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Can I Afford Senior Living?

By Phil Golden, Executive Director

Isolation is a major factor in the health and wellness of seniors. Loneliness can be a silent killer, and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of providing resources for and supporting our aging population. Unfortunately, many seniors opt to stay in their homes without sufficient assistance because they believe they can’t afford any other way to live.

After more than 30 years in senior living, I’m here to tell you that there are options out there—and some are more affordable than you think!

To get an accurate idea of how much you really spend each month to stay in your home, calculate your current living expenses including mortgage or rent, plus utilities, real estate taxes, groceries, transportation, laundry/cleaning services, home maintenance, etc. You might be surprised at the result. An Independent Living or Assisted Living Community could turn out to be equally or even less expensive—but just as importantly, it would provide services and camaraderie, along with a worry-free lifestyle, that you can’t get living alone.

Most assisted living residents use some form of private pay, whether it is long term care insurance or their personal finances, to cover the cost, according to the National Center for Assisted Living. The national median monthly and annual rates for assisted living are $4,000 and $48,000, respectively, with Maryland coming in slightly higher than average, around $4,600 a month. Costs add up for seniors who need additional services such as Memory Care that carry additional fees. You should consult a tax advisor about the deductibility of assisted living fees.

But not every senior needs Assisted Living. There are many other alternatives that can be effective and affordable. People are often daunted by the large entrance fees at many communities, but there are some that don’t require such up-front payments. Springwell just opened a new, market-rate rental Independent Living building—with no large buy-in fee—last year.

Seniorliving.org provides a nice overview of other options.

So, don’t just assume that seniors housing is too expensive. The benefits of living in community are well-documented. If you’re looking into senior living for yourself or a loved one, we invite you to check out the resources above. Our web site also clearly spells out the monthly fees for Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care residences. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us today to schedule a personal visit to our beautiful communities in historic Mt. Washington!