Category: Finance

The Cost of Assisted Living: What to Know Before You Move In

The cost of assisted living is a popular question that people ask themselves when they or a loved one begins to show signs of aging. But it can often be answered by looking at the cost of another service, the cost of an assisted living facility. Just like with other services, assisted living care prices can vary greatly depending on the facility’s location or the type of care that the resident requires. In this article, we will look at the cost of assisted living, helping you better evaluate your finances and make a more informed decision about what to do next.

What is Assisted Living?

Just like nursing homes, assisted living is a form of senior care housing that provides daily living assistance to elderly adults. The care offered in many assisted living facilities ranges from help with common household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or laundry to help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as daily assistance with dressing, bathing, and toileting. In many cases, assisted living facilities offer 24-hour supervision including in-home care.

Types of Assisted Living Facilities

In most cases, you will have two basic choices for senior housing: independent senior living communities and assisted living facilities. The former usually offer apartments, not just bedrooms. These living spaces are more independent and give seniors access to many amenities, including transportation, meals, and housekeeping. Assisted living facilities are smaller and assist with daily tasks for older adults who need it. Vivante Senior Living, a top provider of senior living services in the United States and Canada, has created a modern and innovative way of addressing the needs of people who require special care. Vivante has come up with a new balanced living model which provides people with the option of a home-like setting for assisted living facilities services.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost? Factors That Determine the Pricing Structure

Level of care

The most important factor is the level of care, which determines the la carte pricing of a senior living community. This is the reason why a private room in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) is more expensive than a semi-private room. Semi-private rooms are less expensive than one-bedroom units because two prospective residents stay in a shared room with their bathroom and kitchenette.


Location, location, location – this may seem obvious, but it is one of the biggest factors when determining cost. In cities like NYC, LA, or San Francisco, you will find a stylistic difference between assisted living communities, higher cost of living, and property values. This is particularly true in upscale communities or places where the cost of living is high.

Length of stay

The length of stay can also affect their daily living rate. If someone chooses to live in a skilled nursing facility for an extended period, their daily rate can be lower, but their average monthly cost will be higher. Some assisted living communities also allow for a mix of long and short-term stays. This is not unlike a hotel where you pay per night. The cost of your stay increases each night you stay at a hotel, depending on the number of nights you choose to stay there.

Services offered

Assisted living community costs are typically based on several factors, including the number of services and amenities provided.

For example, assisted living costs may be higher for communities that offer more services, including transportation, housekeeping, social activities, medical services, and more.

While the month to month cost for assisted living can vary widely depending on many factors, typically, the national median cost is around $3,300 to $4,200 per month ($39,600 to $51,200 annually).

Many special assisted living communities offer services such as assistance with personal care assistance eg dressing and bathing can add more than $1,000 per month to your cost. Assisted living, personal assistance, medication management, and memory care are often some of the components of a continuum of care. Even though costs for assisted living average $3,000 to $4,000 per month, most people still require some help with daily living tasks such as meal preparation, medical care, and residential care services.

Insurance cover

When researching the many different senior living options available, you’ll want to understand what’s covered by insurance and what’s considered a benefit. At least some of your senior living expenses will likely be paid for by Medicare or long-term care insurance plans, but it is important to understand which costs are covered and which are not. For example, if you choose a facility that doesn’t accept Medicare, you could be held responsible for some pretty hefty bills in the event of hospitalization or injury. The same is true if you choose a location outside your insurance network. These facilities should make the financial requirements clear upfront.


You’ll want to look for both a state license and accreditation from organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, the American Health Care Association, and the National Center for Assisted Living. This is important because it demonstrates that the facility is held to a certain standard of quality care. If you’re paying for the person to be in the facility and not their private health insurance, the accreditation will cover the cost of hands-on care if there are any issues.

Staff-to-resident ratio

While the care staff-to-resident ratio is one factor that affects the cost of assisted living services, how the staff interacts with residents is just as important. Most senior living facilities will have a nurse or a nurse practitioner on-site to oversee the health needs of assisted living residents that may require specialized attention or doctor’s appointments. Most facilities provide a licensed practical nurse on staff that helps with day-to-day personal care, like bathing and dressing. However, not all facilities have the same staffing needs. While some facilities may have many staff on hand to oversee a few residents, other facilities may have one staff member for every two or three residents. So unless you’re looking for specific services /home health services the staffing levels aren’t usually the determining factor when it comes to cost.


The care provided by the care facility is a hot topic of conversation amongst those who love their parents and grandparents. Assisted living facilities must be more than a place to put oxygen tanks and walkers. They must be places where seniors can find good company, great meals, and mental and physical stimulation that closely resemble the lifestyle they are used to in their own homes.

Final thoughts

It isn’t easy to know exactly how much assisted living costs in your area. The cost of independent living can vary depending on location, whether you are looking for a shared or private room, and the level of care you need. In addition, there are costs beyond the monthly rent you will need to consider, such as extra fees, meals, clothing, toiletries, and entertainment. That’s why understanding assisted living costs is very important to find the right one that fits your loved one’s needs, budget, and personal preferences.

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