Investing

States Where Elder Care Is Sky High

5. Delaware
> Median private nursing home cost: $96,725 (13th highest)
> Median assisted living facility cost: $63,228 (3rd highest)

> Life expectancy: 78.3 (22nd lowest)
> Median elder income: $18,500 (17th highest)

The costs of staying at an assisted living facility in the state have shot up at an annual rate of 9.51% over the past five years. The median cost in 2012 was $63,228, the third-highest cost of any state. The lowest cost reported for an assisted living facility was just shy of $40,000, well more than the median price tag for most states.

4. Maine
> Median private nursing home cost: $105,120 (tied for 8th highest)
> Median assisted living facility cost: $54,000 (5th highest)
> Life expectancy: 78.7 (24th highest)
> Median elder income: $15,500 (9th lowest)

The median age in Maine is 42.7 years, the oldest in the U.S. A full 15.9% of the state’s population is 65 or older. The state is in the top 15 for all six types of long-term care and is fifth-highest for assisted living facilities. The median cost of staying at an assisted living facility is among the highest in the U.S., at $54,000 per year. Partially because of its sparse population, transportation costs are among the highest in the country.

3. Hawaii
> Median private nursing home cost: $125,925 (4th highest)
> Median assisted living facility cost: $45,000 (13th highest)
> Life expectancy: 81.5 (the highest)
> Median elder income: $20,700 (3rd highest)

Residents of Hawaii have the longest life expectancy in the U.S. at 81.5 years. Costs in the state are among the highest in the U.S, especially the costs of housing, causing Hawaii to be among the most expensive for all types of long-term care. The most expensive areas of assistance are private and semiprivate nursing homes. Prices of long-term care have also shot up in the past few years more than in most parts of the country. The median annual cost of an assisted living facility in the state has shot up at a compound annual growth rate of 13.5% per year over the past five years.

2. Massachusetts
> Median private nursing home cost: $127,750 (3rd highest)
> Median assisted living facility cost: $55,050 (4th highest)
> Life expectancy: 80.1 (6th highest)
> Median elder income: $16,800 (20th lowest)

According to the report, Massachusetts has the biggest annual expenses of any state in the contiguous U.S. It is in the top five most expensive median costs for long-term care in five of the six categories. Homemaker services cost a median of $51,480, and the survey reports a maximum price of up to $71,500 each year. According to study representative Jowynna Michaels, the state’s costs for housing and wages are among the highest in the country, affecting the costs of all six types of care.

1. Alaska
> Median private nursing home cost: $232,505 (the highest)
> Median assisted living facility cost: $66,000 (2nd highest)
> Life expectancy: 78.3 (23rd lowest)
> Median elder income: $23,100 (the highest)

Not only is Alaska far and away the most expensive state for the elderly to receive long-term care, it surpasses the rest of the country by a very wide margin. Costs for each of the six categories are in the top three, including the third-highest median prices for both home health aide and adult day health care services. The care that separates Alaska from other states is the live-in facilities for the elderly. The median annual price for a semiprivate nursing home stay is $273,750. This is $138,700 more than the median cost in Connecticut, the second-most expensive in this category.

Michael B. Sauter