Compare Nursing Homes & Assisted Living

ThinkstockPhotos-488102707Its a very common question: How does the cost of a nursing home compare to an assisted living community.

Nursing Homes are required to provide intensive, 24-hour skilled nursing and related care, therefore their costs are much higher than residential-style Assisted Living. In Massachusetts those who pay privately for a Nursing Home placement spend on average $10,000 – $12,000+ per month. Once a senior’s private assets run out, a subsidized “medicaid bed” in a Nursing Home would be a lower cost than most Assisted Living communities. (Here’s a great post that covers more ways to compare nursing homes and assisted living residences.)

For seniors who need a helping hand but do not require around-the-clock skilled nursing care (they may be frail, but they are not sick), Assisted Living is a much better alternative to a Nursing Home placement, and not just because it’s a more affordable option. Assisted Living promotes independence and emphasizes wellness in a dignified community setting. Nursing homes take care of people who are sick and need round-the-clock skilled nursing care; their institutionalized settings are not conducive to encouraging independence.

For years seniors who had some daily personal care needs had nowhere else to go – nursing home placement was the feared but only option. Today, there are many options available to seniors that offer appropriate types of personalized care and a broad array of services and amenities in a place to call home that offers more cheerful surroundings, privacy, space and dignity than typically found in a nursing home, and at a lower cost.

Senior Living Residences’ Assisted Living Expense Calculator has a comprehensive list of all of
these living expenses that you should be looking at
when making this financial comparison.

Here is a breakdown of average monthly costs of the most common senior living options (in Massachusetts):

Nursing homes $10,000 – $12,000+
Home health care live in
(overnight “sleeping” or “awake” staff)
$9,000 – $17,000
(living expenses are extra)
Home health daily assistance
(6 hours a day)
 $4,140 – $5,040
(living expenses are extra)
Assisted Living communities  $3,200 – $7,500
 Assisted Living communities (memory care)   $5,500 – $9,500

We have recently written a blog post comparing assisted living costs to home health care that you may also be interested in.