If cost is a driving factor, which is often the case, in whether to move to senior living or stay home you may think the answer is clear. Senior living is always more expensive than care at home, right? Not necessarily. You may not realize there are different types of care in senior living; some less expensive, some more. Care at home isn’t always cut and dry either. That’s why it’s so important to carefully compare options based on your specific needs. Here’s how.
Options for Care at Home
In general, there are two options for care while you’re living at home.
- Home Health Care – This may include personal care, household chores, cooking, transportation, occupational, physical and/or speech therapy. Services can be provided on an hourly, as needed or 24/7 live-in basis.
- Adult Day Care – This option offers care during normal business hours, five days a week. Services may include meals and snacks, health monitoring, medication assistance and fitness, as well as enrichment and social activities.
Options in Senior Living
Senior living is not just one type of care; it’s actually more like a continuum designed to fit your evolving health and lifestyle needs.
- Independent Living – This type of senior living is all about lifestyle and is specifically for seniors who don’t require daily assistance. These seniors want to be active, social and free of chores as well as home upkeep while enjoying a range of amenities.
- Assisted Living – Seniors will find housing and similar amenities here, as well as assistance with daily tasks. The goal is to provide just enough support while encouraging independence and an active, enriching lifestyle.
- Memory Care – One of the highest levels of care, this setting is designed for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia alone and includes 24-hour supervision, structured therapies and activities as well as specially-trained staff.
Understanding the Costs
Whether provided at home or in senior living, you can typically expect that the more care you need, the more it will cost. That said, here’s what you can expect to pay monthly on average according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey:
Care at Home
- Home Health Care
- Homemaker Services —$4,290
- Home Health Aide Services —$4,385
- Adult Day Care – $1,625
In Senior Living
- Assisted living (Private, one-bedroom: $4,051)
Although there is little published data on average monthly costs for independent living and memory care because they can vary so greatly, typical ranges are as follows:
- Independent Living ($1,000 to $4,000 per month)
- Memory Care ($2,000 to $7,000 per month)
Other Costs to Consider at Home
Many people mistakenly compare the monthly cost of senior living to their mortgage or rent. But that’s not really a true comparison because your out of pocket costs at home are much more than that. The total monthly cost of living at home also includes your food, utilities, home upkeep expenses, property taxes, insurance and entertainment. Why is it important to include them? Because these things ARE typically included in the monthly cost of senior living.
Don’t forget to include your home health care/adult day care costs and/or home modifications that you may need as well. But do this carefully as the average American underestimates the cost of home health care by almost 50 percent according to the Genworth Long Term Care/Caregiving Online Survey.
Once you’ve tallied all your costs at home, your monthly senior living costs may actually less expensive!
Added Value in Senior Living
Not only might senior living cost less depending on your specific circumstance, it also adds value that can be difficult to achieve at home particularly when living alone. Senior living can enhance your quality of life, not only through the beautiful campus, spacious accommodations and amenities, but also through the full calendar of social and enrichment opportunities. Not the mention the worry-free lifestyle without chores, home upkeep or unexpected expenses that you have at home.
Lastly, you have added peace of mind that support is always available, and that we’re here for you as your health needs evolve as many of our communities have multiple types of care on one campus.