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Comparing the Cost of Senior Living with Staying at Home

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Comparing the cost of senior living

The cost of senior living is often one of the biggest factors in whether or not to stay at home, even when the benefits to quality of life may favor the move. There’s no question that senior living isn’t inexpensive and that most families’ budgets aren’t unlimited. But what if you haven’t given home versus senior living an apples-to-apples comparison? Often families don’t realize that, in some cases, the cost of senior living in Hillsborough Township is actually less than the total monthly cost at home. Here’s the true way to compare.

The Cost of Senior Living and Care at Home

First, it’s important to understand the cost of each of the different levels of care, both at home and in senior living. While a number of factors affect the amount you’ll pay, in general, the more care you need, the higher the cost. Here are the average monthly costs according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

Care at Home

  • Homemaker Services – This includes help with household tasks like cooking, cleaning, and errands that cannot be managed independently. The average monthly cost is $4,957, assuming 44 hours per week.
  • Home Health Aide Services – Assistance with personal care, but not medical care. The average monthly cost is $5,148, assuming 44 hours per week.
  • Adult Day Care – Typically includes meals and snacks, health monitoring, medication assistance plus enrichment programs, and social activities during regular business hours, five days a week. The average monthly cost is $1,690.

Care in Senior Living

  • Independent Living – Ideal for seniors who can still live independently as the lifestyle is focused on convenience and active living with home upkeep, cooking, and cleaning provided in addition to a range of amenities as well as social and enrichment opportunities to enjoy. Published data on the average cost of independent living varies greatly, but you can typically expect it to be between $1,000 to $4,000 a month.
  • Assisted Living – This level of care provides many of the same services and amenities, and activities as independent living, but you’ll also have assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management, as well as onsite medical care. The average monthly cost for a private one-bedroom is $4,500.
  • Memory Care – This level of care is just for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and offers 24-hour support in a secure, nurturing environment with specially trained staff. Published data on the average monthly cost for memory care also varies greatly, but you can usually expect a range between $2,000 to $7,000 a month.

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Comparing the Costs

When comparing the cost of senior living with staying at home, the mistake families often make is comparing the monthly cost in a community to just their mortgage or rent. However, your total monthly cost of living at home also includes food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, entertainment, and healthcare. To get a true apples-to-apples comparison, you must factor these in because they are typically included in the monthly cost of senior living in Hillsborough Township! This worksheet can help you more easily compare your specific circumstances.

Monthly Expenses Costs at Home  Senior Living Costs  
Mortgage or rent   
Caregiving  included 
Property tax and insurance  included 
Home maintenance and repairs  included 
Lawn care and yard maintenance  included 
Housekeeping  included 
(electricity, gas, water, trash removal, etc.) 
24-hour security  included 
(insurance, gas, registration, repairs) 
Dining  included 
Social and Entertainment  included 
Exercise and wellness  included 
A 24-hour emergency alert system  included 
Total Actual Costs   

Once you’ve compared your costs, you may find that senior living in Hillsborough Township is actually less than what you pay at home per month! This may hold true even at higher levels of care as at-home caregiving costs can quickly skyrocket the more help you need, and you may have to pay for home modifications for safety as well as accessibility.

What If It’s Still Too Much?

Even if the cost of senior living does turn out to be less than you would pay at home, you may still worry whether or not you can make it work with your budget. Fortunately, there are a number of options that can help you offset the cost of senior living, including:

  • Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit – Wartime veterans or a surviving spouse may be eligible to receive a non-service-connected pension (above the basic pension) to assist in paying for senior living in Hillsborough Township if certain conditions are met.
  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance – LTC insurance can help pay for the cost of senior living by covering services typically not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
  • Life Insurance Conversion – You may be able to convert your in-force life insurance policy into a pre-funded financial account that disburses a monthly benefit to help pay for senior living.
  • Reverse Mortgage – This type of home equity loan is for homeowners 62 or older who want to access their equity to help pay for senior living.

For more information on touring senior living, download our Family Decision Toolkit or contact us today to schedule a tour.

Click here to download our Family Decision guide

Written by kaplan

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