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Kaplan 5-2-23_Whats Included in the Cost of Senior Living (1)Senior living isn’t inexpensive, but the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly holds true here. When it comes to residing in a senior living in a senior living community, you get so much more than just basic care and housing. The lifestyle offers a value that’s simply hard to match at home.  

Here’s what’s included in the cost of senior living and why it’s so worth it.

The cost of senior living 

First, it’s important to understand that senior living isn’t just one type of care. It’s more like a continuum that offers different types of care and amenities based on different needs and wants. While a number of factors affect the cost of senior living, in general, the more care you need, the more you’ll pay.  

Independent Living 

For seniors who can still live independently as the lifestyle is focused on convenience and active living with home upkeep, cooking, and cleaning included. Residents also enjoy a range of amenities as well as social and enrichment opportunities. Published data on the average cost of independent living varies, but you can typically expect it to be between $1,000 to $4,000 monthly. 

Assisted Living 

Here, you’ll find many of the same services, amenities, and activities as independent living. Still, you’ll also have assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Onsite medical care is also available. According to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost for a private one-bedroom is $4,500. 

Memory Care 

Just for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, memory care offers 24-hour support in a secure, nurturing environment with specially trained staff. Published data on the average cost of memory care also varies, but you can usually expect a range between $2,000 to $7,000 a month. 

The value of senior living 

But there’s also an added value in the cost of senior living. Not only do you have the flexibility of different types of care for different needs, but you also have flexibility in what you pay as well. So, for example, if daily support is not yet needed but you would enjoy a more active, social, and convenient lifestyle, you could choose independent living and pay less now. Then move to another type of care, if necessary, down the road. Even better, many senior living communities offer multiple types of care on the same campus, which provides value and peace of mind! 

Download our guide to Choosing the Right Community!

Comparing the cost of senior living to home 

When considering the cost of senior living to staying at home, families often simply compare the monthly cost in a community to their mortgage or rent alone. However, that’s not your total monthly cost of living at home. You must also add food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and entertainment to that cost for a true comparison. And don’t forget the cost of care at home as well as what you’ll pay for safety and accessibility modifications if needed. Why? Because all these things are included in the monthly cost of senior living!  

This worksheet can help you more easily compare the two using your specific circumstances. 

Monthly Expenses 

Costs at Home  

Cost of Senior Living  

Mortgage or rent 






Property tax and insurance 



Home maintenance and repairs 



Lawn care and yard maintenance 






(electricity, gas, water, trash removal, etc.) 



24-hour security 



(insurance, gas, registration, repairs) 






Social and Entertainment 



Exercise and wellness 



24-hour emergency alert system 



Total Actual Costs 




But even if your comparison shows the cost of senior living is more than staying at home, make sure to consider the positive impact on quality of life as well because that’s perhaps the greatest value. For example, it’s often easier to be more active, social, and engaged in communities like ours than at home. In fact, we make sure residents have a full calendar of opportunities to choose from; and it’s all right outside your door, which couldn’t be more convenient.  

Not to mention the freedom to enjoy it all without the burdens of unexpected expenses and the comfort of knowing help is always available if and when needed. 

For more information on the cost of senior living, download our Choosing the Right Community Guide today! 

Click here to download our Choosing The Right Senior Living Community guide


Written by All American