If you’re thinking about investing in assisted living services for you or your aging loved one, then you’re probably also thinking about how much a care home will cost. After all, assisted living facilities can offer the peace of mind and support that you or your loved ones need.
Are there ways to lower the cost of an assisted living home, or at least find low-income assisted living facilities?
The good news is that there are ways to find low-income assisted living options.
However, while you’ll find some low-income assisted living near you, you’ll also find some not-so-affordable assisted living homes around you.
Note that the costs of a care home may differ widely from one community to the next. Even within a given area, prices vary widely from one assisted living facility to another due to various factors.
To get a better idea of what assisted living will cost you — and where you should look for more affordable options — read on for some helpful tips.
Before we dive into the full details of expected costs for affordable assisted living options, let’s start with a quick definition of assisted living as it is often misunderstood with other health care services like nursing homes.
Assisted living is a combination of housing and services for seniors that offers assistance with day-to-day activities as well as some medical monitoring in case of emergency or sudden illness. It’s very different from senior housing or nursing home care.
These special living facilities provide services like assistance with social activities, nutritious meals, housekeeping services, etc, and also provide residents with the assistance they need to continue living independently.
Many people have a misunderstanding of what an assisted living facility is, therefore it’s necessary to know that there are differences between nursing homes and assisted living homes.
|Assisted Living homes||Nursing homes|
|Assisted living facilities are built on the idea that seniors should be able to stay independent as long as possible and have their privacy and dignity respected||While nursing homes have a more medicalized approach to care as they provide medical services to recovering patients, sick or injured people, the disabled, etc|
|The costs of assisted living homes vary depending on your location and other factors||Nursing homes are usually more expensive than assisted living homes|
|Assisted living facilities vary in the level of care they provide to their residents which explains the costs also vary||Nursing homes mostly offer medical services, so there isn’t much variation in the level of care except for different injuries.|
|Assisted Living homes basically assist seniors to achieve independent living||Nursing homes serve as follow-up treatment or recovery homes after hospital treatment|
|Facilities in assisted living homes are more like an apartment setting||Facilities in nursing homes are more like hospital centers|
The type of care provided at home care facilities also varies – while some are designed to provide a high level of quality personal care to help seniors feel more at home like Amy’s Eden, Amy’s Eden and others target more of a therapeutic approach to help seniors maintain independence and quality of life.
An assisted living facility like Amy’s Eden takes on a holistic approach and combines some stabilized medical, social, educational, and homecare services into one facility while others focus on just the medical aspects.
With that said, there are many care home facilities for seniors across the country, so it can be difficult to know which one will provide the best living experience for your loved one and the costs attached to them.
Here are the expected costs for assisted living homes in the united states
According to Genworth financial analysis on the cost of assisted living facilities done across the 50 states in the US in 2021, the average cost of these types of care homes totals $4,500 monthly and about $54,000 yearly. And of course, this is just an estimate.
In general, regardless of your target cost or income here are 5 things to consider when choosing a care home facility
Choosing an assisted living facility can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By considering these 5 tips, you can find the best facility for you or your aging loved one.
The most important thing to remember when selecting a facility is that the environment is as important as the conditions. The most modern and up-to-date facility might have a lot of attention paid to the details and still feel large and unwelcoming.
The key is to find a place where your loved one will feel comfortable and at home. This might mean looking for a facility that has a certain architectural style or is in a specific neighborhood.
Beyond the aesthetics, it’s also important to consider the surroundings, including the neighborhood and nearby businesses. What will your loved one’s daily commute be like? What amenities are nearby? What are the neighborhood safety statistics? These are all things to consider when selecting an assisted living facility.
When trying to set your expectations for how much care homes will cost, it’s important to keep in mind the reasons why you’re searching in the first place.
Assisted living is an option for certain seniors who find themselves unable to continue living at home. However, it’s also an option for others who wish to remain in their current environment.
If you’re trying to find the most affordable options – or at least those that are less expensive than the norm in your area – it’s important to keep these priorities in mind. It’s also important to consider what you’re willing to give up in exchange for significantly lower costs.
While it’s important to set your expectations for assisted living based on your family’s needs and budget, it’s even more important to learn about the facility’s policies and practices.
These care home facilities vary widely in their policies, services, and prices. Some might offer help with daily tasks like acting as a guide, eating, or bathing – but not with more complicated tasks like driving or playing games.
