Ask the Expert: How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

Dear Jaclyn,

My mom is in her mid-80s and while she’s in pretty good shape for her age, she’s starting to have some issues getting around. I think—and she agrees—that it’s time to start looking at assisted living communities.

However, I’m having a hard time finding information about cost. Can you tell me how much assisted living costs? And how much would it cost for Mom to live at a MacIntosh community?


Michael B.
Worthington, Ohio

Assisted Living Costs in Ohio

Dear Michael,

I think I know why you’re having a hard time finding information about the cost of assisted living. It’s because there’s not a simple answer to this question.

However, I know how frustrating that can be to hear. So before I explain why that is, let’s take a look at some price rangesfrom Genworth:

2018 Monthly Assisted Living Costs
Ohio Average Cost$4,303
National Average Cost$3,863

That gives you an idea of how much assisted living can cost. Some communities may fall above or below these rates based on their services and amenities. For example, communities that offer services like memory care may be closer to the $6,000-$8,000 range.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of assisted living varies by community and by resident. There is no one set fee for assisted living.

Assisted Living Costs at MacIntosh Care Communities

At MacIntosh, two rates factor into our assisted living costs: the apartment rate and the level of care rate, which is determined by an assessment that is completed prior to moving in.

The apartment rate depends on the size of the apartment. The level of care rate is based on how much assistance the resident needs with things such as dressing or medication management.

Together, those rates make up the monthly cost. Depending on your loved one, the monthly rate at a MacIntosh assisted living community can range from around $4,000-$5,000.

Included Fees vs. a La Carte Fees

One benefit of living at a MacIntosh community, if your mom chooses to go that route, is that our communities are all-inclusive. All services are included in the monthly fee, including:

  • Utilities
  • Weekly linen services
  • Daily towel service and trash removal
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Suite maintenance
  • Three meals daily and snacks
  • Emergency call system
  • Activities and scheduled outings
  • Health assessment by a licensed nurse
  • Monitoring of health care needs by a physician

The only services that are not included are personal laundry and cable, which are available for nominal fees, and any personal care items they may need.

Other communities may offer what are called a la carte services. That means there may be additional fees for services like the ones listed above. Those fees are required on top of the monthly fees. When you tour communities, be sure to ask what is included and what isn’t.

Lifestyle Rate

At MacIntosh, we also offer something called a “lifestyle rate.” That is a lower rate for people who would like to move to one of our communities for the convenient lifestyles they provide while maintaining the independent lifestyle they prefer, without requiring assistance with activities of daily living.

Some older adults prefer this option because it frees them from the hassle of home maintenance. They can live independently while enjoying services and amenities at the community.

Another benefit of this is that if they ever do need assistance, they don’t have to move. They can receive assisted living services right where they are.


Related: Choosing an Assisted Living Community: Why Continuum of Care Matters


How to Pay for Assisted Living

Now, how do you cover the cost of assisted living?

Many people pay out of pocket as Medicare does not cover assisted living, nor do most private insurance policies. However, if a resident has long-term care insurance or veteran’s benefits, those can be financially beneficial and assist with covering the cost. I encourage you to pursue those options if either applies to your mother.

At Whetstone, we also accept the assisted living Medicaid waiver after two years of private pay in assisted living. There are only a select few communities that accept this waiver.

It works like this: if a resident who has moved into Whetstone spends down their funds after two or more years of private pay, they can apply for the assisted living Medicaid waiver. As long as they’re still a good fit, they can remain in assisted living and transition from private pay to the Medicaid waiver.

And don’t worry—most communities (MacIntosh care communities included) will go over the finances of any potential resident to determine if they are a good fit and can afford it. You don’t have to worry about your mom moving in and running out of money in six months. We’ll go over all of that before she makes the move.

Find Out How Much Assisted Living Will Cost for Your Loved One

As you can see, I can’t tell you exactly how much assisted living will cost for your mom. It depends on her need level and the apartment she chooses.

You’re welcome to schedule a tour to discuss the cost of assisted living, as well as any other questions you may have. While you’re here, we can go over specific costs and discuss our monthly fee structure in detail.

Hope this helped!


Jaclyn Spalding
Assisted Living Director
Whetstone Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing & Assisted Living