So what exactly is assisted living? In a nutshell, your usual assisted living facility is for seniors looking for a long-term care option that will provide them with several types of personal care support services. Assisted living and seniors who are fed up trying to make it on their own is for those seniors who can manage some but not all things when it comes to everyday living.
These normally include meals, management for your medication, bathing and dressing assistance if needed, and transportation.
In many cases, family caregivers will do all they can, but there is normally a point where the senior needs more help than they can provide, and assisted living is the best alternative for everyone concerned.
WHAT DOES ASSISTED LIVING NORMALLY COST?
Most seniors want to remain independent for as long as possible. However, the time might come when a senior decides they need more help with day to day living. This is where assisted living comes in.
Assisted living costs can vary greatly as it all depends on the services that are required. Some determining factors when it comes to assisted living include the type of residence, the size of the apartment, the geographical location, and the specific services required by the senior in question.
In most cases, a senior assisted living facility will charge a set price that only includes room and board and daily meal service. Some facilities might charge an entrance fee. Others might have deposits housekeeping and laundry fees. It’s important that seniors and their families ask each community exactly what the costs are and what is included. Extra services will mean an increased cost.
In 2019, it’s estimated that the average monthly cost of an assisted living facility in the USA is $3,700 per month. Paying out about $45,000 a year is difficult for most seniors, but often there is no other option. On the positive side, seniors will be able to make social connections have access to wellness programs, secure housing, and the opportunity to enjoy cultural events.
It’s estimated that almost 850,000 Americans are making use of the assisted living option, with the majority of them being around 85 years of age.
WHAT USA CITIES ARE THE MOST AFFORDABLE FOR ASSISTED LIVING?
It’s important that seniors start saving money well in advance of the time when the might require assisted living alternatives. For instance, once a senior reaches 60-65 years of age they should begin to start paying attention to their budget in the event they will require assisted living one day.
They may feel that assisted living is a long way away because their health is good and they have no problem living on their own. However, things can change quickly as we age so it pays to prepare for the future.
For US citizens, there is a big difference in cost depending on the geographical location of the assisted living facility. For instance, the average cost nationally might be around $45,000, but some facilities cost substantially less.
Here are just a few of the lower-cost facilities.
- Fort Smith ($2620)
- Durham ($2750)
- Fort Lauderdale ($2765)
- Greensboro ($2880)
- Tulsa ($2903)
- Miami ($3000)
- Tampa ($3000)
- Wilmington ($3000)
- Fayetteville ($3100)
- Oklahoma City ($3129)
Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, San Jose, and New York are the most expensive. They all cost over $5000 with New York leading the way at $5920.
The National Center For Assisted Living estimates that there are some 30,500 assisted living communities in the United States. There are approximately one million licensed beds available for seniors looking for assisted living. For most seniors, there should be little problem in finding an assisted living facility in a city near their home.
According to Genworth Financial Inc. the cost of assisted living increases about 5%-8% every five years, so the prices you see this year will likely be higher five years from now.
THE AVERAGE ASSISTED LIVING COST IN CANADA
The cost of assisted living in Canada varies from Province to Province.
For example, in British Columbia, an assisted living residence varies depending on the type of living unit. You could be living in a high rise building or a private home. The unit can vary from one room to a self-contained apartment.
In B.C. Assisted living includes quite a few options.
- A private housing unit with a lockable door;
- personal care services (may include assistance with tasks like
bathing, grooming, dressing, and mobility or tasks delegated by a health
- two nutritious meals per day, one of which is the main meal;
- access to basic activity programmings such as games, music, and crafts;
- weekly housekeeping;
- laundering of towels and linen;
- access to laundry equipment for personal laundry;
- heating or cooling as necessary to maintain the safety and basic comfort level of the residence; and
- a 24-hour emergency response system.
The cost structure for assisted living is much different in Canada as opposed to the U.S.
It’s possible to receive publicly subsidized assisted living services. In that case, a senior would pay a monthly rate based on income(and spouse’s income if applicable). It is subject to a minimum and maximum monthly rate. The monthly rate is calculated by multiplying your “after-tax income” by 70%.
For the year 2019, the minimum monthly rate per client receiving assisted living services is $1018.90 per month. The minimum monthly rate per couple in an assisted living unit is $1,552 per month. Of course, if the situation should change and a senior is left on their own, the cost will be recalculated.
In the event, a senior cannot pay the required amount and they would be put into a state of financial hardship it’s possible to apply to the health authority for a temporary reduction of the monthly rate.
Alberta appears to be more expensive than B.C. with the cost of a single bedroom in Calgary, for instance, costing between $3500 and $5800 per month.
Albertans can also apply for assistance with living expenses if they are unable to pay the full cost of assisted living.
Every province has programs in place to help seniors who lack adequate income to sustain themselves in their senior years. It’s just a matter of contacting the appropriate government agency in your particular province.
ANOTHER OPTION FOR SENIORS
There are some circumstances where seniors might be capable of living in a place, but there is a concern by both the seniors and caregivers that things could happen when a senior is living alone.
For instance, what if the senior falls or has a medical issue and there is no way of anyone knowing until it’s too late?
In cases like this, there is an alternative that many seniors and caregivers are making use of that allows seniors to stay in their homes with peace of mind for all concerned.
There is a company called Iamfine who will call seniors at pre-determined times to ensure all is well. All a senior has to do is acknowledge that all is well. If not, Iamfine will try several more times to contact them.
Failing to get a response, Iamfine will contact designated caregivers to let them know the seniors cannot be contacted and they should be checked on to ensure they are okay.
One of the biggest fears involved with seniors living on their own is effectively eliminated by the use of this amazing service that every senior living on their own should have access to.
Currently, Iamfine is offering a free trial, so you can’t really lose by trying it out.
ALSO READ: SENIORS WHO SHARE THEIR HOME
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