Is it time to move into a senior community? If you’re beginning to consider the big move, there’s a lot to think about. You want a great atmosphere and a place that can meet your needs—but you don’t want to spend a fortune. The last thing you want is for your options to be limited by finances, so how much does senior living really cost?
The Cost of Senior Living
First, it’s important to understand that not all senior living options are the same, which means the price tags can look very different. The first step is to figure out what type of senior living option is best for you. There are two main types of senior community living options: independent living and assisted living.
For seniors who are looking to move into a community, but don’t currently need help with day-to-day tasks, independent living is a good option. With this option, seniors live within a community, but they have their own private space, such as an apartment or a cottage. Services such as snow removal and grounds maintenance are often provided, but overall, this is similar to living in any other apartment. Seniors have the freedom and independence to do what they choose, with the option to spend time with their peers in the community.
Nationwide, the cost of independent living typically ranges from $1,500 – $3,500 per month, but there is a wide range of factors that can affect this cost (more on those factors below).
For seniors who need a bit more help, assisted living might be the best choice. In an assisted living community, seniors receive help with day-to-day tasks, such as medication reminders, help dressing, housekeeping, and more. Seniors still have their own space, but they receive more help with their daily routine.
Because assisted living provides more services, it is naturally more expensive than independent living. Nationwide, the average cost of assisted living is between $2,500 – $4,000 per month. However, in Massachusetts, the average cost is closer to $5,500 per month.
What factors affect the cost?
Many seniors experience a bit of sticker shock when they see the cost of senior living, but it’s important to remember that the cost covers a wide range of options, services, and amenities. What types of factors affect the price tag?
Where is your senior community located? Is it close to the things that are important to you, such as restaurants, parks, or churches? What does that campus itself look like? Location is a big factor in the price; communities that are in better locations will cost a bit more.
Housing Type and Amenities
Will you live in an apartment or an independent home or cottage? How big will your area be? A small apartment is not going to cost the same as a large independent cottage.
Many senior living arrangements also come with various amenities, such as bathroom safety features and a kitchenette to cook your own food (or a dining room where they cook your meals for you!).
Many seniors plan to move out of the family home because they find it difficult to keep up with the maintenance required—so what type of services are available in your new home? Maintenance services will mean a higher price tag, but they can also bring peace of mind.
When you move to a retirement home, you’re moving to a place filled with seniors like you—so why not get involved in the community? Many retirement homes will offer daily activities such as trips, speakers, movies, concerts, and more.
Check out Briarwood’s events calendar to learn more about the types of activities offered.
What level of support do you need? Think about whether you are looking for an independent living arrangement or you need some help. Costs can vary depending on your level of need.
An important thing to keep in mind is that your needs may ultimately change. Very few of us remain completely independent throughout our lives, so some senior living communities, such as Briarwood, offer multiple levels of support. If your needs change, so will your supports—but this change may be reflected in costs.
Considering the Cost
There’s a lot to think about when considering the cost of senior living. Initially, the price may seem high to many seniors. You may even wonder if you can afford senior living at all. But it’s important to think about all of the things the cost covers: rent, utilities, maintenance, individual services, meals, activities, and much, much more.
Think about the costs of living at home: you are not only paying the costs of home ownership. You also need to buy food, pay for repairs or services on the house, and pay taxes on your home. And if you begin to need more help as you age, you may have to consider the costs of a home health aide or other senior services. No matter how you add it up, aging at home can be very expensive. When you live in a senior community, you see the costs upfront.
Calculating the cost of senior living isn’t easy because each community and each senior is unique. The surest way to understand your costs is to talk to the staff of any community you’re considering. They can help you decide what types of services you need and to add up the costs for a better estimate.
Are you considering making the move to a senior living community? We’d love to meet you! Schedule your tour of Briarwood; you can come see our campus and learn about all of the factors that make our community great. We’ll even treat you to a meal in our dining room! Request your tour today.