The issue of how to pay for care for aging parents (or for ourselves as we get older) looms large for many Americans. What happens if you or a loved one can no longer live at home?
One of the most popular options is assisted living, which can offer personalized care at the appropriate level, ranging from providing companionship and minimal assistance to full-time care for patients who have dementia or serious health problems.
California has a high cost of living. For people who live there, it’s essential to know what you can expect to pay – and what assistance is available to you.
The Average Cost of Assisted Living in California
How much should you expect to pay for assisted living in California? As you might expect, the costs vary depending on the location of the facility you choose, and the level of care required.
Statewide, the average monthly cost of assisted living in California is $4,070 per month as of 2018, which works out to $48,840 annually. For comparison’s sake, the median household income as of 2016 was $65,538.
As we mentioned, the amount you’ll pay will depend upon where you live. The most expensive area is Marin County, which includes San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Napa, where the monthly cost is between $4,870 and $6,020. The least expensive areas are inland, including places like Stockton and Modesto, and the average cost there is significantly lower, between $2,770 and $2,995 per month.
The level of care that the resident needs affects the cost, too. Traditional care will probably fall in line with the averages listed above. However, if the person in question requires Memory Care, a specialized form of assisted living for people who have Alzheimer’s disease, you can expect to pay over a thousand dollars more per month.
Of course, the facility’s amenities will impact the cost as well. Some assisted living facilities are utilitarian and provide few extras to residents, while others take a more luxurious approach. A high-end assisted living facility might charge as much as $10,000 per month or more.
Alternatives to Assisted Living
There are two paid alternatives to assisted living. One may work for you or your loved one depending upon your needs and requirements.
The first is paying for home care. The average hourly cost for home care in California is $23.75 per hour, and again, the price fluctuates based on your location.
The other alternative is something called adult day care, which provides care and companionship to seniors during the day. The average cost there is $80 per day or $2,400 per month.
While these options are both less expensive than paying for a full-time assisted living facility, they are out of reach for many families.
Resources to Help Pay for Assisted Living
While we recognize that those prices may be daunting, there are several forms of assistance available. They include:
- The In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which is part of Medi-Cal and can provide non-medical home care
- The Assisted Living Waiver Program, which covers supportive care (but not room and board) for people in assisted living
- The Multipurpose Senior Services Program Waiver, which covers adult day care and some other services for people who choose to live at home instead of in assisted living
- The Home and Community Based Alternatives Waiver, which provides medical care and related services to people who wish to live at home
These programs are not the only financial assistance available. You can find more information here.
The cost of assisted living may be high, but with a little research and diligence, you can find alternatives as well as programs to assist you.
And, of course, if you do have a loved one moving to assisted living in California, you may want to consider renting a storage space with us to keep their belongings safe. You can click here to find a location near you.