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Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

Last post 06-20-2012 10:03 AM by Gibbled371. 14 replies.
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  • 02-10-2008 10:06 PM

    Star [*] Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home



    When shopping for an assisted living community for your loved one, sticker shock is a common condition.

    A Place For Mom's Eldercare Advisors frequently hear the refrain "That's so much more expensive than just living at home." But is it true that assisted living costs more than living at home?

    "The key difference is quality of life. Not only is assisted living financially equal to living at home, it's such a dramatically different way of life," explains Pam Talon, A Place For Mom's Market Development Coach for the Northeast region.

    Most people underestimate how much money they spend on food each month, and forget about all the miscellaneous expenses that crop up, Talon says. Mentally, they simply add up rent or the mortgage and utilities, guess on how much they spend on eating, and come up with a figure that's not accurate.

    This article continues at Assisted Living Costs.

  • 04-03-2008 8:08 AM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    This is very true.  I use this logic a lot!  Thanks,

  • 04-10-2008 9:16 AM In reply to

    • Toms GT
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 04-10-2008
    • michigan
    • Posts 3

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Your info is spot on and correct. I am just a family member of a large family and for some reason the go to guy for advice on such matters. The home and living cost plus property taxes can often be off set byt the fact most private pay can be a huge deduction on your income taxes.

    How ever I have my mother who is wheel chair ridden because of a stroke. She just cannot walk on her left leg but everything else is ok. I tried home care and could not handle the people who called in sick forceing me to miss work. Now my Mom is at her second assisted living (Sunrise of Shelby Mi.) for 2 years & the place is great the manager and care givers are also great. The down side is the cost. When she entered at $4,300 per month we thought it was on the high end but you get what you pay for. Well the rate increases are huge and every 6 months you can expect a evaluation and then a rate change. $5,400 then $6,300 then $7,400 and next month they don't know how much but it is going up substancially because they have to put thickner in her coffee.


    The truma of Moving Mom at 87 is not something we want to do but we approaching $100,000.00 per year out of pocket. She has not changed or I should say very little since moving in two years ago. But a $40,000 per year increase is more than I can afford.


    From Experience you advice is very sound just watch for the bait & switch

  • 04-10-2008 10:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Quick questions - was dad a Veteran of WW2 or Korea?

    Is mom a Surviving Spouse of a Veteran, or is she a Vet?

    For you, and others who might read this article...if dad was a Veteran of WW2 or Korea, and/or mom is a surviving spouse of Veteran, there is a benefit available from the VA called the Aid & Attendance benefit.  This benefit pays income tax free money to qualified Vets/Spouses. 

    Eligibility Requirements are: 1) Vet must have served at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day served uring a time of war; 2) Assets - many variables require each case to be evaluated individually, but the VA has some guidelines as to the maximum amount you can have; 3) Financial Need - it must be demonstrated that the income is less than the caregiving expense; 4) Medical Diagnosis - a clearly stated medical reason why the Vet/Spouse needs help with the Assisted Daily Living skills.

     How much does it pay?  UP TO: $998 for a Surviving Spouse; $1,556 for a Veteran; $1,842 for a couple.  Income Tax Free.

    This explanation is OVER SIMPLIFIED.  You can go to the website to get more information on how to apply. It's called the Aid & Attendance benefit.  There are application processors who will assist in a consultation for a fee, but you need to check on the reliability and the success of getting the benefit approved for their clients. It's a long, slow process, but the benefit is worth it. 

    Hope this helps someone.

  • 04-22-2008 7:16 AM In reply to

    • Toms GT
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 04-10-2008
    • michigan
    • Posts 3

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Unfortunatly durring WWII he was in the army but did not go over sea's he was office bound here state side. I guess the part I am amzed at is from 4,500-7,500 per month in 18 months and now 24 months they want around 10,000 oer month. Her care has not increased other than she is 2 years older.

