Assisted Living Costs Predicted to Rise


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The national median cost of assisted living is $4,995 per month, according to A Place for Mom’s 2024 proprietary data. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what the cost includes and why it may change. Many communities have a base fee that doesn’t include the cost of care. Instead, care services are added based on how much assistance a senior needs. Other factors affect the total monthly cost too, such as location, chosen room size, amenities, and added-on services. To help make your final decision, consider the overall value a community provides, and compare that to your senior loved one’s current cost of living.

Key Takeaways

  1. Assisted living costs vary based on many factors. Location, services, level of care, on-site amenities, and other elements play a role in assisted living pricing.
  2. Assisted living costs are predicted to rise over time. It’s important to account for inflation and the increasing costs of assisted living as you plan for the future.
  3. There are multiple payment structures for assisted living. Communities may offer tiered, all-inclusive, or a la carte pricing.
  4. Seniors can fund assisted living through public and private options. Examples include long-term care insurance, Medicaid, veterans benefits, and savings.

While you may be searching for the average cost of assisted living, it’s actually more helpful to understand the median cost. The median — meaning half the prices are higher and half are lower than that number — shows a more realistic picture of what someone can expect to spend. Assisted living average costs can be easily skewed by extremely high or low numbers. This is especially true in states that have many luxury assisted living communities, such as New York, as the average in those cases may not truly represent the middle.

Assisted living prices have risen an average of 3.51% a year since 2013. Below is the yearly median charges for assisted living and its percent increase, according to A Place for Mom’s proprietary data.[01]

Graph showing national yearly median charges for assisted living.

A Place for Mom compiled data on assisted living costs based upon information from our partner facilities. This data set shows that the national median cost of assisted living communities in 2023 was:[02]

  • $164 a day
  • $4,995 a month
  • $59,940 a year

In some high cost of living areas, assisted living costs are closer to $8,000 a month, while states with a lower cost of living offer assisted living prices closer to $3,300 a month.[02] The prices of luxury assisted living communities and budget assisted living communities can vary greatly because of the services provided at each. Additionally, assisted living costs may vary by ZIP code, city, or state.

The following table outlines the percentage of change over the last decade.[01]

It’s important to note that senior living costs are anticipated to continue to rise in response to inflation.

According to data from A Place for Mom’s partner assisted living communities, the median cost of assisted living has increased since 2013, with a higher percentage of change in the years after the COVID-19 pandemic.[01] Between 2022 and 2023, the rate of inflation was 3.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.[03] Between 2022 and 2023 the median cost of assisted living across the country rose by 7.61%.[01]

It’s unclear at this point if assisted living costs will continue to increase at a rate that’s higher than the inflation rate.

How much does an assisted living facility cost by state?

How much an assisted living facility costs is related to that state’s cost of living index. Each assisted living community has its own design, levels of care, technology, location, and activities. All of these factors affect the cost of assisted living facilities in different states.

For example, you may be wondering how much assisted living costs in a popular retirement state like Florida. The median cost of assisted living in Florida is $4,310 a month.[02]


Cost of living index

It can be quite expensive to live in some states and much cheaper to live in others. Even between cities within a state, the cost of living index can vary greatly.

A cost of living index compares what it takes to maintain a certain standard of living in a given location. Cost of living is not only housing costs but also electricity, gas, water, taxes, food, and any expense related to living and thriving in that location.

Cost of living indexes typically center 100 as the national average, which means places with index numbers below 100 have a lower cost of living and places above 100 have a higher cost of living.

A higher cost of living index number typically indicates that you can expect to see higher assisted living costs in that state. For example, many Northeastern states have high cost of living index numbers and more expensive median assisted living costs.


Most expensive and least expensive states for assisted living

Similar to the cost of living index, the median cost of assisted living is typically higher in the Northeast, Hawaii, and Alaska. Likewise, median assisted living costs by state are typically lower in the Midwest and the South.

According to A Place for Mom’s proprietary data, these five states had the least expensive assisted living median cost per month in 2023:[02]

  1. Wyoming
  2. Alabama
  3. Mississippi
  4. Louisiana
  5. Georgia

These are the five states that had the most expensive median cost of assisted living per month in 2023:[02]

  1. New Jersey
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Delaware
  5. Vermont

Although not a state, Washington, D.C., has a more expensive median cost of assisted living per month than any of the states listed above.

