Assisted living costs are about more than just money.
Expenses are not only a large factor to consider when looking into assisted living; they’re often the most important factor to some people in conjunction with the value of services and care offered.
There are so many facts to consider when determining the cost of assisted living that it can be difficult to know where to start. To help evaluate assisted living costs, begin by asking a few key questions: what is the quality of services offered? What social activities do they offer? Is it clean and safe? Do the residents enjoy living there?
Here, we have provided information on the differing costs of assisted living across the country and what variables to consider when evaluating assisted living costs to chose what community is best for you.
Like any housing situation, assisted living costs can be expensive. Not only that, but the cost seems to be creeping higher by a small percentage every year.
Data from the 2017 National Senior Living Cost Index from Seattle-based senior living referral service: A Place for Mom also shows that senior living costs are rising at a slower rate compared to hospital service costs, health insurance premiums and real estate costs. –SeniorLiving.com
According to 2016 data, it costs $47,400 annually for assisted living in the state of Virginia. The national average is slightly lower, around $43,000 a year. Click here to see their full chart of costs by state.
Most assisted living facilities are not medically licensed and therefore are NOT covered by Medicare and regular insurance packages. However, some states offer Medicaid waivers for assisted living.
For military veterans and their spouses, The Department of Veteran Affairs offers programs to help cover for assisted living costs. These programs on average offer $2,085 per month for married veterans, $1,759 for veterans who are single, and $1,130 for the surviving spouse of a veteran. Eligible veterans must have served a minimum of ninety days of active duty including at least one day during wartime.
There are other ways to help pay for assisted living, such as getting a bridge loan while selling your house or finding good long-term care insurance.
Things to Consider
You should always try to visit the facility first to see if the service the facility offers are really worth the price they charge. Don’t just trust their website or information online; go and check it out for yourself.
The main things to look for before choosing an assisted living facility are cleanliness, staff friendliness, services offered, and safety. What kind of meal services do they offer? What health safety and security measures do they have in place? Is there on-site medical care and on-call staff and security at all times?
Assisted living communities are beneficial not only for the care they offer but for the services and social activities they provide for all residents. Some services assisted living facilities should offer are things like housekeeping, daily assistance like dressing and bathing, medication management, social events and field trips, physical fitness and wellness programs, religious services, and an emergency call system.
Try the food, observe the staff and how they interact with you and the residents. Get residents feedback of the assisted living facility by reading online reviews or talking to residents directly.
Make sure you are getting your money’s worth and that the facility isn’t negligent or cutting corners to cut down the cost they charge residents.
Tips to Find the Best Deal
There are several variables to consider when determining the cost of assisted living and get the best deal for the price you are paying.
The majority of assisted living facilities offer different room size choices which will factor into your overall costs. Likewise, there is often an option for two-bedroom shared apartments. While this is not the best option for everyone, it can save you money, anywhere from 10%-20% on average compared to a single unit.
As a rule of thumb, the cost of living is more expensive in urban areas and bigger cities. The same principle applies to assisted living communities. You can find the same high-quality services for a cheaper price if you look for assisted living facilities an hour or more away from a large city. Also considering looking at different states that have cheaper average rates for assisted living.
Most Expensive States
The states with the most expensive average costs for assisted living are any located in New England and the Northern East Coast, on the West Coast (including Alaska), as well as Hawaii. Washington D.C. has the most expensive average assisted living cost at $80,400 per year as of 2016.