When considering Taking the Next Step: Determining When Assisted Living is Necessary, cost is often one of the first concerns.  Although the cost varies between states, there are actually several other important factors to consider including the size of the facility, the level of care required, and any preferred amenities or services that aren’t included in the base services. Making the choice to move into assisted living is a big decision, make sure to consider all the costs as you decide on your new home.

Average Cost

According to an across-state analysis of assisted living in the Unites States, the average annual cost of assisted living is $43,539.00 (or $3,628.25 a month) for a one bedroom accommodation and appears to be increasing 1-2% each year.  Although that number may intimidate some, many facilities can generally range from $730 to $11,250 per month; therefore shopping for the right facility can help manage the price. It’s equally important to remain aware of any fees or possible additional charges. States, such as Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, Utah, and Louisiana, tend to have the least expensive monthly assisted living costs while states, such as Delaware, New Jersey, Alaska, Connecticut, and Washington DC, tend to be the most expensive. There are a number of local and state governments that offer programs to help pay for services.

Location, location, location.

Much like any living arrangement, the size and location of the accommodation dictates much of the price.  Prices also differ depending on other important factors such as view or location to elevator or public access areas.  Some facilities might also offer private kitchens, patios, or balconies that can affect the price as well.  When deciding on a location, be sure to consider mobility concerns such as distance, number of steps, and presence of areas that might be especially treacherous for falls.  Seniors should also realize that some facilities may charge a refundable deposit or a one-time fee that may or may not apply to services and can range from $1000-$5000. Facilities may also charge a second person fee for couples or a pet fee for any animal you choose to bring.

Care and Amenities

The level of care offered at each facility also varies.  Many offer the most basic care with specialized menus and dining, emergency services, social gatherings, and personal care assistance. Other facilities offer a great number of services at an additional cost such as massage, spa treatments, computer and art classes, dancing lessons, and more.

Most seniors have seven basic needs that assisted living facilities can help with: medication management, meal preparation, eating assistance, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring.  It’s important to note that some places may charge a standard medication maintenance fee while others charge according to how often it is distributed.  Facilities also often allow seniors to hold an account for personal spending on extra services, such as the beauty salon or movie outings.



Learn more about assisted living and other healthcare options at the main Assisted Living page or the main Caregiving page.

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About the Author: Victoria K. Stickley is a copywriter, editor, and senior content manager based in the Dallas area. Her graduate education in counseling and research has helped immensely in her writing as well as the care she provides for her grandparents. She currently provides support and resources to senior care websites as she learns and experiences senior care first-hand.