Survey: Long-term care demand, costs increase

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The national average for the annual cost of a private room in a nursing home jumped 13% in 2004 over the 2003 daily rate, according to new research.

In 2004, the average annual cost of a private room was $65,200, or $179 per day. That's up from $158 per day in 2003, according to the annual Cost of Care Survey commissioned by Genworth Financial, a Richmond, VA, insurance holding company. 

The annual survey of more than 6,000 long-term care providers, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home care, also revealed that the overall average cost of long-term care was $72,240 in 2004. Research analysts contend rising costs are due to greater numbers of seniors and rising demands for services.

The annual cost of a private room in an Alaska nursing home was the highest nationwide at $191,400 and represents an increase of 14.8% over 2003. The highest average cost increase for a private room in a nursing home was in Delaware, where costs soared 30% over 2003. Between 2003 and 2004, average costs declined in North Dakota (31%), Nebraska (8%) and Maine (2%), according to the survey, which was released Thursday.

The average annual cost for a room in an assisted living facility in 2003 was $28,800, according to the Genworth survey. Home care services, including services provided by a home health aide and homemaker, averaged $18.65 and $16.67 per hour, respectively.