Assisted Living Locators Offers Tips on How to Pay Less for Assisted Living

SPRINGFIELD — October is Long-Term Care Planning Month, when questions around how to afford the rising cost of assisted living and other levels of senior living come into greater focus. As Americans grapple with inflation and increased costs, Assisted Living Locators Western Massachusetts, a local senior placement and referral service, is giving tips on how to pay less for assisted living.

“Long-term-care expenses at assisted-living facilities and nursing homes are climbing as the industry copes with inflation,” said Katie Krupka, Assisted Living Locators Western Massachusetts senior care advisor. “I have seen move-in fees at assisted-living facilities jump from $5,000 to $10,000, or monthly rental fees increase by an unprecedented 10%.”

Assisted Living Locators offers these tips to choose the right community and stretch your dollar:

• Get the right amount of space. Assisted-living communities offer residents a choice of room size. Remember, your senior will be socializing in common areas and eating in large dining rooms. Reduce costs by opting for the smallest, most livable space for their personal room.

• Consider a roommate. In many senior-living communities, a shared space is more cost-effective than a single room or apartment. Sharing a room can be safer and prevent loneliness, a common problem among the elderly.

• Go small on community size. Smaller assisted-living residences tend to be less expensive than larger communities and offer the same quality of care.

• Look nearby. Sometimes the cost of assisted-living communities is driven by the cost of real estate. Look in neighborhoods where the cost of living is less expensive. Traveling an extra 30 minutes to a rural or suburban area can result in a meaningful reduction in rent and care costs.

• Time your move-in. Assisted-living communities, especially larger ones, have financial pressures the same as other businesses. They are often willing to give price breaks at the end of the month or their financial quarter.

• Get only what you need. Many assisted-living communities will offer an all-inclusive services package. Instead, review the a la carte offerings and only select those services your senior really needs.

• Have more than one option. Potential residents should always have more than one option for assisted living to increase bargaining power and likelihood of getting incentives, as well as minimizing items such as community fees. It also provides a client with a plan B should the assessment of the senior not go well.

“Paying for senior care can quickly become a financial burden to seniors and families who may not know their options,” Krupka explained. “It’s important to seek senior-living advice. I personally work with families to help save money and reduce costs of long-term care.”