Study Shows Sobering Reality for Costs of Assisted Living

How much will an average assisted living cost? The answers vary widely depending on region, but the latest data from Northwestern Mutual indicates that assisted living residents face a single room average of $3,372.41 per month. For nursing home patients, the average is $246 per day.

The costs are mounting at a time when Americans are getting older, notes the cost of Long-Term Care study, but without much planning on the part of those who will seek the services.

“What’s interesting is that most people realize they will need care, and yet by their own admission they’re not sure how they plan for it,” said Steve Sperka, Northwestern Mutual vice president of long-term care.

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The costs depend greatly on location and care-type, but are consistently high, the report states, with the most expensive region seeing monthly costs for assisted living of more than $6,600 (Bethesda, Maryland) and the least expensive at $1,200 per month (Milwaukee). For nursing care, the average annual cost for a private room is roughly $90,000.

“The data is sobering, and doesn’t even include the added expenses of medical equipment, transportation, drugs and other hidden costs,” Sperka said. “Relative to other financial commitments in retirement, long-term care costs are disproportionately high and people need to think ahead to lessen the financial and emotional impact.”

The study also tracks hourly rates of pay for home health care, finding the national rate for Home Health Aides is $20.65 per hour.

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View the study highlights.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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