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Understanding the Cost of Long-Term Care

Are you looking for a simpler, maintenance-free and more active lifestyle? Has shopping and preparing healthy meals become a challenge? Or has your loved one been diagnosed with dementia and needs more assistance?  

Whether you’re looking for opportunities to make new friends or need a helping hand to create your highest quality of life, the good news is that you have options. 

Two common options are to remain at home or to move into a senior living community. 

If you choose the latter, you’ll want to select the type of community that provides the services you’re looking for, including: 

Independent living: a community designed for active older adults who desire easy access to activities, amenities and opportunities to make new friends and socially interact. 

Assisted living: these communities typically provide private residences, activities, dining, scheduled transportation and staff to assist with daily tasks. 

Memory care: a secured community that offers safety, specialized attention and a trained staff to care for those living with Alzheimer’s or another forms of dementia.  

The cost of long-term care at home vs. senior living 

Since the cost of long-term care can vary widely (depending on the level of attention needed and even the geographic location,) it is always best to talk directly with local providers to get an accurate quote for the price and fees.   

But for planning purposes, it’s helpful to understand what is included with each choice so you’re accurately comparing the same features. For example, the amount charged for a senior living community will include not only the residence but several services and amenities that would need to be separately contracted if staying at home. 

The following attributes are essential for a high quality of life, so you’ll not only want to create an estimate of costs but also make sure your choice is based on where you’ll receive the best support to live and age well.  

1. Cost of long-term care: Your residence 

Included in a community’s fee is a private residence that can be personalized to make your own home. 

If remaining in your home, even if there is no mortgage, you’ll want to include expenses such as insurance, utilities, maintenance, housekeeping, in-home help, and taxes. 

2. Cost of long-term care: Assistance and support services 

If you choose an assisted living or memory care community, included in the cost is the services of 24/7 assistance with daily tasks. 

If remaining in your home, you’ll want to calculate the rates for outside services, including the number of hours required and how you’ll fill in the gaps when alone. 

3. Cost of long-term care: Activities and social events 

Senior living communities include a monthly calendar of activities as well as entertainment, outside trips, shopping, and social events. 

If remaining at home, you’ll want to plan for different activities and include any fees and transportation costs needed so you can remain engaged. 

4. Cost of long-term care: Healthy dining 

Eating right can greatly influence overall health. Senior living communities provide delicious and nutritious menu choices. 

If remaining at home, you’ll need to include the cost of food and whether any help in shopping, preparation or with eating will be needed. 

5. Cost of long-term care: Physical and cognitive fitness 

Having easy access to a fitness center or classes can make a big difference in reaching your wellness goals. You’ll also gain the benefit of interacting with others. 

Calculate the cost of gym fees or exercise classes, as well as transportation if needed if you remain at home, ensuring the fitness options are appropriate for older adults. 

6. Cost of long-term care: Making new friendships  

Senior living communities are excellent in making it easy to meet others with their many activities, events and meet-ups in the common areas. 

If you remain at home, you’ll want to prioritize options to meet others and make new friendships. Becoming socially isolated can be a huge detriment to health. 

7. Cost of long-term care: Transportation 

If no longer driving, it’s no problem in a senior living community as they offer scheduled transportation to appointments, entertainment and shopping. 

Remaining at home and no longer driving? Include transportation alternatives and their costs, including mass transportation, ride sharing or contracting with a home care worker to provide these services.  

8. Cost of long-term care: Safety and security features 

Communities provide personnel, alarms and personal alert systems as well as the reassurance that help is always available when needed. 

If remaining at home, you may need a renovation to make it safer or more age accessible. These costs, along with any security systems or safety features will need to be added in. 

Life at a Milestone Community 

If you’re looking at options for retirement living, we invite your family to visit one of our Milestone communities – designed to support your loved ones to live their highest quality of life. 

We offer studio and one-bedroom private apartments for our assisted living residents as well as private or shared memory care suites for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

Our memory care residents are cared for by our compassionate and specially trained team – who meet them wherever they are in their journey with patience and kindness. The residents also have access to customized activities, programs and an elevated secured courtyard. 

Our amenities and services encourage our residents in assisted living to engage with others, remain as independent as possible and be reassured that help is available whenever needed. 

In addition to our personalized services, we offer: 

If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will visit one of our communities. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Please contact us with any questions you may have or to arrange a personal tour.