A Place for Mom® Releases National Senior Living Price Index

America's Largest Senior Referral Service Partners with Dr. Matthew Harris of the University of Tennessee to Track Trends in Senior Care Costs Nationwide

Mar 25, 2015, 12:30 ET from A Place for Mom

SEATTLE, March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A Place for Mom®, the nation's largest senior living referral service, today released its first National Senior Living Price Index, revealing recent cost trends in senior housing and care throughout the United States. The National Senior Living Price Index, which was developed in partnership with Dr. Matthew Harris, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Tennessee, tracks transactional data collected by A Place for Mom between consumers and senior living communities across the United States from 2011-2014 and organizes it across four primary regions of the nation as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

"With nearly 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, most families do not know how much assisted living or memory care can cost and helping them understand this major expense is an important mission of A Place for Mom," said Sean Kell, Chief Executive Officer of A Place for Mom. "Our pricing index is unique in that it reflects transaction prices based on actual move-in rent and care data from our work with over one million families. This data sheds light on important trends impacting the senior living market and can help equip families and seniors with the real information they need to financially plan for the next stage of their lives."

The National Senior Living Price Index represents a sample of A Place for Mom's overall referrals for families, focusing on monthly fee data collected for 10,000+ senior living communities (independent living, assisted living, memory care), including 80,000 move-ins for seniors from January 1, 2011December 31, 2014. 

Cost by Type of Care and Senior Needs
The below chart depicts the national and regional mean of senior living prices for 2014 in three primary senior living categories – Assisted Living, Independent Living and Memory Care – and provides a snapshot on the type of information that can be found in the National Senior Living Price Index. Note that Independent Living only includes rent, meals and other recurring monthly charges (as Independent living does not typically include medical or nursing care), whereas assisted living and memory care prices include the resident's assessed care charges (including assistance with activities of daily living and medication management) in addition to rent, meals and other recurring monthly charges.

2014 Average Monthly Fee by Care Type

Care Type

National Average

Midwest

Northeast

South

West

Independent Living

Communities that cater to seniors who are independent with few medical problems. Also known as retirement communities, retirement homes or senior housing. Typically includes room and board.

$2,520

$2,362

$2,765

$2,587

$2,532

Assisted Living

A long-term care community that provides 24-hour personal care support services, meals and limited medical assistance.

$3,823

$3,825

$4,315

$3,562

$3,771

Memory Care

In-depth dementia and Alzheimer's care within a secure environment. Provides 24-hour personal care support services, meals monitoring and limited medical assistance.

$4,849

$4,958

$5,779

$4,345

$4,787

 

From this unique research, A Place for Mom has identified several trends related to pricing within the senior living market, including:

  • Prices continue to increase across all census regions and care types through nearly every time period in the study. Prices hit record highs in 2014.
  • A Place for Mom's National Senior Living Price Index finds that assisted living prices across the country are actually higher than reported by three alternative sources of senior living price information.
  • The cost of Independent Living is out-pacing inflation. The mean monthly rent for an independent living community increased 8.3% from 2011-2014, while inflation only increased 5% over the same period.
  • The price of Independent Living is increasing fastest in the South at 3.9% per year, and the Midwest at 3.1% per year.
  • Among census regions, costs for Memory Care and Assisted Living are growing fastest in the West and Midwest. Memory care costs rose 2.2% per year in the West and 2.1% in the Midwest. Assisted Living saw a price growth of 1.7% per year in the West and 1.9% per year in the Midwest, exhibiting the fastest price growth per year.
  • The price of senior care in the Northeast is 10-20% more expensive than the other regions of the United States. Of the three segments analyzed, Memory Care exhibits the largest differential in price between the Northeast and other regions. The cost of living in the Northeast is also the highest of the four census regions.

"In developing the National Senior Living Price Index we saw an opportunity to create a tool that would help families plan for the care of aging loved ones, while also providing a tool for our network of senior living communities to track this evolving industry on a broad scale," said Ed Nevraumont, Chief Marketing Officer at A Place for Mom.

Pricing Trends 
The National Senior Living Price Index underlines the importance of financially preparing for aging and validates the general perception that senior care costs are keeping pace across all regions with the rising number of seniors in the U.S. and their care needs. Following is an outline of year-over-year cost changes in senior living, nationally and by region, from January 2011 through December 2014:

2011-2014 Regional Pricing Trends - Average Percent Change

Region

Care Type

2011 to 2012

2012 to 2013

2013 to 2014

National

Independent Living

1.9%

3.1%

4.6%


 

Assisted Living

3.0%

3.6%

4.7%


 

Memory Care

3.3%

3.5%

2.9%

Midwest

Independent Living

3.3%

2.7%

5.1%


 

Assisted Living

1.5%

3.4%

7.6%


 

Memory Care

3.7%

3.0%

1.3%

Northeast

Independent Living

4.7%

2.5%

1.7%


 

Assisted Living

2.4%

3.6%

3.7%


 

Memory Care

3.4%

6.0%

2.9%

South

Independent Living

1.5%

2.0%

4.8%


 

Assisted Living

3.3%

4.1%

4.2%


 

Memory Care

2.1%

1.4%

5.1%

West

Independent Living

1.2%

5.3%

3.2%


 

Assisted Living

3.4%

4.1%

4.7%


 

Memory Care

3.4%

3.0%

4.3%

 

Influencing Factors
Monthly and annual costs from the National Senior Living Price Index include the combined cost of rent and care services. Costs can vary by person and depend on a variety of factors related to room type and required care services, which are often assessed by a community prior to a resident moving in. After move in, the cost can vary further depending on the progressing needs and acuity level of the senior, which are assessed regularly by the community. Additionally, the geographical location of the community can impact cost – Midwest vs. Northeast vs. South vs. West; city, suburb or rural. Several additional influencing factors include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Room and Board:
    • Size, floor plan and amenities of the room or apartment
    • Services and features offered by the community
    • Additional fees for pets, parking, motor scooter or chair, etc.
  • Care Services:
    • Medical conditions and the required amount of administration and monitoring of medications
    • Mobility of resident
    • Need for assistance with daily living activities (bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming, feeding, etc.)

Planning Ahead
To assist families in financial planning for aging, A Place for Mom launched its Senior Care Calculator, which helps users compare the cost of senior living in their region against the price of maintaining a home and employing a full-time home care aid. The calculator factors in costs such as a mortgage, utilities, cable, meals, pet care, personal care and/or assistance and others, which allows families to accurately assess their options. 

For more information on the National Senior Living Price Index and for additional information on average prices by care type and region in 2011 -2014, visit the A Place for Mom website as well as the company's Data Insights Blog.

About A Place for Mom
A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM) is North America's largest senior living referral service with more than 300 senior living advisors providing resources and personalized assistance in finding senior living services. Using its nationwide network of over 20,000 providers, APFM helps families find options based on a loved one's stated needs, preferences and budget. This may include independent senior housing, home care, residential care homes, assisted living communities and specialized Alzheimer's memory care. The service is offered at no charge to families as providers pay a fee to APFM. For more information, visit www.aplaceformom.com, call 1-877-311-6099 or visit one of APFM's social networks at Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Senior Living Blog and Pinterest.

SOURCE A Place for Mom



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