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How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

Updated on December 14, 2023 and Created on July 6, 2023
By Andre Rib

Key Takeaways

  • The average of assisted living in the US is roughly $4,000 per month or around $48,000 per year.
  • Expenses vary greatly depending on location and level of care needed.
  • Costs depend on the types of services and amenities provided.

As the aging population increases, more families are considering assisted living options for their elderly loved ones.

One of the most pressing concerns for these families is understanding the costs involved in assisted living and how to plan for them.

To make informed decisions, families need to familiarize themselves with the different components of assisted living costs and explore potential financial assistance options.

3 Factors That Impact Assisted Living Costs

1. Location

The location of the facility is one of the main factors affecting the cost of assisted living. Different states have varying costs of living, which in turn, affects the pricing of assisted living communities.

For example, facilities in urban areas tend to have higher costs due to higher real estate prices and overall cost of living. On the other hand, assisted living communities in rural areas may offer lower monthly rates.

Monthly rates for assisted living communities typically range from $3,000 to $6,000 on average, depending on the location.

2. Level of Care

The level of care required by a resident impacts the cost of assisted living. Basic care services such as meals, housekeeping, and assistance with daily activities like dressing or bathing are generally included in the base rate.

However, as a resident’s care needs increase, so does the cost of services. More specialized care, such as medication management, specialized nursing staff, or memory care, can lead to additional fees.

3. Amenities

Assisted living facilities provide amenities to make residents’ lives more comfortable and enjoyable.

These can range from basic services such as laundry and transportation to more luxurious offerings like fitness centers, spas, or gourmet dining options.

Generally, the more amenities a community provides, the higher its monthly rate.

Basic ServicesEating, bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, walking, housekeeping, laundry and transportation.
Luxury ServicesFitness centers, spas, cinema, library, pet care, concierge, and gourmet dining

When comparing assisted living communities, it is essential to consider which amenities are most important to the individual and balance that against the associated costs.

Keep in mind that amenities may have additional fees, so it’s important to inquire about which services are included in the base rate and which may require extra payments.

Seniors and their families need to start by understanding if they qualify for assisted living while also evaluating their needs and financial situation to find an appropriate assisted living community.

What You Pay For In Assisted Living

Monthly RentThe most significant factor in assisted living costs.
MealsTypically included in the monthly fee.
Personal Care ServicesIncluded in the monthly fees or at an additional cost.
Activities and Wellness ProgramsIncluded in the monthly fee.
Transportation and AssistanceIncluded in the monthly fees or at an additional cost.
Housekeeping and MaintenanceIncluded in the monthly cost.

Monthly Rent

When it comes to assisted living costs, the most significant factor is the monthly rent. It primarily depends on the apartment size and location. The national average for assisted living costs in 2021 was $4,468 per month.


Assisted living facilities typically provide meals for their residents. This cost is usually included in the monthly rent.

Dining options may vary between facilities, ranging from cafeteria-style meals to restaurant-like dining experiences.

Personal Care Services

Personal care services are essential for older adults who require help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, and eating.

Assisted living communities offer different levels of care based on each resident’s needs. These services may come at an additional cost, depending on the facility.

Activities and Wellness Programs

Assisted living communities often provide various activities and wellness programs to promote physical and mental well-being.

These programs may include group exercises, games, and social events. These activities are usually part of the monthly fee.

Transportation and Assistance

Transportation services, such as trips to doctor appointments or errands, may be available at an assisted living community.

Some facilities include transportation services in their monthly fees, while others offer them at an additional cost.

Housekeeping and Maintenance

Housekeeping and maintenance services are typically included in the monthly cost of assisted living. These services ensure a safe and clean living environment for older adults.

Assisted Living Costs Vary by State

Across the United States, assisted living costs can vary significantly. The average national cost in 2023 is projected to reach $4,774 per month.

Individuals and families must research and compare costs in different regions, taking into consideration factors such as location within the state, care needs, and available amenities.

In Massachusetts, the average cost of assisted living is higher than the national average. According to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost is approximately $5,640, totaling around $67,680 per year.

Alabama offers more affordable assisted living costs compared to the national average. Based on data from the same Genworth survey, the average monthly cost in the state is around $3,150, which amounts to $37,800 annually.

