How Much Does Assisted Living Cost | Important Factors You Need to Consider

Most assisted living residences charge between $3,000 and $6,000 per month, with an average of around $4,300. Find out more about the costs of assisted living.

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As your parents’ age, they might need further assistance with daily tasks they can no longer do alone. Senior living communities can offer much-needed assistance, allowing seniors to maintain their health and well-being, make new friends, and access the support they need to age gracefully.

As a caregiver, your top priority is to ensure your parents receive the best care possible. Assisted living is a feasible option for most seniors, offering affordability and flexibility in one place. However, figuring out assisted living costs can be challenging, with numerous factors coming into play. That’s why we are here to guide you and your family in making the best decisions.

Keep reading for our overview of assisted living, including definitions, state-by-state prices, cost breakdowns, and financing options to cover assisted living expenses for your parents.


Understanding Assisted Living Costs: State-by-State Prices and Ways to Finance Assisted Living for Seniors

What Is Assisted Living & What Services Does It Provide?

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Assisted living is specialized housing for seniors who require assistance with some self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and eating.

In terms of size, a community houses between five and 300 residents. Each resident has their own room and shares access to common areas like the dining room, living and entertainment space, garden, or library with other residents — depending on the community.

Equipped with on-site 24-hour staff, assisted living is a step up from living at home and virtually a bridge between independent living and higher levels of care such as memory care or nursing homes. In assisted living, residents can enjoy a wide range of basics already included in the monthly base rent or pay extra fees for luxurious services like spas. In addition, they can choose to stay for a few months or longer.

What sets assisted living apart from other senior care options is that it offers a balance of independence and healthcare support at a reasonable cost. In other words, this type of senior residence is a good fit for seniors who need assistance but still want to maintain an active lifestyle.

Many assisted living communities offer a variety of services, such as:

  • Private living units
  • An emergency medical alert system
  • Around-the-clock assistance and supervision
  • Medical care coordination
  • Mobility assistance
  • One to three nutritious meals a day in a shared dining room
  • Medication assistance
  • Help with personal care activities (bathing, dressing, toileting, and navigating the bathroom)
  • Assistance with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive disabilities
  • Laundry services
  • Recreational endeavors
  • Social outings and activities
  • Classes (fitness, physical exercises, painting, writing, etc.)
  • Spiritual activities
  • Housekeeping
  • Home maintenance and repairs
  • Scheduled transportation


How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

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Often, when searching for the cost of assisted living online, you will likely find that most communities charge between $3,000 and $6,000 monthly, adding up to an average of around $4,300 (according to Genworth). The base fee of assisted living covers the following:

  • Rent
  • Three meals a day and snacks
  • Utilities
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Programming and activities
  • Care coordination
  • Transportation


Despite estimates, be aware that assisted living costs are variable due to various factors and services required by each resident, accompanied by a “move-in” fee between $2,000 and $5,000. The state-by-state table below will give you a better idea of how much monthly assisted living costs are in your state and other states across the United States.

StateMonthly Assisted Living Cost
New Hampshire$6,053
New Jersey$6,495
New Mexico$4,498
New York$4,580
North Carolina$4,010
North Dakota$3,391
Rhode Island$6,826
South Carolina$3,612
South Dakota$3,350
West Virginia$4,160


Assisted Living Cost: Important Factors Affecting the Total Cost

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Compared to other senior living settings, seniors in assisted living tend to pay less since it doesn’t include extensive healthcare management.

However, remember that the cost widely varies based on factors like geographic location, room size, the number of occupants, level of care, services, and amenities. Depending on what your parents opt for, these factors can drive assisted living costs up or down.


Zip Code

Like other expenses, it is no surprise that the zip code significantly affects the total cost. The cost of living index significantly contributes to the nationwide cost of senior living, with seniors from metropolitan areas subject to higher prices than those from rural or outskirt areas.

So if you are from the Northeast or expensive states like California or New York, expect to pay more. For instance, while the average monthly assisted living in the Bay Area is around $6,319, Sioux Falls, South Dakota residents only have to pay approximately $2,910 per month.


Floor Plans

Along with the location, the size of the living space is another factor that affects the assisted living cost. For example, a one or two-bedroom apartment offers more comfort and convenience, but your parents might have to pay extra to live there.

Be sure to ask for details about the square footage, as each community offers different room sizes. It helps you better understand your parents’ needs and manage the budget plan and monthly costs.

Also, consider shared rooms or apartments if your parents want a roommate. A shared space is regarded as an excellent way to trim costs if your parents’ retirement savings are modest.


Quality of Services

The level of care, services, and amenities make assisted living worth every penny. Dedicated staff, nutritious meals, and well-planned social activities are a few examples of high-quality services that can add more value to a senior’s quality of life and aging journey while providing peace of mind for families.

It’s important to consider these when planning further care for your parents. With top-notch services and adequate attention, your parents can thrive and stay healthy for years to come.


Assisted Living: Advantages and Disadvantages

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Moving to a senior care community is a big commitment for your family. Therefore, weighing the positive and negative is crucial, so your parents can be fully prepared and aware of the challenges they may face.

Is assisted living right for your parents? Here’s a complete look at the advantages and disadvantages of assisted living communities:

The Advantages of Assisted Living 

  • Seniors can get professional care catered to their specific needs.
  • Seniors can have more social interactions.
  • Seniors can maintain their independence.
  • Seniors can feel rejuvenated in a new living environment.
  • Seniors can require care adapted to their changing needs.
  • Seniors can forget about mundane chores.
  • Seniors can find a living space that fits their tastes.


The Disadvantages of Assisted Living

  • Seniors might feel stressed due to changes in living conditions.
  • Seniors might be burdened with the overall costs.
  • Seniors might find it hard to maintain their privacy.
  • Seniors with chronic conditions might have inadequate medical care.
  • Seniors might be at risk of abuse or negligence.


Paying for Assisted Living: Available Financial Options

Many believe Medicare pays for senior care services, including assisted living. However, this is not the case. Unlike private-sold health insurance, Medicare doesn’t pay for assisted living.

It’s estimated that over 11 million Americans won’t be able to afford assisted living without selling their house. As assisted living costs continue to rise, it is worth exploring other financial options to avoid such financial hardships. By planning ahead, you and your parents can make informed decisions to support their future lifestyle.

  • Life Insurance: Instead of expecting death benefits, which can only be touched after the policyholders’ passing, your parents may opt for “living benefits” to financially support their assisted living costs. Based on an assessment of premiums and other relevant factors, most insurance companies will buy back the policy at 50-70% of its face value. To “cash out” the benefits early without facing a significant decrease in value, your parents can sell their policies to a third party in exchange for a life settlement.
  • Long-term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a policy designed to provide benefits for senior care and services, such as assisted living, nursing homes, memory care, and in-home care. This coverage primarily benefits seniors with chronic medical conditions, disabilities, or disorders.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a joint federal program that aims to provide greater access to medical care and services at little or no cost to individuals with limited income and resources. In most states, Medicaid can help seniors pay for some assisted living expenses.
  • Veteran Benefits: You can use the veteran’s benefits to cover residential care under specific circumstances, but obtaining these benefits can be complicated. To determine your parents’ eligibility, work with a geriatric planner to navigate the process and assess their qualifications.
  • Reverse Mortgages: A reverse mortgage can be a valuable financial tool for seniors who want to supplement their income quickly without losing their homes and other assets. However, a reverse mortgage is a significant financial decision that should be handled carefully. Be sure to work with a reputable company. A professional will help you understand the potential risks and benefits while avoiding costly mistakes.


If you have questions about how much assisted living costs or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us. 


Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

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