The Cost Of Senior Care: Home Care vs. Assisted Living

the cost of senior care home care vs assisted living

It’s inevitable that questions of the cost of home care vs assisted living enter the mix, no matter how much you love, care for, and want the best for senior loved ones. Each option has its own positives and negatives and deciding which makes the most sense for your aging senior depends on a variety of personal and practical considerations. 

We like to remind families that in addition to financial costs, there are also social/emotional costs when comparing home care and assisted living or nursing home facilities. The best way to make a sound decision is to start long-term planning conversations as early as possible. Ideally, these conversations would begin before or immediately after you notice signs a senior needs support.  

Meetings should include the most important family, partner, or close-friend players, to come up with a mindful plan that accommodates all of the big picture needs – taking all of the financial and emotional costs into consideration. 

Comparing The Financial Cost Of Senior Care

Finances must be carefully considered. Many of the conditions that affect aging seniors, from regular age-related decline to Alzheimer’s or dementia, can require years or even decades of caregiving support. The two most common solutions are home care or assisted living. 

We use the reliable, research-based statistics from the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program as our guide to the money-based cost comparisons. According to their calculations, the average, annual cost of home care vs. senior care are: 

  • Home Care (5 days/week, 6 hours/day): $37,440 
  • Assisted Living Community: $57,600 
  • Nursing Home (semi-private room): $92,710 

There is no doubt that paying caregivers to provide care in the home is the most affordable senior care option by tens of thousands of dollars. 

Beware too-good-to-be-true monthly quotes for assisted living or nursing homes when comparing the cost of senior care 

One thing to know about assisted living facilities is that they often provide low-ball, “monthly rates,” to entice prospects. However, it is essential that you ask about “add-ons.” Services like laundry, accompanied mobility to meals or events, off-site trips, visits to the onsite barber or beauty shop, etc., can all add up quickly.  

If assisted living communities are your first choice, we understand (more on that below), but we highly recommend AgingCare’s post, The Hidden Costs of Assisted Living, so you are well-informed and know what questions to ask when you take tours or speak with their staff. 

Weighing The Social And Emotional Costs 

Of course, financial costs aren’t the only costs you should weigh when taking the steps to care for an aging senior. And, while we are a homecare services provider, we are also very transparent that home care isn’t for everyone. It is imperative that seniors not feel isolated, which can lead to depression, anxiety, failure to thrive, or exacerbate dementia and other health conditions. 

There are social and emotional costs for both home and assisted living care, and many of these decisions depend on the family structure, accessibility to peers and favorite locations/activities, relationship with the home or neighborhood, etc. 

Would the senior prefer to age-in-place, or live in a larger retirement community? 

Statistics say that the majority of seniors choose to age in place if they have the choice, but that only represents the majority. Many seniors aren’t interested in bringing people into their homes to help them. They would rather move to a new place, get situated in their room or small apartment, and begin taking advantage of the “amenities in one place” lifestyle. 

It’s a personal choice and only a good conversation can establish which version is best. 

Is there an active family and friend network at play? 

The family structure matters a great deal. If there is a healthy family, friend, and neighbor network available, bringing care into the home makes the most sense. Seniors get to age-in-place, in the comfort of their own home, and they can still have lots of social interaction with family, friends, or neighbors. The same holds true if s/he is an active member of local clubs, spiritual groups, volunteer organizations, etc. 

If seniors have sacrificed their keys and can no longer drive, home care agencies can provide a caregiver a few times a week to act as a driver and then help out with other errands, shopping, or activities that are harder for your loved one to handle on his/her own, eventually increasing care services as wanted or needed over time. 

Is the senior more introverted by nature? 

If your loved one is more of an introvert, preferring to spend most time quiet and alone by choice – rather than necessity – moving into an assisted living community may be traumatic. Innate introverts and homebodies typically fare much better when family caregivers minimize transitions and keep visitors and activities focused on the familiar. 

What Are The Projected Memory Care Needs? 

If you are interested in memory care for a senior loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you can go either way. Memory care facilities (much different from assisted living communities that have “memory care” services or wings, are exceptional at providing care that aligns with the foremost research pertaining to dementia care and treatment.  

That said, memory care centers cost notably more than the average assisted living communities because every resident eventually requires acute care and assistance. Most cost closer to that $90K+ price tag listed for nursing home facilities. 

If your loved one isn’t interested in moving to a memory care facility in the early to mid stages of the disease, look for home care providers who specialize in memory care, including mid to late stage dementia care, and who also offer live-in care services in case those are necessary. 

We’re Here WhenYou’re Ready

Would you like to learn more about the cost of home care services and the types of services available to Bay Area seniors in their homes? Contact us at HomeAide Home Care and schedule a free, in-home assessment.

Hello world! We’ve Got a Blog!

Home Care BlogWelcome to the brand new blog of HomeAide Home Care! Thanks for taking a look!

Our goal here is to create a channel for our clients and friends to get closer to us as a company, to understand more about us, and share with everyone lessons learned and helpful information we’ve collected over the years as one of the foremost independent home care services in the East Bay.

Please feel free to comment on any of the stories we post, we’d love to hear from you!

Jan Scott

“…We have been deeply appreciative of your caring support since beginning with your agency last May. It has been a real comfort to me to know that we were consistently covered regarding Dick’s care.” – Jan Scott

Pam & John Eaves

“…It’s hard to find words to express our thanks for the excellent, loving, patient, personal care Lorraine received from everyone you sent to her home…We’re forever grateful!” – Pam & John Eaves

Jane

“…I’m not fancy with words, but I can’t tell you how important all of you have been to me the last 3+ years. I couldn’t have done it without you, your patience, kind words, and support…” – Jane

Melinda Buerger

“Thank you so much for all of your help over these past several months. I have appreciated your flexibility and responsiveness in dealing with my mother and I. She enjoyed the companionship of your caregivers.” – Melinda Buerger

Susan Bailey

“Thank you for your wonderful care giving for my mother. I always felt at ease when I knew you had some great people taking care of her.” – Susan Bailey

Bill and Anne Hefter

“We thank each of you and your staff of gifted caregivers for helping Charlotte’s life, come to a peaceful close. She was genuinely cared for and watched over. As a result, she was contented and her special sense of humor flourished. We thank you!…” – Bill and Anne Hefter

Anne

“Thank you for what you were able to do for my dad. I felt very confident after my conversation with Lena that your company would take excellent care of him and also be professional and easy to talk to. I appreciate your kindness and will remember it.” – Anne

Barbara Horn

“Thank you so much for all of your help. Because of your service I could participate in activities and be assured that my mother was in safe hands…I would highly recommend your service to anyone who needs physical presence in the home. I appreciate your support and cheerful attitude.” – Barbara Horn