Senior care can be a very daunting subject to discuss. Not only is it one that we often hesitate to bring up with our loved ones because we don’t know how to approach it, but the financial matter itself can be overwhelming too. Luckily, finances are something that can be figured out with a bit of research or by working with a professional.
As you begin your research into senior care options, it is important that you remember that costs will vary widely depending on many different factors. However, one of the most significant factors is the location (the area of the country in which the facility is located). As we compare average prices for some of the more common senior care options below, keep in mind that the prices could be quite a bit different if you are not located in the Atlanta metro area.
- Independent Living Communities – These are also known as retirement communities and designed for seniors age 55 and older. Generally, they offer apartments or cottages for seniors that do not require assistance with daily activities. These communities may or may not offer transportation, group activities and social programs. The costs will vary widely depending on how many amenities are included. Rates will likely start at around 25 percent more than a similar size apartment in the area. The national average for independent living is $2,500. In the Atlanta metro area, you can expect costs to range between $1,000 – $3,000, depending on location and amenities.
- Assisted Living Communities – Assisted living in Atlanta is a balanced solution for seniors who may need assistance with one or more tasks. Most assisted living communities offer individualized care plans, meals and snacks, activities, visiting medical professionals, and other services. According to a cost of care survey in 2014, the national average is $3,500 per month. Atlanta is known for a lower-than-average cost of living, so you can expect costs to range between $2,500 – $3,500 depending on location, care needs, and amenities. For higher care levels, Assisted Living communities can range upwards of $8,000.
- Memory Care — Memory Care facilities, often found inside assisted living facilities or as a stand alone community, are designed for seniors who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. While the national average for memory care is $5,000, in the Atlanta area the costs range from approximately $3,000 to more than $7,000 per month depending on the needs of the senior, location of the center, amenities offered and other factors.
- Residential Care Homes – A residential care home is a residential home licensed by the state for personal care. It normally has fewer residents and a higher caregiver-to-resident ratio than an assisted living facility. The specific care provided varies based on the licensed staff within each home. In general, the prices are on par or slightly under the cost of assisted living facilities with the national average being $3,000. In Atlanta,you can expect costs to range between $1,800 – $3,000 depending on location, care needs, and room size. Often times, residential care homes are a more affordable solution for families.
- Nursing Homes – Nursing homes, also know as skilled nursing facilities, are the most expensive type of senior care available. However, in many cases when skilled nursing care is required, insurance may pay some or all of the cost. A semi-private room in a nursing home will average over $6,000 per month ($72,000 per year) in the United States. Georgia comes in at slightly less averaging at $65,000 per year. A nursing home provides 24/7 skilled nursing, which is why the rate is so much higher than other facilities.
As you review prices for senior care options, remember that the numbers above are only averages. Each facility will have its own price based on location, level of care and amenities. The best way to find out what you can expect to pay is to get some quotes from actual facilities.
Senior care advisors like CareChoice can help you get quotes from local senior care facilities in the Atlanta area. CareChoice’s family advocates have experience working with local facilities and can offer insight as to which facilities would be the best fit for your needs. After all, when you are making a big decision like this, it only makes sense to have knowledge and experience on your side. Contact CareChoice for help in finding the right care solution within your specific budget by calling (404) 402-1499.