Eldercare costs are up by 3.5%

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Long-term care facilities are increasing their room charges. But this year's increase is still less than cost increases for other types of goods and services, results of a new survey reveal.

According to a report from John Hancock Financial, which surveyed more than 11,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health agencies across the United States, the average charge for a private nursing home bed in 2011 rose 3.5%, to $85,775 annually. The average cost of a semi-private nursing home room bed grew 3.2%, to $75,555.

Hancock calculated a nine-year average based on data gathered from providers for the 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011 Cost of Care surveys. Comparatively, the gasoline index has increased 27.5% in the last 12 months. Additionally, the food-at-home index has gone up  3.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average cost charged for an assisted living bed increased 3.4% per year, to $39,240. The average cost of a home health aide has gone up 1.3%, to $37,440, according to the John Hancock survey.
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