue to Escalate

As retirement savings run dry, the costs of long-term care keep rising, especially for assisted living facilities, reports a MetLife Mature Market Institute survey.

National average rates for a private nursing home room increased 4.4% to $87,235 a year in 2011, while assisted living base rates rose by 5.6% to $3,477 monthly or $41,724 annually, found MetLife’s 2011 report on the cost of long-term care. Adult day services went up to $70 a day, a 4.5% increase, but home health aides and homemaker/companion service rates were unchanged at $21 and $19 per hour, respectively.

“This year’s increases are greater than previous years. The state of the economy, combined with rising health care and energy costs, are having a significant impact on long-term care rates. In fact, long-term care rates continue to outpace the medical inflation rate,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, in a statement.

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The survey also included a closer look into each sector with a breakdown of demographics and levels of care.

The median age of nursing home residents was 82.7 years, a few years younger than the average age of assisted living residents, at nearly 87.

An overwhelming majority of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care agencies, and adult day services provide care for Alzheimer’s or dementia. Out of those who do provide this kind of care, most home health agencies (99%) and adult day service centers (98%) charge the same rate, but nursing homes and assisted living facilities are much more likely (at 20% and 50%, respectively) to charge extra fees for the service.

View the 2011 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace