If you’re shopping for assisted living in Indianapolis, or considering moving to an assisted living community in the area including the nine counties surrounding Marion County, the prices may be giving you a case of sticker shock. But it’s important that you look beyond the price tag. While those dollars are covering your housing, they’re also paying for all of your utilities, many services (including your care), and plenty of amenities. There’s also your quality of life to consider. Be sure to visit lots of facilities, talk to the residents and staff, and ask plenty of questions. Once you’re armed with more than just the price, then you can decide which community is the best fit for you.
What’s it cost?
According to a 2013 study, “The Cost of Long Term Care” by Genworth Financial, the median monthly cost for assisted living communities in the Indianapolis area was $3,870 per month (for a one-bedroom unit). A short survey of some of our advertisers in the area showed costs ranging from a low of $1,800 to a high of $6,000.
What do you get?
In addition to apartments available in a variety of floor plans, you’ll find that most communities’ monthly costs cover utilities, transportation, three meals a day, housekeeping, 24-hour emergency response and personal care (help with bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.). Some may also provide laundry and cable for free. Depending on the community, they may monitor all of your medications as part of the package or charge you for over a certain number.
As far as activities go, those that are onsite, such as movie nights, exercise classes and book clubs, are generally included in your monthly fee. You’ll pay a little extra for group excursions like dining in town, spending the day in Shipshewana or touring art galleries in Nashville. While many communities have salons and barbers onsite, you usually also have to pay out of pocket for their services.
What determines your cost?
Like any apartment, your monthly rent will depend on the size and floor plan of your unit and the level of the building you’re on. But with assisted living communities, your cost is also based on your level of care. Be aware that while a one-price-fits-all structure means your rent won’t increase as your health needs change, you also might pay a premium for that benefit. An extra person sharing your unit—whether a spouse or friend—will raise your rent (but you’ll be splitting it!).
Offerings such as fitness centers and in-house therapists as well as where the community is located could drive up your cost. For example, communities in areas like Carmel and Nobelsville may be a bit more expensive but may also be safer with nicer surrounding neighborhoods. Well-appointed lobbies, restaurant-like dining areas and chandeliers in the common areas also may translate to higher fees.
How do you make your choice?
When scouting out the best assisted living community for you, researching price, care and amenities strictly by phone isn’t enough. It’s important that you tour a wide selection of communities and have each give you a price based on your specific needs. Also, spend some time there so you can get a feel for the place. When deciding on your new home, your quality of life, not the cost, should be your top priority!
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