We are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19). Read our statement here.

Most people aren’t experts on senior living – and would rather not think about it either – so when the need arises to consider it for yourself or a loved one; families often don’t know where to start. Not to mention that with all the information out there it can be hard to glean what you really want to know: what are the options and how much will senior living cost? We can help make it easier. Here’s what you can expect and how to financially prepare for senior living.

Senior Living Options

Families may not realize that senior living isn’t a one-size-fits-all environment. You could think of it more like a continuum with levels of care that support different needs and wants. As such, your senior living options include:

Independent Living –This option is an ideal choice for seniors who could benefit from more social and enrichment opportunities than they may have at home, as well as freedom from home maintenance, cooking, housekeeping and laundry. These communities foster independence with an accessible design that empowers residents, but also offer the security of having help nearby if needed. Communities like ours also feature amenities like concierge services, a gym, full-service beauty and barbershop as well as a library and scheduled transportation.

Assisted Living – You’ll find assisted living is similar to independent living in terms of social and enrichment opportunities as well as amenities, but this option is designed for seniors who often need support with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating and/or medication management. Communities like ours also feature an onsite registered nursing team, regular health assessments and individualized wellness plans all in a warm, homelike setting.

Memory Care - This senior living option is designed exclusively for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Residents benefit from a nursing team and caregivers who are specially trained in the challenges of dementia and offer 24/7 support as well as a comfortable, yet secure environment.  Our communities also feature opportunities to connect, engage and stay active based on each resident’s unique needs and capabilities, as well as amenities such as dining programs that support dietary restrictions, housekeeping and support groups for families.

What You Can Expect to Pay

With different levels of care available, as you might expect, senior living has different price points depending in large part on how much care you or your loved one need.

According to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey, in assisted living, the monthly average cost of a private, one-bedroom is $4,300. In independent living and memory care, there is little published data on averages because costs can vary so greatly. However, in independent living you can typically expect to pay between $1,000 to $4,000 per month. For memory care, you can typically expect to pay between $2,000 to $7,000 per month.

Starting to Financially Prepare for Senior Living

Ideally, you’re considering senior living before a crisis happens so your family has more time to prepare financially (and emotionally). However, in any circumstance, there are some basic steps to get you started:

  1. Get organized by gathering financial documents such as bank, brokerage and mortgage account information as well as any deeds, insurance policies, monthly and/or outstanding bills, pension statements and/or social security statements to help you budget. 
  2. Take stock of where you stand financially including the value of your home (and whether you might consider selling or renting it for income) as well as your pension, Social Security benefits and other personal property that may be potential income. Also consider potential tax deductions and analyze your investment portfolio with long-term needs in mind. We recommend consulting a financial advisor and/or estate planning attorney to make sure you’re maximizing all your resources.
  3. Look at funding sources – You may also have options to offset the cost of senior living such as long-term care insurance if you’re planning far enough ahead. If you’re a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may also be eligible for the Aid & Attendance benefit. Or, you might even consider a life insurance conversion to help with costs.

For more information download our Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing or contact us today to schedule a tour.

Click here to download our Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing

Written by All American