Senior Retirement Homes: How to Compare Prices across Locations

Senior retirement homes are multi-resident housing facilities designed to cater to the needs of senior citizens. Residents of senior retirement homes live in apartment-like accommodations. They benefit from round-the-clock access to medical services, easy access to community resources, and daily meals and recreational activities. However, different senior retirement homes charge differently for their services. Before senior citizens and their families decide which senior retirement home is right for them, they must figure out which senior retirement homes they can realistically afford and which senior homes offer the best value for their money.

Monthly and Annual Fees

First and foremost, seniors must check the senior retirement home's monthly and annual fees. Most retirement homes require residents to pay monthly fees to cover living costs and basic services. Anybody who has ever lived in a rented apartment should have a basic idea of how the process works. It should be noted that, unlike with most rented apartments, senior homes include utility payments in their fees.

Many senior retirement homes offer different types of rooms. Some are essentially one-room apartments, while others offer more elaborate multi-room arrangements more akin to classic condominiums (or more expensive city apartments). In senior retirement communities like that, the fees are structured based on the size of the rooms. The level of service also factors in. While basic fees such as medical care are automatically included regardless of the size of the fees, extra care--such as having meals delivered to the seniors' rooms--may cost extra.

Additional Services

These are the services that are not, strictly speaking, necessary in the seniors' day-to-day lives but that nonetheless help to make their stay in the senior retirement home more enjoyable and fulfilling. This can include shopping trips, visits to nature preserves, salon services, etc. The seniors have the option of signing up for each of those services individually or as part of a service package.

Other Factors

While the size of the living accommodations and the type of services offered can affect the senior retirement home prices, they are not the only factors that influence the prices. As with any other type of building, location and the regional real estate values are important. Senior retirement homes in the city will be more expensive than senior homes in the suburbs, and senior homes in the more upscale areas will be more expensive than senior homes in working-class areas. The building size is also important. The bigger the building, the more money the owners have to spend to maintain it. Chances are pretty good that they will have to use the fees to recoup at least a portion of the maintenence costs.

Comparing Senior Retirement Home Prices

All and all, the best way to compare senior housing prices is to compare the fees among similar types of buildings in the same region. Then, seniors should look at what types of services each building offers. The building that offers all the services that suit their needs while charging lower fees than other buildings offers the best value for the seniors' money.

The Transportation Factor

No one likes to have to stay in the same building each and every day. This is why seniors should try to figure out the transportation costs before they move into a senior retirement home. If they plan on bringing their own cars with them, they should figure out the cost of parking and gas. If they plan to use public transportation, they should figure out how much it costs and whether or not they can get senior discounts.

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