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Cost of Senior Living Over the Years

By Heather Brown
July 10, 2015

Are you considering a loved one’s transition to an assisted care living facility and trying to plan your future costs? Or, are you already paying for an assisted care living facility and you have a hunch that you’re paying more that you did last year? Well, you’re right! These costs have gone up in recent years. How much, you wonder? That really depends on where in the country you live, and which type of facility you use.

Care services are typically cheaper in the South and the Midwest, and most expensive in the Northeast and the West. If you’re in one of those pricier locations, you probably already know it. The overall cost of living is more in these two areas, so the higher costs for assisted care living facilities is expected.

Independent living services are typically the least expensive because they provide limited services. Full-time assisted living costs more because services are expanded. The most extensive (and expensive) senior living category is memory care.

The Senior Living Price Index shows the following national average cost increases in the past several years:

Care Type 2011 to 2012 2012 to 2013 2013 to 2014
Independent Living 1.9% 3.1% 4.6%
Assisted Living 3% 3.6% 4.7%
Memory Care 3.3% 3.5% 2.9%

What factors can influence these costs? Facility amenities and services account for many of the cost discrepancies between facilities, but the overall trends rely on three main factors:

  • Some facilities change their prices each year.
  • Families and residents choose facilities with different amenities each year.
  • If more residents require additional care services, the prices for those services rise.

When deciding whether to use an assisted care living facility, you must consider the care that your loved one requires and the costs associated with that care. Online calculators can help you weigh the cost differences between maintaining a home and employing a full-time care aid or using an assisted care living facility.

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