Understanding Finances: The Cost of Assisted Living

Senior living has evolved in many ways since the days of traditional nursing homes. Modern seniors deserve and desire more options for the different phases of their golden years. From active lifestyles full of sports and recreation to specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there are plenty of options for Americans 65 and up.

These options come with a price, though. As you’ll see, many factors at play will influence how much you spend per month to live in a senior community. However, for most older adults, the cost is well worth it to have the level of independence or care they need medically, socially, and mentally.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

Assisted living is similar to independent living in terms of perks and amenities, but it comes with a higher level of care. As such, the average cost per month is $4,500. This not only includes the rent on a room or apartment and the other amenities we discussed above but also a personalized care plan. The plan and cost will depend on your individual needs, such as help with bathing, eating, or other support.

How Does Memory Care Cost?

Memory care is one of the highest levels of care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The cost of Memory care reflects the increased level of care: an average of $6,935 per month. This cost includes room and board, as well as 24/7 supervision and security, specially-trained staff, and an environment and activities created specifically for seniors with severe memory issues.

Factors That Influence Cost

The numbers cited above are national averages. The community you choose might cost more or might cost less. Here’s what to consider as you think about senior living options for yourself or a loved one.


The cost of senior living varies from state to state. For example, independent living in Alabama costs an average of $2,376 per month, or $624 lower than the national average. At the other end of the spectrum, Independent Living in Hawaii averages over $5,000 per month.

For assisted living, the state with the lowest average is Missouri, at around $3,000 a month, or $1,500 below the national average. Alaska’s average cost of assisted living is more than double that of Missouri, at $6,830 per month.

Memory care is already the highest cost of senior living. In Georgia, the average price of memory care is about half the national median, at $3,995 per month. At $8,400, Vermont has the highest average cost per month for Memory Care.

Keep in mind that where you live in a state will also influence cost. Major cities, for example, tend to be more expensive than smaller towns.

Size of Living Space

When it comes to assisted living and memory care, the living space options are usually limited to a studio, 1-bedroom apartment, or single room. Independent living usually offers more options, including 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom apartments with or without dens or separate house-style cottages and duplexes. As with apartments and homes outside of senior living, the more square footage you choose, the more it will cost.


Not every senior living community offers the same services. The place you choose should accommodate your needs and lifestyle. However, many places include at least a standard amount of services.

Common independent/assisted living services include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Lawn care & landscaping
  • Social events, including field trips, movies, lectures, games, and clubs
  • 24/7 on-site security
  • Dining plans, including snacks and drinks
  • Transportation to and from shopping areas, doctors appointments, or other errands
  • Basic utilities, such as electricity, water, air conditioning, and heat
  • A gym, pool, and fitness classes
  • On-site medical care

Depending on the place you choose, there may also be included with your monthly payment:

  • Laundry services
  • A cafe or pub
  • Art studios
  • Libraries
  • Event spaces
  • Dance halls

Level of Care

Most senior living communities recognize that not all seniors require the same type or level of care. In assisted living, those levels range from:

  • Minimal assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL): Requires minimal help, like being reminded to take medications or daily check-ins.
  • Medium assistance with ADL: May need assistance or supervision with accomplishing specific ADLs, like eating, bathing, or taking medications.
  • Maximum assistance with ADL: Requires assistance with all or nearly all ADLs throughout the day.

Individuals in memory care usually require constant daily support and supervision for their comfort and safety. This includes specialized activities, help with co-morbid conditions, and carefully trained assistance during episodes of agitation or confusion.

Additional Fees

Some facilities offer additional amenities, perks, or services at an additional cost for those who choose to use them.

These might include:

  • Pets other than service animals
  • An assigned parking space
  • A roommate
  • Beauty services, like a hairdresser or manicurist
  • Linen services
  • Special events or trips
  • A personal aide
  • Overnight guest accommodations

Why Choose Senior Living?

Modern senior living communities are designed to keep older adults active and vital during their golden years. Included with the cost are intangibles that you won’t necessarily enjoy if they age in place or live with your adult children.

For example, senior communities encourage socialization and a sense of community without leaving the building. There are clubs and committees for a variety of interests and hobbies, such as reading, landscaping, arts and crafts, card games, and event planning. And even in independent living, there’s always someone to check on you should you need help.

For those who need a little extra help, assisted living encourages you to stay active, social, and healthy. You’re still part of a vibrant community — just with a little more assistance.

Finally, when it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia, patients require care from specially trained professionals. The aides, doctors, and nurses in memory care are fully equipped to help those with severe mental problems.

In fact, the entire environment in memory care is created just for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to keep them safe and supported 24/7. That alone is worth the cost and is something not all patients can get at home or with their adult children.

Have New Experiences at New Perspective Senior Living

New Perspective has senior living communities across the Midwest that offer levels of comfort and care designed to meet your needs. Contact us today to find out more about our independent living, assisted living, and memory care options.