I recently came across a great site at AARP.org that allows you to quickly compare costs between in-home care, assisted living and a skilled nursing facility. I often hear people say that the cost of in-home care is far less than assisted living, but that depends entirely on how many hours of care, or companionship, your loved one needs.
Typically when people do a “back of the envelope” cost comparison, they look at the monthly cost of assisted living versus the cost of 10 to 20 hours per week of in-home care. For a more accurate comparison of costs, you should really be looking at all of the costs associated with living in your existing home, plus the cost of in-home care. For instance, those costs would include monthly rent or mortgage payment, if there is one, groceries, homeowner fees, housekeeping services, yard maintenance, home repairs, a home security system if you have one, gym fees, class fees and other miscellaneous costs. Typically all of those services, and a lot more, are included in the monthly rental fee at assisted living.
In any case, the link to the AARP long-term care cost calculator is here.
If, after weighing the pros and cons, you decide that assisted living is the right choice for you and your loved one, the AARP website has a wealth of information to help you choose the facility that’s right for you.
If you are beginning your search and just need to know what’s out there, check out this link with good suggestions for how to get started.
Once you have a list of four or five places to visit, here is a checklist that you might consider printing out and taking with you to each facility. If you fill out the forms as you go, it’ll help you remember the differences between facilities and what you liked or didn’t like about each place.
With the checklist in hand, you might be able to narrow your choices by making a few phone calls. But, you don’t want to narrow your choices too quickly. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then actually visiting is worth several thousand more.
When you visit, bring a trusted friend or family member with you, if possible. It’s usually helpful to have someone to talk things over with. Along with the checklist mentioned above, write down any other questions you might have. Now is the time to ask as many questions as you can think of. First impressions are important, but so is checking back at an unscheduled time on the weekend or early evening. You want to find the facility where you think your loved one will be best able to settle in, feel safe and cared for, and engage in an active and supportive community.
At any point in your decision-making process we’d be happy to talk with you about life at Daystar Retirement Community. Our residents are the experts on why moving to Daystar is a smart move. Read their testimonials here.