     But the amazing part is all I hear is "We are a caring family" "We want to serve" "We want to help" And then its well we are a big company and there is nothing we can do about how they charge. Frustrated.  Am I that poor ? I guess most people can afford $120,000.00 cash per year just not me. Yeah I know its tax deductible but then I would tell you I have to earn $200,000.00 B/4 taxes to pay $120,000.00[:'(]

     My only complaint it is the cost. Sunrise Shelby Michigan has a fantastic group of care givers and managers. If money is no object then I would say by all means I have seen many of them and this place is like a cruise ship on land.Wink

  • 04-28-2008 1:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Toms GT,

    The veteran did not have to serve in a war zone or overseas. The requirement is that they served "during a period of war". I strongly recommend you contact the VA at (800) 827-1000 (this number rings the VA Regional Office for the state you are in regardless of where you are) for specific information.  For help in completing the application you should really see an accredited service officer in one of the organizations recognized, and accredited, by the VA. They have a list on their web site, although it is a bit old. These service officers and organizations do not charge a fee for this service.  Although these applications can be completed by yourself it can be daunting, especially when you need to reply to requests for additional information or encounter problems.

  • 04-28-2008 9:14 PM In reply to

    • Audra
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-21-2008
    • Posts 8

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    It is amazing how things happen. I was blessed to be invited to a meeting on this very topic. I did find out qualifications do have to do with four main facts

    1. 65 and disabled

    2. serverd at least 90days active duty, with one day during war time(do not have to be in the war), with anything but dishonarable discharge.

    3 out of packet medical expenses have to be 5% above what the veterans income is

    4 soluable assets(not including houses, cars or property)

    The gentelman that led the meeting was from the veterans coalition who does the leg work and interviews to determin if the veteran is approved for this benefit. He gave me his business card and I am going to pass his contact info on:

    Glenn Osborne

    Based in Nashville TN

    615-227-5808, 1-877-814-8387(toll free)

    This is a free service and he is quoted as saying " the staff will be able to tell you with a 99.9% accuaracy if you will qualify.

    It is definitly worth your time, care is very expensive. Good Luck

  • 04-30-2008 6:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Word of Caution on these "qualfications", based on personal experience:

    Assets - the max amount of money the VA allows is $80k; a lot of applicants trip up on this factor, and some advisors (attorneys, CPA's, relatives) have given incorrect advice resulting in the applicant not qualifying for the benefit, or, having an asset enter into the ownership of the applicant, thereby, booting them out of the program when the annual EVR is performed. i.e. the Vet owns a house, then decides to "sell" the house, the proceeds then enter into their bank account - there is a good chance they'll be disqualified from the benefit.

    Also, several families we have worked with will gift the money assets to the kids; we had one family whose daughter/POA was "gifted" $60,000, as the POA; the POA was liened by the IRS, and they took the money. 

    Another case - the son was the POA, an annuity was used to reposition the money, the son had full access to the annuity; the annuity did not have an amendment preventing the son, as owner, from taking the money. The son bought a new house, a new car, and took a cruise.  The agent confronted the son, and charges of fraud and elder abuse have been filed, the son is being prosecuted as I write this.  

    How the assets are held and structured is vitally important, to protect the assets of the VET is the primary reason for proper structuring.

     One last case - a family was referred to us for the benefit; an out of state rental property was owned by dad; the advice they had been given was to simply transfer the house into a trust, and dad could still "qualify" for the benefit.  The intent was to sell the house as the costs for the dad's care increased.  We prevented the loss of the benefit, due to the proposed income from the house sale.  We saved them a lot of heartache.

     Facilities - it has been our experience that applicants have the best chance of getting the benefit with one of two conditions are present:1) they are in a Facility that provides medical assistance for at least of the Assisted Daily Living skills; 2) a Vet living at home with a paid, outside caregiving agency providing the daily medical assistance needed.

