Demand soars for assisted living, news report finds

Consumers are clambering to get into assisted living facilities, a news report finds.

Wait lists are becoming increasingly common, and that has driven up the price, according to the Wall Street Journal. Occupancy at the 36,000 facilities is about 95%, and the average annual cost for such facilities – without healthcare expenses – reached about $35,000 in 2005, a 33% increase from 2002, a recent survey by MetLife found.

Shopping for an assisted living facility is tough because of differences in state regulations regarding Medicaid coverage, and differences in options packages, the Journal said.