Many senior living communities’ rent surged in January with residents across the country receiving notices of rate hikes.
Grappling with significant expenses due to labor pressure, COVID-19 and inflationary impacts, senior living providers are having to increase rates to maintain the status quo of quality care in their communities. These communities are actively working with residents to find ways to help offset rising costs.
Assisted Living Locators, a no-cost nationwide senior placement and referral service, provides guidance on how to mitigate a senior housing rate increase.
According to Assisted Living Locators Brand President Angela Olea, the company’s senior care advisors are reporting that senior living rate increases have varied by region and type of care, but in some cases range from 10% to 20%, above recent annual rises of 3% to 5%. In response, she stated that the company is proactively updating its database and reaching out to clients to help handle the rising costs. Olea noted that while residents are seeing these rate increases, Social Security has only increased 8.7%.
“Rate hikes in senior living communities can be a significant financial burden for many older adults on fixed incomes,” said Olea. “It’s imperative to act swiftly to understand your options and explore ways to ease the increase or consider alternatives. Our senior care advisors can help negotiate with the facility or find other options that may be more affordable.”
Assisted Living Locators recommends these steps to offset a senior housing rate increase.
1. Downsize your space and services package. There is no way around providing the level of care a senior requires. However, review and select services that your senior only really needs. Another cost-saving decision could be to downsize from a one-bedroom apartment to a studio or relocating to an apartment farther away from the dining room or special view.
2. Look into financial assistance. There may be government financial assistance programs available that can help. You may also want to take the necessary steps to have your senior qualify for Medicaid. Many assisted living communities and nursing homes contract with Medicaid.
3. Talk to management. Transitions are hard for the elderly. They should be avoided, but sometimes the resident has a budget constraint and may be “priced out.” We recommend clients share the budget issue with management. A senior care advisor can negotiate a new rent agreement that can keep the client in the community.
“It’s important to determine where your loved one is in their aging journey, consider all of your options, and take the necessary steps to ensure your senior can afford care that is needed,” added Olea. “An advisor with experience in senior living solutions can be a valuable resource in this process.”