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When it comes to the elderly’s finances, what is the better choice? Is it aging at home wherein they could manage every bit of their resources, and just have a caregiver? Or is it moving into a senior living community, where their needs are arranged for them?
You would need spreadsheets and your trusty calculator to crunch down the numbers for your personal situation because every person has different needs and wants. In addition, the cost of living also varies across the country.
So where should you start? Assess your condition and know the lifestyle you want to lead. And give time to compare the costs of different senior living communities with the different levels of care and services. You might be surprised to see that living in senior communities might be more financially favorable than aging at home.
The Cost of Senior Living Communities
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, all-inclusive retirement living can cost anywhere between $1,800 – $600,000 in entrance fees alone. Although this range is far too vast to be helpful, this also speaks about the variety of options out there. According to the same report, some top-level national averages are:
- Assisted living options: $1,500–$6,500/month
- Memory care units: Price varies according to location
- Skilled nursing units: $1,500–$10,700/month
Still, what do these dollars mean? We need to break down the numbers and costs associated with the different types of senior living communities, for you to have a sound judgment on deciding what is for you or for your loved one.
1. The Cost of Independent Living Community
Independent living communities are perfect for senior adults who are able to live on their own sans the assistance provided by the community. These senior adults usually aim for a convenient lifestyle, free from the daily tasks of home maintenance and chores. These often have restaurant-style dining, with amenities and services that support socialization and overall well-being. A community with fewer perks might have lower costs.
The median monthly cost of being in an independent living community in the U.S. is around $2,552 in 2018.
2. The Cost of Assisted Living Community
Seniors who need round-the-clock assistance while maintaining independence in their own apartment opt for assisted living communities. Costs still depend on the location and services and amenities provided, but in 2016, the average cost of a one-bedroom single-person assisted living apartment was at $3,628 per month.
This figure varies based on care services the resident might need, based on a professional assessment. Assisted living communities can also include memory care for their residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
3. The Cost of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
CCRCs are designed to cater for senior adults’ needs at different levels of care, so they could access their needed services, without them having to move to an entirely new community. In general, they offer three levels of care: independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing units. These often include long-term contracts with continued care services.
CCRCs usually charge an entrance fee of up to $600,000 and monthly service fees that could range from $1,000 – $5,000.
Point of comparison: The costs of living at home
As a homeowner, you know all too well that living at home is not free. You need to account for mortgages, taxes, insurance, and the costs of property maintenance and improvements. And then there are the monthly utility costs, groceries, and other services. And then things get even more costly when you age in place. You would need to consider modifications in your home, to make it more senior-friendly. There is also the cost of health maintenance to consider – especially when your condition as a senior requires up close caregiving.
You could add it all up, and it becomes loud and clear: living at home is far from being free. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report last 2020, people aged 55 to 64 need $57,180 a year in order to live adequately.
The Bottom Line
Now that we broke down the cost of senior living communities, we know how things could be overwhelming. You are now left with the question “Which is for you: aging in place or senior living community?”
This is definitely your call, which is why in Blue Skies Homes, we offer consultations and professional assessments to have an informed decision on what best suits you or your senior loved one’s conditions. We could also assist you in tapping financial assistance that might be available for you. Feel free to contact us today!