If you are among the many that fear moving into an assisted living community is expensive and you would be better served staying in your own home, please take note.
Because before you can accurately add up the actual cost of assisted living, it’s necessary to first pursue some subtraction—as in subtracting costs incurred in your current home from what is provided in an assisted living community.
What to Consider
- You won’t need to own a car and pay the costs for maintenance, fuel, insurance premiums, licensing or taxes. Assisted living communities provide transportation services.
- You won’t have to pay for repairs, home upkeep, yard work, snow removal or housekeeping.
- You won’t have house payments, taxes or insurance premiums.
- If you exercise, you probably won’t have to pay for gym membership fees or purchases of exercise equipment, as many assisted living communities offer wellness and exercise programs free of charge.
- Forget utility costs. Energy, water and trash services are included.
- Activities, including games, parties, movies, day trips, classes, and celebrations, are part of the assisted living experience.
- Three nutritious meals per day are provided for residents, and their cost is usually included in the monthly fee.
In addition, many assisted living communities offer fee-for-service pricing, meaning you only pay for the services you need.
Resources to Make Assisted Living More Affordable
A whole or universal life insurance policy you have been paying on for a decade or more could be tapped for additional funds.
Some Veterans may qualify for a benefit to cover part of the services provided by an assisted living community. The program, known as Aid and Assistance, is a monthly benefit beyond the Veteran Affairs pension. Qualifying depends upon income and the Veteran’s need for assistance. Contact your local VA benefits office to find out more.
Most states cover at least some assisted living costs for eligible residents. However, no state Medicaid program pays for a recipient’s room and board in an assisted living community. Consult your Medicaid state’s plan.
In addition, many states offer Social Security supplements depending upon the type of care the resident needs, including assisted living. Learn more from your local Social Security office.
Understanding and applying for many of these benefits can be a complex and time-consuming effort. Please consult with your family and qualified professionals before making major financial decisions. Consider speaking with a geriatric care manager. They are experienced in sorting through the many challenges senior adults face, including accessing benefit programs, moving to a senior community, and financial options.
Other Cost Benefits of Assisted Living
If you are a senior adult living in the home you have occupied for many years, you most likely would like to stay there. However, there are costs associated with aging in place that are difficult to calculate.
For example, studies show that seniors living alone run many risks, such as isolation, loneliness, depression, poor diet, making medication errors, increased risk for falls and other injuries associated with daily living and home maintenance work.
The emotional and physical toll has a real price in terms of health and emotional problems as well as cognitive decline. In assisted living, you form new friendships, take trips, share activities, and receive medical care and assistance with tasks that have become challenging.
Therefore, when thinking about moving to an assisted living community, remember to consider the whole picture: the cost of assisted living minus the costs associated with homeownership and the physical, emotional, and cognitive costs of living alone.
For more information about moving to an Assisted Living Community, schedule a tour at a community near you.