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What is the average cost of Assisted Living Communities?
This is the #1 question that is asked when a family contacts us for help. Although we do our best to include what’s on their wish list when we conduct a search, the fact of the matter is, we have to consider the budget. Not only do you want to think about current income, but you also want to factor in whether or not you will be able to afford an assisted living community for the next two or more years.
Assisted Living Costs vary by State. Just as the cost of real estate varies by geographic area, assisted living costs also vary nationwide. There are also different types of Assisted Living communities and depending on the type of care your loved one needs, they may be more appropriate for a specific environment.
The average cost of Assisted Living in Central Florida is approx. $3500 without care BUT that doesn’t mean that you won’t find anything for a lesser amount and depending on amenities and level of care, don’t be surprised if you will end up paying much more. What is not commonly known is that the average monthly rate of $3500 includes the room (studio 1 or 2 bedrooms), utilities, typically cable and wifi, three meals a day, engaging activities, transportation, housekeeping, and laundry services. Care costs are separate, often called level of care.
What is Level of care?
Most communities charge an additional fee for care on top of the room and board fee. By law the senior living community will have to conduct an assessment to ensure your loved one qualifies for assisted living. In order to know where your loved one falls in, the senior living community will have to conduct an assessment. You are not obligated to sign up with their community if you choose to have your loved one assessed by a nurse.
Some communities charge A La Carte fees. Meaning they only charge for what your loved one needs. Please understand that there may not be a cap on the fees accumulated if paying A La Carte. In the event your loved one declines and needs extra care, the community will charge for every little item they did to care for your loved one.
Some communities bundle care packages depending on the level of care your loved one needs. This is good because you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for. Other facilities are all-inclusive of care meaning, the care rate is included in the rate quoted.
Although Assisted Living communities are all licensed by the State, there are different types with slightly different average costs as well.
Types of Assisted Living Communities and Average Costs:
Residential Assisted Living Facilities: Privately owned residential homes converted and licensed as an assisted living facility through the state (AHCA) typically are anywhere from 3-12 residents. Normally you’ll find the average number of residents to be around 6:1 ratio to the caregiver. The benefit of a residential assisted living facility is the rate is typically lower and care costs are included in the monthly rate. Shared rooms typically start at $2500 per month and private rooms are around $3500 per month.
Depending on the home and location of the home, sometimes the rates are higher or can be a bit lower per month. The benefit to the resident who chooses to reside in a residential assisted living home versus a large facility is the home is a family-like environment, they receive home-cooked meals, and there is a smaller amount of people to socialize with. Residents also feel as if they are “home” versus a large institutional facility. Not that the large facilities are bad, they’re actually really nice for those who like to socialize. Some are furnished and others allow you to bring your own furniture.
The majority of clients that we meet think their loved ones wouldn’t want to be in someone else’s home. But in all honesty, residential homes can be a huge plus for some. The home is smaller, the residents interact like a family, and the caregiver to resident ratio is much smaller. For those who suffer from anxiety, a small environment may be a good option.
Large Assisted Living Community: These communities are either single or multi-story facilities with more than 12 residents (Typically 40+) and have restaurant-style dining with a culinary chef, salons, some have swimming pools, studios, and one to two-bedroom apartments, some offer libraries, therapy gyms, lots of scheduled activities, transportation to outings and more. Prices vary depending on apartment size. The most affordable rooms are normally shared apartments. Basically, the room can be either a private room with a shared living area and bath or literally a shared bedroom with two people in a room. Large communities also price their rooms by room size. Aside from room and board rates, they typically have levels of care in addition to the monthly rate as explained above.
Ex: Depending on all the fancy amenities and newer apartments, you’re looking at $3700+ per month for a studio-sized apartment and closer to $4000+ for a one-bedroom.
If you are okay with an older community with fewer amenities, that provides care, you can get a small apartment for around $$2500-$3000 per month. It all depends on the community, location, and what you’re looking for in a community. I always tell people to focus on care and not so much on the marble floors.
Memory Care Communities: Memory Care takes assisted living a step further as it offers mostly the same services except it is geared for those with Alzheimer’s and other related Dementia’s. The entire community is secured so residents are not able to leave without being escorted for their own safety. Oftentimes, a resident with Dementia may elope but not realize where they are going and may get lost. The average cost is closer to $4500/month and this is because care is typically included and there are more staff trained to help those with Dementia than in a regular assisted living community.
Other fees to be aware of:
- Community fee: A community fee is a one-time non-refundable industry-standard fee that costs anywhere from $500 to $3000 depending on the community. The senior living community uses this fee to secure the room, prepare the room upon move in and move out, maintenance during your stay, and any administrative work completed pre and post move-in. Sometimes communities have specials and can discount the rate
- Annual Rent Increases: Average is anywhere from 3%-6% annually for monthly rent.
- Also, unless you buy into a CCRC community which is expensive upfront, all assisted living facilities are a month-to-month contract. You are not signing a long-term lease agreement.
- There are three different license types to accommodate care for your loved one as well.
It’s important to note that there really are no hidden fees when it comes to monthly charges at assisted living communities. As we have outlined most if not all costs you will incur, you do not have to worry about surprise bills or hidden costs. When you work with senior living advisors such as ourselves, we will not only guide you every step of the way but help you find communities that will fit into your budget currently and in the long run.
Contact us for guidance! It’s what we do.