Note: This blog was originally published March 9, 2018. Updated 4/21/21 for relevancy and accuracy.
Many seniors find that as they age, living on their own and keeping up with the day-to-day becomes difficult—and that’s in the best of times. Now, even the simplest tasks have become complicated as we navigate the effects of COVID-19. If it’s become too much work to go shopping, maintain your home, and keep up with self-care, assisted living might be a good option for you. However, there is a big unknown you’ll have to address first: the cost of assisted living.
In a time of great economic uncertainty, it’s important to understand what costs are associated with moving to an assisted living facility, as well as what’s included in those costs. This will help you to make an informed decision about your budget, your living options, and how to pay for them.
The Big Question: What Is the Cost of Assisted Living?
The honest answer: it depends. There are thousands of assisted living communities throughout the United States, and each one has a unique price range. You can expect to pay a few thousand dollars a month, depending on a host of factors.
In a 2020 study, Glenworth found that the median cost of assisted living in the U.S. is $4,300 per month.
It’s important to note, however, that this varies by state. In Massachusetts, the average cost of assisted living is $5,640, while Worcester—where Briarwood is located—ranges between $3,546 and $7,311 per month, with an average cost of $5,735. For more information about your individual state, take a look at this map of state costs.
Medicaid provides financial help for low-income residents, but keep in mind that not all assisted living communities accept Medicaid for the cost of living expenses.
Factors Affecting Cost of Assisted Living
The cost of assisted living is variable; though we do have some baseline data that can help you understand what to expect, there are quite a few factors that can impact the overall price. These factors include:
Location. We already know that the state you live in will have an impact on cost, but it gets even more detailed than that. Property values of a location impact the price of an assisted living community in the area. Facilities in expensive neighborhoods will cost more than those in more affordable areas.
Housing type. Assisted living options don’t all look the same, which means they don’t all cost the same. For example, a small apartment will be less expensive than a cottage. Be sure to inquire about pricing for different types of housing options available to you.
Amenities. What are you looking to get out of your assisted living facility? A community that provides options for meals, cleaning services, and weekly activities will be more expensive than those that don’t.
Your needs. Typically, seniors move into assisted living facilities because they need some help with activities of daily living. This could be as basic as a medication reminder, or it could include services such as help with dressing and personal hygiene. The services you need help with will most likely impact the price.
Buyer Beware: COVID-19 may impact your overall price. According to USA Today, residents in at least 8 states have filed complaints alleging that their senior residences have been unfairly increasing bills due to the pandemic. Be sure to properly research any assisted living facility you are considering; you want a safe, trustworthy environment that won’t take advantage of you.
Getting the Most Value
We know what many of you are already thinking: $4,000-$7,000 a month is pretty expensive. But it’s important to note that this cost covers more than just rent for a place to live. Assisted living costs cover a wide range of expenses, often including food and transportation (just to name a few).
At Briarwood, residents receive 2-3 meals a day, transportation to stores and events in the city, weekly housekeeping services, and events and entertainment throughout our campus. Instead of paying for rent, home maintenance, food, transportation, and entertainment separately, it is all included in one upfront price.
When considering the cost of assisted living, it all comes down to finding the right balance and getting the most value. An assisted living community that appears more expensive on the surface may actually save you money in the long run.
Join the Briarwood Family
At Briarwood, we pride ourselves on creating an affordable place that seniors can—and do—call home. If you’re ready to make the move to a high-quality assisted living facility, we’re here for you.
Don’t miss your chance to become the next member of the Briarwood family. Register for our priority list today. This is the first step towards securing your home among our residents. We can’t wait to hear from you.