assisted living

Senior Savings: 9 Tips to Budget for the Cost of Assisted Living

There are about one million seniors living in an assisted living facility.

For family members, the decision to put a loved one in an assisted living facility could be difficult, filled with doubt and questioning about the level of care and if they have the best interest of the person at heart.

Another question that could arise is what is the cost of assisted living? Some people may be turned off completely when they see assisted living costs and look for other options when in reality, their loved one would benefit greatly from assisted living.

Thankfully, there are options to help you save money so you can give your loved one the treatment and care they deserve.

What Is the Cost of Assisted Living?

The average annual cost of assisted living is $42,000 per year or about $3,500 per month. The price largely hinges on the plan you choose and the state’s prices will fluctuate depending on location.

Some assisted living communities give you a choice between all-inclusive or the choice to pay only for the services you use. Most plans cover rent, meals, and any add-ons the senior decides would be beneficial for them. These could be housekeeping, transportation, or any other service the establishment offers.

If the person needs special assistance with certain services, there will be additional fees.

Asking about payment options and the service fees upfront lets you compare and contrast pricing to make the best and most cost-saving option.

Is Your Loved One Ready for Assisted Living?

Making the choice to move your loved one to assisted living should be carefully considered from every angle. Here are some signs that it could be time:

  1. Concern about safety in their own home. Do you worry about them falling or injuring themselves in any way?
  2. Inability to take care of their own needs. Are they having trouble doing daily tasks?
  3. Stress on other family members or caregivers. Does the care they need exceed your own abilities?
  4. Dementia can cause people to be aggressive or be prone to wandering. These are a serious matter when it comes to keeping everyone safe.

9 Tips to Help with the Cost of Assisted Living

If you realize your loved one would benefit from assisted living, but you’re lost on how to pay for it, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Explore Your Options

For most people, covering the cost of assisted living comes from more than one source.

Sometimes it comes from additional savings or cutting costs in other areas of your life. When you finally land in a community you love, examine the costs closely and ask several questions.

2. Shop Around

Sure, the home down the street from you is a great option due only to proximity, but is it the right choice for your loved one? They may need additional care that home doesn’t provide, or perhaps it’s not as wonderful as you thought.

Shopping around first can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. If you end up choosing a home based only on location, and it doesn’t work out, there’s a chance you could move. An ideal location would be close to hospitals, public transportation, and have low-crime rates.

If your loved one has specific needs relating to dementia or memory loss, finding a place that’s compassionate and offers services to assist them is the best route. You can view here for more information on receiving the best care.

3. Long-Term Health Insurance or Medicaid

Long-term health insurance or Medicaid do not cover the entire cost of assisted living. However, they may be able to provide some assistance.

Each state will offer different coverage pertaining to the amount that they cover if you choose to use Medicaid. Check with your state and your plan to see exactly what’s covered before you seek assistance.

4. Veteran Discounts

If your loved one is a veteran, consider seeking out veteran’s discounts. The saving can be substantial, reaching over $2,000 per month. Eligibility can be tricky and lengthy given the number of requirements needed to be met to qualify.

5. Try and Negotiate

Just because a price is shown up front does not mean it’s inflexible. Ask questions about if there are ways to negotiate or if the community offers any incentives. Sometimes negotiating is worth it if it helps you land a discount.

6. Check with Your State for Help

Some states will offer programs that offset the cost of assisted living. This option benefits the state as well because it costs less than a Medicaid program. Each program differs by the state in how they function and the services they grant, so do some research on the programs provided by your state.

Not all of states will have these programs available.

7. Go Outside the State Boundaries

If you find your state has no programs or it’s incredibly costly, consider going outside of your state. This could be beneficial if you have family members living in other places that could be close and able to check on your loved one. And possibly saving you a bit of money in the process.

8. Develop a Plan And Ask for Advice

If you find making this decision alone is too difficult, ask for advice from an advisor or trusted family member or friend who’s been through the same situation. These people can give you suggestions and even help you piece together the right arrangement for your loved one. You don’t have to do this alone!

9. Consider Sharing a Room

Some assisted living communities are furnished with rooms for two. Single rooms can be more costly in some places while having a roommate can put a dent in the cost. Discuss this possibility with your loved one and see if it would be the right decisions.

For some, this may not be possible because of the amount of care they require.

Saving for Assisted Living Shouldn’t Be Difficult

The decision to place a loved one in assisted living isn’t always easy. When the choice has been made, the process should be as smooth as possible. The cost of assisted living can be a large hurdle for some, but with careful planning and consideration, it does not have to be a burden.

Looking for other ways to manage your money? Visit our page to learn the best money-management tips.

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