As you consider independent or assisted living for your loved one, details such as on-site medical care, meal plans, and yearly costs may impact your decision. If your loved one decides to move into an assisted living community, there is a financial commitment involved. The good news is that the monthly and yearly costs go towards valuable and rewarding social activities, medical care, and convenience of living.
The average day in assisted living is packed full of helpful amenities such as meals, transportation, housekeeping, social activities, and more. These amenities make a considerable difference in the lives of aging adults, but it is up to the individual and their family to decide if the cost is feasible. Let’s explore the average cost of assisted living, how to pay for it, and the included amenities.
Costs to Anticipate
As of 2020, the average cost of assisted living in the United States is $4,300 per month or $51,600 per year. For couples who plan to share a room, it is a good rule of thumb to add on an additional $1,000 per month for meals, medical care, and amenities. This number varies in each state, as well as cities with higher costs of living. For example, assisted living will be more expensive in New York City than in rural Mississippi. The states that have New Perspective communities have the following average monthly costs:
- Indiana: $4,382
- Iowa: $4,073
- Minnesota: $4,283
- North Dakota: $4,096
- Wisconsin: $4,400
Assisted living costs can even vary within the same town depending on amenities offered and any recent building updates. For this reason, you should inquire with each prospective assisted living community about price information rather than assume all communities will have the same average cost.
Pricing structures vary from community to community as well. Many assisted living communities charge one all-inclusive monthly fee covering room and board, meal plans, activities, transportation, and medical services. Other communities may charge a monthly fee for room and board but bill other services on an as-used basis.
If you want to rely on a set budget each month, an all-inclusive payment structure may be more beneficial for your family rather than a community with fluctuating monthly payments.
Prices of Other Senior Care Communities
Compared to other senior care options, assisted living may be the most economical. However, the type of care community you pursue for your loved one depends on the level of medical attention they require.
In-home care services are typically charged hourly, so if your loved one needs infrequent care, it could be cost-effective for your family. But, if your loved one needs frequent and consistent care, the cost can add up. For example, the cost of 70 hours of in-home care per week averages out to $7,129 per month.
Nursing homes are the most expensive option, which cost an average of $7,756 per month for a shared room and $8,821 for a private room. Adult daycare is the least costly option at an average of $1,630 per month, but the level of care is far lower than other options.
How to Pay For Assisted Living
There are many different ways to pay for assisted living, including:
- Out of pocket
- Long-term care insurance
- Veterans benefits
- Reverse mortgages
- Selling life insurance policies
Most people will pay at least some portion of their assisted living costs out-of-pocket. The money typically comes from retirement accounts, savings accounts, investments, and other income sources. Full out-of-pocket payments are an option for people with substantial retirement savings or outside financial support.
Since the states administer Medicaid, coverage varies. Many times, personal care assistance and nursing services are covered, but states are not allowed to use Medicaid funds to cover room and board. The same goes for Medicare. Your loved one cannot use Medicare to pay for room and board at an assisted living facility, but it may help pay for medical services provided in the community.
Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension
Veterans Affairs (VA) does not pay for assisted living rent, but people with VA benefits may be eligible for medical care coverage. Additionally, the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension can help cover some costs associated with assisted living. Elder Resource Benefits Consulting (ERBC) is a resource for veterans and their spouses that will conduct a benefit analysis on your behalf. New Perspective covers the cost of these services for those veterans and their spouses.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is specifically meant to cover costs associated with aging and chronic disability. The specifics of long-term care insurance vary between policies and providers, but in general, it covers some or all of assisted living costs. Note that most long-term care insurance policies have a maximum issue age, which means people over a certain age are not eligible to sign up. So, this insurance coverage is often only applicable if your loved one signed up a few years before pursuing assisted living.
The Included Amenities
While assisted living may seem expensive, it is essential to keep all the beneficial amenities in mind. Assisted living communities don’t just provide your loved one with a place to stay. Instead, assisted living builds community, removes the burden of housekeeping, keeps residents engaged with fun activities, and offers many helpful medical services.
Each day in assisted living, your loved one can expect to participate in many creative activities. Daily activities regularly fluctuate to keep each day new and exciting. Activities often include:
- Exercise sessions
- Field trips
- Religious worship services
- Musical performances or classes
- Guest speakers
- Ice cream socials
- Board games and bingo
- Cooking seminars
- Book clubs
- Holiday celebrations
- Happy hour
- Craft clubs
- Theme meals and events
These activities help your loved one build a necessary social community that provides long-term health benefits. Not to mention, assisted living also includes:
- On-site physical therapy services
- Therapy gym
- Made-from-scratch meals
- Housekeeping services
- Nurse on-site/on-call 24/7
- Medication management
As you can tell, the cost of assisted living covers dozens of incredibly helpful amenities that will improve your loved one’s life.
Consider Assisted Living for Your Loved One
Depending on how much care and assistance your loved one needs, an assisted living community may be the most cost-effective and helpful circumstance for them. The monthly cost of assisted living offers your loved one access to dozens of beneficial social activities and health services. If you’re concerned about paying out of pocket for assisted living, remember that various insurance policies can help cover costs.
If you’re considering assisted living for your loved one, reach out to New Perspective Senior Living today. We will happily answer any questions you may have about assisted living and help you schedule a tour of one of our vibrant communities.