According to the Metlife Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs, nursing home and assisted living rates have been on a steady incline since 2009.

There has been a 4.6 percent increase in private room nursing home rates, raising to $229 per day or $83,585 per year, with the highest average daily rates 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 areas, at an average of $138 per day for a private room.

Assisted living rates rose 5.2 percent on average to $3,293 per month or $39,516 per year. The Washington, D.C., area had the highest average monthly base rate at $5,231 for assisted living while Arkansas, outside of Little Rock, had the lowest average monthly rate of $2,073.

Sixty-eight percent of nursing home residents were women, and only 16 percent of all residents were under the age of 65, according to the 2009 Census. The median age of residents was 83 years.

The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging estimates nearly 1 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.

Adult day services centers are seeing more growth as a cost-effective provider of long-term care services. There has been a 35 percent increase since 2002 in adult day service centers nationwide with a total of 4,600 currently. Rates have stayed the same, however, remaining at about $67 per day.

Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, says the increase in nursing homes and assisted living rates even outpaces medical care inflation by about 3 percent. She adds as more people need long-term care, now is a good time for “individuals and families to look into savings plans, annuities and long-term care insurance to hedge the possibilities.”

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute(R)