I have had personal experience with this matter: Cary has several assisted living facilities and my mother lived in three of them between 2011 and 2014. Monthly costs for her care ranged from $5,000 to $8,000 with a total bill of $200,000 before she passed away in 2014.
Understand Your Options
There are numerous types of facilities across the area. Smaller facilities tend to operate as group homes. My mother ended her care at a smaller group home. These licensed facilities are often converted homes in residential neighborhoods that can give patients a more familiar experience. Medium-sized facilities generally have more residents and staff.
With the increased size you should expect some more group and social activities. Many facilities arrange for a monthly field trip or lunches at nearby restaurants. These activities can help keep the brain social and residents happier.
The largest facilities tend to combine different levels of independent living and medical care. Many 55+ communities can offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities under one company name and at one general location. This setup can provide continuous care should your medical needs progress to needing home healthcare assistants or round-the-clock care. Many of my clients enjoy having meal service and medical assistance on-site during their “slow-go” and “no-go” years.
Make a Plan
If you are still in the “go-go” years I want to encourage you to make a plan. Even a healthy retirement account can be bankrupted with annual withdrawals approaching $100,000. The risk of long-term care should not be swept under the carpet.
Hans E. Scheil, CFP, is the president of North Carolina-based Cardinal Retirement Planning, Inc. and the author of “The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement. Photos by Steven Depolo and Alan Cleaver.