HOW MUCH DOES ASSISTED LIVING COST?

In the following post, we break down the cost of assisted living communities in the D.C. area and provide resources that will help qualified applicants pay for their stay at an assisted living community.

​In the D.C. area, including surrounding counties, we’ve seen the monthly rate for assisted living be as low as $1,650 per month, which includes the costs of room, board, and care. We’ve also seen the total cost per month for assisted living exceed $20,000. How is that possible? Well, if someone lives in an assisted living community and hires her own caregiver—between the community’s monthly fee and the cost of the caregiver, the total cost of stay can exceed $20,000 per month. If no outside caregiver is hired, then $13,700 is the highest per month cost we’ve seen for an assisted living community in the D.C. metropolitan area. For your reference, generally people do not need to hire outside caregivers to assist them while staying at an assisted living community; however, there are rare cases when it makes sense for the family to do so.

In sum, the per month cost of assisted living can range from $1,650 to $13,700. Here are the four variables that drive the monthly cost for assisted living:

  1. Location – the more expensive the area of the community, the higher the monthly rate
  2. Amenities – the nicer the amenities, the higher the monthly rate
  3. Level of care – the higher level of care, the higher the monthly rate
  4. Length of stay – the shorter the length of stay, the higher the monthly rate

In this next section we break down the ways that you can pay for a stay at an assisted living community.

  1. Out-of-pocket
  2. Long-term care insurance– this is something that you pay for out of pocket in advance of needing care that will help pay for care if the criteria written within the long-term care insurance policy are met.
  3. The Veterans Administration– through grants and at select communities, the VA will pay for room, board, and care (1). At other communities the VA may only pay for the cost of care, leaving the cost of room and board up to the resident. Applicants must qualify and meet certain financial and health requirements. To apply we recommend visiting your local VA medical center or call 877-222-8381 (2).
  4. Government subsidies– Some state and county governments offer subsidies to their residents to help pay for the costs of long-term care. Here are two programs for Virginia and Maryland residents:
    1. Virginia’s Auxiliary Grant – Virginia has an Auxiliary Grant that helps low income individuals afford assisted living. To determine eligibility the family may visit hereand then call their local department of social services.
    2. County grants through Maryland – Some counties offer subsidies to participants with limited income. To locate a county that participates in the Senior Assisted Living Group Home Subsidy program, have the family contact their local Senior Information and Assistance Program Montgomery County participates in the program. Hereis a link to Montgomery County’s program. At the time of the writing of this article, Prince George’s County was not participating in the program.
  5. Medicaid Waiver – Those who qualify for long-term care may be eligible for the Medcaid Waiver Program. Through the program, Medicaid will pay for the resident’s stay at a qualifying assisted living community. Usually these communities are group homes that have opted to participate in the state program. To find out more, it would be best to consult an elder law attorney or your local department on aging.

The process to find an appropriate, suitable assisted living community can be daunting. We’re here to help. Give us a call or contact us here if you have any questions about senior living.

Sources:

  1. https://www.charhall.org/
  2. https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/pages/VA_Long_Term_Care_Services.asp

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