How to Realistically Compare the Cost of Senior Living to Home

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When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



When considering senior living for themselves or a loved one, one of the biggest hesitations for families is that they believe it’s much more expensive than staying in their home. As a result, they assume that they likely can’t afford it. Some may even think they have the numbers to prove it. The trouble is, often, that comparison isn’t taking into account the total cost of living at home. Yet, when you compare the cost of senior living to home in this way, your family may find that a senior living community actually costs less! Here’s how to more realistically compare the two in cost.

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Understanding the Cost of Care

First, you need realistic numbers on the cost of care. As you might expect, whether you’re at home or in senior living – some variables affect  the cost – including the level of care that’s needed. In general, here’s what you can expect in terms of average monthly cost according to a recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

At Home

  • Homemaker Services – Help with household tasks like cooking, cleaning, and errands that can no longer be managed independently. The average monthly cost is $4,481.
  • Home Health Aide Services – Assistance with personal care, but not medical care. The average monthly cost is $4,576.
  • Adult Day Care – Social activities, meals and support services, five days a week during normal business hours. The average monthly cost is $1,603.

In Senior Living

  • Independent Living – This level of care is less about daily assistance and more about an active, convenient and independent lifestyle with home maintenance, meals, and housekeeping – plus a range of amenities and social opportunities – provided. It’s uncommon to find published data on the average cost of independent living because it varies so greatly, but it typically ranges between $1,000 to $4,000 a month.
  • Assisted Living – Featuring many of the same services and amenities as independent living, this level of care differs in that it also provides help with personal care and onsite medical care. The average monthly cost for a private, one-bedroom is $4,300.
  • Memory Care – Exclusively for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, this level of care offers 24-hour support in a secure yet comfortable and nurturing environment with specially-trained staff. Published data on average monthly cost for memory care is uncommon as well because it also varies greatly, but it typically ranges between $2,000 to $7,000 a month.

How to Compare the Cost of Senior Living to Living at Home

We mentioned above that most comparisons between the cost of senior living and living at home don’t take into account the total cost of living at home. Instead, the monthly cost of senior living is simply compared to the monthly cost of your mortgage or rent. In reality, you pay much more than that at home each month. Your total cost of living at home also includes what you pay for food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, entertainment, and healthcare each month. Factoring in these costs is essential in providing a realistic comparison between the two because most are included in the monthly cost of senior living. 

This worksheet can help you compare your costs.

Monthly ExpensesCosts at Home Senior Living Costs
Mortgage or rent
Property tax and insuranceN/A
Home maintenance and repairsincluded
Lawn care and yard maintenanceincluded
(electricity, gas, water, trash removal, etc.)
24-hour securityincluded
(payments, insurance, gas, registration, repairs)
Social and entertainmentincluded
Exercise and wellnessincluded
24-hour emergency alert systemincluded
Total Monthly Expenses

Then There’s the Value of Senior Living

Once you’ve compared your costs with the help of our worksheet, you may find that senior living is actually cheaper than what you pay at home per month! But even if that turns out not to be the case, there’s a value offered in senior living that’s hard to match at home. 

Not only does senior living remove the burden of managing chores, maintaining the house, and worrying over unexpected expenses, the lifestyle also makes it so much easier to stay socially connected and engaged each day. Senior living communities like ours at all levels of care feature an ever-changing monthly calendar of activities, events, clubs, classes, and volunteer opportunities. And it’s all right outside your door!

Not to mention, amenities like multiple dining venues that feature chef-created menus, concierge services, pool, library, dog park, and walking trails on beautiful grounds are also included. We also offer wellness services, a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga and Tai Chi classes, an onsite spa, and salon experiences.

Perhaps most importantly is the comfort in knowing that support is always at hand should you need it, and many of our communities even offer multiple levels of care on the same campus for added peace of mind.

Check out our Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing for more information on how to compare the cost of senior living to home. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!


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