Family Resources » Paying For Assisted Living » Ask the Right Questions About Costs

Ask the Right Questions About Costs

Ask The Right Questions About Assisted Living Costs

A well-informed consumer asks lots of questions to determine the real value and total cost of their investment. To make an educated decision when it comes to senior living, it is important to understand the terminology and expectations in order to put things into perspective. This list of questions can help you to better understand your needs, properly compare communities, and ultimately help you find the new residence that is right for you.

Ask The Right Questions About Assisted Living Costs

Ask about service plans & pricing structures

Senior communities offer a variety of services (personal care, medication management,  dining, housekeeping, etc.) which can be bundled and priced differently. Be sure to compare apples to apples. For example, some communities offer all-inclusive personal care while others charge a basic fee for a minimum amount of care and then charge for any additional assistance. With this type of pricing the actual amount of your monthly bill will vary. Read through our Financial FAQs for a detailed description of these differences. 

Ask about ancillary charges

Ask for detailed service plan/pricing information, as well as a list of available ancillary services and their fees to accurately compare costs. For example, someone on an "Independent Plan" which includes two meals daily may be able to purchase the third meal and someone on an "Assisted Care Plan" may be able to pay for some additional assistance separately. 

Ask if there is a real estate purchase

Most Assisted Living communities in New England are monthly rentals with residents signing a residency agreement/lease for one year and do not involve a real estate purchase. A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), which offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, and often a Nursing Home on one campus, typically charges a large entrance/endowment fee or involves a real estate "buy-in" purchase.

Ask about one time fees

Most Assisted Living residences charge some type of fee prior to moving into the community. Be sure to ask, is there an entrance, administrative, health assessment or community fee?

Ask about financial assistance programs

There are a variety of third-party financial options available to seniors of all income levels, as well as some financial assistance programs for moderate and lower-income seniors. Learn more about flexible financial options at Senior Living Residences' communities.

Ask about the tax deductibility of assisted living

Assisted living expenses may be claimed as an itemized medical expense and deducted from taxable income, with limitations. Be sure to talk to your accountant and read our information about Tax Deductibility.

Look into long-term care insurance

Your insurance agent or financial advisor should be able to point you in the right direction. A recent AARP survey showed that many people think they have long-term care insurance when they do not because they are confusing it with other types of coverage, such as disability insurance. Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance.

Find an Assisted Living Community near you Our Communities