Cost of Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities aim at providing the much desired autonomy to people who, despite being in need of constant supervision, desire a life of privacy and dignity. Assisted living arrangements are appropriate for individuals who are unable to undertake daily chores necessary for basic survival. People who find it difficult to bathe, dress or groom themselves, may enjoy a life of relative comfort and ease at an assisted living facility, where their basic needs are tended to by the supervisory staff trained to provide the necessary services. The occupant need not be elderly. Even relatively young people, who are unable to tend to basic housekeeping and have restricted mobility, may find it convenient to reside in an assisted living facility. One must bear in mind that this living arrangement is not conducive for people who need constant medical care and attention, since it provides a middle ground between independent living and life at a nursing home.

Cost of Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities cost less than the amount that would have to be shelled out for a nursing home. Medicare does not fund the cost of assisted living. Medicaid, which is a joint venture between the Federal and the State govt. aimed at providing medical and custodial care to low-income families, may pay for the assisted living. Although Medicaid is funded by the Federal govt., it is largely administered by the states, and hence coverage may vary from state to state.

Generally, people residing in an assisted living facility can expect the following services: regular meals, typically served thrice a day; assistance for bathing, grooming, and eating; help rendered to the inmates to ensure that they follow the prescribed exercise regime; transportation facilities to ensure mobility for the old and the infirm; and housekeeping and laundry. Round the clock supervision ensures that the residents’ needs are tended to without any delay. People can look forward to recreation, social and cultural activities, chapels, libraries, and other facilities that make life comfortable and enjoyable.

The average cost of assisted living facilities generally works out to around $1800 a month, assuming that one is opting for basic facilities. Depending upon the needs of the individual and the expected level of care, additional monthly charges may be levied, and these may range between $300 and $1200. Some living facilities also provide specialized services that are meant for people with cognitive disabilities and debilitating conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Short term medical care may be provided to people who have recently been discharged from a nursing home or a hospital following successful recovery. In fact, it has been estimated that an assisted living facility that provides a comprehensive range of services may cost as much as $4000.

Keeping in mind the average costs, people may opt for one of the following financial arrangements to ensure that they have sufficient cash to fund the cost for assisted living:

  • People who are at least 62 years of age can procure a reverse mortgage.
  • Long term care insurance is useful for people who would like to be taken care of in a nursing home, at an assisted living facility or in the comfort of their home.

The cost of assisted living — though quite high — is significantly lower than the cost of living at a nursing home. Planning for the future can help people pay for the facility and a life of relative comfort and ease without having to compromise on privacy, the lack of which is characteristic of a nursing home.