Many seniors are eventually no longer able to live completely independently, due to physical or neurological health issues that make everyday tasks a little harder than they used to be. As you get older, it’s important to start making sure you’re prepared to make this transition when you need to. Senior Care Center is just one resource to help you make this transition easier.
One of the biggest concerns our clients have is assisted living costs. Like renting a home, there are monthly and annual expenses associated with assisted living. The cost can depend on factors like location, the amount of care and assistance that you need, and the length of time you spend living in an assisted living home or nursing home.
Due to the cost, it’s a good idea to start planning ahead for when you reach an age when you need these kinds of living arrangements. This can involve saving up money on your own, as well as looking into programs available in your state that can help you cover some of the costs.
Average Assisted Living Costs in the United States
The average cost of assisted living can vary widely between different states, and is generally higher in places with higher overall costs of living. Assisted living in a small town in Alabama will cost less than assisted living in Manhattan or San Francisco.
The five most expensive states (by average annual cost) are:
- Delaware: $72,180
- Alaska: $72,000
- New Jersey: $69,732
- Massachusetts: $67,188
- Rhode Island: $61,860
The five states with the lowest average annual assisted living costs are:
- Missouri: $32,400
- Georgia: $33,600
- South Carolina: $34,380
- Arkansas: $36,156
- North Dakota: $36,216
As you can see, it varies widely, from a little over $30,000 a year at the low end, to over $72,000 a year at the higher end. While living in a less expensive part of the country can help you keep costs down, it’s often worth paying more in order to be closer to your friends and family.
It’s also important to remember that over time, costs do generally go up slightly. The cost per month in ten years will be more than it is today, even accounting for inflation.
Understanding Where the Costs Come From
Costs can vary not only with location, but also with the level of care that a given facility provides. Some facilities cater to seniors who only need a little bit of assistance, while others provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care, or services specifically for people with severe dementia and memory loss.
Facilities that charge more often have a better budget for things like entertainment and social activities, which are important for helping seniors stay in good physical, mental, and emotional health.
Resources to Help You Cover the Costs
There are a few ways you can get some help paying for assisted living when you need it.
- Long term care insurance. This is a special type of insurance you can get, which is meant to help cover the costs of assisted living in the future, when you need it.
- Medicaid. If you’re eligible for Medicaid benefits, it may help you pay for assisted living. Some states also offer a Medicaid waiver program.
- Veterans’ benefits. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) does help cover assisted living costs for military veterans and their spouses.
If you have more questions about assisted living and its costs, give us call today to speak to a Senior Care Advisor. We’ll be able to answer all your questions concerning your loved one’s needs.