Living at home vs. the cost of senior living: it’s a senior care debate that has many families scratching their heads. Which one is more expensive? Which has more value? Just what are you paying for?
The answer is to look beyond the so-called “price tag” to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. At first glance, it may appear that the cost of senior living is higher, but once you factor in everything that goes into maintaining a home, you might be surprised at what you find.
The cost of living at home
Let’s say your mortgage is paid. That feels great! But now, consider everything else you routinely have to pay for when you live at home, like utilities, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. Then there’s lawn care, maintenance of major appliances, cleaning out the gutters, repairing the roof, updating the flooring, repairing a leaky faucet, painting the porch, repairing the deck, and on and on. These expenses are sneaky; they don’t go away, but you tend to not even register they are there because you’ve paid them so many times.
Now consider if it’s even safe to live in your home. As we age, our mobility and balance become factors in our overall quality of life. Are there stairs in your home that have become a hazard? Bathrooms without safety features? Narrow, dimly lit hallways?
You can certainly do some minor modifying to your home, but to really make it senior-safe, you might have to spend some major dollars. Modifications can be expensive typically ranging from $3,000 to $15,000, with the average national spend being $9,500. Here’s a few examples from Fixr.com:
- Grab bars: $90 to $300
- Open shelves: $400 to $600
- Wider doors: $300 to $800
- Wider hallways: $800 to $1,400
- Ramps: $1,400 to $3,000
- Walk-in shower: $2,500
And remember, even the safest home can pose a potential threat if you fall or injure yourself and there is no one there to offer you assistance.
Download our Financial Planning for Retirement Living Guide.
How does care at home compare with the cost of senior living?
Take a moment to fill in the chart below and see for yourself.
|MONTHLY EXPENSES||COST AT HOME||COST IN SENIOR LIVING|
|Mortgage or rent|
|Property tax and insurance||N/A|
|Home maintenance and repairs||Included|
|Lawn care and yard maintenance||Included|
|Utilities (electricity, gas, water, trash removal, etc.)||Included|
|Transportation (Insurance, gas, registration, repairs)||Included|
|Social and entertainment||Included|
|Exercise and wellness||Included|
|24-hour emergency alert system||Included|
|Total Monthly Expenses|
It’s more than dollars and cents
When you’re doing a comparison of the cost of living at home versus the cost of senior living, think about the value involved. At home, the maintenance, chores, and worries are on your shoulders. In a senior living community, you are free from all that.
Your time is your own to enjoy as you please, knowing that you are in a setting designed for your health and wellness, with friends close by, exceptional amenities, convenient services, nutritious dining, and a staff ready to serve you. It can be worth a great deal to you, and to your family, just to know that assistance is available around the clock if needed.
And then there’s quality of life, which is worth a great deal and is “included” in the cost of senior living through stimulating activities, opportunities for fitness and wellness, cultural and spiritual programs, special events that make healthy socializing easy and rewarding, lifelong learning and so much more. Waking up each morning free of responsibilities, feeling part of a friendly community, and knowing the day is yours.
The value of carefree living—priceless! We’d love to tell you more.
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: