Top Myths About the Cost of Assisted LivingJanuary 5, 2023
If you’re considering assisted living, there are likely two things that are at the top of your priority list: the quality of care provided and paying for it. However, there are a few myths about the cost of assisted living that may stop your search in its tracks.
Look at these three myths about paying for assisted living, learn why it may be easier than you think to cover the cost of personalized, high-quality care.
Myth #1: Assisted living is too expensive
It might surprise you to know the average cost of assisted living is typically the same or less than home health services. The average cost in the U.S. for 40 hours a week of in-home senior care costs $4,820, whereas the average cost of 24/7 support in assisted living is just a little less at $4,635.
The cost of assisted living also commonly covers services and amenities that aren’t offered by home health services, such as restaurant-style dining, fitness centers, wellness programs, and a full calendar of social events and activities.
You and your loved one also won’t need to worry about covering the cost of expensive home modifications that are required to safely age in place, which can cost thousands of dollars. Residences in assisted living are beautifully appointed and already equipped with features like nonslip floors, grab bars, and walk-in showers that help residents stay safe and continue to maintain an independent lifestyle.
Myth #2 Being my loved one’s primary caregiver is more affordable
It may seem like you’re saving money by being your loved one’s primary support, but many family caregivers actually incur high out-of-pocket costs. In fact, a recent study by AARP found the average family caregiver spends nearly 26% of their income on caregiver activities and about 50% of caregivers say they’ve had financial setbacks.
There’s also the cost of time and energy. Coordinating care services, driving to medical appointments, managing medications, planning meals, scheduling time for your loved one’s social activities, and taking care of yourself or other members of your family can quickly lead to caregiver burnout.
When your loved one moves to assisted living, there’s an entire team of care partners to ensure they’re receiving high-quality care in a vibrant and friendly environment. A single monthly service fee can cover tasks like helping your family member with bathing, grooming, dressing, managing medications, and more. This means you can get more time and energy back for enjoying the company of your loved one and practicing more self-care.
Myth #3 It’s difficult to find funds to pay for assisted living
While it’s true that covering the cost from one financial resource can be difficult, there are still many ways to pay for assisted living. Here a just a few popular options to consider:
Paying out of pocket.. It’s common for people to pay a portion of assisted living costs out of pocket. This money can come from retirement accounts, investments, savings accounts and other sources of personal income. This is a great option for seniors with large retirement savings or significant support from family members.
Selling a home. This is by far the most popular way to pay for assisted living. If your loved one owns their home outright, the profit from selling their home could cover much of the cost. However, if there is still a mortgage on the property, it must be paid off before the remaining value can be used to pay for assisted living.
Bridge loans. If your loved one urgently needs assisted living before they can sell their home, bridge loans can make paying for care more manageable. They’re short-term financial options that enable sellers to use their home equity before it sells, which frees up funds to pay for assisted living. To apply for a bridge loan, older adults must have at least 20% equity in their home.
VA Benefits. Many people believe that VA benefits are only available to veterans who were injured in combat. However,nearly all veterans who served on active duty for at least 90 days, including at least one full day during a time of war, qualify for healthcare through the Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance Benefit. If your loved one is a veteran and requires assisted living in order to receive help with daily activities, they may receive financial benefits to help cover the cost.
Long-term care insurance. Some long-term care insurance policies offer coverage for a portion of the costs of assisted living. However, most policies need to be purchased far before you need them and details depend on your individual policy. Check with your loved one’s long-term insurance provider about the benefit terms and amounts to be sure you can use it to pay for assisted living.
Some assisted living costs can be tax-deductible. If your loved one needs assistance with at least two activities of daily living (ADLs), like bathing, dressing, eating, or using the bathroom, and has a care plan that outlines the assistance they require from their community, they might be able to deduct medical expenses on their taxes. Keep in mind the only way to know for sure if certain costs of assisted living are tax-deductible is by speaking with your financial advisor.
See What Makes Assisted Living at Oaks Senior Living Special
Assisted living at Oaks Senior Living is designed for seniors who want to maintain an energetic lifestyle, but need high-quality, personalized help with activities of daily living. We offer a wide variety of services and amenities that provide residents with a comfortable and incredible retirement lifestyle. Contact Oaks Senior Living online or call us at 770-796-5871 to schedule an in-person visit, and see what makes our care communities so special.