How much does senior care really cost? Is there an easy way to compare the cost of a senior living community to the cost of getting in-home care? Older adults can expect to spend money in four main areas as they age, whether they live at home or in a community. These areas include living expenses, physical care, transportation, and leisure activities.
You will have living expenses as you age no matter where you live. If you remain in your home your living expenses will likely include your mortgage, property taxes, electricity, water, home repairs, lawn maintenance, cleaning services, and cable. If you choose to move into a senior living community all of these things will be factored into your monthly payment. You will not have to worry about a surprise expense due to a repair because community maintenance is already factored into your monthly payment. This provides you with more financial predictability than you would otherwise have if you were living at home. You can compare these two costs in depth with a cost comparison tool.
Many older adults will likely need some type of assistance as he or she ages. If you choose to stay in your home you have the option of in-home care. In California, the average cost of a home health aide is $4,957 per month for 44 hours of care each week. Keep in mind that the cost of in-home care is on top of the other costs that you are paying to maintain your home. If you choose to move into a senior living community the amount you pay each month for assistance with care will depend on your level of support needed. The higher your physical needs the more you can expect to pay. You can see the levels of care available in assisted living here. The good news is that the costs of your physical care are calculated into your overall costs at the community so there will not be any surprise. The average cost of assisted living in California is $4,500 which includes assistance with care, living expenses, as well as all of the other features of the community.
An often overlooked cost of senior care is transportation. When you get to the place where you can no longer drive yourself to doctors’ appointments and important events you will need transportation assistance. You can get help with transportation from loved ones or paid services. If you choose a senior living community the cost of transportation will be included in your monthly payment. You cannot calculate the real cost of senior care if you leave out the cost of transportation.
Living expenses, physical care, and transportation are all very practical factors to consider when calculating the cost of senior care. But, you likely also want to live a full life which means that leisure activities need to be considered in cost. If you plan to live at home look at what you currently spend on leisure activities for an estimate of the continuing cost to maintain your current lifestyle. If you move into a senior living community you will find that there is a calendar full of daily programs and events you can participate in with no additional cost. Programming varies at every community but will likely include a selection of health and wellness opportunities, art and music classes, entertainment and outings to local establishments.
It is important to consider each major factor related to the cost of senior care so you can develop a clear picture of your options. These four factors cover the majority of the costs you may encounter when you start looking for senior care. You can find more information on this topic and several related topics by visiting the Eskaton blog.