February 23, 2015
Aging in Place can provide a much more affordable alternative to the high cost of independent living facilities, assisted living facilities and community care retirement centers. Our blog post this week explores how staying put in your own home will more likely save you money.
Independent living facilities is a general term for housing arrangements for seniors who do not need assistance with daily activities. These facilities come in the form of retirement communities, retirement homes, senior housing and senior apartments. Most of these facilities provide common areas for meals and socializing. Some independent living facilities also have medical and personal care services. However, you still remain independent, having your own housing and receiving less care than you would find at an assisted living facility. Services available at independent living facilities include laundry, meals, transportation and some social activities.
Assisted living facilities are long-term facilities for elderly or disabled people who are able to get around on their own but need help with some daily activities, such as medication assistance/management, bathing, dressing and transportation. Traditional options for assisted living facilities include:
Community care retirement centers (CCRCs) typically have three or four levels of care: independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. These organizations offer you assistance as you need it. Perhaps you are healthy and do not need any support. Down the road, though, you might require a nurse. Community care retirement centers accommodate your needs as they change. Many even offer hospice care and end-of-life services. This housing allows seniors to remain at one residential location regardless of their health. CCRCs require you to pay an entrance fee. But beware, if a CCRC goes bankrupt, residents can lose part or all of their entrance fee. According to AARP, there are three types of contracts for CCRCs:
The above mentioned most commonly available types of senior communities, however, might not be cost-effective. Whatever your rent is, your costs can quickly pile up, leaving you with a hefty bill:
The cost of staying put in your current home, of course, depends on the condition of your home and your needs. Certain modifications may be necessary. In the long run, though, these purchases could save you money and keep you comfortable in your home. By not entering a senior care facility, you will hold on to thousands of dollars each year. Marty Bell, Executive Director of the National Aging in Place Council, estimates that annual cost for Aging in Place is $23,000.5 In a four-year analysis, the total costs for Aging in Place were thousands of dollars less than institutional care options.6 If you carefully invest in Aging in Place home improvements, you can come out ahead in the long run with Aging in Place, and also have the great joy of staying in your home as long as possible.
There are many hypothetical premises, of course, behind the above calculations. For example:
The above costs are the national averages for a single person. These numbers may be higher depending on your state. Costs for a couple will be 25 to 50% higher.
Certain grants and programs can also make Aging in Place more affordable:
Many of these grants have eligibility requirements. If your assets ans annual income exceeds a certain level, then you may not be able to qualify for these grants.
Having financial security is a great benefit of Aging in Place. We hope that this blog post has clarified the often confusing question of how it compares to various senior living communities. Check back in at Staying Put at Home to see the rest of our series on Aging in Place:
This post is a mirror for the official Staying Put at Home Blog. Staying Put at Home provides information for educational purposes only. The advice offered on this site is not a substitute for consultation with a licensed medical professional. Should you have any questions about the information provided by this site, please refer to your primary care physician. Bliss Walk-in Tubs is not legally responsible for the use or misuse of any information presented through Staying Put at Home. Though we link only to reputable safety and health sources, Bliss Walk-in Tubs is also not liable for the recommendations given by our linked sources.