Assisted living communities provide housing and personal care services to individuals who are unable to live independently, yet do not require round-the-clock supervision or skilled nursing care. An assisted living community is an intermediate level of long-term care, as residents often need help with the activities of daily living. Monthly rates vary widely because of the range of services offered at these communities.
Rates Vary by Services Provided
The cost for assisted living varies by facility. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the national average was £2,140 per month for a one-bedroom apartment with a private bath. This represents a 5.2 per cent increase in monthly base rates since 2009. As residents age and spend more time in an assisted living community, they are likely to require additional services they did not need when they first entered the community.
Rates Vary by Region
The average daily cost of assisted living can vary considerably by geographic region. A 2010 Cost of Care Survey conducted by Genworth Financial shows that costs vary by state for cities and metropolitan regions across the nation. For example, the minimum monthly rate for a one-bedroom, single-occupancy unit for an assisted living facility in the St. Louis area is £1,853, whereas the minimum monthly rate in the New York region is £2,795. Depending on the number of services a resident requires, the difference between the minimum and maximum monthly rate can vary by as much as £1,950.
The base rate that assisted living facilities charge generally includes the costs of room and board, basic utilities, housekeeping services and some meals. Although the charges for additional services, such as personal care and medication management can add up quickly, the cost is still less expensive than what it would be in a nursing home. In most cases, a resident must pay 100 per cent of the cost for assisted living out-of-pocket. Medicare does not cover the cost for assisted living. In some cases, long-term health insurance plans may provide coverage for assisted living, although plans vary widely. In some states, individuals may qualify for limited assisted through Medicaid if the person is eligible to receive supplemental Social Security.
SeniorHomes.com reports that residents of assisted living communities can expect an annual increase in the base rate of about three to five per cent in the coming years. Assisted living costs vary depending on a number of different factors including the size and location of the unit, as well as the level of care a resident requires. The cost of assisted living care continues to be high for the estimated one million residents now residing in assisted living facilities across the U.S.
- MetLife Mature Market Institute: 2010 Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs
- Genworth Financial: 2010 Cost of Care Survey
- Assisted Senior Living: The Cost of Assisted Living
- SeniorHomes.com: Assisted Living Cost
- MetLife: Nursing Home and Assisted Living Rates Rise Significantly Says Survey
- Administration of Aging: National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information