It’s a common myth that keeping an elder loved one in their home and bringing in healthcare options, as needed, will be cheaper and easier than transitioning to a senior living community. However, this isn’t taking into account the costs, time and efforts required to provide a safe, happy and healthy living experience for a senior.
Some folks might experience sticker shock at the monthly cost of assisted living communities, but this is because they rarely consider the high-level overview of the price of living. (And how that relates to the quality of life).
Living alone, leading a healthy life, maintaining a home—it all adds up, especially for older folks who aren’t as able as they once were. Senior living communities cover most living expenses with multiple added benefits a senior won’t get when living alone.
Breaking Down the Nickels and Dimes of Living Expenses
Yes, older individuals might often own their home and, as such, not pay a mortgage or rent. This is where a lot of people get stuck looking at the monthly price of a senior community, “We’re not paying mortgage or rent now; it can’t be cheaper or more beneficial to do so. It must be more cost-effective to stay put and bring help in.” — We hear this a lot.
But we often forget about all the other costs that go into homeownership and maintenance or even living in an apartment complex. Have you ever truly added up every single living expense over the course of a year? You might attempt to do this but forget some of those expenses that pop up. It’s not simply mortgage/rent, insurance, utilities and that’s it. You have to factor in time spent, healthcare, quick trips to the grocery store, non-regular bills and so on.
Don’t forget, as a person ages, the things they could once do as a chore on the weekend aren’t as easy. Your parent(s) won’t likely be able to mow their lawn and mulch their flower beds, meaning you may need to pay for that service.
Here are a few other home-related living expenses to consider:
- Grocery shopping, grocery delivery
- Meal preparation
- Home healthcare
- Pest control
- Security system: installation and monthly cost
- Internet, cable and other tech-related expenses (plus maintenance on those items)
- Landscaping, lawn care, and outdoor property maintenance
- Transportation costs (taxis, Ubers, shuttles, etc.)
- Regular indoor maintenance (i.e., plumbing)
- Cleaning and laundry
Trust and Security
Consider also non-monetary-related costs. When your parent or loved one is alone, what if there’s an emergency? Even with preventative measures in place, how fast can someone get there?
What about the home healthcare or other vendors you employ? Is it the same nurse or caretaker that comes weekly? Does your loved one feel comfortable with the people helping them? Does your cleaning service require staff background checks?
When you manage care for an elderly loved one, there are so many boxes to tick that can cost more than money.
Even once you coordinate everything needed, there are always situations that arise or new stressors. The weight of worry can be more detrimental to you and your loved one than any financial related costs.
Side-by-Side Comparison Home Healthcare vs. Cost of Assisted Living
The Vineyard Difference
At Vineyard Senior, we understand that families are surprised when they assess the cost of assisted living communities. However, when we ask them if they have an itemized list of every expense in the past year for their loved one (plus an understanding of how that will continue to increase as more care is needed), they do not.
There are so many factors and unknowns to consider when planning for long-term care.
We aim to simplify your life and provide the best possible experience for residents. At Vineyard:
- We offer one simple monthly fee instead of multiple bills (due at different intervals throughout the year), making budgeting a breeze.
- Your loved ones will interact with the same professional staff day in and day out. Our Tribe is expertly trained and goes through strenuous background checks.
- Our caregivers spend each day with your loved one, monitoring for any potential issue. Should they need additional care (like memory care for onset dementia), we can provide that without uprooting their life or space.
- (Depending on the community, many of our assisted living communities also have memory care).
- Your loved one can live a fulfilled life without lifting a finger for unnecessary tasks. No housekeeping, laundry, maintenance or chores are necessary. They can use our community spaces to host their family and friends without any of the hassle.
- All activities and programming are included in our monthly cost. So they can walk out their door and enjoy a multitude of exercise classes, craft projects, community events and more.
- Your loved one won’t be alone in a big house or isolated apartment building. They’ll have support via our staff and companionship with like-minded residents.
- We offer culinary experiences with on-site restaurants, cafes and dining options, available 7 am – 7 pm. Our chefs provide globally-inspired dishes with seasonal, healthy ingredients but are also willing to take requests for your favorites.
The Real Cost of Care
Think of all the perks your loved one is missing when they live alone in their home. What would it cost and take for them to have daily exercise classes, go out to eat for every meal, attend a weekly hair and nail appointment or have senior health experts just a hallway away?
Home healthcare is a viable option for many, but the fact is, there are expenses you’ll forget about or won’t understand. Staying at home takes a toll on YOU, the loved one and caregiver. It’s stressful. Most of all, it’s hard to take into account the quality of life and long-range plan, when you don’t take a step back to really consider every aspect of their lives moving forward.
At Vineyard, our staff works with families to help them through their journey. We’d love to learn about your individual situation and guide you to make the best decision for you and your loved one.