Weighing Costs: Your House versus a Senior Living Community

Weighing Costs: Your House Versus a Senior Living Community

What Affects the Price Tag

When you compare the cost of living at home to the cost of a senior living community, making the switch may be more affordable than you think. Here are a few factors that can influence the amount you could pay for senior living:

Location, Location, Location

The location of a senior living community will have a huge affect on how much you’ll pay as a resident. According to Paying for Senior Care, the cost of assisted living can vary up to 50 percent in the same town. That’s why it’s important to visit several communities when you’re considering senior living options, so you can see what’s available and how much it will cost.

Don’t forget to size up the square footage, as apartment or home size will influence costs, too. For example, rent or the monthly fee for a 500 square-foot studio apartment will usually be less expensive than rent for a 1,100-square foot, two-bedroom residence in the same senior living community.

Levels of Care

Cost of care may also be influenced by the level of services you or a loved may need. Residents who need more help with daily life activities usually pay more than those who need less assistance. For those who need specialized care, like people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, the costs will likely be even higher.

Prices for care vary from community to community. Some include care services in an all- inclusive rate; others offer a menu of services to choose from, and residents pay separately for these additional services. One of the advantages of an a la carte menu of services is that you only pay for what you need when you need it, and you can adjust services as your needs change over time. Many senior living communities offer an assessment to help you determine your individual needs and cost for care.


What's included in the senior living cost:

Living Expenses

Many living expenses are included in the monthly fee for senior living accommodations. When you make the switch to senior living, say goodbye to home maintenance costs, electric bills and lawn maintenance fees. Current homeowners will also do away with property tax payments, real property insurance premiums and expensive home repairs. Food is a significant part of most family budgets. At a senior living community, two or three meals a day are often included in your monthly fee, so many residents save on food costs and on the time it takes to plan and prepare meals too. 

Staff Assistance

Safety and security are important; there is no price tag on peace of mind. As neighborhoods change and people and family members move, you or a loved one may be concerned about having someone near, in case of an emergency. At a senior living community, help is near, if you need it.   


For seniors who may have to cut back on entertainment to save money in their current home, senior living can be a welcome change. With daily choices for engaging social activities, classes and outings, senior living communities offer a different quality of life for residents. As you consider your choices for senior living and compare costs, remember you have options with a selection of communities that fit different budgets and personal preferences.