If you have an aging parent, they may ask you for help deciding whether they should move to an assisted living community or stay home. Many adult children are unsure how to answer. One major factor that influences this decision is cost. The amount seniors spend on senior care can vary significantly. Factors like health, lifestyle, and location can greatly impact those monthly expenses.
Assisted Living Versus Aging in Place
- Home maintenance
Homes are expensive. In addition to utilities, homeowners also pay for general maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and repairs. Modifications to accommodate a disability or improve safety increase costs. Many seniors eventually reach a point where they can no longer maintain their home independently. They often add services like housecleaning, lawn care, snow removal, and gardening assistance to their list of expenses.
Assisted living communities incorporate home maintenance and utilities into their monthly fee. Having a flat rate can make assisted living an attractive option for seniors with high home maintenance costs. Many seniors also enjoy freedom from tasks like pulling weeds and repairing appliances.
- In-home care
Aging often brings changes that make it difficult to perform some activities that are necessary to live independently. Many seniors hire an in-home caregiver for assistance. The cost of home care varies, but the more support required, the higher the price. Care services are usually billed by the hour, and many home care agencies require a certain number of hours per visit.
Assisted living can be particularly beneficial for seniors who require extensive assistance. As part of their agreement, a staff member is available to help with many tasks they find difficult. This includes meal preparation, housekeeping, and personal care. Most communities have several care options, so seniors can adjust their agreement as their needs change.
Transportation can also affect the cost of senior care. Many older adults lose the ability to drive safely, which can make it difficult to get around. Grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, and social time can become a burden when you have to rely on another person to drive. Seniors can take advantage of driving services like Uber or Lyft, but charges can add up.
Not only do many assisted living communities include transportation services as part of your contract, but they also eliminate the need for many trips by offering various services onsite. For example, most communities include meals, so seniors don’t need to go grocery shopping.
- Health care
Seniors with limited mobility or an inability to drive may put off seeking medical treatment due to inconvenience. Their health often worsens, and their healthcare costs increase.
Assisted living can prevent these situations by having on-site caregivers or by providing transportation to doctors’ appointments. Many communities also have wellness programs designed to improve their residents’ overall health and quality of life.
Consider Factors Beyond Cost
Cost shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when comparing long-term options. Family caregivers should also take their loved one’s needs, hopes, and interests into account. By getting a full understanding of your loved one’s goals, you can help them make a decision that supports their wishes.
Randall Residence is available to seniors and families to answer questions about assisted living. If you are exploring senior care options in Michigan, Ohio, or Illinois, feel free to contact us.