In general, due to lower cost of living and less expensive real estate, the Midwest experiences lower assisted living costs compared to coastal regions.

For example, in Missouri, the average monthly cost is approximately $2,881, while in Ohio, it is around $4,278 according to Genworth’s survey.

Find assisted living in a state near you to learn more about the individual costs.

Costs of Assisted Living vs. Other Senior Care

Care OptionCosts vs Assisted Living
Nursing Home CareTypically more expensive than assisted living, ranges upwards of $10,000 per month.
Independent LivingTypically more affordable than assisted living or nursing home care.
Adult Day CareTypically several times more affordable than assisted living.
In-Home CareGenerally charged hourly (instead of monthly).
Memory CareTypically more expensive than traditional assisted living; costs vary based on level of care.

Nursing Home Care

Nursing homes provide around-the-clock care for seniors with significant medical needs. They offer assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), and skilled nursing care, and often have specialized memory care units.

Costs vary by location and Zip Code, with prices potentially reaching upwards of $10,000 per month.

Independent Living

Independent living communities are designed for seniors who can take care of their ADLs and still maintain their independence.

These communities typically provide apartment-style living with maintenance-free accommodations, dining services, and various social activities.

While price varies by city and amenities provided, independent living can often be a more affordable option compared to assisted living or nursing home care.

Adult Day Care

Adult daycare is an option for seniors who need assistance or supervision during daytime hours. These facilities offer social activities, meals, and limited medical support.

Costs depend on factors like location and the level of care required, but the Genworth Financial 2020 Cost of Care Study indicates that the monthly cost can be several times lower than that of assisted living residences.

In-Home Care

In-home care consists of caregivers providing assistance with ADLs, mobility support, and companionship within the senior’s home.

Costs for in-home care can vary, depending on the number of hours needed per week, and are generally charged hourly. Some seniors may choose to pay for in-home care using life insurance.

Memory Care

Memory care facilities cater specifically to seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

These communities provide a secure and supportive environment and often offer specialized programming designed to stimulate cognitive function.

In comparison to traditional assisted living residences, memory care units can be more expensive due to the specialized care and staff training required.

Pay For Assisted Living With Financial Assistance

Assisted living costs can be a significant burden for many seniors and their families. However, there are various financial assistance and payment options available that can help alleviate this burden.

In this section, we’ll explore the primary options, such as Medicaid and Medicare, long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages, life insurance, and tax and investment options.

Medicaid and Medicare

Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides assistance with medical costs for individuals with low income.

In some states, Medicaid covers assisted living expenses for those who qualify. However, coverage varies, and you should research your state’s rules about Medicaid and assisted living.

Medicare, on the other hand, is federal health insurance for anyone age 65 and older, and some people under 65 with certain disabilities or conditions.

Medicare typically does not cover assisted living expenses. It mainly focuses on providing coverage for short-term skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services.

However, if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, some of these plans may offer limited assistance for assisted living services.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is designed specifically to cover costs associated with long-term care services, including assisted living.

These policies help pay for personal care, meals, and exercise programs provided in assisted living communities.

If you have a long-term care insurance policy, it’s essential to review your coverage to understand what benefits and limitations apply to your assisted living expenses.

Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage allows seniors to access the equity in their homes while still living in them. They can use the funds obtained from a reverse mortgage to pay for assisted living expenses.

Keep in mind that reverse mortgages have specific eligibility requirements, and they may not be the best choice for everyone. Be sure to consult a financial advisor to determine if a reverse mortgage is a viable option for you.

Life Insurance

Some life insurance policies offer features, such as cash value or accelerated death benefits, that can be used to pay for assisted living.

These features allow policyholders to access a portion of their death benefits while they’re still alive to help cover long-term care costs. It’s important to review your life insurance policy to see if it includes these options.

Tax and Investment Options

There are various tax incentives and investment strategies that can help individuals pay for assisted living. For example:

  • The IRS allows deductions for qualified long-term care expenses, which may include assisted living, as long as they meet specific criteria.
  • Certain investment accounts, like a Roth IRA or annuities, can provide tax advantages when used to pay for long-term care expenses.
  • Selling or renting your home can be a source of income to cover assisted living costs.

Consult with a tax advisor or financial planner to explore these options and determine which strategies might be the most beneficial for your situation.

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