Do you remember the last time you dined in a fine restaurant? (Think hard; we know it’s probably been a while!) After the meal, when you were presented the bill, chances are you didn’t complain, “Hey, I could have made this meal at home for a lot less!”
That’s because you knew you weren’t just paying for food. You were also paying for someone to shop for the freshest ingredients, someone to transport them, someone to stock them, someone to prep the food, someone to cook and make it scrumptious, someone to take your order and bring it to you, someone to clear the table and haul the dishes to the kitchen, and someone to wash those dishes and put them away.
When you think of it, with so many people working for you, the price you paid for that meal was a bargain—especially if the food was incredible and the service made you feel like royalty.
It’s the same with the cost of a senior living community. When people first consider senior living, where monthly costs can range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the level of assistance needed, the price may seem high. When compared to living home alone with needed services, however, it’s a bargain. Here’s a closer look.
Senior living is not just about housing
“The house is paid for.” When a loved one’s mortgage has been paid, families may ask why they would pay for housing elsewhere. And, if an older adult is reasonably self-sufficient, family members may be able to pitch in and help out. Most seniors living alone, however, will eventually need to hire a home care agency to assist with tasks such as transportation, grocery shopping, housekeeping, and personal care. Consider the added expenses a senior will likely incur as they grow older, such as:
- lawn care
- security system
- snow removal
- appliance repair
- private duty caregivers
These costs can add up quickly. For example, hiring a home health aide and homemaker services in 2020 cost on average more than $9,000 per month.
Added to caregiver expenses are necessities many older adults living alone incur, such as:
- Home remodeling and modification costs (building a ramp, installing a step-free shower, and adding bedside and bathroom grab bars)
- Transportation costs, whether a private car or transportation service
- Medical alert systems
- Costly deferred maintenance on expensive systems, such as a roof or HVAC
Senior living communities: much more for less cost
Now consider the “menu” that comes with living in a senior living community:
- A private apartment or suite (for assisted living, designed with safety features such as grab bars, a step-in shower, an emergency call system, and an accessible floor plan)
- Amenities and services to make daily life easier, including housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, and all repairs
- In assisted living communities, licensed caregivers onsite around the clock to assist with activities of daily living
- Nutritious meals and snacks, often prepared by or under the direction of a chef (Five Star communities are known for their signature dishes!)
- Life Enrichment programs with a full complement of social, cultural, wellness and spiritual programs
- Utilities, cable, and local phone service (and sometimes basic internet)
- Transportation for resident outings and individual resident appointments
- An onsite beauty salon/barbershop for convenience
- Concierge services for tasks like delivery signing, transportation arrangements, and more
All of this is delivered at a rate well below what these services would add up to if obtained separately by a homeowner. For example, the average monthly cost of living in an independent living community ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
The intangibles: safe and happy
Last, although home is where people who have a choice often say they want to stay, it may not be the best choice for older adults living alone. Depression resulting from loneliness and inactivity resulting from isolation pose real health risks to aging adults. Living alongside other active seniors can mean a safer and happier life all around. That’s a real benefit of senior living communities such as Five Star neighborhoods. We hear residents say every day, “I wish I had made this move years ago!”
Why not take a look at Five Star Senior Living—where the food is incredible and the service makes you feel like royalty? Find out if there’s a Five Star Senior Living community near you!