The number of assisted living facilities has dramatically increased in the United States over the past 25-years. These facilities provide long-term accommodation for seniors and offer a range of optional services including medication management, transportation services, meals, laundry services, exercise programs and social programs.
Assisted living is often promoted as being a very cost-effective accommodation option for seniors. Unfortunately, many seniors discover that there are some unexpected hidden costs associated with assisted living. These costs can quickly add up, leaving the senior with little money to spend on themselves or their loved ones.
This article will take a look at the hidden costs of assisted living that are often involved with senior living and explain why home care may be a better option for some people.
As many as a third of assisted living facilities have pre-admission charges. Facilities claim these fees are required to help them determine your requirements and ensure correct service provision. These fees can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of moving into an assisted living facility.
Additional Costs For Transportation
Many assisted living facilities offer a variety of transportation options for residents. That sometimes includes free bus rides to the park, a church or other locations where seniors congregate.
Unfortunately, if you require a trip where you are the only passenger you may incur an additional fee. Assisted living residents who use facility transport to attend doctor’s offices can be charged as much as $100 for the journey. That fee is on top of the many thousands that you are already paying the facility.
Additional Housekeeping Fees
Some facilities claim they provide housekeeping services in their promotional materials. However, upon entering the facility seniors discover that only includes some vacuuming and light dusting. Other tasks like cleaning windows, doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms and cleaning floors require an additional fee. In many cases, the senior cannot afford those additional fees so is forced to perform these tasks themselves.
Some facilities have additional costs associated with making telephone calls or using the Internet. In some cases, they add a surcharge on top of the cost of the call or they charge for the Internet based on how much data you use. These fees quickly add up and can restrict the ability of a senior to communicate with their loved ones.
Fees While The Resident is Away
Some facilities continue to charge fees while even while the resident is not living there. In some cases, residents have gone into hospital or gone away to visit relatives, then returned to discover they have been charged fees for cleaning and laundry services.
Fees For Individual Assistance
Some seniors have health problems which make it difficult to bath or get dressed by themselves. Often they assume that assisted living facilities provide the help they need,only to discover that additional fees are required for this service.
The fees required for these kinds of services can sometimes increase also. There have been reports of seniors being charged $250 per month for assistance getting dressed or having a bath. That fee has suddenly increased to $500 because the facility claims it has become more difficult to provide this assistance. Facilities only need to give 30-days notice before increasing fees in this way.
Emergency Assistance Fees
Most assisted living facilities charge for anything they consider to be an “emergency event”. If a senior wakes in the middle of the night with a breathing difficulty, the facility may send a caregiver or nurse and a doctor immediately. There are often fees associated with the cost of each staff member sent to assist a resident. So even if they are suffering from a minor health complaint, it can add thousands of dollars to a monthly bill. Some facilities have additional charges for injecting medications or providing a small amount of medical help to a senior.
An Alternative to Assisted Living
Instead of moving into an assisted living facility, many seniors have decided to remain in their own home and obtain home care. Home care involves highly trained professionals visiting the senior in their home and ensuring their needs are met. Seniors can remain independent while enjoying the comfortable of familiar environment of their home.
Some of the non-medical home care services provided by Caregivers include assistance preparing meals, help bathing and getting dressed, laundry services, help managing medications, domestic duties, shopping, transport and companionship. It is a great alternative to assisted living and there are no hidden costs.
We hope you found this article useful on the hidden costs of assisted living. If you have any questions about the cost of home care services, contact All Heart Home Care at 619-736-4677. We offer in-home consultations and would love to discuss the many home care services we have available.