When looking for an assisted living facility for a senior loved one, one of the things you are likely to worry about most is the cost. It is even worse if you have no clear idea of how these facilities bill their clients or what is included in the costs. Read this brief discussion of the typical fees you are likely to pay to help you understand the potential cost:
The first time you are getting your loved one into a facility, you may be asked to pay for an endowment fee. This fee, which is also known by other names such as buy-in, entry, admitting, or community is not required by all facilities. However, in cases where it is required, it ranges from a few thousands of dollars to hundreds of dollars, so you should know what is charged.
Apart from knowing the amount, you should also know the refund policy. For example, what happens if your loved one stays in the facility for a few weeks and then decides that he or she doesn't like it? Is it refundable or non-refundable? Which percentage will the facility keep? Get answers to these questions.
Whether or not you pay an entry fee, you will have to pay the living fee that caters for room and board. As of 2014, the median monthly pay for a one-bedroom, single-occupancy rent ranges from $2,500 to $5,500. However, there is great variation across assisted living facilities, so you should do your homework to find a suitable one. Note that bigger apartments cost more.
Also, let the facility clarify all the costs included in the monthly charge. Typically, it includes laundry, housekeeping, and meals. It may or may not include transportation. Apart from knowing these generalities, you should also take a step further and inquire about the specifics. For example, the number of meals (are afternoon snacks included?), housekeeping duties, and such like things.
Lastly, you should also consider costs for additional or unexpected things or services that may arise. For example, what happens when your loved ones need hygiene care assistance three months into the program? What about incidental medications? In many places, the levels of care offered are divided into different levels that attract different fees. Higher levels offer many different services and attract higher additional fees. These additional fees usually start from a few hundred dollars.
Hopefully, this overview will help you to plan better for your loved one's well being. It will also help you to know what you are paying for and avoid potential future conflicts with your facility of choice.