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Location, Location, Location: Cost of Long-Term Care Services Vary Widely by Region
Date:2/18/2009

Northwestern Mutual releases research revealing stark differences in cost for home health care, assisted living facilities and nursing homes across the U.S.

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Some Americans are spending nearly seven times more for certain long-term care services than others, according to research commissioned by financial security company Northwestern Mutual.

The survey of nearly 7,000 home health care providers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes revealed stark differences in cost for long-term care services based on geographic location. The most significant difference between locations was the hourly wage of Home Health Aides (HHAs), causing consumers in the most expensive markets to spend nearly seven times more than those in the least expensive markets.

"This information can be very helpful as people plan for their future long-term care needs," says Terence Holahan at Northwestern Mutual. "Americans are living longer, so they need to be thinking ahead and educating themselves about the options available. Certainly people will want to look at their lifestyle needs, considering how - and where - they will be cared for," adds Holahan, who directed the new research.

In addition to HHAs, the cost of nursing home care differed greatly across the country. For example, residents of Lafayette, Louisiana are spending an average of $118 a day for a private nursing home room, while residents of New York City are spending five times that amount, at an average of $590 a day. The national average was $210 a day in the markets surveyed.

Similarly, the costs of a private room in an assisted living facility vary widely by region. A room in El Paso, Texas, will cost on average $2,043 per month on average, versus more than twice that in Bridgeport/S
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SOURCE Northwestern Mutual
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