Growing old can be a beautiful thing, full of new experiences and joys like finally taking that trip you always planned on or helping raise grandchildren. Yet, there comes a time for many seniors when worsening health conditions make basic daily activities—like bathing or managing medication—require assistance. These may be signs it’s time to consider moving into an assisted living community.
Moving into an assisted living community can be a difficult—and emotional—decision. It doesn’t help that searching for assisted living costs online brings up all sorts of confusing fees, contracts and services that vary widely. You might be wondering:
- How much does assisted living actually cost? And is it worth it?
- How does assisted living cost compare to the cost of in-home care?
- How can I pay for assistance living?
Here’s the good news: there’s no need to keep searching. We’ve got you covered with simple and straightforward answers to the most asked questions about the cost of assisted living. Here’s what you need to know about assisted living costs so you can make the best choice.
What is an assisted living community?
Assisted living communities are far more than just places that provide senior care. They should also be a home where everyday burdens—like transportation and chores—are taken care of so your loved one can stay active and engaged doing the things they love most. Assisted living can be best thought of as a busy, involved community atmosphere that lies on the continuum between independent living and full-time, nursing-provided care. It’s best for seniors who need a little extra help with some activities of daily living (ADLs) like dressing and medication reminders so they can live their most independent life.
What is the average cost assisted living?
Assisted living costs can vary greatly depending upon what area of the country you live in. The size of the apartment you choose, and the types and number of services also impact the monthly cost of assisted living. According to Genworth Financial, the average cost of assisted living in 2020 was $4,300 per month. Compare that to the cost of hiring a home health aide and housekeeper in 2020: an average of $9,000 a year! While the monthly cost of assisted living may cause an initial senior living sticker shock, the services and amenities included in the monthly cost make a move to an assisted living community a smart financial decision.
What is included in the average monthly cost for assisted living?
The true value of assisted living goes far beyond a new place to call home. Assisted living communities offer a wide variety of amenities and services included in the monthly cost to meet your loved one’s needs like:
- Housekeeping, maintenance and laundry services.
- Nutritious, chef-prepared meals served restaurant-style in the dining room.
- Utilities and basic cable television.
- A full calendar of life enrichment programs to participate in each day.
- Transportation services for errands, appointments and other community outings.
- Wellness programs and senior-friendly fitness activities.
- Emergency call systems in apartments and/or an emergency call pendant option.
How can I pay for assisted living?
No matter your budget, there are ways to make assisted living more affordable. Though most seniors pay with private funds, the monthly cost of assisted living can become much more manageable through senior living financing options like:
- A Bridge Loan or Senior Line-of-Credit: These short-term, “interest-only” loans help fund assisted living costs until the necessary money comes in.
- Deferred Annuity with Long-term Care Rider: Rather than making monthly insurance payments, the investor places a lump sum of money into a deferred annuity. They can then withdraw the money, tax-free and without any IRS penalties, to pay for assisted living.
- Life Settlement Accounts: With a life settlement agreement, a senior sells their life insurance to a third party and receives a lump sum payment.
- Veteran’s Benefits: US veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans can receive monthly benefits to pay for assisted living through the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
The Five Star Difference: Affordable, stress-free assisted living
We know how hard the decision to move into an assisted living community can be, especially when it comes down to figuring out the cost and how to pay for it. That’s why Five Star’s senior living experts are happy to help answer your questions about assisted living costs and work with your budget so you can make the most informed decision.
In a Five Star assisted living community, our residents receive the services they need in an engaging, active lifestyle they deserve at a cost they can afford. Most importantly, though, they are welcomed into a new home sweet home where life is stress-free, and friends become family. Download our FREE Guide to the Cost of Senior Living eBook and find out if there’s a Five Star community near you to learn more.