20 May, 2022 | 4 min read

Comparing the Cost and Value of Assisted Living with Care at Home

Change is a part of life and as we grow older we may begin needing a little more assistance with daily tasks. If your loved one is finding it more of a challenge to prepare healthy meals or to safely get in and out of the bath, your family may be considering how best to provide help.

Two choices that are often discussed include moving into an assisted living community or remaining at home and bringing in services.

When deciding which option might offer the best solution, the cost of each becomes a part of the discussion. While a common misconception is that remaining at home is always less expensive, you may be surprised to discover that may not always be true.

Tips for comparing the cost of assisted living vs. home care

  1. It’s helpful to set aside your assumptions and look at the two options objectively. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
  2. Make a list of all services your loved one will need at home or in an assisted living community so you can calculate expenses for each item.
  3. If your parent is a homeowner and no longer has a mortgage, don’t overlook the cost of the other home expenses, such as utilities, insurance, taxes, and maintenance.
  4. To make an accurate comparison of the cost of assisted living vs. home care, make sure you account for all the expenses for each option. For example, your parent will have access to fitness classes in a community. Calculate the expenses for a gym membership, classes and transportation when considering the cost of remaining at home.
  5. If your parent’s house needs repairs or a renovation to create an age-friendly and accessible home, you’ll want to include these expenses.

Services your parent may need

Your loved one will have individualized needs but it can be helpful when researching the cost of senior care to consider the basic features and services that are usually needed:

  • An accessible and age-friendly residence
  • Assistance with the tasks of daily living
  • Help with housekeeping and laundry
  • Access to health and wellness programs
  • Assistance with shopping and meal preparation
  • Social and entertainment activities
  • Opportunities to meet and make friends
  • Transportation and accompaniment to appointments or social events
  • Maintenance-free lifestyle
  • Community security and safety features

Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted living

Home care expenses

Note that the cost of home or personal care will be less expensive than if health care is required. Once you know the type and level of care needed, you can begin creating a budget.

1. Calculate the number of hours needed for the following care:

  • Health care
  • Personal care
  • Adult day care
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation

2. Determine who will provide the care and calculate the cost

To determine the number of paid hours required, add up the number of hours per day or week that care will be needed and subtract any time that family or friends might be available.

Talk to home care agencies in your area for services they provide and their specific hourly rates.

3. Determine home costs

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Home or renters’ insurance
  • Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Television and internet expenses
  • Phone
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Landscaping and yard work
  • Security system

4. Include any additional expenses

  • If applicable, car expenses including payments, insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs
  • Food and help with meal preparation
  • Activities and social events
  • Fitness centers and exercise classes

Senior living community expenses

The average monthly cost of assisted living can vary, depending on location, services and the level of care needed. If your loved one needs specialized care, such as memory care or skilled nursing, the cost will increase.

Talk to a community in your area to get a better understanding of the services included and the monthly costs. The following is a list of typical features you may find:

  • Private residence
  • Assistance with daily tasks
  • Dining options
  • Activities and amenities
  • Social events and entertainment
  • Fitness centers and exercise classes
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Cable television and internet
  • Utilities
  • Security systems and features
  • Maintenance-free lifestyle

Considerations beyond the financial

When comparing the services and cost of assisted living vs. home care, it’s also important to consider the benefits and advantages of each.  Determine which one will support your loved one best to live a high-quality life and one that is filled with meaning and joy.

Your parent’s emotional health is important, including where they would feel the most safe, confident or comfortable living.

What is best for your family should also be considered. The physical and emotional health, and continued availability of a spouse or other family member to provide care is an essential consideration.

Life at Eskaton Communities

The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.

The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living.

We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:

  • Private residences
  • Delicious and nutritious meals
  • Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
  • Creative activities and therapies
  • Fitness centers and exercise classes
  • Housekeeping services
  • Transportation services
  • 24-hour staffing
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • And much, much more!

If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions that you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living. To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.

Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted living