The Cost of Senior Living Compared to Home
There are too many myths to count when it comes to senior living, but one that can cost you big is thinking aging at home is always less expensive. There are a number of factors that affect what you can expect to pay for both, that’s why the word ‘always’ should never factor into the equation. It may be surprising, but senior living can actually be less in some cases. Let’s see how the cost of senior living really compares to aging at home.
Know what you need
You may also be surprised to know that there are different types of care both at home and in senior living. The cost differs based on the type of care you need, which is why it’s important you understand your options first.
At Home Options
These services are designed to help you live more independently at home and usually include personal care, household chores, cooking and transportation as well as occupational, physical and/or speech therapy if needed. Services can be provided on an hourly, as needed or 24/7 live-in basis.
In this option, you or your loved one lives at home and travels to the center with care provided during normal business hours, five days a week. Meals and snacks, health monitoring, medication assistance and fitness, as well as enrichment programs and social activities may be included.
Senior Living Options
Provides housing, personalized care and support with daily tasks while offering independence and plenty of opportunity for an active, engaging lifestyle.
An ideal option if you or your loved one need little to no daily assistance, but seek a vibrant social community without the hassle of chores and home upkeep.
Specifically for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia; memory care provides 24-hour support, structured activities and a secure, nurturing environment with specially trained staff.
The highest level of supervision and care with 24/7 nursing and physical, speech and occupational therapists also onsite.
As you might imagine, the more care that is needed whether at home or in senior living, the higher the cost. Keep in mind that there are other factors that affect cost as well such as geography and amenities. All things considered, here’s what you can typically expect on average monthly according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey:
The cost in context
In looking at the above figures, you might consider it a wash in terms of cost between aging at home and senior living, or may still think you could make aging at home work for less. But, be sure that you’re looking at the total cost of living at home – it’s not just your mortgage or rent! The total cost also includes your monthly food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes and entertainment costs. The reason? These things are typically built into the monthly cost of senior living.
Plus, at home you might also have to spend money for modifications to support your needs such as wheelchair ramps, wider doorways and bathroom handrails which could cost you thousands. Whereas senior living communities are designed specifically with these features plus emergency alert systems, transportation and backup generators as standard.
Lastly, consider those unexpected expenses that come with home ownership, particularly if your house is older, such as replacing HVAC, the roof, hot water heater and other maintenance costs.
Once you budget for all of this, senior living could actually cost less!
The value in the invaluable
Tangible costs aside, you simply can’t put a price on the positive impact to quality of life that senior living can provide you or your loved one. Aging at home just can’t give you the all the amenities and social and enrichment opportunities, plus the peace of mind that a worry-free lifestyle offers.