Cost of Assisted Living

Few people plan for long-term care – that being continuous care over an extended period of time that involves help with everyday tasks or constant supervision for a person who has dementia.  Perhaps they don’t think they’ll need it or they believe that government subsidies will cover any care they need.

senior-community-outsideStudies indicate that 70% of persons over 65 will need long-term care services at some point in their lives (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2008).  And it’s a common misconception that Medicaid and Medicare will pay for long-term care.  Beyond the limited benefits provided by Medicaid and/or Medicare (assuming you meet eligibility requirements for one or both) you are responsible for your long-term care costs.

Choices for suitable care under Medicaid funding can be limited.  Fortunately, senior living residences are available at a variety of price points.

Costs vary with the residence, apartment size, and types of services needed. The basic rate may cover all services or there may be additional charges for special services. Most assisted living residences charge on a month-to-month lease arrangement, but a few require long-term arrangements. The 2009 national average cost for an apartment in an assisted living residence is $3,100 per month, according to research compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care Information.

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Base rates may fluctuate depending on unit size: for example, studio, one, or two-bedroom apartment. Note also that base rates typically only cover room and board and two to three meals. Additional charges may include entrance fees up to one month’s rent, deposits, and fees for other services such as transportation and personal laundry, though many providers include those services as well.

More than half of assisted living communities use a tiered pricing model with bundled services, according to research. For instance, a resident needing very little assistance would be at the lowest tier. Other pricing models include all-inclusive, a la carte, or fee-for-service basis. Providers regularly review service and care plans to ensure residents’ needs are being met. Billing is typically done monthly. More information is available at http://www.alfa.org.

To discuss senior living options in the Tampa Bay region with an experienced Always Best Care senior placement advisor please call (813) 422-1561 or (813) 422-0750.

Please share your thoughts on senior living costs, or any other thoughts on senior care. We welcome your comments below. 

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