How to Save Money On Assisted Living
Assisted Living is the middle ground between independence and a nursing home facility. Because the baby boomer generation is reaching older ages, this particular market is thriving. There are increasing amounts of options available to individuals both active and physically declining, but with the plethora of options and comfortable housing scenarios often comes high prices.
The upside is that assisted living facilities are considerably more affordable than nursing homes. The facilities range in price from around $800 a month to over $4,000 a month. What the base fee covers will vary between facilities, and it is important to understand what is specifically included in the original price and what services you will be charged extra for. Your loved ones will need to have enough funds to not only pay for the monthly fees, but additional costs associated with specialized care.
Saving money on assisted living care becomes more pertinent as you look at the long care needs of your loved one. Here are a few considerations that have the potential to save thousands of dollars a year, without compromising the quality of the care.
1. Large rooms aren’t needed. Many facilities offer a wide range of activities during the day and large screen TV’s in the recreation rooms. To that point, the majority of seniors do not spend much time in their rooms and prefer the socialization that comes from spending their days in the common areas.
Obtaining a studio room, instead of a 1 bedroom, will save from 15% to 20%. This can result in an average savings of between $3000 and $7000 dollars a year depending on the monthly cost of the facility. Another consideration is getting a 2 bedroom and sharing it with a suite mate. The cost of a one bedroom to a 2 bedroom is not double, therefore splitting the cost with a roommate can give the resident more room while saving money. A roommate can save from 10% to 20% off the cost.
2. Bigger doesn’t mean better. While some families only look at large facilities because they believe they will receive more services for less money; with assisted living facilities this is not necessarily the case. Small facilities often offer very similar benefits and care, at a more personal level, for lower costs.
3. Expand your search area. The center city facilities have high real estate costs, which entail drive up overall care costs. Looking at suburban or rural facilities offers residents more room at substantially lower prices. Prices also vary widely from state to state. It is wise to have all of your family members, regardless of location, to look for homes near them and compare prices. If you live close to a state border, looking across the border can save a lot of money without compromising care.
4. Timing is everything. It isn’t the nicest thing to consider, but assisted living facilities are still businesses. Like any other moneymaking entity, the owners look to maximize the earning potential and, to do so, they sometimes give price breaks on entrance fees to fill rooms at the end of the month and certain periods of the year.
5. Avoid assisted living. The easiest way to avoid paying huge prices for personal care facilities is to not use them. If money is truly a great concern, consider allowing your parents to either live at home or with you. Require him or her to wear a medical alert device. Brands like Fall Alert offer a reasonably priced option to give your loved ones freedom, give you peace of mind, and lessen the damage to your wallet.
We want our loved ones to be safe and receive the best care. Researching a number of options and speaking to both patients and staff members is the best way to ensure the home will be a good fit. Look closely at additional costs of care, as services like dressing and bathing are generally offered, but often come with additional fees.
There are millions of seniors enjoying their lives in assisted living facilities. Families can rest easy knowing that if their loved one needs advanced care, it will be there for them. Mom and Dad love that they are able to live with some level of independence for an extended period of time. These ideas will allow residents to save money each month, while still enjoying the benefits of quality care.