Even if you’re fortunate enough to enjoy good health, you can’t assume that circumstances will never change. According to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administration on Aging, there is a 7 in 10 chance that, after age 65, illness, injury, or simply a decline in your ability to care for yourself will necessitate the need for some level of long-term care. Assisted living is the most likely form of long-term care, and the cost of assisted living in Florida is a topic of interest for seniors and their families.
Assisted living facilities offer a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs over time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform certain everyday activities on their own.
Many older Americans eventually have trouble completing these routine, everyday tasks. Chores that once were easy — bathing, cooking, dressing or cleaning house — suddenly seem frustrating, overwhelming or impossible. That’s where assisted living facilities come in.
What is assisted living and what does it cost?
Assisted living facilities are for people who require help in their day-to-day lives, but don’t require around-the-clock supervision and medical attention. The goal of assisted living services is to help maximize independence and functioning at a time when you’re unable to be fully independent. The costs associated with assisted living can vary from state to state and city to city.
These services are most often provided in a residential setting, where the individual or couple have their own apartment. In addition to providing meals and a support staff, most communities offering assisted living also offer at least some of the following services:
- Health care management and monitoring
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Medication reminders or help with medications
- Recreational activities
Assisted living residents have as much independence as they want, secure in the knowledge that personal care and support services are available if they need them. Assisted living options may range from stand-alone residences dedicated solely to providing this service, or part of a continuing care retirement community in which many levels of care are offered.
Unlike higher levels of care such as skilled nursing care, the assisted living resident typically has a one- or two-bedroom home, complete with a kitchen, living room and private bathroom designed for the physical needs of seniors. Residents may keep their own furniture and personal belongings, and enjoy the privacy and comfort of their own home. This homelike environment appeals to both residents and their families.
What’s the cost of assisted living in Florida?
More than 800,000 Americans currently take advantage of residential assisted living. Most are age 85 or older. According to a National Center for Assisted Living report, the median cost for assisted living in the United States is about $4,000 per month or $48,000 annually.
The website payingforseniorcare.com cites the average cost of assisted living in Florida in 2019 as $3,500 per month. But the range of cost varies across the state,with an average low of $2,808 per month and an average high of $5,031 per month.
The most affordable areas of the state for assisted living are Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Sebring, and the Lakeland area. In these regions, the monthly average cost ranges from $2,808 to $3,350. The areas of Sebastian and Punta Gorda have an average monthly cost fairly consistent with the state average — between $3,400 and $3,524. The most expensive assisted living in Florida is found in and around Panama City, Jacksonville and Tallahassee, with monthly costs ranging from $4,200 to $5,031. In Ocala, the average monthly cost of assisted living is $3,275.
The Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018 has a cost calculation tool that lets you see assisted living costs by state and by metro areas broken out by hourly, daily, monthly and annual rates.
How does the cost of aging in place compare to the cost of staying at home?
When you consider the costs of owning and maintaining a home — insurance, taxes, property maintenance and improvements, utilities and groceries, landscaping — the list is long and expensive. And if you’re still making mortgage payments, you see how the costs add up. If the time arrives where you need assisted living services, you’ll have even more costs to consider.
Now factor in modifications to your home to accommodate your changing needs as you grow older. You might have to add grab bars for your bathrooms, lifts for your stairs, or other more expensive modifications and remodeling. These too can add to the price of staying in your current home. Eventually, you may need to add the cost of in-home service providers.
Assisted living … and in Ocala … assisted living at Paddock Ridge may well be a safer, more comfortable and preferable experience. Remember too that it’s better to plan before you or a loved one needs assisted living services. Give yourself time to evaluate the options and costs. The idea of leaving home or receiving in-home help can be stressful. The more you know about your options, the better choices you’ll make.