Why Home Is Not Always Cheaper Than Senior Living

May 11, 2022
Friendship employee, Friendship housekeeping team member, dusting, housekeeping

Despite what most people believe, it’s true, staying home is not always cheaper than moving to senior
living. From the level of care needed to how senior living prices are compared with home, to the added
value a community offers, learn why this may be the case for you too.

The Level of Care You or Your Loved One Needs

You may not realize that there are differing levels of care both at home and in senior living. But as you
might expect, the cost varies depending on how much care you or your loved one may need. We define
the levels of care here and also include the average monthly cost according to the most recent
Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

Care at Home

• Homemaker Services - Provide help with household tasks such as cooking, cleaning and errands that
cannot be managed independently. The average monthly cost is $4,481.

• Home Health Aide Services - Provide help with personal care, but not medical care. The average
monthly cost is $4,576.

• Adult Day Care –May include meals and snacks, health monitoring, medication assistance and
fitness, as well as enrichment programs and social activities during normal business hours, five days
a week. The average monthly cost is $1,603.

Care in Senior Living

• Independent Living – Residents typically don’t need daily support in this setting, rather they benefit
from the convenience of having home upkeep, cooking and cleaning taken care of as well as a range
of amenities plus social and enrichment opportunities. There is little published data on the average
cost of independent living because it varies so greatly; but you can usually expect it to be between
$1,000 to $4,000 a month.

• Assisted Living – Provides residents accommodation options, personalized, onsite care and support
with daily tasks while empowering their independence through an active lifestyle that includes a
range of amenities and social as well as enrichment opportunities. The average monthly cost for a
private, one-bedroom is $4,300.

• Memory Care – This level of care is exclusively for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and features
24-hour supervision, therapy and structured activities in a secure, nurturing environment with
specially trained staff. The cost of memory care also varies greatly, but you can usually expect a
range between $2,000 to $7,000 a month.

Comparing Senior Living Prices to Home

People naturally assume that senior living costs more than staying home, and even for those who do
compare, they’re usually just basing it off their monthly mortgage or rent. But that’s not a true
comparison! Your out-of-pocket costs are much more than that at home each month. There’s food,
utilities, home upkeep costs, property taxes, insurance and entertainment as well. It’s vital to include
this in your comparison because sometimes these costs ARE included in the monthly cost of senior living!

What’s more, make sure to include any homemaker services, home health aide services or adult day
care costs in your comparison in addition to what you pay for any home modifications needed to help
you or your loved one live safely at home. Once you’ve added all this up for an apples-to-apples comparison, based on the level of care needed,
your senior living costs could actually be less!

Quality of Life Matters

But whether senior living prices are less than what you would pay monthly at home or not, we believe
there’s an added value here that matters more. Quite simply, the lifestyle in senior living is hard to
match at home, particularly when living alone. Why does this matter? Because you or your loved one
deserve to get the most out of life and senior living can enhance your quality of life in many ways by:

• Removing the burdens of managing chores and maintaining the house or worrying over the next
unexpected expense.

• Offering a full calendar of events, activities, outings, clubs, classes and more to enjoy.

• Featuring onsite conveniences like a physician clinic, award-winning therapy services to help you recover after
surgery, illness or injury as well as a pharmacy that even delivers your meds straight to your door!

• Giving you peace of mind that support is always available should your health needs evolve with
multiple levels of care on the same campus.

Contact Friendship today to schedule your virtual or in-person visit by calling 540.777.7103!

To learn more, download our
Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing

Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing


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