The term senior homes can be confusing for some. There are quite a few options out there. Nursing home, assisted living, 55+ (senior) apartments and condos, then there are special mental care facilities, for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other conditions related to memory loss. So, where do you start when the time comes to choose a facility? And, how do you know you’re getting the best deal? Let’s break down some of the costs.
This is if you are the senior who likes having your liberties. You are still quite active, you possibly own a car, you can still go out and enjoy time with friends and run errands. You might, however, want to live in a community with others in your age group and connect at a social level. With these communities, you have that experience. You can
- Freely come in and leave the community as you desire
- There are community events and calendars of days to interact with other community members
- You have a gym and other on site amenities you can use
Oftentimes, these also include housekeeping, meal prep/meals, and other costs like cable and internet are built into the cost of living. On average, you’ll pay $2000 to $3500 for a single occupant in these communities.
55+ or Senior Apartments
These are similar to assisted living communities, only you’re in an apartment. You still have 24/7 care if you require it, and maintenance. There are also community events and they’re typically gated. In these communities, you can also have special care or personalized care if you require it. Similarly to assisted living, there are also events on the community calendar which you can choose to attend, which are included in the cost of living in your apartment. For most of these condo style facilities, you’ll pay $2000 to $4000 a month (+/-), based on a single occupant.
A nursing home is where you’re in the facility at all times. Every nursing home has 24/7 care, meals, and you can choose from a semi-private or a private room. This is most often what’s going to drive the cost up in living. For a semi-private room, on average, you’ll pay around $3500 to $5000. For a private room, most facilities will charge a minimum of $4000 a month. Here there are doctors, RNS, and trained staff on site to assist you, if you require medical help. Nursing homes often have events scheduled for residents, and you can roam the facility (if you are mentally competent). Some homes even offer amenities like driving service and transport, taking you to your doctor appointments, or offer assistance with other offsite tasks/errands you have to run, for additional fees. And, you can always receive special dietary options as well as personalized care, if you require immediate medical attention around the clock while you are living in these facilities.
Factors to Increase/Decrease Costs
So, what’s with the price differences? First and foremost, the biggest factor that will determine pricing is where you live. A home or apartment in New York City is more expensive than one in the middle of Iowa. Location matters. Additionally,
- The number of occupants
- If you’re in a semi or private room (nursing homes)
- Amenities offered
- Dietary needs/food
- The type of facility you choose to live in
- Whether or not you require assisted care and medical attention at all times while you are living in the facility or home
Additionally, if you pay the full price up front (this is often with nursing homes) they will offer a discounted rate as opposed to paying it on a monthly basis for your living expenses. So, if you can afford to do this, you can save on the cost of living in these facilities as well.
It’s similar to at home care, it’s expensive, but once you can’t take care of yourself, what other option do you have if you don’t have family members to live with you? If you’re at this point, or starting to consider which retirement community you will want to live in, these are a few of the primary drivers which will affect how much you’re going to pay each month to live in them.
Things to consider when looking for Senior Homes
Living in the right senior homes can provide senior citizens with a sense of purpose and belonging. As a senior, you may have adult children who have already moved out of your home. As a result, your home may be empty most of the time.
You may have a hard time when trying to keep up with various maintenance work, such as landscaping as you get older. If that happens, you should consider moving into a senior home.
Senior residents do not need to worry about maintenance work when they move into a senior home. Senior living facilities offer such services. Also, you will only be required to pay a monthly fee to cover all your expenses.
The fee will cover expenses such as cable and internet access, transportation to different amenities, and entertainment while in the senior home. Another benefit of moving into a senior home is that you will have an opportunity to make new friends with similar interests.
Living in senior homes is more affordable than what most people think. Determining when you should move to a senior home is not an easy decision. Therefore, consider consulting a senior housing advisor.
Considerations when moving into a Senior Home.
A senior home should offer adequate security for the residents. You should consider several factors when evaluating the safety of a facility. For example, make sure that a senior home is in a friendly neighborhood.
Secondly, the facility should have an alarm system to detect intruders. The number of workers is also an essential element of security in a senior home. A facility with more workers who are accessible at any time of the day and night is likely to be safer.
A senior home should have various security measures that residents can take when there is an emergency. Check whether the bathrooms in a facility have grab bars. The bars help to prevent falling when the seniors are taking a bath.
Some emergencies require the evacuation of the residents in a senior home. Therefore, ensure that the senior home you are about to choose has put in place measures to protect the residents during an evacuation.
The Staff and Management Team.
The environment in a senior home is vital. The attitude and openness of the staff in a facility as they serve the residents is important. First, there should be a welcoming environment when you are moving into a senior home.
Also, evaluate whether there is a friendly relationship between the employees in a home and the residents. The staff should be warm and friendly to the seniors. The management team should be willing to meet residents and listen to their requests.
Food and Nutrition.
Food offering in a senior home is crucial as it will affect the health of the residents. There should be a wide variety of foods for seniors to choose from. Some homes hire an in-house nutritionist to recommend the best meals for each resident. The dining times should be flexible for seniors.
The special dietary requirements vary from one senior home to another. Therefore, if you have special dietary needs, inquire about the special nutritional requirements are met in the facility you are about to choose.
Hygiene and Maintenance.
The cleanliness in a senior home is crucial and will improve the quality of life for residents. Tour the facility and observe the cleanliness. The compound in a facility should be well-maintained and odorless. Check whether the grounds are well kept.
Activities for Residents.
Keeping the seniors active helps to keep them happy. Request a representative of a facility to provide a schedule of all activities that are offered for residents. Some homes hire a director for activities. Ensure that the senior home you are about to choose has activity offerings that interest you.
Finally, there are many benefits of moving into a senior home. The above consideration will help you to make an informed decision when choosing a facility.
What is a senior citizen home?
A retirement home or senior home is a multi-residence housing facility for elderly people. Usually, individuals or couples have an apartment or studio-style room and have elderly care.
What age is senior living?
The age for senior living starts at 55 years old.
How much does it cost to live in a senior home?
Typically, senior homes have upfront costs and have a monthly rate ranging from $1,500 to $6,000. This will cover certain cares and services, but could inquire extra costs depending on the need.