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LTC's rising price tag

December 1, 2009
by root
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“News is news, but what do you do about it?” Turn to LTL for depth, analysis, perspective.

According to the 2009 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs, private room nursing home rates rose 3.3% to $219 per day or $79,935 per year, while assisted living also rose 3.3% on average to $3,131 per month. In addition, home healthcare aides and adult day services saw increases.

For nursing homes, costs for a private room ranged from a high of $584/day in Alaska to a low of $132/day in Louisiana, rest of state. Wilmington, Delaware ($5,219/month) presented the highest assisted living costs, while the lowest were found in North Dakota ($2,041/month). Adult day services were highest in Vermont at $150 per day and lowest in Montgomery, Alabama at $27 per day.

The study groups assisted living communities into three categories-basic (five or fewer services), standard (six to nine services), and inclusive (10 or more services)-and notes differences from 2008 in the number of communities in each category. More facilities are classified in the middle, or standard, range and fewer in the basic category. Communities considered as standard include more services in their base rates but, on average, also have higher base rates. The study also found that those who enter an assisted living community with Alzheimer's disease, or those who develop Alzheimer's later, can expect to pay more for that care, with an average monthly cost of $4,435.

“These across-the-board increases may be surprising to many given the economy over the past year,” said Sandra Timmermann, EdD, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “But, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) decreased overall during the past year, costs for medical care are 3.3% higher, which parallels our findings on long-term care. The change in pricing methods at some assisted living communities may be another factor, a warning to consumers to carefully compare prices at all long-term care service facilities by considering both the base price and the add-ins for additional services.”

The 2009 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs can be downloaded from http://www.maturemarketinstitute.com under “What's New.”

Dementia care fails the vision-impaired

Two new studies are suggesting American dementia care could use a retailored approach-specifically with extra consideration given to those with impaired vision. In response to the studies, sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust said a sensory model of care practice should be developed.

The first study, “People with dementia and sight loss: A scoping study of models of care,” found that both the most widely used model of care and the leading best-practice literature display “a fundamental lack of sensitivity about sight loss.”

The second study, “Visual Hallucinations in Sight Loss and Dementia,” concluded that many individuals with joint dementia and sight loss are either missed or misdiagnosed because of failures to assess for both conditions.

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Cambridge Realty Capital Companies reported that visitors at October's AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo had a bullish outlook for the seniors housing industry

Long-Term Living 2009 December;58(12):10

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