The risk of needing a nursing home for an average American is greater than what previous research had suggested, a new study has found.

According to the new study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, 56 percent of people aged between 57 and 61 will stay in a nursing home for at least one night during their lifetime.

Previous studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had estimated the figure to be only 35 percent.

"It is important to provide individuals and families a reliable assessment of the likelihood of entering a nursing home in retirement," said Michael Hurd, lead author of the study and a senior principal researcher at Research and Development Corporation (RAND), a nonprofit research organization, according to reports. Hurd said that the information might help people make decisions about how to manage expenses if such situations arise.

The researchers analyzed data of 18 years from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal project of the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. They found that nursing home stay would be affordable for most people and would be around $7,300 per person over a lifetime.

Of the Americans aged between 57 and 61 who would use a nursing home facility, one-third would have to spend their money on nursing homes while 43 percent of them would be covered under insurance.

"Out-of-pocket spending is not particularly large, on average, but the risk of long stays and of correspondingly large out-of-pocket spending is fairly large — 5 percent of patients will spend more than 1,500 days in a nursing home, and 5 percent will spend more than $50,000," Hurd said, according to reports.

The study found that most people would have short stays at a nursing home and it would be at an affordable cost. The study found that while the average nursing home stay would be about 272 nights per person, 10 percent of people would have to stay for more than 1000 nights.

The study also found that nursing home stays of a short duration increased to 34 percent in 2010. It was 28 percent in 1998. A stay of less than 21 nights is regarded as a short duration stay.  The study offered no answers on the benefit of having long-term care insurance.

"Long-term care insurance is only taken up by 11 percent or 12 percent of individuals in their early 60s," Hurd said, according to reports. "It's not popular because of uncertainties over what the insurer will pay out, the coverage and the cost. I think people should be prepared to use the societally provided insurance, which is Medicaid. It's the best of a not-very-good situation."

The study revealed that for people in their late 50s, having children at home does not have any effect on the chances of needing a nursing home. However, it can reduce the number of days of stay and reduce the cost.

Along with Hurd, Pierre-Carl Michaud and Susann Rohwedder co-authored the study.