One of the biggest challenges families face when choosing the right type of care for a senior loved one is figuring out how to pay for it. Senior care is expensive and the prices only ever seem to go up.
While prices are increasing in some areas of the country, new research just released by A Place for Mom shows that the trend isn’t entirely consistent. The 2017 National Senior Living Cost Index provides useful, detailed data on how senior costs compare in different areas around the country.
For seniors and their families, the information is a valuable resource for planning for the costs of senior care. The company’s put together an interactive map to make it easy and intuitive to zoom in and find the pricing details specific to your area.
Some Top Highlights of the National Senior Living Cost Index
The data also provides some insights into trends in senior care costs around the country. If you’re curious to learn more about senior care trends, the information provided has a lot to tell us.
Senior Care Costs Not Actually Growing That Fast
One of the big takeaways from the data is that, while many people have a perception of senior care costs rising at rates similar to health care costs, they’re actually more closely aligned to real estate costs.
From a national perspective, that’s good news. Says Charlie Severn, president of brand marketing at A Place for Mom, “Our research finds that Assisted Living and Memory Care costs for consumers are growing slowly, at 2.9 and 2.3 percent per year respectively in 2016. That amounts to about $110 per month in both cases.”
That rate puts the growth of senior care costs behind health care and real estate’s increases, and about on par with the growth in rental costs.
Senior Care Costs Vary Throughout The Country
While the general trend is toward slow growth, in some areas of the country the costs of senior care are rising faster. Western states had the highest rate of growth, at 3.7%, while the south had the lowest at 2.3%. Where you live will play a big factor in how much you can expect to pay for senior care.
Costs Vary for Different Types of Senior Care
Unsurprisingly, the growth rate in senior care costs also varies based on the type of senior care you consider. While independent living is generally less expensive than assisted living and nursing home care, the average cost of independent living is growing at a faster rate than it is for the senior living options that also offer health care services.
Your Home’s Value is Growing Faster Than Senior Care Costs
In some good news for seniors who own homes, in many areas of the country real estate prices are growing at about twice the rate of senior care costs. If you’ve considered using your home to help pay for senior care, then the current trends bode well for your ability to do so.
Popular Places to Live Cost More for Senior Living
As you’d expect, some of the most expensive places for senior living are the cities growing the fastest in general. Popular areas like Seattle, Sacramento and San Diego that have rising real estate and rental prices all around also have rising costs for senior living. If you’re looking to save money on your senior living costs, moving away from these hot spots can make a big difference in what you pay.
Find Senior Care Costs In Your Area
To get a more specific picture of how the costs and trends in your area look, check out A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Cost Planner. The tool will help you hone in on the more specific information that’s most valuable to your family,
To learn more about the specific senior living options available in your area, a simple Senior Advisor search will reveal a list of assisted living, nursing home, and in-home care options nearby, along with details of each and reviews from people with direct experience at each facility.
Navigating the senior care market can be complicated, but these tools from A Place for Mom and Senior Advisor can make things a little easier for you and your family.