Often, one of the biggest factors when deciding between care at home or moving to assisted living is cost. Assisted living isn’t inexpensive, for sure; however, care at home may not be as budget-friendly as you think either. Here’s what to expect and how to realistically compare the cost of assisted living versus care at home.
There are different levels of at-home care available, and while several variables affect the amount you’ll pay, in general, the more care you need, the higher the cost. That said, here is the average monthly cost of assisted living and the different levels of care at home according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey:
In assisted living, you not only have support with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management as needed, but home maintenance, meals, and housekeeping are also provided in addition to a range of amenities plus social and enrichment opportunities. The average monthly cost of assisted living for a private, one-bedroom apartment is $4,500.
When considering the cost of assisted living versus care at home, families often make the mistake of comparing the monthly cost of assisted living to their mortgage or rent alone. However, the total monthly cost at home also includes food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, entertainment, and healthcare. It’s essential to factor in these costs for a realistic comparison between the two because most are included in the monthly cost of assisted living. This worksheet can help you more easily compare your specific circumstances:
After you’ve gathered your total expenses at home and compared them to the cost of assisted living, you may find that a community actually costs less than what you will pay to stay at home with care! Particularly with higher levels of care at home, caregiving costs can quickly skyrocket the more help you need. Not to mention, you may also have to pay for home modifications for safety as well as accessibility, which can be costly.
Regardless of whether your comparison results in the cost of assisted living being cheaper or not, the added value of life in a community is hard to replicate at home, especially when living alone. Assisted living can enhance your quality of life by removing the burden of managing chores, maintaining the house, and worrying about unexpected expenses from your shoulders. It also makes it much easier to stay connected and engaged with a full calendar of activities, outings, events, clubs, and classes planned for you to enjoy right outside your door. Lastly, you’ll have invaluable peace of mind that support is always there for you should you need it.