If you’re wondering how much assisted living costs per month across the U.S., read through the table below. It outlines the median monthly and yearly base fee of a private, one-bedroom apartment in assisted living and notes the cost of living index by state.[04,05]

Depending on the pricing model of the assisted living providers surveyed, the above figures may reflect base fees that don’t include extra services like assistance with activities of daily living, medication management, and more.

How much does assisted living cost for a couple?

Some assisted living communities add an additional fee to the bill for couples living in the same assisted living apartment. This is typically referred to as a “second person fee,” and the national median cost is $1,095 per month.[04]

Broadly speaking, it’s challenging to calculate the cost of assisted living for many couples because of the following factors:

  • Different care needs between the partners
  • Different health issues
  • Different levels of supervision required by each partner

If you’re planning to live in assisted living as a couple, it’s a good idea to ask prospective communities how they approach fees for couples and if they offer any sort of couple discount.

What’s the value of assisted living?

Many families are surprised by how much assisted living costs. This is largely because many families don’t consider the whole value that they get for assisted living when comparing that cost to current expenses.

We’ve developed a senior living cost calculator to help families accurately compare their loved one’s current expenses to the cost of assisted living. It helps to consider which expenses your loved one pays for individually at home that would be in their monthly assisted living bill. These items often include:

  • Groceries
  • Utilities
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Home repairs and maintenance
  • Transportation

What are the “hidden” costs of assisted living?

Depending on a community’s pricing model, you may come across some fees that you didn’t expect. These surprises can be upsetting to some families, which is why they’re sometimes referred to as “hidden” fees.

Typically, the base fee and other upfront costs of assisted living include the following:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Three meals a day and snacks
  • Weekly housekeeping and groundskeeping
  • Programming and activities
  • Care coordination
  • Transportation to and from doctor appointments

While these known costs cover a lot, there are a few other potential costs to be aware of.

Community fees

Most communities have a one-time entrance fee, sometimes called a “community” or “move-in” fee. The national median community fee is $2,500.[04]


Additional service fees

Residents usually pay more for additional services. Many communities may provide an assisted living cost breakdown to prospective residents, with a variety of add-on expenses for assisted living.

Here are the national median costs of common add-on fees include.[04]

  • Monthly medication fee: $500
  • Monthly parking fee: $60
  • Monthly pet fee: $300

Other add-ons can also affect the monthly cost but will vary based on each senior’s needs and lifestyle. These add-ons may include:

  • Physical or occupational therapy services
  • Beauty shop services or other special services
  • Clothing purchases
  • Internet
  • Laundry
  • Medical fees and insurance
  • Some transportation

Help with activities of daily living (ADLs) may also be an additional charge listed on the bill. This depends on how the community charges for this type of assistance, which is covered in detail in the next section.

What are the typical pricing models in assisted living?

Assisted living communities typically operate under one of the following cost structures. These determine how you or your loved one pays for care, and they may influence how much you pay.


A la carte pricing

This structure allows residents to add or remove services as their needs change, which provides flexibility for future needs. However, pricing a prospective community is more complex, as month-to-month assisted living costs may change over time.

For example, let’s say your loved one typically needs help with bathing and dressing. If they need extra assistance with mobility or toileting due to an illness or another reason, you’ll see a higher bill during that time.


All-inclusive pricing

This pricing structure includes everything from rent, care services, meals, and all other services and amenities available to residents of a community. This means costs won’t change if a senior develops greater needs — as long as the community offers the care level needed, like nursing or memory care.


Tiered pricing

A community may offer different care levels at different price points. Prices typically rise with an increase in services. This type of pricing offers predictable costs and offers a resident options to upgrade to a higher level of care in the future without moving.

Many times, tiers coordinate with the number of ADLs a senior needs help with or how many caregivers are needed to provide this assistance. The number of tiers available depends on the community, but it’s common to see anywhere between three and five tier options.

