Cost For Assisted Living Facilities Increases Due to Regulations

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The cost of long term health care is increasing in Virginia.

In the Commonwealth, the yearly cost for living in an assisted living facility is just over $45,000.

In comparison, the national average of increased costs is lower, at $41,400, according to a Genworth financial survey.

Dennis Hughes, an administrator at White Birch Communities Assisted Living, said it's because of an increase in state licensing requirements.

Those require more training for employees.

Advances in technology, including a tool to make handing out medications as accurate as possible, also add to costs.

Hughes said that medication technicians now have to be registered in Virginia.

All administrators also have to go back and be relicensed and sit for state board exams.

This facility has about 70 residents and Hughes said they've been fortunate because their size makes it easier to control costs.

Hughes said that Virginia is one of the highest regulated states in the country, but he notes it is important to make sure people who live at the facility are well cared for.

"Licensing has just really changed so those regulation changes have really forced us to spend more money in training, spend more money in all those kind of things," Hughes said.

Increased costs also can be attributed to people needing more care if they have Dementia or other health concerns.

Hughes said when looking for assisted living, it's important to really do your research.

You can go to Virginia's state website and compare rankings of facilities, as well as costs.

The cost of a private nursing home room has also risen 4.7 % annually over the past five years in Virginia to $83,950. That's the same as the national average.

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