New survey shows nursing home room rates rising steadily across country

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Nursing home care and assisted living care are more affordable in the Midwest than in the Northeast or West. Meanwhile, long-term care in Alaska remains the most expensive in the country, according to the results of the 2009 Cost of Care Survey from Genworth Financial.

The states with the most affordable options for long-term care (i.e. nursing homes and assisted living facilities) are Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska, according to the survey, which was released Thursday. For the second year in a row, Alaska is the most expensive state in which to receive long-term care services, though the average median annual rate of a private room in the state dropped slightly from $187,813 in 2008 to $187,610 this year.

Other expensive states include Hawaii ($137,673), Connecticut ($125,925) and New York ($111,530). Most states have experienced between 2% and 7% growth in private room costs over the last five years, according to the report. Similar growth was seen for semi-private room costs. Assisted living rates fluctuated wildly across the country from 24% growth in Fort Walton Beach, FL, to -19% growth in St. Joseph, MO.

For this year's survey, Genworth expanded the number of regions surveyed from 90 to 331, giving a more complete picture of the cost of long-term care services in the U.S. Other information provided in the report includes the cost of home care services, including average daily costs of nurse assistants.

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