Other facilities might offer more comprehensive assistance or might simply charge a higher cost than less-centralized options. High prices might also be worth what you are getting.
So it’s important to find out exactly what services, amenities, and costs will be included in your monthly fee.
Many assisted living communities charge a monthly fee, but they also offer free food, free room, and board, or other perks that you might be charged for elsewhere.
Be sure to ask about all this when looking at potential options.
As you start to look at your living options, talk with current residents to get a better idea of what they like and don’t like about their current living situation as it helps a lot in your decision-making process. So they look happy and attended to? Do they enjoy the services and events provided to them? Or, do they stay in their rooms?
If you don’t have the opportunity to take a tour, you should talk to a member of the community or family members who are familiar with the facility.
It can also be helpful to talk to people who have experience with other senior care options which include nursing homes, residential care homes, or home health care.
*** Keep in mind that current residents and family members are likely to have different priorities and experiences. So it’s necessary to balance these perspectives with your own knowledge, values, and preferences.
Most assisted living facilities offer some type of deal or discount that might allow you to lower your costs. However, since they’re not available in all of these living facilities, you should look for options that offer flexible or discounted pricing to get your assisted living home at a more affordable option.
Be sure to ask about all the costs associated with the facility so there are no surprises down the line even after discounts and deals
Apart from deals or discounts, there are several different types of financial assistance that income-based seniors can access, determining if assisted living homes will be affordable.
These programs might not be well known, but they can have a big impact on the lives of those who qualify. These programs exist to help older adults who may have little to no income.
If you or an aging loved one requires help paying bills so you can remain in your home, continue to live independently, or even just cover the cost of day-to-day necessities such as food and utilities in assisted living homes, these financial aid programs can help, if you qualify.
VA benefits can be a great source of financial assistance for individuals who meet certain criteria. But there are several different types of VA benefits available, such as Aid and Attendance, Disability Compensation, Education Assistance, and Survivor Benefits.
The aid and attendance known as A&A is the VA benefit that covers long-term costs for veterans and or even their spouses. But of course, the veteran or veteran’s spouse has to meet the required eligibility to receive aids that can help in lowering the costs of assisted living homes.
This is a federal program that provides vouchers for assisted living homes. Section 8 vouchers are given to families who are below the median income level, and disabled people and may be used to help pay the rent for one of these living homes.
However, the amount of assistance provided to an eligible individual is based on his or her income and assets.
So you or your aging loved one must meet certain income and asset limits and some residency requirements must also be met before you can receive assistance. Seniors who want to live in an these care homes should first contact their local Social Security office to find out if they qualify
If you need help paying for a higher level of care that is not covered by section 8, including nursing home care, home care, or specialized care which are usually provided in nursing homes or few assisted living homes such as Alzheimer’s care, dementia, you or your loved one should try applying for Medicare as well.
Another way that the government assists older adults lower the costs of assisted living care is through section 202 of the social security act.
Through section 202, you or your loved ones may be able to access financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well. The HUD offers seniors (62 and above) housing and helps with other services like transportation, cleaning, and other day-to-day activities.
Be sure to visit the HUD site, to learn more about the eligibility criteria for you or your loved ones
Medicaid programs typically provide financial assistance to people who have very low incomes and limited resources. This includes those who are elderly (over 65 years old), disabled, blind, pregnant women, or children under 1 year old with disabilities that prevent them from caring for themselves in their own homes.
Medicaid programs, although funded by the federal government, are coordinated by each state government, so eligibility standards may vary from state to state. In some states, you may be able to stay in your own home while receiving Medicaid services; in others, you may have to move into a nursing home or into an care home facility.
You can check you or your loved ones’ eligibility requirements and how to apply on Medicaid’s official website
One of the most common types of financial assistance programs for low-income seniors is known as SSI or Supplemental Security Income. SSI provides financial assistance to seniors who have a limited ability to work due to a disability, fall below certain income limits and meet certain requirements.
And although the amount provided by SSI to seniors or other qualified individuals cannot cover the costs of assisted living, it still goes a long way in covering basic amenities and if used alongside other financial aids can help you or your loved one acquire a low-income assisted living facility.
All in all, before applying for any particular financial aid in assisted living homes whether you’re eligible or not, always ensure that you’ve chosen an assisted living facility that accepts financial aid or better still ask about which financial aid programs they accept.