When families searching for assisted living encounter community prices, an occasional first reaction is “sticker shock.” The average cost of a one-bedroom assisted living apartment is approximately $3,823 per month, according to data from A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Cost Index.
Most would agree that this is a significant sum of money — but is it too much? Read more about assisted living costs and if assisted living is overpriced.
Assisted Living: What You Get for Your Money
It’s important to first consider what your family or senior loved one is acquiring when they pay for assisted living:
- A clean, dignified and safe home
- Access to amenities like:
- A cinema, gym, library, swimming pool, etc.
- Activities and entertainment
- All utilities except cable and phone
- Meals and snacks
- Personal assistance with activities of daily living
In other words, you’re not just paying for any product — assisted living is a service that aims to meet all of one’s needs. Residents’ care needs, whether they are mental, physical or social, are all met in an assisted living community.
Furthermore, the countless financial transactions one would need to make to maintain life in a single-family home are reduced to one monthly bill in assisted living. You can compare local assisted living costs by using A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Cost Index, which helps families plan for assisted living by providing expenses and growth estimates in their area.
A Transparent Industry
A service that meets a senior’s every need cannot be low-priced unless it’s subsidized. The fees that assisted living residents pay are used to keep competent and qualified staff on duty 24/7. They pay for the community itself, the food that nourishes the residents and the vehicles that transport them to activities and doctor’s appointments, to name a few. So while assisted living might meet your definition of expensive, there’s no evidence that it’s overpriced for it’s value.
Some of the largest assisted living providers are also the most transparent about these costs — Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), Emeritus Senior Living (NYSE: ESC) and Five Star Senior Living (NYSE: FVE), for instance — but are also publicly traded, meaning their finances can be scrutinized by anyone.
We encourage anyone who is searching for assisted living to contact our Senior Living Advisors for help finding the right community at the right price for you and your family. You can also use A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Cost Index to research the lowest, median and highest assisted living costs in your area, in addition to the State Guide to Assisted Living Records, which shares assisted living licensing and regulation standards in your state.