If you’re new to looking at choices for assisted living or wondering what costs are covered, you’re not alone: families across the nation are looking to relocate a loved one into assisted living. Much of this has a lot to do with the large number of people that are over 65 years of age.

The baby boomer generation is aging, and more and more people require assisted living, with that number anticipated to keep climbing for many years. Current numbers by the U.S. Bureau of the Census show five percent of the older population will need some form assisted living arrangement or nursing home. By the year 2050, it’s expected the population of 65 and over will number 82.7 million. That results in well over three million people in assisted living homes.

A Hefty Price Tag

There are more than 35 assisted living facilities located in Richmond, and even more in the surrounding districts. Before you start the long process of finding the perfect home for your loved one, you need to prepare yourself for the hefty price tag that comes with assisted living. To determine what you can expect around the Richmond, Virginia area, we compiled averages by looking at government statistics and calling several random assisted living facilities.

Cost Averages for Richmond

The nationwide average for assisted living comes in at $3,750 per month. The average expense differs with each state; states that are typically less expensive to live in are also less costly when it comes to the cost of assisted living. As for Richmond, it’s a bit higher to place a loved one in an assisted living facility than the national average. The cost of Assisted Living in Richmond comes in right at $4,508 per month, which amounts to $54,090 each year.

This figure is based on a single room rate, which typically includes a small room with a bed, a small area for seating, and a private bathroom. For residents who share a double occupancy room, that cost is lower. In general, these prices include utilities, all meals, personal care, transportation, and social activities. There are extra charges for laundry service and cable TV.

For residents who need more advanced care or have more medical needs, the price goes higher. Many facilities we talked with stated residents that share a room with their spouse, could expect to have an added charge applied which can sometimes be between $1,200 and $2,100.

So What Separates the Good from the Bad?

The majority of assisted living facilities have caring, qualified workers that are there to make your loved one’s lives more comfortable. Nevertheless, there will be some facilities you might need to steer aside. Due to the high cost of assisted living, it’s essential to make sure you’re getting everything you have paid for. You want your loved one to have a level of independence still while getting the daily help they need. There are two ways to find out if a specific independent living facility is right for your loved one: ask for referrals from anyone you know who has found an assisted living facility themselves, or simply do a little research.

When you are considering a place that you don’t have any prior information about, start by taking a tour, and see how the residents look, act, and talk. Do they seem happy? Does the place look clean? Watch how the staff interacts with the residents. Are they upbeat and friendly or do they seem like they hate their job? Ask if you can sit in on one of the social activities and observe if the residents are having fun or appear to be there just for something to do. There’s a lot you can learn about a facility by just being very observant. Once you decide to move your loved one into a place, continue your observations to ensure they are getting the help they need and seem to enjoy living there.

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