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Average Cost of Senior Living

Published: Dec 30, 2022. Last Updated: Jan 8, 2023.

Perhaps you or your loved one is pondering on moving to a senior living community. As you go about the searching process, you get mixed-up thoughts about the potential cost of senior living. While many older adults want to spend the next stage of their golden years in a senior living community for the convenience and comfort it brings, there are still some people who are greatly concerned about how much senior living would stash from their bank accounts. If this is the case and you’re worried about the price tag that comes with living in an independent or an assisted living community, fret not. We have devised this guide to help you with your calculations and you might be surprised as to how affordable senior living can be compared to aging at home.

The average cost for senior living is about 1,500 to 10,000 a month but it varies based on a number of contributing factors, which we will further discuss in this article. Remember, no two senior living communities offer the same exact services and amenities, so it’s natural to discover varying price points for every community as you compare prices. The price varies a great deal depending on the geographical location, your level of care needed, your options for personal care, and the amenities that the community offers. Let’s get into the details:


Naturally, the geographical location where the senior living community is situated plays a massive role in the facility’s pricing. Where you live can drive the cost of living up or down.

Level of Care needed

This contributing factor brings us to the question: how much assistance does your loved one necessitate on a daily basis? The general picture here is, the more assistance you need, the higher the cost can probably get. Here’s a comprehensive view on the types of senior living communities which generally offer different levels of care for its residents:

Independent living community

In general, this type of community is for older adults who require little to no assistance with their ADLs (e.g bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, etc.). Seniors who reside here simply want the wholesome experience of living an active lifestyle free from the responsibilities of homeownership. Considering the variety of accommodations to choose from, ranging from private studios to one or two-bedroom apartments, this will cost you around $1,500 to $4,000 a month.

Assisted living community

In an assisted living community, the arrangement generally highlights the residents’ access to assistance provided by on-site caregivers and community staff especially in daily tasks like bathing, eating, grooming, medication management, toileting, and more. For this specific type of housing, the price usually starts at $4,000.

Skilled nursing facility

As the name itself suggests, this type of residence is designed for seniors who have chronic health conditions who necessitate close supervision and a more in-depth level of care. A skilled nursing home care costs around $7,500 to $8,500.

Memory care

This is specifically intended for seniors who have special memory care needs, particularly older adults who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. An estimated cost of $2,000 to $7,000 per month is required for a memory care facility.


There are different amenities and services offered for every senior living community, and this area is considered to be the most controllable among all the other contributing factors to the cost of senior living primarily because you have a say on what you prefer and don’t prefer in terms of luxuries and comfort.

The standard amenities and services frequently offered in a senior living facility include meals, housekeeping, laundry services, household maintenance, medication management, common dining area, physical and social activities, transportation service, and 24/7 emergency call service. Other options and preferences which may also add up to your monthly cost include the type of residence which you may either rent or buy, this often varies from a private or semi-private residence, studio-type apartment, or a single-family sized detached house. If you have a spouse moving in with you, a second resident fee will also apply. The same also goes if you have a pet to bring.

Pricing terms vary for different communities. While some offer an all-inclusive cost, some will also provide you flexibility to choose to pay for the things that you need and prefer. The key tip here is to only move within what your budget allows you.

How to Pay for Senior Living

However you may prefer to settle your finances, there are several payment options which you may choose to fund your senior living needs. The most straightforward way is to pay for the fees upfront and this is applicable to seniors who have managed to save for their retirement. In any cases that paying outright is not possible, there are some other ways to pay, which include the following:


Medicare is a government-provided financial assistance program intended to help fund hospital and medical expenses of seniors aged 65 and above, or those who are under 65 with chronic disease or are disabled. Medicare can help fund long-term care in an assisted living facility for people with chronic medical conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, sclerosis, Parkinson’s, among others.

However, if you do not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid can cover long-term care funding given that you qualify for Medicaid eligibility, which requires the applying senior to only hold less than $2000 in bank with no additional assets to use. Medicaid can provide coverage for home health care as well personal care services and even long-term stays in senior communities.

Retirement Income

Most seniors have pension payments or retirement accounts. These are some private funds they may use to pay for senior living. Whenever it may not be sufficient to sustain the cost of living in a senior living community, some combine these funds with their personal savings, or from an accumulated contribution from the senior’s family members. Either way, one should make sure that the funds available are enough to keep up with the financial demands of living in a long-term care facility.


Whether the insurance be private health or long-term care insurance, the coverage for senior living costs will depend on the policy you hold. For example, Blue Cross, Aetna, or Humana, which are all private health insurance, may cover some skilled nursing costs, but not for personal care in an assisted living facility. On the other hand, long-term care insurance is generally applicable for seniors who can no longer perform two activities of daily living (ADL). It’s important to review your loved one’s policy to know the benefits and coverage for senior living that it provides.

Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a unique type of loan for senior homeowners which lets them convert their home’s equity into cash without having to sell it. This option comes into the scene when you don’t have any other financial sources to fund your retirement and you don’t consider selling your home as well. There is a complicated process to it, though, and it can come to several downsides too. Also, there are some instances when some companies use this to exploit seniors. The key tip when considering this option is to do a check and balance everytime you make a decision.

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About the Author

JM Guiang

Writer & Researcher

Elder Guide LLC

Inspired by fresh ideas and wise words, JM Guiang, Communications degree-holder, and Elder Guide writer, finds profound joy in writing quality content and insightful articles that redefine seniors' perspective on aging with grace and confidence.