What You Get For the Money: A Comparison of Long-Term Care Costs & Amenities

RidgewoodCost of Senior Living, Elderly Care, Independent Living, Memory Care, Senior Living


The first step to begin comparing long-term care services and amenities is to decide which senior care options may fit the needs of your family.  Try to narrow your list to just two or three options based on the level of care that you or your loved one requires.  The five main options to choose from include; Independent Living, Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), Board and Care, and Skilled Nursing Homes.

If you need help understanding how these long-term care options vary,click here to read our article about Understanding Levels of Senior Care.

Independent living communities are best suited for active adults who want the convenience and activities of a built-in community without sacrificing any privacy.  Many independent living communities feature apartment-style living with separate entrances and kitchens included in each home.  This allows residents to live as independently as they choose to.

Assisted living communities may be an appropriate option for those who need some assistance but do not require 24/7 medical supervision.  Skilled nursing staff may be available, however, as well as varying levels of memory care.  Residents may live in private or semi-private suite-style rooms within a complex.

Continuing Care Retirment Communities (CCRCs) are an excellent option for seniors whose needs may vary or increase.  These types of communities offer varying levels of care options to fit the changing needs of their residents, allowing them to maintain their residence over time.  Click here to learn more about the varying levels of care offered at Dial Retirement Communities.

Board and Care homes may be an option for those who are unable to live independently, but may not require 24/7 medical supervision.  Often these homes feature semi-private rooms within a large house that provides communal dining, though this may vary.

Skilled Nursing homes are best for those with conditions or illnesses requiring full-time medical supervision.

Here’s how the cost, services and amenities break down for four of the five options we’ve listed.  Keep in mind, some services and amenities may vary from state to state.


Independent LivingAssisted LivingCCRCSkilled Nursing
Types of Care:
Daily personal carexxx
Medication monitoringxsomex
Memory & Alzheimer’s caresomesomesome
Physical, occupational, & other therapiessomesomex
Skilled nursing caresomexx
Hospice caresome
Social activitiesxxxx
Meal preparationxxxx
Yearly cost (varies widely depending on location):$24,000 – $42,000$36,00 – $80,000$20,000 to $400,000 entrance fee; $6,000 – $60,000 annually$86,000 – $100,000
Forms of payment accepted:
Private payxxxx
Medicaidfor expenses other than room & board; varies on the communityx
Medicarefor a limited time
Supplemental Security incomex x
Veterans assistancexxx
Long-term care insurancexxx



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