A professor with a new book on dementia care claims a semi-private room in a “decent” nursing facility in a big city costs $240,000 per year. Hogwash.

I hate it when bad information gets out there, and a professor of psychiatry and bioethics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine should know better. Especially someone coming out with a book called: Dementia Revisited: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End.”

Dr. Tia Powell published a story last weekend in The Wall Street Journal called “New Hopes for Dementia Care.” In it, she claims that the cost for a semi-private room in a “decent” nursing home in a big city is $240,000 a year if you don’t qualify for Medicaid. Come again? That’s $657 per day, and I assume she is talking about dementia care in a nursing home.

I will also assume that New York City is the most expensive “big city” for nursing care, and Manhattan is the priciest part of the city. But the median rate there is $500 per day. It’s also a good bet that Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and even the west coast are all cheaper. Nationally, the average semi-private room rate is $238 per day, according to Genworth.

To add insult to injury, she never brought up assisted living communities that specialize in dementia care, and at a lower cost. Let’s hope her new book is more illuminating than her just-published article, and talks about other options, and cost levels. Academics need a dose of reality.