Searching for the cost of assisted living? You’re not alone. In this article, you’ll learn what to expect in Omaha, Nebraska.
Currently, more than 810,000 adults reside in assisted living units across the US. Throughout their lifetime, seven out of ten adults will require an assisted living arrangement.
Consider that the adult population of those older than 85 will double by the year 2036. Then it will triple by the year 2049.
The question then becomes if all those needing it are prepared for the cost of assisted living.
It’s not surprising to know then that the US will need nearly one million new assisted living units by the year 2040. The challenge for many who need it will be paying for assisted living.
Read on to learn more about assisted living communities and what it costs to live in one.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of living arrangement for seniors. Seniors can do some things on their own but can still get assistance for certain activities of daily living they can no longer perform for themselves.
Some seniors can still do things for themselves and still value their privacy. Yet, they need assistance with specific tasks like showering or meal preparation.
In assisted living, a senior may live in the following conditions:
- Individual rooms,
- Private apartments
- Shared spaces
While the senior has their own space, often with their belongings, the staff is available to come in and support those activities they can’t safely handle on their own.
Factors Impacting Costs in Assisted Living Facilities
Before we take a closer look at assisted living costs, let’s consider what impacts the cost.
Costs for assisted living vary significantly across the country. Location is one factor for cost. Of course, if you live in a part of the country where the cost of living is high, you can expect the cost of assisted living to be higher too.
The size of the unit you choose for assisted living will impact the cost. Some seniors will choose small studio apartments, while others might choose units with more space. Obviously, the larger the unit, the higher the cost.
You can also get a range of services from assisted living. The level of care needed by the senior will impact cost, too.
Finally, many senior living facilities vary in their level of additional services and luxury options. This impacts cost as well.
Assisted Living Costs
Once you know the many factors that impact assisted living, you can understand how it’s tricky to discuss costs for this type of living.
So much of the cost will be impacted by the type of unit, services, and even location.
The median price of assisted living is $4,500 per month. It’s more valuable to consider the median cost than the average cost.
The median cost tells you that half the cost is higher than $4,500, and half is lower than $4,500 per month.
Pricing Models for Assisted Living Communities
When considering the price of assisted living, you should also consider how the pricing is presented. Assisted living communities typically offer three different pricing models for residents.
One option is the a la carte option. In this pay structure, you pay a base fee, then choose what services you need and add them based on what you need. This model is good because you only pay for exactly what you need.
The all-inclusive structure is almost the opposite of a la carte. The all-inclusive model includes all services and amenities for the overall cost. More luxury units are likely to have this pay structure.
All-inclusive is a nice option for seniors because they know they can always join activities or get assistance without wondering if they are paying for it.
In a tiered system, an assisted living community offers a tiered pay system based on the number of services needed. Most tiered pay options allow you to increase the number of services you need as your senior needs more care.
Assisted Living Base Fees
You’ll pay a base rate in most pay structures for assisted living. This includes certain services as part of the base rate.
These base services are likely to include:
- Monthly rent
- Utilities for the unit
- Three meals and snacks for each day
- Planned activities
- Coordination of care
- Groundskeeping around the facility
Sometimes this also includes basic transportation options.
Add-On Fees for Assisted Living
Most assisted living communities offer a wide range of services beyond what you get from the base rate.
Some of these services include:
- Medication management
- Beauty services
- Clothing purchases
- Pet fees
- Medical fees and insurance
- Additional transportation
Your senior may need more help with other activities of daily living, and that can be added to your costs.
How to Pay for Assisted Living
In the years going forward, not only will it be a challenge to find assisted living options, but paying for assisted living will also provide a challenge for many.
Paying for assisted living can be handled through:
- Private pay options
- Public assistance programs
- Veteran’s benefits
- Private investments
As demand increases, so will cost likely increase. Planning for the cost of assisted living should be an important part of retirement planning for seniors.
Important Questions to Ask
As you consider assisted living options for a senior you love, there are some essential questions to consider beyond how much the assisted living cost per month.
Other questions might include:
- What pay structure is used for assisted living?
- What is included in the base cost for services?
- What a la carte services are available?
- How are a la carte services priced?
- What floor plan options are available, and how much do they impact cost?
- What options are available if the senior runs out of money?
You may also want to consider what other services beyond assisted living are offered. Are there higher levels of care if they become necessary?
You might also want to know how it’s handled if your senior needs more care over their stay in the assisted living unit.
Prepare for the Cost of Assisted Living
Assisted living is a blessing for seniors and families because they know the senior is safe and cared for. Yet, the cost of assisted living can be surprising for many families. It’s important to plan for potential future needs.
To learn more about assisted living options, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help care for the senior in your life.