Assisted living is the best choice for elderly or disabled people who can’t live alone anymore. In this option, they’ll get the right type of attention they’ll need and they get to socialize with other people in the same position as well.
This comes with a price, however. As of 2018, the national average assisted living cost is at $48,000 yearly or $4,000 monthly. Still, the average cost per state can fluctuate greatly.
It’s not a good point of reference as several factors play into the actual cost of assisted living. How much will assisted living cost you? Keep on reading to see how you can get a rough estimate.
Factors That Play Into the Assisted Living Cost
Your specific case, the type of care you need, and the facility you want will all factor into the total assisted living cost. See below how they affect the prices.
1. Type of Facility
Your choice of the assisted living option is the first factor in the total cost. Small boarding homes, for instance, with only two to 10 residents are much cheaper than high-end senior complexes with 24/7 medical staff.
You can save money by choosing only what the senior needs. Qualifying for assisted living doesn’t mean they automatically need medical help.
If they don’t need medical care, then a boarding home with a non-medical staff might suit them better. This is also better when it comes to forming tight-knit communities.
However, if they need focused care for their ailments, there’s no reason to skimp on a facility that’s better equipped to handle cases like this.
2. Size of the Apartment
The type of residence also has a big impact on the total cost of assisted living. For example, a one-bedroom apartment with a toilet and bath will cost higher than a room with a shared bath in the same facility. The amenities in the apartment will further add to the total cost.
Think of it as renting a condo unit. The bigger the unit is and the better the features, the more expensive it will be. The amenities in the condominium building would count toward the rent, as well.
The room and board fee might also include meals. If it does, then you’ll have to pay more. The shared utilities and amenities would also factor into the cost.
3. What Services You Need
Some facilities only offer room and boarding for seniors. Some, however, offer medical care, nurses, and so on. The kind of service you’ll need would determine how much you pay.
As you would expect, the more services the resident will need, the higher you’ll have to pay. Examples of services include special medical equipment, specialist doctors, administration of medicine, and such.
Most care facilities charge on an ala carte basis, so you don’t have to pay for what you need. Such establishments will have a menu of services you can request. Don’t forget to also ask about the costs of emergency medical care.
Many facilities also charge per category of care level. You’ll pay more by going up a level or two.
It’s not surprising to know that assisted living is more expensive in cities with a higher cost of living. It’s higher in states like New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alaska, and so on.
If the facility is in an exclusive area, then it will even be more expensive. The community is a big factor in assisted living prices, as well.
5. Entry Cost
Some communities charge an up-front payment to enter. These go by names other than the entry fee, such as community, endowment, admittance, or buy-in fees.
It’s a rather large amount, so it’s best to talk to a lawyer before paying and signing a contract. Check if the facility is willing to give back your payment if you choose not to push through with them. Some have non-refundable fees, while others may give back up to 90% of what you paid.
How You Can Pay for Assisted Living
Even paying for $2,000 monthly for the cost of assisted living is a huge burden to the average American family. The good news is that you can get help from elsewhere. Here are what others are doing to pay for assisted living.
1. Pay Out of Pocket
Of course, this isn’t a feasible option for some, but many do pay for assisted living, or at least a part of it, out of their pockets. They may tap into their retirement accounts, savings, and other sources of income.
Some will continue paying until they impoverish themselves enough to qualify for financial assistance.
Medicaid has a program to help seniors pay for assisted living. They must meet certain requirements, though.
The exact requirements will vary state by state, so it’s a good idea to check first if the senior can qualify.
3. Veteran’s Assistance
Veteran’s Aid can cover some of the costs of assisted living in some situations. They can pay the individual a certain sum each month. Other Veterans programs in your state are also worth looking into.
Of course, you must also meet certain requirements. These would depend on the program you’re applying for.
4. Sell the Home
Seniors moving into an assisted living facility won’t have to live in their current home, anymore. As such, selling the house is a good way to pay for the living costs in their new home.
The senior, however, must completely own the property. If there’s still a mortgage on it, the cash they’ll receive might not still be enough for long-term care in the facility.
Find the Best Assisted Living Facility
Regardless of the assisted living cost, you should aim to give the senior the best life they can get at an assisted living facility. Try to find programs in your city or state that you may qualify for to help you with the expenses.
Of course, caring for the elderly doesn’t end here. If you need more help, check out more lifestyle tips by reading our personal care guides today.