Nov 28, 2022 11:00:00 AM | 5 Min Read

Comparing the Cost of Assisted Living & Nursing Homes

Posted By Vista Springs
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Comparing the Cost of Assisted Living & Nursing Homes

Both assisted living communities and nursing homes allow residents to live safe, healthy lives. However, while these facilities have similarities, they offer different care services. Different staff members and specialists come with those services, which impacts the cost.

Below, we’ll compare the cost of assisted living with nursing homes, helping you find the best option for your needs.

What’s Assisted Living?

Assisted living is designed to help seniors who can't fully live independently. These facilities offer specialized care in a safe, long-term residential setting. Some residents in these communities may only need assistance occasionally, while others may need more hands-on care around the clock.

Also, these communities tend to have different housing types, such as shared apartments or private studios. Furthermore, while these residents don’t typically need 24/7 care, assistance is always available. Many residents only need help with simple, everyday tasks, such as cleaning around the house, taking medication, getting dressed, etc.

Who Benefits From Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities are best for those who still live an active lifestyle yet need some assistance to maintain independence. These residents may exercise daily, eat a healthy diet, and foster a great social life. However, they may need medical care occasionally or just want to live close to other like-minded people. These communities bring people together to build relationships and create healthy lifestyles. And if professional care is needed, your assisted living team is always there to help.

What’s a Nursing Home?

A nursing home, also called a skilled nursing facility, is a more detailed, hands-on approach to care. While assisted living is for those who still have some independence, skilled nursing facilities are designed for those who need extra care and attention. Residents in these facilities may have dementia, Alzheimer’s, broken bones, cancer, chronic pain, or other conditions requiring 24/7 supervision.

Also, while assisted living communities appear more like normal apartment complexes, nursing homes can look more like a typical hospital setting. However, these facilities aren’t only for those dealing with chronic conditions — patients also use nursing homes for rehabilitation.

Who Benefits from a Nursing Home?

A nursing home may be a good solution if you or your loved one has a medical condition that makes them unable to care for themselves. These facilities are for those who need around-the-clock care. These residents may need help getting in and out of bed, eating, using the restroom, taking medication, and completing other tasks.

If it’s challenging to handle the basic needs of living on your own, and assisted living doesn’t provide enough care, a skilled nursing facility can help. While many seniors can benefit from these communities, they’re best suited for those struggling with mobility, eating properly, or with chronic illnesses.

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home Costs

Let’s dive into the costs associated with each community. Overall, assisted living is much more affordable than nursing homes. The average monthly rent is nearly double at skilled nursing facilities. You can expect to pay around $7,500 a month at a nursing home, while assisted living costs around $4,000 a month on average.

Nursing homes offer 24/7 intensive care, which certainly drives up the price. However, these prices fluctuate quite a bit for skilled nursing and assisted living. If a resident in an assisted living community needs a high level of care, this can increase the monthly costs. The same is true at nursing homes. If a resident is more independent and doesn’t require frequent supervision or extensive medical care, this can lower the monthly rent.

What Impacts These Costs?

Several aspects impact the costs associated with assisted living communities and nursing homes. First and foremost, the level of care needed and the services offered are the leading factors that drive the price. However, location can also play a role. For example, a nursing home in New York City will cost more than a nursing home in rural Texas. The costs of these communities cover rent, dining, laundry, basic medical supervision, care needs, and medication.

Does Insurance cover Anything?

Insurance covers some skilled nursing costs, but there are limitations. Medicare can cover some expenses if you’re in a nursing home to recover from surgery, injury, or another curable health condition. However, you may have to pay some costs if your stay lasts longer than 20 days.

Unfortunately, Medicare typically doesn’t cover assisted living, but this varies from state to state. Be sure to contact a Medicare representative to check on their specific coverages in your region.

Long-term care insurance can help cover the costs of skilled nursing and assisted living, depending on your plan. Learn more about long-term care insurance.

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Topics: Care Services, All About Assisted Living, Costs & Budgeting Tips

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