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The Hidden Costs of Assisted Living

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Assisted living costs vary by location, but it’s also important to know how senior communities structure their fees. Many caregivers are surprised to find that services like help with bathing and dressing aren’t included in the monthly rates. During my caregiving years, I was stretched thin between caring for multiple elders, raising my children, and working. I resorted to using the services of two different home care agencies to fill the gaps in my care plans when I couldn’t be there for my loved ones. In my situation, the biggest advantage of using in-home care providers was adding only the services and hours I needed while my care recipients comfortably aged in place.

This approach usually works well for a while, but many elders eventually require a more consistent and/or higher level of care that becomes increasingly expensive in a home setting. At some point, the increasing costs of keeping a senior at home exceed the price of assisted living, especially when you factor in the expenses involved in owning and maintaining a house.

While the move to an assisted living community usually involves downsizing, seniors can still retain much of the independence they felt in their own homes. If your parent is in good health and doesn’t require much assistance with everyday tasks, assisted living is a terrific option. In fact, residing in an assisted living center is similar to having a private apartment, complete with a private bathroom and kitchen, but you can rest easy knowing that trained staff is on hand to help your loved one when necessary. 

Location Affects Assisted Living Costs: All assisted living communities are not the same; services, apartment styles, and amenities vary. Depending on what part of the country you live in, what's included in assisted living...

Continue reading on Agingcare for more information about assisted living and ways to look for hidden costs:

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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