Is Assisted Living as expensive as we hear? -Michelle, Manhattan, NY
It’s definitely time to set the record straight, and I’m glad you have given me a chance to do so. Yes, there is a perception out there that Assisted Living is expensive, perhaps even prohibitively so. Yet, in actuality, it’s more affordable than many people think. Of course, every family’s situation is unique, but so are Assisted Living arrangements. They come in all tastes, shapes and sizes.
Options like apartment size, additional services and level of required care can all impact the cost to a family. And, of course, each Assisted Living organization has its own rate structure. But when families do a complete cost analysis, they usually end up with surprising results. For instance, how much is it really costing mom to live alone? Even if her house is paid off… between taxes, utilities, maintenance, insurance, personal and professional home care, and more, the total cost is always more than families believe. Plus, mom must still cook and clean on her own. Although, since most seniors won’t cook just for themselves, the reality is, she’s probably spending a fortune on takeout.
There are key financial factors that can greatly mitigate the cost of Assisted Living. Perhaps there’s a long-term care policy in place. If not, social security and a pension can also cover a big chunk. There are also Veterans Programs available. The lesson here is to do your homework. This is a decision far too important to make on notion and hearsay alone. Do the research. Make the calls. Take the tours. You’ll find Assisted Living quite affordable… and, for my money, preferable.