4 Factors to Consider When Paying for Assisted Living
Is it time for you or a senior loved one in your family to move into an assisted living community? There are a number of reasons it could be time to move, like healthcare needs or just the simple desire to enjoy retirement. While you may be ready to make the transition, you also want to be sure you can afford the type of senior living community you’re comfortable with.
When it comes to paying for a senior living community, there are a number of factors you should consider beyond the basic month rent price. It’s important to know what really goes into paying for assisted living, so you can weigh your options accurately.
Explore this blog on four factors that go into paying for assisted living, and learn how evaluating these factors can help you choose the right option.
The first and largest cost associated with paying for assisted living for yourself or a loved one is the rent. Transitioning from living in a home that might be paid off to living in a community where you have to pay rent can be a little bit of an adjustment. When you find the right community, however, the change is worth the comfort of living in a place you love.
Start by considering the base monthly rent. Unlike living in a regular apartment or rental home, rent typically covers utilities in a senior living community. Additional utility costs like electricity, water, heating, and air conditioning are usually included in the monthly rent payment. However, residents may have to pay for perks like cable television or telephone lines. Also, some communities offer furnished room options for a small fee added to monthly rent. If you need a furnished room, factor that extra cost in, too.
In addition to considering monthly rent payments, you should also ask the communities you’re researching about up-front fees you would need to pay. These could include move-in and registration fees, or a deposit. Some communities keep the upfront costs minimal, but it’s important to factor these costs in when paying for assisted living.
As with any move, you may have to make a small investment to get furniture and belongings from a former residence to a new home. When you or a loved one is moving into a senior living community, there are moving costs you should keep in mind.
First, you need to decide whether or not you plan to sell your house or a loved one’s house before moving into a senior community. Many people choose to sell their house before moving as a way to cover costs for the future – a wise decision! So, factor in costs associated with selling a home, like realtor’s fees, home repairs, etc.
Next, you should decide what furniture and possessions are going with you or your loved one to the assisted living community. Every community is difference in terms or space and furnishings, so be sure to look at the room in person for a better idea of what you can take with you.
This brings us to the last costs associated with moving – hiring movers or renting a truck to move yourself. These costs can depend on the distance you’re moving, how much you’re taking, and the time required for the move. Do price comparisons to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
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When you’re paying for assisted living, it’s important to factor the cost (or saved cost) of amenities offered by your community. For example, most senior living communities offer fitness classes. So, if you’re currently paying for fitness classes at your local gym or YMCA, classes offered by your community will save money.
Look at the list of amenities offered by the senior communities you’re considering, and incorporate those costs into your decision-making process. Some communities offer salon services, which may be comparable to what you pay now, or regular entertainment for residents. These are all bonuses that impact both the cost of living and the quality of life for residents.
Transportation is another perk that can be easy to overlook. Many communities offer transportation services for residents. This means you may not need a car, eliminating upkeep and gas expenses. Plus, selling a car can help when paying for assisted living!
Health Care Needs
Finally, it’s vital that you consider the level of health care you or your loved one will need at an assisted living community. Many assisted living communities use a tier system when it comes to cost for care. As care needs increase, the cost of care increases, as well. So, you’re only paying for the level of care you actually need.
Talk to the assisted living communities you’re looking into about the care their patients receive. Here are a few questions you should ask:
- Is there a nursing staff at the community around the clock?
- Is transportation provided to doctors’ visits?
- Could someone help with activities like showering or getting in and out of bed?
- Do staff members manage medication for residents?
Also, you should ask about specific care that you or your loved one may need, like memory support or physical therapy. Many top communities have dedicated nurses on staff for memory support. Communities may also provide regular physical therapy sessions for residents. Assess the level of care you or your loved one needs and ensure that you can receive the appropriate attention at the community you choose.
Once you’ve gathered all the information needed on these factors – rent, moving expenses, amenities, and health care – it’s time to weigh your options. While one community might stand out because it has the cheapest rent, this may not be the overall best value for your money. Look for a community that has affordable rent, while still offering all the essential amenities and highest level of care.
Paying for assisted living for yourself or a loved one doesn’t need to be a burden. When you choose an affordable community that provides a comfortable home for you or your loved one, you’ll know that you have chosen the best option at the greatest value.
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About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.