How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
It may come as a surprise, but the cost of senior living is often more affordable than living at home. In-home caregivers may seem cost-effective on the surface, but can often result in higher cost and greater stress than other options. With assisted living, there are so many benefits for seniors, like an enhanced social life, better access to transportation, and a warm and welcoming community full of their peers. Let's take a closer look at the difference in cost between living at home and assisted living.
Costs of Living at Home vs. Costs of Assisted Living
To better understand what's affordable for you and your family, it helps to start by comparing the costs of living at home vs. the costs of assisted living. The cost of each will be different for everyone, depending on care needs, preferences, and living situations.
To start, take a look at the monthly cost of living at home. This includes things like groceries, entertainment, meals, and utilities. Since these costs can fluctuate from month to month, it helps to find an average. You can total up your annual living expenses and divide by 12 to find your monthly average, or use the current month's expenses as a starting place and adjust up or down a needed.
It also helps to think about the future. Upcoming home repairs, like furnace replacements, and necessary accessibility modifications, like installing handrails throughout the house, can impact average monthly costs dramatically.
Next, it also helps to consider the costs of having a primary caregiver at home. In-home caregiving may not make an impact of the monthly costs of living at home now, but as seniors age, it's an important consideration. At-home caregivers can come with psychological costs too; there may be additional stress or worry.
To help crunch the numbers for you and your family, try our Affordable Senior Care Calculator so you can compare the cost of living at home vs. the cost of senior living in your area.
Common Assisted Living Costs
There are so many factors that impact the cost of living at home, so let's take a look at some common costs of assisted living to compare.
The cost of senior living communities is comprised for three main types of fees:
- Recurring Monthly Fees include the resident's apartment, transportation, meals and activities, along with the resident's care and assistance with daily living activities. In our communities, this fee varies based on the size of the resident's apartment and their individualized care needs, so our residents only pay for exactly what they need.
- Á La Carte Fees are for optional services, like additional housekeeping or laundry services, and these fees only apply to residents who choose to use them.
- A Community Fee is a one-time, non-refundable fee paid when a resident moves in. In our communities, it directly offsets the cost of getting an apartment ready for a new resident, and it also supports the upkeep and maintenance of a shared community spaces, like living rooms, dining rooms, and resident lounges.
Once we take a closer look at the costs of living at home vs. assisted living, it becomes more clear: in many cases, assisted living is the more affordable option.
How to Pay for Assisted Living
To help make the move to assisted living more affordable, seniors and their families have a few options.
- Selling the Senior's Home: While this option may not seem appealing at first, selling a home is a great way to help move your loved one into assisted living. The income gained from the sale can ease the stress and financial burden of paying for senior care. And without home maintenance and upkeep to worry about, even more stress disappears.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: This supplemental insurance policy typically covers assisted living costs, which aren't covered under standard medical insurance. If you or your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy, speak with the insurance carrier to fully understand what costs are covered.
- Veterans (VA) Benefits: Thanks to the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, many veterans and their spouses are eligible for monthly tax-free towards care services. VA Benefits also apply for veterans who weren't injured during service, making it a great option for all veterans. Start your exploration on VA Benefits, and check in with your local VA with any questions.