Many aging adults are quick to dismiss senior living communities as an alternative to aging in place simply because they think they can’t afford to move into one. However, perception is not always reality. Senior living costs typically include meals, transportation, housekeeping, assisted care and more in one monthly fee. Because of this, senior living may seem more expensive than remaining in your home, especially if your mortgage is paid in full. However, when most families sit down and actually run all the numbers, the cost is pretty comparable.
How Much Does Senior Living in the Capital Region Cost
Just like private houses, the cost of senior living varies based on location and amenities. Even within a community, there may be different pricing options. For instance, the apartment or floor plan you choose, will have an impact on price.
On average, an independent senior living community can cost between $2,000 and $5,000 a month, while assisted living communities, which offer more care services, average between $4,000 and $5,000 a month.
What’s Included in Senior Living Costs
As mentioned above, in addition to housing, senior living fees include meals, housekeeping and assisted care. The monthly fee also provides access to a host of amenities, including transportation services, social, educational and cultural events, entertainment, a gym, fitness classes, a putting green, even a pool.
How Much Does Aging in your House Cost?
Even if your mortgage is paid off, there’s still a cost to maintain your house. On average, homeowners should expect to pay between 1% and 3% of the house value for annual maintenance. So, on a $200,000 home, that means between $2,000 and $6,000 a year. You’ll also want to include the cost of any major repairs that may be needed in the next 5 to 10 years in your calculations, as well, such as a new roof, driveway, furnace or central air system. And don’t forget utilities, property taxes, insurance, and, in some cases, HOA fees.
Another “hidden” fee that is often overlooked when calculating the cost of staying in the house, is the need for possible renovations to make the house safer or more convenient. Adding grab bars in the bathroom may only cost a few hundred dollars, but adding a wheelchair ramp, widening doorways and installing a zero-threshold shower can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What’s Not Included in Aging in your House Costs
To get a clearer picture of the monthly or annual costs associated with remaining in your home, you also need to include other expenses, outside of housing, in your cost comparison. These expenses include groceries, lawn care, snow removal, and cleaning or housekeeping services, as well as gym memberships, dining out and entertainment, even transportation fees, such as a car payment, car insurance, or rideshare expenses. You’ll also want to consider the cost of in-home care, or a home health aide in the event you require additional help.
Tips to Make Senior Living More Affordable
There are several ways to plan for and approach senior living to make the fees more manageable.
Use Funds from the Sale of a House
Again, we realize this is not an easy decision, but selling your house is the most economical way to pay for senior living. If your reluctance to sell is based on a desire to keep the house in the family, have a conversation about it. In our experience, most families have no problem giving up their parents houses in exchange for Mom and Dad’s happiness and safety.
Save on Transportation Costs
Many Residents choose to bring their cars with them when they move into one of the Senior Communities. Once the Resident settles in and realizes that their transportation needs are met, many Residents choose to give up this unnecessary expense. In a senior living community transportation is provided to shopping, religious services, doctor’s appointments, entertainment and more. The money you’ll save on car payments, insurance, maintenance and gas can help to offset monthly senior living fees.
Know Your Benefit Eligibility
In some instances, long-term care insurance or Veterans Aid & Attendance may be able to help supplement senior living costs. We recommend speaking with an insurance specialist or your local VA office to understand what benefits you may be eligible for.
Interested in Learning More About Eddy Senior Living?
Contrary to popular belief, senior living is actually more affordable than most families realize. If you’re interested in learning more about the senior living options and various pricing models available at Eddy Senior Living, we encourage you to contact us online, or call us at 518-280-8385 to speak with a Senior Living Specialist.