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 Care Assisted Living
Cost average 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 Type hourly, based on type of care needed one monthly payment
Payment Flexibility because paid hourly, can be changed to fewer hours and fewer days a week to cut down on cost base price does not change; additional services can be added for extra fees; only one monthly charge
Medicare and Medicaid Medicare will not cover personal home care; Medicaid coverage varies by state Medicare will not cover long-term care in an assisted living community; Medicaid coverage varies by state
Location of Care in the home, more privacy; less opportunities for social interaction. in a community, more opportunities for fellowship
Support and Supervision hours limited due to caregiver’s schedule and availbility 24-hours, 7 days a week
Schedule/Routine loved one is often limited to caregiver’s schedule loved one can customize their care and preferences to create a schedule that works best for them
Health Care and Other Services will supply medication supervision and other needs if contracted to do so – usually at a higher cost nutrition, fitness, and limited on-site health services available; medication assistance, housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation provided
Socialization loved one can talk to family members and others who visit home, can become lonely with lack of social interaction, visitors may be limited loved 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 Life can 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