     This can be a complicated benefit to obtain, always get your information from a few different sources.  In the last 2 1/2 years our organization has successfully secured benefits for 460 Vets / Spouses / Surviving Spouses.  No brag, just fact.

     Take care, hope this helps.

  • 05-02-2008 7:48 AM In reply to

    • Toms GT
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 04-10-2008
    • michigan
    • Posts 3

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Mom is a surviving spouse of WW11 Vet.

    I have her investments well secured and sold her home and invested in her name (with me as her exec) to draw interest allong with her husband retirement income to pay for assisted car. Any extra cost (which is a lot) I pay for out of my pocket each month.

    The key is to keep the investment to make interest to pay for her car.....take it out to pay the huge increase and you defeat the purpose. At 10K per month (120K per year) it won't take long. Yes we are over the 80K limit by a bunch as well.

  • 11-13-2008 9:31 AM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    I would dispute the assertion that the costs are equivalent for a variety of reasons including:1. The majority of seniors will not have a sizable mortgage.  Is the average listed here for seniors or for all people? The citation is unclear.2. Fit seniors can perform themselves or do not require many of the services mentioned here.  Those who are frailer will pay above average in assisted living costs. Comparing to the average assisted living cost does not work in this equation.

    3. Many of these other services are provided by friends and family members at no cost.

    4. Current economy aside, homes will traditionally hold or increase in value as long as they are maintained, but the assisted living rates will increase as one poster noted, effectively decreasing the available funds to pay for care. 5. There will continue to be maintenance costs.  I'm aware of a number of assisted living facilities that if someone needs modifications to the bathroom or a change in the room lighting, these are costs that are borne at least in part by the resident.

    But even if this analysis were accurate, it misses the point.  This is a lifestyle decision.  I know people who have flourished in assisted living, primarily for the social aspect mentioned here.  I know other people who have withered and died within months because of the disruption in their life and the perception that a move like this signals the beginning of the end.  Financial ability is one element of this, but only one and a comparative cost analysis is very likely misleading.  The focus should be on the merits of assisted living--if the person does not embrace those, equivalent cost will not matter.


  • 03-25-2009 8:00 AM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    well as the matter of cost it is vary by place. Home Health Care Chicago  is the  new emmerging option s for assisted living. Of cource the cost of assisted living is high than home but the life style is also be good in assisted living home.



    Home Health Care Chicago


  • 09-02-2011 3:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

     This article is completely off the mark on the cost comparison.  In several months of reviewing several assisted living facilities, I have NEVER found any facilities that cost less than $4,000, which is mostly for rent and food with virtually no medical care demands.  Also, they said that the rates will be "adjusted" periodically (every 6 months or less) to evaluate the assets.  Since my mother owns a house, basically they were all saying that the monthly cost will be $7500 or more per month.  Right now, she can live on less than $2000 per month on her own because the house is paid for free and clear and I support her with meals and shuttle service to the doctors for no additional costs to her.  

    The assisted living is for people who can afford to spend more than $100,000 year with no other support available.  

  • 05-10-2012 2:52 AM In reply to

    • caitrin
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 11-08-2011
    • Ireland
    • Posts 36

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Exactly, for this case people figure out those expenses which are even frequent at their homes, but they forget that the living expenditures at their homes are also somewhere upto those extents only what they find in assisted living.

  • 06-10-2012 6:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    For great information on regarding in home care services as well as assisted living in a personal care home, please visit any of the links below. 

    Elder Care In Atlanta Elderly Care in Lawrencville Dunwoody Assisted Living Services Elderly Care Services in Johns Creek

  • 06-20-2012 10:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Article: Comparing Assisted Living Costs to Staying at Home

    Just a quick note on your search ... we have found numerous high quality assisted living facilities in our area (Eastern PA) that run from $1600-$3000 depending on the living arrangement.  Most that we are currently considering are in beautiful modern facilities with large rooms ... running $1900-$2100 for double occupancy rooms and $2000-$2300 for singles.  They are out there ... keep looking.

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