Nursing homes in numbers

Nursing homes in numbers

The ratings and reviews you find on Angie's List can help identify a bad nursing home, but nothing compares to a personal visit, says Janet Wells, director of public policy for The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, a leading national nonprofit advocate for the elderly.

“There is no substitute for asking a lot of questions and visiting it yourself,” Wells says. “Does it meet the standards you would want for your loved one?” Also, federal law requires each facility to make available three years of state inspection reports for review. “Families should take the opportunity to do that,” she says.

More facts on nursing homes:

83 — Percentage of nursing homes that are freestanding. The remainder are connected to an assisted living community, hospital or both.

$78,000 — Average annual cost in 2011 for a semiprivate nursing home room. Private rooms average $87,000.

1 to 5 — Recommended ratio of day-shift caregivers to residents.

15,884 — Approximate number of nursing homes, down 9 percent from 2000.

1987 — Nursing Home Reform Act establishes national standards of care and a Residents’ Bill of Rights.

$1,278 — Average monthly long-term care insurance premium for someone age 60 through 64, compared to $837 for someone in their 50s.

$143 — Billions of dollars spent on nursing home care in 2010, about 29 percent of it paid out of pocket. Medicaid accounts for 32 percent; Medicare, 22 percent; private insurance, 9 percent; and other sources, 9 percent.

40 — Percentage of Americans over age 65 who will need nursing home care sometime in their lives.

82.7 — Median age of nursing home residents.

Sources: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Department of Health and Human Services: National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information; MetLife Mature Market Institute; U.S. Census Bureau; National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

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