If you or your parents are beginning to need a helping hand with some of the tasks of daily living, you may be discussing whether it’s time to bring in additional care services or considering if an assisted living community might be the best fit.
While comparing benefits and advantages, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of the costs of each.
To evaluate the two options accurately, it might be helpful to list everything an assisted living community provides – and then calculate what it would cost to make those same services available at home:
1. Private residence
- Included in the cost of assisted living: Floor plan choices and residences that can be personalized to make them home.
- Expenses when living at home: even if there is no mortgage, there are still expenses associated that will need to be calculated, such as insurance, utilities and maintenance.
2. Assistance with personal care
- Included in the cost of assisted living: Residents will have a hand with daily tasks, which also help them live a more independent life.
- Expenses when living at home: You’ll want to calculate the number of hours needed, a home care agency’s rate and the cost of adult day care if that program will be used.
3. Healthy dining
- Included in the cost of assisted living: Residents will find a wide variety of nutritious and delicious menu choices.
- Expenses when living at home: You’ll not only need to figure the cost of ingredients but the assistance that may be needed with shopping and preparing meals.
4. Activities and social events
- Included in the cost of assisted living: A monthly calendar of activities and social events are available to help the residents remain engaged.
- Expenses when living at home: It can be more challenging to find activities and transportation but as it is essential for optimum health, you’ll want to factor in any expenses and find options.
5. Fitness and exercise classes
- Included in the cost of assisted living: Residents have access to a fitness center or classes to help remain physically and mentally in shape.
- Expenses when living at home: This can be another challenge if there isn’t easy access to a gym or other opportunities to remain fit – and too important not to find possibilities.
6. Opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Included in the cost of assisted living: The activities, social events and even crossing paths in the common areas make it easy to meet others and begin forming friendships.
- Expenses when living at home: Living at home can increase the risk of loneliness and social isolation. You may need to pay for companionship services or the cost of adult day programs.
7. Maintenance-free living
- Included in the cost of assisted living: Imagine – no more upkeep or repairs. Someone else will take care of everything.
- Expenses when living at home: Remaining at home generally means managing the continual upkeep, as well as arranging and paying for often unexpected repairs.
8. Scheduled transportation
- Included in the cost of assisted living: Transportation is part of the services, whether it’s to medical appointments, activities, shopping or entertainment.
- Expenses when living at home: If family isn’t available to provide rides, arrangements may need to be made for a home care worker to drive or another transportation alternative.
9. Safety and security
- Included in the cost of assisted living: Safety and security in a community can include personnel, alarm systems and other safety features.
- Expenses when living at home: You may need to make repairs or renovations to make the home safer, as well as install security alarms and personal alert systems.
How to accurately calculate costs of remaining at home
Here are a few tips for determining what it might cost to live at home:
Determine personal and health care needs
First, you’ll want to assess any care needs as completely and accurately as possible.
Determine the type of help needed, such as basic home assistance or if health care is required, which is more expensive.
Talk to local care agencies for the hourly rate for each type of service to calculate the monthly expenses.
Calculate home expenses
Even if your home is paid for, there are still expenses that will need to be accounted for beyond the mortgage, which may include:
- Homeowner’s dues
- Home insurance
Calculate other expenses if remaining at home
This might include:
- Gym memberships
- Activity and entertainment costs
- Cable television
- Internet WiFi connection
Please contact us at (916) 458-0303 if we can answer any of your questions, provide further information or if you would like to schedule a personalized tour.