Many seniors would prefer to age at home if possible. However, as our population ages, we may find that this is not the best solution for every situation. Particularly when health may be failing, family is unable to help, your loved one is socially isolated and in-home care costs continue to rise.
At what point does it make more economic and personal sense to choose assisted living over in-home care?
In 2015, in-home health aides averaged $19 an hour depending on location. Hired companions who don’t provide health care come in on average slightly less. If you do the math you’ll see that for round-the-clock assistance, in-home care can cost upwards of $170,000 a year.
Chris Cooper, a certified financial planner and social gerontologist in Toledo says, “Costs go up very quickly because people are trying to recreate the assisted living or nursing home environment in their own home.”
Cost of assisted living
Assisted living is a type of senior community that allows you to have your own personal space, with care in place right there should you need it.
That makes an assisted-living community a great choice for a loved one whose health may be good now, but may require some extra care and assistance as time goes on. It’s always a relief for families to have a system in place should anything change down the road.
Your loved one can start their senior housing experience with an individual apartment, allowing them to live as independently as they’d like, while also taking advantage of social connections, activities and fitness offerings the community may offer. In addition, things like cleaning, meals and laundry would be taken care of.
But the best part is if something unexpected should happen, healthcare and assistance is available immediately, without having to make another move or locate services that can help. So if you needed to add assistance with eating, dressing or medication management, it would be taken care of seamlessly.
The national median rate of assisted living per month is $3600, according to a 2015 cost of care survey by Genworth Financial. Of course, that could be higher or lower depending on where you live and how much care your loved one may need. That comes to about $43,000 a year, far less than in-home round-the- clock assistance.
When choosing an assisted living community, be sure and factor in things like staff to resident ratio, activities and amenities available and sample a meal on your tour. It’s also a great idea to talk to other residents. You can request a meal for yourself and a loved one with a group of residents as well.
But one of the best ways to check out a place is a short-term or respite stay for your loved one. Many assisted-living communities encourage these stays, so your loved one can get a better sense of the community and what they have to offer.
To find out more about short-term stays in assisted living, check out this article on Seniorly.
Seniorly is the trusted resource for comprehensive information on short-term senior housing. Visit www.seniorly.com or call us at (415) 570-4370 to learn more about communities in your area offering short-term stays.