Assisted Living Costs

Assisted Living Costs can vary widely depending on the setting & needs of each individual. It is important to not only consider the current needs but plan for future needs and costs as needs increase.  Many people initially try to keep their loved one at home, but quickly find out that in home care is the most expensive care option.  For those who require 24hr care & supervision, live in care costs for in home care, can cost as much as $18,000 per month.  Assisted Living and Residential Care Homes are more affordable care options.  Below we discuss not only the dollar costs but the emotional and physical costs as well

Assisted Living Costs in Dollars

assisted living costs up street signTypically, the base rate for independent living can range between $1,500-$3,000 per month. That includes the room/apartment, meals and weekly cleaning/laundry service. Personal care assistance and medication management are add-on costs and not included in the basic monthly fee. 

Additional nonmedical custodial services or personal care services in most facilities are offered on a A-La- Cart or tiered billing systems. This quickly raises Assisted Living Costs prices to $4,000-$6,000 per month depending on the level of care. In some cases, Assisted Livings Facilities are unable to provide the additional services, at any cost.  In this case, they may ask the resident to move to a higher level of care.

Higher levels of care include a Residential Care Home or Nursing Home.  Residential Care Homes typically range in cost from $3000 – $6000/mo. This type of facility provides a high level of custodial care and medication management included in the monthly rate. Residential care homes are a good value for seniors as their care needs increase. 


Assisted Living Costs for memory care and dementia care are the most expensive. 

Memory care units can range from 4,000 to $8,000 per month or more.  Dementia endorsed Residential Care homes, which are the equivalent of an inpatient memory care unit utilize an inclusive billing system. These facilities typically range from $3000 – $6000/mo. 

Physical & Emotional Costs

Assisted Living Costs Emotional and Physical toll on womanWhile the dollar cost is typically the focus of assisted care, we believe the physical & emotional cost for family caregivers is significantly understated.  When the care needs of a loved one start to increase the brunt of the responsibility and work often gets shifted to one family caregiver. Often this is a spouse or adult child. We are often not prepared to accommodate the increased needs and do our best to scramble and provide the extra care that is required not considering the physical and emotional toll it will take on the family caregiver.  Frequently, family caregivers do not get adequate sleep and often try to balance work and personal lives with making sure their loved one has the appropriate care. This can lead to neglecting their own needs.  This can cause added stress and affect the caregiver’s health and well-being.

Assisted Living Costs for Respite Care

Commonly people try Respite Care and pay for a home care agency or PCA agency to send a home care assistant to help.  However, this is usually a short-term fix because it is extremely expensive and does not provide the backup and relief that many expect. They are still left providing most of the care. Coordination & supervision of home care workers and transportation contribute to increasing their stress levels. For those who care for someone with cognitive impairment or dementia, there is a significant toll on the caregiver who has to deal with behaviors issues. These include repetitive thoughts, paranoia, aggression, or combativeness. 

Assisted Living Costs Value balance scaleWhat is needed is a longer-term view and plan that accounts for the increased care needs that are expected a few months down the road.  Advanced planning can significantly reduce caregiver burnout and help a senior who has chronic care needs. 

Senior care planning is a complex and there are no easy answers.  The best plans involve input from your loved one’s doctor, if they are willing and able to participate in the long-term care plan.