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MINNEAPOLIS-The average cost of living in an assisted living facility in the US is $2,379 per month, or $28,548 per year, up 10.2% from April of last year, according to the 2003 MetLife Market Survey of Assisted Living Costs.

The survey, released by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, found costs generally below the national average in the Upper Midwest: in the city, $2,110 per month or $25,320 a year; St. Paul, $2,906 a month or $34,872 a year; Des Moines, IA, $2,351 a month or $28,212 a year; and in Fargo, ND, $1,994 a month or $23,928 a year. Nationally, the highest monthly average was Washington, DC at $4,429 while the lowest was Jackson, MS at $1,020.

Assisted living facilities provide a way for older adults to live independently in a residential atmosphere with some assistance and support. While the types and sizes of facilities vary, all provide meals in a social setting and are staffed with people who can provide different levels of help with daily activities like bathing and dressing and shopping, cleaning and medication management. These facilities range from a small home to a large apartment-style complex.

As of 2000, approximately 800,000 individuals in the US resided in assisted living facilities. According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, in 2002 there were 36,399 assisted living facilities in the country, an increase of 48% from 1998. The typical assisted living resident is female, between the ages of 75 and 85, with males comprising 31% of the mix.

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