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How to Afford an Assisted Living Home

Jan 7 2013 - Posted by: Elizabeth Bemis to Assisted Living

assisted living home

Assisted living communities typically offer personal care and nursing services; including meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, medication supervision, exercise programs and social activities. When searching for an assisted living home a big factor is often the cost. Since assisted living communities offer different services, amenities and settings there are several different factors that determine the pricing of assisted living communities.

Price Range

The price range may vary according to the apartment size, type of services required, view and location within the building. Most times, the basic rate will cover all the services or there may be extra charges for delivering "special" extra services. Many assisted living facilities typically charge a month-to-month leasing arrangement; however, a few will require a long-term arrangement. 

The base rate may also fluctuate, but this will depend on the size of the unit: for instance, a studio, 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. Typically, base rate just covers room and board and 2 to 3 meals. Extra charges may include:

  • Registration fees that is up to a month's lease
  • Security Deposits
  • Fees for other services like laundry and housekeeping depending on the facility. 

The cost of typical assisted living rental fee and personal care package of services is generally significantly less expensive than nursing home care and may be within the same geographical location.

Pricing Model

Many assisted living communities in the United States utilize a tiered pricing model. For example, a resident that requires very little assistance will be at the minimum tier. The other pricing models include a la carte, all-inclusive or fee for service basis. Assisted living service providers often review care plans and services in order to make sure that the needs of the residents are being adequately met.

As with many other services, assisted living pricing varies per geographical area and state regulations. There are several websites that offer information about the average assisted living costs per state.  The Assisted Living Federation of America may be a good resource (www.alfa.org)

Paying for Assisted Living

When it comes time to pay for assisted living it is important to determine your budget because seniors and their families typically pay the expenses of assisted living through personal financial resources. However, there are several financial resources that can help pay for assisted living costs.

For many seniors, selling or renting out their home is how they allocate funds to pay for assisted living.  Some government subsidies are available as well, and it is important to take advantage of what is available. Long term care insurance is one of the best ways to afford the cost of living in an assisted living facility.

Specifically there are several programs that offer assisted living funding to veterans and their spouses. United Methodist Homes’ Middlewoods of Farmington community hosting an informational program, presented by a Certified VA Benefits Specialist who will be sharing information about the VA Benefit Program for assisted living residents on Thursday, January 24 at 5:30 PM.  Many assisted living communities can connect you with a similar resource to answer your questions.

When making the choice to move into an assisted living community it is important not only to look at the care and amenities provided, but also inquire about the pricing structure and the type of funding that may be available to you or your loved one to help make the move as affordable as possible.

Need Help?

If you're interested in learning more about our assisted living and independent communities, please visit our website www.umh.org or contact us today

About Elizabeth Bemis

In 1998, I drove past an assisted living community construction site, learned that it was part of United Methodist Homes and realized the next stop on my professional journey was to work for a mission driven organization. Soon after, I joined the team as Executive Director of our Middlewoods of Farmington community and later served as Regional Manager for the Middlewoods properties before accepting my current role as Vice President of Marketing, Promotions, and Assisted Living Operations. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, reading, walking, and love working alongside our staff, residents, and families to build strong communities that reflect the mission, vision, and values of United Methodist Homes.

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