The Cost of Assisted Living Versus The Cost of Other Senior Care Types
In the United States, assisted living costs an average of $4,300 per month, according to the 2020 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey. Keep in mind that this is the national average, and costs in different states and cities differ dramatically. For example, in Massachusetts, the average cost of assisted living is well over the national average, at $6,085 per month. In areas where the cost of living is lower, assisted living expenses tend to be lower as well. For instance, the average monthly cost of assisted living in Alabama is $3,150, saving residents of this state over $12,000 per year compared to the national average.
Assisted living costs can vary even within the same town due to facilities offering different amenities and lifestyle services. A luxury community with extra amenities such as a spa, tennis courts, or resident concierge is going to cost significantly more than a community that offers more basic amenities, even if they’re located in the same area. It’s imperative that prospective residents and their families ask each individual ALF they’re considering for price information, rather than assume all communities’ costs will be comparable to the area’s average.
It’s also important to ask each facility about its pricing structure. Many ALFs charge one, all-inclusive monthly fee. Others may charge a standard fee for room and board, but bill residents and their families for services on an as-used basis. In the case of the latter, it can be more difficult to predict monthly and yearly costs, so if you’re on a set budget, it may be beneficial to choose a community with a more standardized pricing structure.
For seniors who need daily assistance with their ADLs, assisted living may be the most economical senior care option. In-home care and home health care may appear to be less expensive, but is typically charged hourly, so cost increases with the amount of care. When used consistently, the cost of in-home care is quite high. For 70 hours of care per week, in-home care costs an average of $7,129 per month, and home health care averages $7,280.
Both are still less expensive than nursing homes, which cost an average of $7,756 for a shared room and $8,821 for a private room. Adult day care is relatively inexpensive at an average cost of $1,630 per month, but the level of care is much lower than other senior care options. Assisted living may ultimately be the best value for seniors who want the security of having assistance available 24/7.