MetLife: Mounting Senior Care Costs Point to Aging in Place Solution

The cost of long-term care is rising in many areas, but the MetLife Mature Market Institute’s most recent senior care market survey might be good news for people who want to age in place, as wages for home health aides remained flat from 2011 to 2012.

Rates for skilled nursing and assisted living both went up year-over-year, and while the cost of “homemaker” services grew 5.3%, rates for adult day services and home health aides did not go up.

Average costs for adult day services stayed at $70 a day in 2012, and wages for home health aides, averaging $21 an hour, remained unchanged from 2011 levels. Wages for “homemakers” rose to $20 an hour.

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“The desire for families and friends to remain at home, or ‘age in place,’ has created a diverse and dynamic home care service industry and a variety of service providers,” says MetLife.

The cost of a private room in a nursing home rose 3.8% to a national average rate of $248 a month, or $90,520 a year. The expense for a semi-private room increased 3.7% to  $222 a month, and an average yearly rate of $81,030. 

Assisted living costs grew 2.1% to an average monthly rate of $3,550, or $42,600 a year. 

Generally speaking, monthly rates for assisted living and skilled nursing facilities were higher on the East Coast and in the New England region.

View MetLife’s Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs for 2012.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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  • Great article Alyssa. My question is what will be the place where seniors live 5, 10, or 20 years from now. Independent living apartments that transition to assisted living will allow home-like residences but offer economies of scale to further save costs.  We are seeing that already and I think that trend will accelerate in coming years.  Consumers will come to learn the many benefits of independent and assisted living, and transfer away from single family homes that are detached from social opportunities and lower cost care options.

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