The average rate for a private room in a nursing home has dropped 0.5% this year, according to a newly released report by the MetLife Mature Market Institute. The average daily rate for a private nursing home room is currently $212, or $77,380 a year. The daily rate last year was $213.

Meanwhile, the average rate for semi-private rooms rose 1.1% to $191 per day compared with $189 last year.

Thirty percent of nursing homes surveyed have separate Alzheimer's units. The average rate for a private room in an Alzheimer's unit is $79,935 annually. About 17% of nursing homes have an assisted living unit or wing.

In the last 12 months, average assisted living rates increased by 2.1%, from $2,969 monthly or $35,628 annually, to $3,301 monthly or $36,372 annually in 2008.

Assisted living costs varied depending on the level of service provided. Communities offering only basic services cost an average of $2,873 a month, while those with the most services had an average cost of $3,354 a month.

Building rates also depend on location. Nursing homes in Alaska had the highest rates at $577 a day. Parts of Louisiana had the lowest rates at an average of $127 a day.

The cities with the highest monthly assisted living rates were: Washington, D.C. ($4,414); Wilmington, Del. ($4,410); Silver Spring, Md. ($4,316); Highland Park, Ill. ($4,268); New York ($4,146); and Boston ($4,143).