How to Create a Budget for Assisted Living
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After you have narrowed your search of appropriate assisted living facilities to a few likely possibilities, you should ask for more specific costs. Here are some basic questions suggested by the National Center for Assisted Living:
What is included in the basic monthly cost? Ask for written information.
Does the residence have a written schedule of fees for extra services? If so, request a copy.
Under what circumstances might the fees change? How much notice is given for fee increases?
Is a security deposit and/or an entrance fee required? What is the refund policy?
Can service agreements and/or contracts be amended or modified?
With this information you can create a budget for monthly costs that includes
Basic services, whatever model you choose
Potential additional services, such as
Recreational field trips
Beauty shop or barber
Special diets (if available)
In coming up with a budget, be sure to consider what costs you will no longer be paying (snow removal, gardener, housekeeper) and what costs will simply be transferred to a new provider (telephone, cable television). Most meals will be provided (depending on the plan), but you may still want to eat at a restaurant occasionally.
Don't forget that costs are more likely to go up than down. This is especially true as more personal care and medical services become necessary.