How Much Is An Assisted Living Home?
May 6, 2021Assisted Living
Budgeting for an assisted living home can be hard.Your senior deserves the best care but how do you arrive at a figure, factoring included services and care?
If you’re considering moving into an assisted living home, you should budget an average of about $48,000 annually. This could, however, be more if you require special and additional services. Depending on the facility, you might choose a plan or pay a flat fee that covers all your needs.
The price you pay for an assisted living home depends on factors such as the level and quality of care and services rendered, rent, and of course, the location. This article breaks down all you need to know about the associated costs, helping you make an informed decision.
Table of contents
What Goes into The Cost of An Assisted Living Home?
Numerous assisted living homes, especially those in communities, tend to have a community move-in charge. This can either be prorated monthly or be paid upfront. It typically costs between $1000 to $5000 upfront.
The price of an assisted living home is typically broken down into services and rent. The services portion generally includes providing three meals every day, transportation, housekeeping, some form of assistance, and activities.
There could also be supplementary charges attached to care services and the base costs. The supplementary charge depends on the assisted living community and is sometimes referred to as a la carte or tiered pricing. It translates to the amount of money you pay depending on how much help with daily living activities you need. Also factored into those costs is the amount of time required to deliver on those services.
For instance, if a resident needs help with medical management for about 15 minutes, 30 minutes with meals, and 15 minutes with dressing, that accounts for one care hour each day at that assisted living home’s stated rate. A senior that requires 3 hours of daily care might have to pay more than a senior who needs little or no monitoring and help with fewer things.
Some assisted living homes offer memory care service to seniors that suffer from types of diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. This service typically comes with additional charges, so you should ask about extra fees linked to memory care.
What Value Does an Assisted Living Home Have?
As soon as you notice that some form of assistance is required, it would help if you took the time to sort through the finances required to fund a stay in an assisted living home. It would be best if you did your due diligence, find out the costs of assisted living homes in your locale.
Additionally, you should also factor in other benefits gotten from an assisted living home. Things such as cultural expenses, social connections, nutritious meals, wellness programs, 24/7 security, and the opportunity to grow and learn and personal assistance gotten. Every one of these things has to be considered for the value they provide.
Assisted Living Cost Breakdown
The amount you pay depends on the following factors:
- The assisted living home in question
- The apartment size.
- The part of the nation the assisted living home is.
- The number of services required.
A survey in 2018 discovered that the national median cost of assisted living for the month was $4,000. This can be broken down to about $133 per day, equaling $48,000 annually. To put it in context, a private nursing home room cost $8,370 per month, broken down to $279 per day.
This brings the annual fee according to the same survey at $100,380. Home health aide services, on average, cost $128 per day equaling $45,800 annually. This figure was calculated using an 8-hour day, five day week.
Unsurprisingly, locales where the overall cost of living was high also tended to cost more for assisted living residents. According to reports, the five most expensive cities for assisted living are Los Angeles, Boston, San Jose, New York, and San Francisco.
Ways To Pay For Assisted Living Home
Quite a number of people believe Medicare covers assisted living. In fact, over 50% of respondents in a survey on assisted living costs stated that they planned to use Medicare to help foot the bills for any senior care that might be required.
Nevertheless, while a senior’s Medicare pharmaceutical coverage and personal health insurance continue after moving to an assisted living home, Medicare does not typically pay for assisted living costs.
The survey also discovered that 61% stated that they would use Social Security rebates to pay for long-term residential care and assisted living costs. Whereas in reality, the median monthly payment from Social Security only covers a minute portion of these costs.
The majority of residents in assisted living homes pay from their pockets or with assistance from their long term health insurance provider. Additionally, adult children can also help with those expenses. Nevertheless, numerous states provide community and home-based waivers to help residents with low-income pay for assisted living.
In certain senior living communities such as Continuing Care Retirement or Life Plan Community, the entrance fee incurred ensures that you are guaranteed all levels of care. Additionally, in various cases, a percentage of your entrance cost is eligible as a deductible for medical expenses. To be sure, it is best to have a word with your tax professional.
Paying A Flat Fee Or Package Fee: Which Is Better?
Certain assisted living homes offer a range of bundles packaged by the level of needs required, instead of simply charging by the time required to deliver those services.
Other assisted living homes use a flat fee system where you pay for a monthly bundle. This means that everybody in the assisted living home pays the same, irrespective of what services they utilize or don’t utilize.
Before deciding on the assisted living home you move your senior to, consider what they need daily. If they don’t need help with so many things in the course of their day, then perhaps, you should consider a package fee rather than a flat fee.
A senior with severe needs may be better off paying a flat fee that covers all they need. Paying for several packages, in that case, may be the more expensive option.
Other Factors To Consider Before Paying For An Assisted Living Home
When a senior requires more support than living at home or having a part-time nurse can provide, moving into an assisted living home can be the right move. Most people tend to think of nursing homes when they hear about assisted living homes. If you are one of those people, you should know that this is an erroneous train of thought.
There is an important distinction between both. While assisted living homes concentrate majorly on non-medical related living activities, nursing homes deal with medical needs.
Before settling on an assisted living home, another thing to consider is the level of care provided at said assisted living home, its policies regarding when the senior can leave, and how. Before signing the contract, ensure that you ask about possible hidden or extra fees, deposits, or moving costs.
It is also important that you understand your obligations if there is a need to move out. Some assisted living homes require their residents to offer a form of notice. The time frame typically varies from one assisted living home to another. You should also consider payment policies when there is no one in the apartment due to rehab stay or hospitalization.
These are important issues that have to be understood to help you know just how much it would cost to provide your loved ones with the care they need in an assisted living home, particularly if their health requirements evolve.
Regardless of the assisted living home you finally settle for, it is wise to search for one that includes graduated care services. This is due to the care needs of your loved one changing over time. When additional options and services are available, you can expect that the senior will live comfortably and perhaps, longer and happier. .
About THE AUTHOR
With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.Read more about David Bolton
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