Older adults considering senior living options often wind up moving to assisted living. These senior living communities are designed for older adults who need help with performing some daily tasks but do not require round-the-clock supervision or skilled nursing care. This article will focus on analyzing the factors that affect the cost of moving into assisted living.
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The Average Cost of Assisted Living
The cost of assisted living varies significantly by geographical region and is also affected by which facility seniors choose, what kinds of accommodations and services they need, and other factors. In Ohio, the average cost of assisted living ranges from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the size of the apartment. However, some people wind up paying more or less depending on their needs.
Why Is Assisted Living So Expensive?
The key to understanding the price of assisted living is to consider what’s included. Some facilities charge residents a base rental fee and then tack on services such as meal provision, medication administration, and help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Others include commonly used services in their cost estimates, making it easier to offer future residents a clear idea of what they can expect to pay.
Assisted living facilities can be very expensive when compared to ordinary apartments. However, they also offer a far greater range of services. In communities where all of the costs are covered, residents can eat three meals a day, get help with medications, and receive basic care from a nurse without paying extra. When these costs are added to that of renting an ordinary apartment, it becomes clear that assisted living offers a reasonably cost-effective alternative.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Assisted Living
The primary factor affecting the cost of assisted living is how much assistance residents need with completing ADLs. Some facilities use point systems that allow them to charge for each service provided, while others use more straightforward tiered pricing to account for different levels of care.
If an assisted living facility is a part of a broader continuing care retirement community (CCRC), residents can also expect to pay more for accommodations and services. In these types of senior living arrangements, fully independent residents can move to assisted living apartments as they need more daily assistance, then eventually move to skilled nursing or memory care units if they wind up needing round-the-count supervision. Residents can rest easier knowing that they can get all of the services required to age gracefully in the same community.
How to Pay for Assisted Living
Medicare insurance does not pay for assisted living. There are, however, some other options for applicants to consider. They include:
- Aid & Attendance veterans benefits
Medicaid coverage for those living in licensed facilities
Reverse mortgages for residents who have surviving spouses continuing to live at home
At some not-for-profit assisted living facilities, residents can also make use of charitable care funds to cover ongoing costs should they outlive their finances.
Make the Right Choice
Need help with deciding what senior living option is the best fit? Speaking with a care coordinator is a good place to start. Seniors and their loved ones can also schedule tours of local communities to get a better feel for how each one operates and what kind of fee schedule to expect after moving in.