May 9, 2023

Argentum Releases New Report Outlining Policy Solutions to Increase Access to Assisted Living

(Alexandria, Va.) – Argentum, the voice of America’s senior living communities, today released a new report, Caring for our Aging Nation: Policy Solutions to Increase Access to Assisted Living in conjunction with the annual Senior Living Executive Conference in New Orleans, LA.

“Assisted living offers lower costs, improved quality of life, better health outcomes, and reduced health care costs. And while it does so at much lower costs than other care models, such care can be expensive,” said James Balda, Argentum president and chief executive officer. “Argentum supports a range of public policy solutions to increase access and affordability of assisted living for more Americans. We encourage policymakers to act quickly to prevent a potential crisis in future years.”

Briefly, the report finds:

  • 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care in their lifetime, 50 percent will need extensive care, and 20 percent will need care for five years or more. By 2050, the number of Americans requiring long-term care services will triple.
  • Many Americans are not financially prepared for their long-term care needs; up to 80 percent of older Americans—47 million—would be unable to afford four years in an assisted living community or more than two years of skilled nursing care.
  • Compared to other long-term care providers, assisted living offers lower costs, improved quality of life, better health outcomes, and reduced health care costs. However, such care can be expensive. The national median cost of a private room in a nursing home is $108,405, while the cost of a semi-private room, on average, totals $94,900. The average cost of a home health aide is $61,776 (based on 44 hours a week) but can reach as much as $235,000 for round-the-clock coverage. The national average for assisted living is $54,000.
  • Long-term care insurance was first offered in the 1970s to cover expenses health insurance and Medicare do not and sales ticked steadily upward into the 2000s. At its peak in 2002, roughly 750,000 Americans successfully purchased long-term care insurance in a single year. By 2020, that number had plummeted to 49,000, a more than tenfold contraction. Today, only 7.5 million Americans, or about 3.3% of the population, have long-term care insurance.
  • Americans want policymakers at all levels of government to do more to help meet the nation’s growing long-term care needs, and support a number of public and private solutions. Roughly 75 percent favor long-term care coverage through Medicare Advantage or supplemental insurance, 60 percent support a government-administered long-term care insurance program similar to Medicare, and 61 percent support tax incentives to help purchase long-term care insurance.
  • There are a number of legislative and regulatory approaches to improve the accessibility of assisted living, including strengthening the long-term care insurance market so more Americans can afford coverage, resolving the workforce shortage to increase the availability of caregivers and to reduce labor costs, amending the tax code to encourage saving for long-term care, and to increase reimbursement to allow more people to benefit from assisted living.

The report can be found at:

About Argentum
Argentum is the leading national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. Since 1990, Argentum has advocated for choice, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all older adults.

Argentum member companies operate senior living communities offering assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care services. Along with its state partners, Argentum’s membership represents approximately 75 percent of the senior living industry—an industry with a national economic impact of nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars and responsible for providing over 1.6 million jobs. These numbers will continue to grow as the U.S. population ages.


Michael Keegan
Manager, Media and Public Affairs
ARGENTUM | Expanding Senior Living
1650 King Street, 6th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-599-7412 |

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