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Affordable Assisted Living: 5 Insider Secrets

By on January 11, 2018

Last Updated: January 11, 2018

Assisted living communities can be pricey. An A Place for Mom Cost of Senior Care Survey recently found that the national average price for an assisted living apartment is around $3750 per month. In some regions, the cost is significantly higher.Affordable Assisted Living: 5 Insider Secrets

Seniors who have few assets and a low income can apply for Medicaid, but because its eligibility requirements are strict, many families are stuck in a position where their loved one is financially overqualified for Medicaid, but also cannot afford private pay care. Seniors in this position can create what’s called a “Miller Trust,” whereby they sign most of their assets and income over to the state to become qualified for Medicaid. But this tends to be a last resort option and it can be easier to look for affordable private pay options.

Quality Assisted Living on a Budget

Here are some tips to help you find affordable assisted living communities that can be trusted to care for your senior loved one:

1. Ask about move-in incentives.

Assisted living communities may have an official price, but it’s usually not set in stone. The communities work hard to keep their occupancy high, and often offer significant discounts to encourage families to choose their community. These incentives can take many forms, including discounting rent, rent freezes and waiving the entry fee. Don’t be afraid to ask about these incentives and even to negotiate the price.

2. Consider a smaller living space.

Naturally, larger apartments are more expensive. If you have a low-budget, look at smaller living spaces. Assisted living and nursing home residents whose care is paid for by Medicaid almost always have to share rooms in any event, so whether you’re looking for affordable private pay options, or using Medicaid, it may not be possible to leave this option off the table.

3. Look at inspection reports.

You can’t determine the quality of care at a community by superficial appearances. A luxurious community may have a history of sub-standard care, while an older, more tired-looking community ma, in fact,t offer outstanding care. Viewing inspection reports may help you find a diamond in the rough. Find your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman and ask them about the histories of communities that you are considering. Many states also maintain searchable databases of licensed assisted living communities and their inspections reports.

4. Look outside of your ideal location.

Assisted living communities are all about “location, location, location.” Communities in areas with lower land value are less expensive. If you live in a big city, explore communities in the suburbs or in more affordable neighborhoods.

5. Talk to a Senior Living Advisor.

We know the pricing of each and every community in our nationwide network of assisted living communities. Our Senior Living Advisors refer only communities that match your budget so your search can be as efficient as possible. We work only with licensed communities and conduct violation-audits of partner communities to make sure we’re referring trustworthy options.

To discuss care options with an experienced advisor call: (866) 333-8391.

What advice do you have about finding affordable senior care on a budget? Share your tips with us in the comments below.

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Jeff attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks on an academic scholarship, and also studied creative writing at University of Hull (UK). He found his calling in 2009 when he began working with seniors and their families at A Place for Mom, and has immersed himself in writing and research about issues affecting older adults. He also enjoys literature, spending time with his daughter and recording music

  1. Ms. Lee Bentley
    This article was most enlightening. I am 78 and own my own home, but, I have friends in Assisted Living situations. I am most interested in the sharing of time. Could you point me to where I can get more information and how to begin one of these in my area? Thank you, Lee Bentley
  2. Jeff Anderson
    Hi Ms. Bentley
    There is a directory of time banks at here.
    I hope this helps!
    Jeff Anderson Team
  3. Joan Duffee
    I am an elderly widow. I have a 4 bed, 2 bath home which I have considered offering to share with another person. My children are dead set against this, citing health, safety, trustworthiness, etc. as reasons not to pursue this. What are your thoughts on this and do you have any suggestions as to how to proceed in exploring the possibilities? I am not wealthy but live comfortably, however the extra money would be very useful. I am active, social and in good health and would want the tenant to be healthy also but realize that could change for either. I have lived alone for 16 years so I know adjustments in my living habits would be necessary. Am I asking for more than I can handle at this time in my life?
  4. Jeff Anderson
    Hi Joan,
    I'm hesitant to speculate, but I bet if you shared the home with another older woman it might work out, especially since it's so big. That's just an idea.
    Jeff Tean
  5. William Son
    Exactly what I was searching? Assisted living with senior citizen is not eazy at all. There are lots of things you should have in mind so as they live comfortable and feel free to live their. I agree with your views of assisted living these are actually important facts for elder move. Thanks to share.
  6. Trisha
    I found this information extremely helpful- its nice to know all of your options first. Hope it helps someone. Those of us who are considering Mexico as a lower-cost retirement destination will find it reassuring to know there are a growing number of assisted living and nursing care facility options south of the border. Many of these offer high-quality and affordable care with all the other benefits of living in Mexico: good weather, beautiful places to live in and visit, fresh wholesome food, and caring people. With costs for long-term care in the US running between $3000 and $7000 per month, the majority of Americans might have to face a horrible reality: they may not be able to afford the care they need. There are currently no federal government programs that offer money for long-term nursing care and none is anticipated as part of the Affordable Care Act. Contrast this with $1000 to $1700 per month (typical fees) for assisted living and nursing care in Mexico. For example Residencia Lourdes Pacifica is located in Ensenada, it is just a short drive from San Diego and the facility sits beachfront for your loved one to enjoy the spectacular view. Their price is $1700 per month and includes all cost (except medication,diapers and personal items) and is guarenteed to never increase. At these fee levels care is affordable to many more people, even those who may have to survive solely on Social Security benefits. Mexican culture is very diffrent from that of the US with respect to attitudes about elderly care. For example the regard for elders is present everywhere. The warmth and level of genuine caring is suprising to many US citizens who are acustomed to treatment dispensed within only institutional settings. While assisted living and nursing care are not part of the local Mexican culture, the number of facilities designed for the needs of foreigners—including the provision of English-speaking staff members, awareness of the cultural differences such as food preferences, holidays and English television, magazines, etc.—are increasing across Mexico.
  7. top article
    Excellent blog you've got here.. It's difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
  8. RachellAHoek
    Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!