Arrange for care at home or choose the supportive environment of assisted living: which is more costly, or more importantly, which offers you or a loved one more value? Before making up your mind, it’s a good idea to consider the details of each—so you can decide if the cost of assisted living covers things you can’t get at home—and what that is worth to you.
The cost of care at home vs. the cost of assisted living
At first glance, it often seems that staying home would be less expensive than the cost of moving to an assisted living community, but then you have to consider all the “hidden” costs. These are costs that you don’t even realize you are paying because you’ve been doing it for so long. Hidden costs can include utilities, homeowner insurance, property taxes, food, security and the big one: home maintenance. For example:
- Furnace and central air conditioning system replacement is approximately $10,000
- Lawn care for 10 years is approximately $25,000
- Replacement windows for an average home is $11,000
- Average roof replacement using composite shingles is approximately $20,000
The list can go on and on.
Then there’s the cost of making sure your home is a safe environment, as well as the cost of actual care. Here are examples of what it costs to live at home and receive care from the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey:
- Homemaker services: $4,957 monthly
- Home health aide: $5,148 monthly
- Installing safety features (like wheelchair ramps and bathroom handrails) could cost between $9,000 and $12,000
And don’t forget the very big factor of peace of mind—or lack of it, when it comes to what happens in an emergency. At night, on holidays, in severe weather: getting an immediate response for an injury or illness can be problematic. And even if the problem is a power outage or a tree that’s fallen on the roof, getting help can be difficult in a timely manner. Worrying about such situations can cost you in terms of precious peace of mind.
Download our Financial Planning for Retirement Living Guide.
The cost of assisted living: what does it cover?
According to the Genworth 2021 cost of care survey, the average monthly cost of assisted living in a private, one-bedroom residence is $4,500, which is about $148 a day, or $54,000 per year. Location can play a big factor in these costs.
The monthly rental fee covers assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, grooming, dining, medication management and more, as well as:
- Rent & utilities
- Interior and exterior maintenance
- Scheduled transportation
- Social activities and wellness programs
- Special outings
- Access to a range of desirable amenities
- Fitness and exercise opportunities
- Countless opportunities for socializing
The value of a carefree lifestyle
Assisted living communities are a great choice for seniors who need help with some of their everyday tasks—such as personal care or taking medication—but who still wish to live somewhat independently. Rather than round-the-clock care, assisted living fills in care gaps as needed. Many offer cleaning or transportation services, and most offer prepared meals. Depending upon the assisted living community you choose, enrichment classes, exercise courses and planned outings may also be available and are included in the cost of assisted living.
No more home maintenance. No more worrying about what you’ll prepare for dinner. No more feeling lonely with no one around to talk to or interact with. Instead, you have chosen a lifestyle filled with companionship, wellness, stimulation, security and purpose. And you don’t have to take care of any of the details. It’s a value that’s hard to put a price on.
Senior living, the LSS Senior Living way
At LSS Senior Living, our goal is to offer seniors quality care and comfort in a friendly and warm environment that feels like home. We offer a continuum of services to lend a helping hand when you need them. Find out more about our communities: