*To protect privacy, names and photos are not actual.

Tara’s Story

Finding the Right Fit and the Right Values at Senior Living Residences

Last year my parents’ health issues had declined to a point where we needed to look into a more supportive living option. Dad was suffering with complications from his leukemia and Mom’s dementia was progressing. We made the decision to tour several Assisted Living communities in the area. After comparing costs, Dad was set on moving into one particular community that I was unsure about. Trying to be supportive, I went with his wishes and moved both of my parents in.

The Wrong Fit from the Start

The community’s monthly cost seemed to be lower than the competitors in the area. This is because the community billed on a “tiered pricing” or “a la’ carte” structure, meaning that my parents would initially pay a lower monthly fee but be charged above that fee for additional levels of service as they were determined necessary by the staff. I had trusted that the assessment and service care plan done before they moved in would place my parents in a level of care that would cover their complex medical needs but I soon realized that wouldn’t be the case. 

Surprise Monthly Bills

We didn’t have much say over what services the nurses were recommending. I was constantly catching new undiscussed fees on my parents’ monthly bills. When my father had completed physical therapy sessions ordered by his doctor, I had to fight to have his care plan and monthly bill reflect his reduced care needs. In fact, I was having to monitor their constantly fluctuating monthly bill line-by-line with a fine tooth comb. After fighting to receive over $4,000 in billing reimbursements, my parents and I knew it was time to leave this community behind. 

Making the Move to a Senior Living Residence

It was a breath of fresh air from the start when my parents moved into a Senior Living Residences community. The company prides itself on being transparent and I couldn’t agree more. The assessment was honest, not contrived. The community’s pricing structure was straight-forward. With their Personalized Care Package pricing structure, everything is based on the specific personal care needed by my parents. Everything detailed in my parents’ service plan was included in one easy-to-read monthly bill. There were NO surprises. If/when my parents would ever need more advanced care services like continence care or the SAMM program (Self Administered Medication Management), I understood that those services would be made available at an additional cost and I knew exactly what that cost would be.

I was always kept in the loop on their individualized care plans, and any upcoming recommended changes. You have no idea how nice it is to no longer find surprises on monthly bills.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

Assisted Living Costs

The cost of Assisted Living, which varies from community to community, is based on the type and size of the rental apartment, as well as the level of care needs and the service options chosen by the resident. In Massachusetts, Assisted Living monthly rates typically fall within the range of $3,500 to $6,500 per month.

Nursing Home Costs

In comparison, Nursing Homes in Massachusetts average $8,000 to $12,000 per month. If you need 24-hour skilled nursing care to handle a variety of complex medical issues, this is the option you need.

Home Health Care Costs

Many people also assess the cost of Home Health Care (HHC) when deciding which option to choose – staying at home with services or moving to an Assisted Living community. HHC is usually based on an hourly rate. In Massachusetts this rate ranges from $18 to $28 an hour, depending on the geographic area and the type of home health care services being contracted for. It’s important to compare apples to apples. You should look at the 24-hour staff/support that Assisted Living provides to the same level of HHC services: “live-in” caregivers who sleep at night charging 12 hours per day (in Mass. on average $7,500/month) and 24-hour awake staff coverage with 2-3 shifts of different caregivers (on average $15,500/month).

Just 8 hours a day of HHC can cost over $5,000 per month. Compare that to Assisted Living monthly fees of $3,500 to $6,500 per month which ALSO includes all housing costs (property tax, utilities, maintenance, housekeeping), groceries and meal preparation, transportation, security with 24-hour awake staff, and personal care services. We know we are biased! but we do believe that Assisted Living offers you so much more than you get living at home alone with services – an active social setting that eliminates your isolation, a variety of enriching, educational and fun programs, comprehensive wellness services to help you maintain your independence, and all the privacy you want in your own apartment home.

Having said that, if you need just a little assistance with personal care and medications and you don’t mind living at home alone, a limited amount of HHC to supplement family support may be a good financial option.

More Information

For more about available financial options that help pay for the cost of Assisted Living, please visit our Financial Options section.

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