Across A Place for Mom’s partner communities, the nationwide median prices for care tiers are:[01]

  • $550 per month for a low level of care
  • $1,300 per month for a medium level of care
  • $2,343 per month for a high level of care

How much does the average resident spend on assisted living?

In total, assisted living residents will spend $109,890 during their entire time in assisted living. This is based off the current median monthly cost of assisted living, $4,995, multiplied by the median stay at an assisted living community, which is 22 months, according to the American Health Care Association.[06]

How do assisted living costs compare to other options?

For some seniors, it may make sense to compare the costs of assisted living versus nursing home care. The chart below compares the median costs of different senior care types nationally, as collected from A Place for Mom’s (APFM) proprietary data[01] and Genworth’s 2023 data.[07]

Expect costs to rise incrementally in the coming years due to inflation and the increased demand for senior living as baby boomers reach retirement age by the end of the decade.

Home care can also be a good option to make sure your loved one has the support they need while you consider your care options. The national median cost of home care is $30 per hour.[02] Depending on your loved one’s care needs, you can request a part-time or full-time caregiver.

Living at home or with family may be another viable option for seniors. However, all the individualized variables make it difficult to determine the median cost of personal living arrangements.


How many people use nonresidential care types?

Adult day services centers may be an option for seniors who remain at home. As of 2023, 4,130 centers in the U.S. provided care to more than 237,400 participants on any given day of that year.[08] The national median cost of adult day services is $17 per hour. Additionally, your loved one may have a day services medication fee, which has a national median average of $300 per month.[04]

People may also use home health care agencies to prolong their time living at home, as well. Throughout 2020, 3 million people received care from home health care agencies.[09]


How many people use residential care types?

Seniors who choose a senior living option may start with assisted living. More than 818,000 people reside in assisted living communities, and approximately 60% of assisted living residents will eventually move out of their assisted living community and into a skilled nursing facility.[06]

In 2020, 1.3 million residents lived in nursing homes in the United States.[10] Long-term residents live in the nursing home for an average of 2.3 years.[11]

It can be challenging to determine how many people live in memory care, because “memory care” may refer to stand-alone communities or a type of service offered in units within assisted living communities. People with dementia may also reside in nursing homes because of their unique health situations.

Remember that assisted living costs will depend on every resident’s unique situation, so being as prepared and informed as possible can help your family avoid surprising costs and sticker shock.

To learn more about an assisted living community’s pricing, consider asking the following 10 questions:

  1. How much does assisted living cost per month?
  2. Is this community all-inclusive?
  3. If the community isn’t all-inclusive, what’s included in the base cost?
  4. Are there a la carte options to add to the base cost? How much do each of these options cost?
  5. Are there pricing tiers for levels of care?
  6. Is there a move-in fee or community fee? How much is it, and can we pay it over time?
  7. Does the price increase annually?
  8. How much does pricing vary by floor plan?
  9. What happens if my senior loved one’s care needs change and we need to move them to a community with a higher level of care?
  10. What happens if our family can no longer pay?

What payment options exist for assisted living?

Figuring out how to pay for long-term care may feel overwhelming, but there may be multiple options available to your loved one. Some pathways to pay for assisted living include the following:

  • Insurance.Long-term care insurance may pay for your loved one’s assisted living. However, each plan is different, so it’s best to contact the insurance provider for precise details.
  • Private payment options. Your loved one or your family may opt to pay for assisted living with money from savings or retirement accounts.
  • Public payment options. Depending on your family member’s situation, they may qualify for some assistance through public payment options such as Medicaid.
  • Real estate investments. Your loved one may be able to sell their home to pay for assisted living. If selling isn’t an option, they may be able to access funds through a reverse mortgage on their property.
  • Veterans benefits. If your loved one served in the U.S. military or is a surviving spouse of someone who served, they may be eligible for VA benefits for long-term care through programs such as the VA Aid and Attendance benefit.

How can I find assisted living options?

Navigating the transition into assisted living may feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. The specialized Senior Living Advisors at A Place for Mom offer free senior living consultations to help with your search for assisted living. These compassionate professionals can help you find local, assisted living options that may suit your loved one’s unique needs and situation, all at no cost to your family.

This article originally appeared on APlaceForMom and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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