The Cottages Blog

If you have started to look into assisted living as a possibility for your senior loved one, you may be wondering about cost and what you will be paying for, should you find the right assisted living community. While many independent seniors choose between home care and assisted living, the breakdown of cost and the benefits of each are different.


When you choose assisted living, you will pay one monthly fee. This fee consists of a starting rate plus any additional services that you choose to add. Home care is usually billed by the hour and type of care that you choose. The amount you pay for home care can vary depending on how much help your loved one requires.

The Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey says that the average annual cost of care for home care is about $48,000. In the state of Alabama, the average annual cost of assisted living is $36,684. Cost with home care can vary, based on how many hours a day and how many days a week are needed to assist your loved one.

Assisted Living vs. Home Care

The chart below breaks down several different cost concerns that many people have when trying to decide between home care and assisted living.

Home CareAssisted Living
Costaverage of $21.00/hour (up to $7056/month for 12 hours per day, 7 days a week)average of $3,057/month in AL
Payment Typehourly, based on type of care neededone monthly payment
Payment Flexibilitybecause paid hourly, can be changed to fewer hours and fewer days a week to cut down on costbase price does not change; additional services can be added for extra fees; only one monthly charge
Medicare and MedicaidMedicare will not cover personal home care; Medicaid coverage varies by stateMedicare will not cover long-term care in an assisted living community; Medicaid coverage varies by state
Location of Carein the home, more privacy; less opportunities for social a community, more opportunities for fellowship
Support and Supervisionhours limited due to caregiver’s schedule and availbility24-hours, 7 days a week
Schedule/Routineloved one is often limited to caregiver’s scheduleloved one can customize their care and preferences to create a schedule that works best for them
Health Care and Other Serviceswill supply medication supervision and other needs if contracted to do so – usually at a higher costnutrition, fitness, and limited on-site health services available; medication assistance, housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation provided
Socializationloved one can talk to family members and others who visit home, can become lonely with lack of social interaction, visitors may be limitedloved one can talk to family members who visit and to other residents in the assisted living community. Most communities have a robust activity calendar including outings
Family Lifecan be a burden on the family if it is not the right type of care for your loved one or if the caregiver calls out of work            trained caregivers in a safe environment look after your loved one; can provide peace of mind


The Cottage has been helping families just like yours for over 30 years. If you have questions about assisted living or other care options, we would love to help you find the right answers for your family. Contact us by clicking here

Caregiver's Field Guide to Assisted Living

April Cowperthwait
Written by: April Cowperthwait

April has over 15 years of experience working with residents in their Cottage home. She has worked in the Cottage in a variety of roles, giving her a unique perspective and a true understanding of what challenges our seniors and their families face. She has two children, Alyssa and Jackson.

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