As your parents or grandparents reach retirement age, you want to ensure they make the most of their golden years safely, happily, and healthily. One of the best ways to achieve this is to transfer your senior loved ones to an assisted living residence when the time is right. Once your parent has reached the age where physical and medical challenges become a part of your daily routine, this will be a welcomed change for both of you. I know that there was a point in time when caring for grandmother became a heavy burden for my mom and I was thankful when we found a good senior living residential home to make things better for both of them. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help save on assisted living costs.
Benefits Of Assisted Living
There are numerous benefits of moving your elderly loved ones to an assisted living facility. The advantage assisted living provides may include:
- Opportunity to live in a safe and peaceful community
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Best place to make new friends and be socially active
- Promote an active routine and healthy lifestyle
- Better medication management and monitoring
- Relieve the responsibility of cleaning or maintaining a house
- Physical help with things like getting out of bed and going to the bathroom
- Special care for dementia needs
But even with these benefits, assisted living can be expensive. How much does assisted living cost? Well, according to the AARP, “The median cost of an assisted living facility was $4,500 a month in 2021”. But before you give up on moving your senior loved ones, there are several ways to help you save on assisted living costs without compromising the life and health of your senior loved ones.
How To Reduce The Assisted Living Cost
Read on and learn how to save money on assisted living expenses for your senior loved one’s long-term care.
Long-Term Care Insurance
See if your loved one has long-term care insurance and check out the specifics of what is covered. If they don’t have it, explore the advantages and costs of various plans to determine if it is helpful.
Inquire About Prices and Specials
Before you finalize your choice of assisted living facility, it’s wise to check different assisted living residences and inquire about their prices and special offers. Some assisted living apartments may be willing to offer discounts upfront or seasonal deals, especially for first-time patients.
When searching for the perfect assisted living facility, don’t forget to ask the following questions:
- Is the monthly cost negotiable?
- Do you have discounts available?
- Do you offer move-in incentives?
- Do you provide seasonal deals or specials?
Remember, the season and the location can significantly influence the price of the monthly assisted living payment. Knowing what kind of deals or incentives you can get from each facility option will help you decide which one has a more affordable monthly cost.
Choose An Senior Living Apartment Wisely
Most assisted living communities offer several choices of rooms or apartments for their patients, and these rooms may differ in size or the amenities available. For example, though a studio-type assisted living apartment may be smaller, it’s much more affordable than a large, one-bedroom apartment. So, if your senior loved one doesn’t require a huge room, you can choose a smaller apartment and reduce your assisted living expenses by at least 15 to 20%.
Consider Shared Rooms
Although a shared living situation isn’t suitable for everyone, sharing an apartment with another senior adult can help cut your expenses by 10 to 20%. Some assisted living facilities offer two-bedroom apartments for patients who prefer sharing an apartment with another person. Furthermore, letting your senior loved one share rooms with another patient will reduce your expenses and prevent loneliness which is a common problem among aging adults.
Explore Non-Urban Assisted Living Options
Although the quality and level of care provided by most assisted living communities are the same, their prices may vary due to the different real estate values and cost of living in each city or state. This means that assisted living facilities in populated cities and other urban areas are expected to be costlier than the ones in rural or non-urban areas. This is also the reason some assisted living companies build their villages or communities in rural areas.
So, consider expanding your choices and explore non-urban assisted living options. Even if that assisted living space is an hour away from the city, you can save up to 25% from the monthly payment.
Figure Out The Primary Needs Of Your Senior Loved One
Another reason some assisted living communities are more expensive than others is because of the amenities that they offer. For example, a community that offers a swimming pool and a pet-friendly environment may be much more expensive than an assisted living facility that doesn’t have both.
It’s useful to figure out the primary needs of your loved one so you’ll know which amenities you can cross out or give up when looking for an affordable assisted living community. For instance, because a non-pet-friendly assisted living community is more suitable for your budget, inform your senior loved one in advance so that they can prepare accordingly, especially if they’re pet lovers or owners.
Get A Mover
Some assisted living communities offer moving services and include them in their fees. To save money, you can opt out of their moving services and hire another mover to help your senior loved one move and transition into the new community. Also, consider selling the unwanted possessions of your senior loved one (with their permission) and using the money to cover the assisted living costs. Besides earning extra money, selling some of their stuff also means the fewer items they need to move and the cheaper the relocation process will be.
Information is power. I hope these tips help you afford an assisted living facility for your senior loved one without compromising your finances. Take your time to gather more information from each senior community. Weigh your options. The perfect assisted living residence will help care for your senior loved one so they can age happily and healthily while ensuring you and your family won’t struggle.