Most seniors would prefer to remain in their own homes as long as their health permits. However, for many, with advancing age comes increased difficulty in keeping up with regular property maintenance. Some also find that they need assistance with many of the activities of daily living.
Add to this the fact that seniors who live alone are more likely to feel the effects of loneliness and poor nutrition. These issues can contribute to physical, cognitive, and emotional troubles that can impact their quality of life.
Many families dismiss the idea of senior care communities, feeling that it is much more affordable for their loved one to remain at home. Depending on the specific services a senior needs, however, sometimes senior care can actually cost less than living at home.
Quite a few families are surprised when they sit down and take a look at all of the figures involved. Here are a few factors to consider.
The Cost of Senior Care
On average, a senior in an independent living community can expect to pay about $3,700 per month. The monthly cost of assisted living is higher, at approximately $5,400. The cost for memory care can be around $6,700 each month. Of course the exact costs for senior care vary by region.
Seeing their monthly expenses reduced to a flat fee is enough to send many families into sticker shock, and they immediately dismiss these options as being out of their budget. However, it’s helpful to consider exactly what is included in these monthly rates.
Assisted living communities are “all-inclusive,” meaning that once the monthly rate has been paid, there are no out of pocket expenses. Not only are utilities and property maintenance included, but so are meals, transportation, entertainment, housekeeping, and 24/7 on-call emergency assistance.
A significant portion of the cost of senior care is usually tax deductible, which can also contribute to some sizable savings.
The Cost of Living at Home
According to Jerry Doctrow (a retired a finance professional who specialized in seniors housing and care and financing healthcare real estate) the actual costs of living at home can easily come close to and even exceed those of independent or assisted living communities.
For a senior living in a $150,000 home, Doctrow estimates the average out-of-pocket monthly expenses to be $2,400. However factoring in the amount of rent a senior could receive for that home if he was living elsewhere changes things a bit. Doctrow estimates potential rental income to be at least $875 per month. This brings the total cost of living at home to around $3,275. That’s about 90% of the average cost of an independent living community.
For a senior in a home with a higher value, the comparison isn’t nearly as close. The estimated monthly cost of living in a $500,000 condo (including potential rent income) is a whopping $7,400!
Both of these estimates leave out any costs for home health care services that many senior care facilities offer without additional charge. The cost of in-home care ranges from $14-$24 per hour, depending on the services needed. A senior who needs 4 hours of assistance 5 days a week would end up paying between $1,120 and $1,920 every month.
Many seniors also pay for services such as meals on wheels, adult day care, or excursions with a community center. An assisted living community offers all of these services without additional charge.
Every situation is different, and exact expenses vary from person to person. However, it’s worth it to take an in depth look at the expenses associated with meeting the needs of any senior. You may have more options than you realize!
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC
If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910-686-7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington NC with a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!