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How Much Does Senior Assisted Living Cost?

Finding good, accurate numbers on senior assisted living costs online is not easy. Very few senior living facilities provide cost data on their websites.

So, How Much Does Senior Assisted Living Cost?

Looking for a single number of how much assisted living costs, on average? Well, good news! The folks at Genworth Financial have done the research! And what they found in 2018 was that the average cost of an assisted living facility was $4,000 per month.

Senior housing executives say they have good reason why they don’t publish their prices online. Their argument is that senior housing isn’t like Amazon or Target. Since every senior’s needs are unique, they say, it would be impossible to post accurate pricing.

There is truth to that argument. However, it doesn’t explain why senior living facilities can’t at least post a base rate. Or even a range of prices that residents can expect to pay.

Especially since pricing info is the number 1 thing most people want to know about a senior living facility. Why not just give people the information they’re looking for?

Below, we’re going to attempt to provide some helpful senior living cost info. This information should help you get at least an idea of what you can expect to pay, on average, at various facilities and in different parts of the country.

Average Costs For Different Senior Living Options

Not all senior living facilities hide their cost data. One company that does offer some cost info online is Brookdale Senior Living. This company runs over 800 senior living communities in 45 states. Below are the cost ranges for the different types of senior living facilities they run.

Senior Apartments Cost

For independent living senior apartments, the cost can range from less than $1,000 to over $10,000 per month. Let’s narrow that down a bit though. Most of these senior apartments range from $2,300 to $3,500 per month. The average cost being $2,900.

Assisted Living Costs

For an assisted living apartment, the average cost for their “Basic Service Rate” is between $2,600 and  $3,800. Care fees will average around $800 per month. These fees cover the costs associated with helping seniors with activities, medication management, etc.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Facility Care Costs

For those with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, the average cost for the “Basic Monthly Service Rate” is between $3,350 and to $4,975. Care fees for dementia patients average $1,250 per month.

Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Centers

Usually stays in a Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center are covered by Medicare (and sometimes Medicaid). However, for any that are paid for out of pocket, the costs average between $6,000 and $8,500 a month.

Factors Affecting Senior Living Costs


Where the senior living facility is located plays a big role in the cost. The state with the cheapest average senior living facility cost is Missouri. The average there is $2537 a month. The most expensive place in the US to be in senior living is Washington DC – which is almost 3x higher than Missouri – at $6700. (For some reason, DC prices are well above the norm. The next most expensive state is Alaska with a monthly average cost of $5750).

You’ll also tend to pay more in larger metro areas than smaller, more rural areas.

Services Needed/Amenities Provided

As you’d expect, the more services needed/provided, the higher the costs will be. Some examples of these services include educational opportunities, exercise classes, help with daily activities (such as getting dressed, eating, and bathing), meal preparation/main dining area, emergency call systems and more.

Type of Facility/Housing

We covered this in more detail above but the type of facility makes a difference. Independent living options are going to cost less than assisted living or memory care facilities.

Type of Room

Are you looking for a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment or is 1 bedroom enough? Is the room or apartment private or semi-private? The size of the room and living arrangements are another major factor that determines senior living costs.

Low Income Senior Housing / HUD Senior Housing

The costs associated with senior living are not cheap. In fact, they’ll likely be the biggest expense a senior will have. Fortunately there are a number of affordable options out there for seniors and their families to look into.

There are low income senior apartments and condos available through the Good Samaritan Society. There are also government run housing options offered under Section 8, known as HUD senior housing. Other options include cooperative housing as well as virtual retirement communities. For those on a fixed income, it’s worth investigating these options.

Senior Living Cost Summary

We wish there was an easy, straightforward answer we could give you as far as what senior living will cost you. However, as you can see, there are a number of options out there and many factors that affect the cost.

Hopefully the numbers above have at least given you a good starting point of what to expect to pay for senior living. Once you understand what kind of housing you want/need, you can then start to reach out to senior living communities in your area to get more concrete numbers.

And also, please check back on our site as we’re always adding more articles and updating information as it becomes available.