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Senior Care Sticker Shock: Understanding the True Value of Assisted Living

Senior Care Sticker Shock: Understanding the True Value of Assisted Living

If you’re encouraging a senior loved one to move to an assisted living community, you’ll want to compare costs among all your options. There are many factors to consider. What may initially seem unaffordable could turn out to be a good option when everything is factored in.

Don’t Fall for the Most Common Myth About Senior Living

A common misconception among families is that senior living is only for wealthy people. That’s just not true, however. There are a variety of housing options, services and amenities that all add up to offer great value.

To understand the true cost of each your senior living option, it’s important to look beyond the ‘sticker prices.’ For example, if you compare the monthly cost of senior living to just the monthly cost of a mortgage, then yes… you will feel some initial sticker shock. But that’s like comparing spending a night in a youth hostel to spending a night in an all-inclusive resort. 

Assisted Living Offers More Than a Roof Over Your Head

The mortgage cost comparison doesn’t work with senior living communities, because there is so much more built into the monthly fee. 

And by the way, what is the price of senior living?

According to the annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national median cost of assisted living in 2016 was $3,628 per month. That’s where the sticker shock comes in for most families.

But what they’re not taking into account is the actual cost of maintaining your own home plus the cost of in-home care and services for seniors. Once you add all those costs up it sheds a whole new light on the monthly cost of senior living.

Here’s how it all works, by the numbers. 

The True Cost of Maintaining a Home Plus In-Home Care

The average homeowner spends $1204 on maintaining their home… each month. 

Here’s how the monthly cost of home ownership adds up:

  • Home insurance: $79
  • Private mortgage insurance: $158
  • Snow removal and lawn care: $130
  • Property taxes: $218
  • Utility bills: $201
  • Homeowners association fees: $250
  • Repairs and general maintenance: $168
  • Total: $1,204

Now on to the real shocker. 

According to the Genworth study, the national monthly median costs in 2016 for in-home care were as follows:

  • Homemaker services (cooking and cleaning): $3,813
  • Home health aide (round the clock caregiving): $3,861
  • Adult day health care: $1,473

Then there are all of the incidental costs of daily living, such as groceries and transportation. 

What’s Included in Most Assisted Living Fees

The standard monthly fee at a typical assisted living community often covers the basics of living, such as room and board, home maintenance, utilities, laundry, and housekeeping. Plus, there’s usually a shuttle bus or transportation service available for residents to get out and about. There are also life enrichment opportunities, social interaction, and the security of knowing it’s a safe environment. 

What’s Included at Five Star Senior Living

In addition to that, residents at Five Star Senior Living communities enjoy beautifully landscaped grounds, tastefully decorated common areas for social gatherings, a gourmet dining experience, and social events every week.

If you’re considering a move to senior living, please call the community nearest you. We’d love to show you around and help you learn more about the Five Star difference!

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