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Budgeting is a big part of life, as knowing what one can afford can help plans develop. This is especially true for senior living, as the average cost for assisted living is about $4,000 a month, according to a report by the National Center for Assisted Living.

Courtney Catherine, admissions director at Landerbrook Transitional Care in Mayfield Heights, said creating a reasonable budget before needs arise is key.

“One important reason for creating a budget when searching for senior living options is you want to make sure you have enough funds allocated for the following years to hopefully age in place in the same community,” Catherine stated.

When creating a budget and outlining what an individual might want out of senior living, Catherine said it’s a highly personalized process. Needs can range from full-time care, food and rehab to physical therapy, companionship and transportation, so having an idea of what the aging adult would like is a good place to start.

“Some assisted living facilities include meals in the cost while for others it is an additional charge. This could be an important factor to some,” Catherine explained. “Another example is some senior living options include a level of care that is an additional charge depending on how much is needed. While others do not have the additional level of care, the family will have to see if it is cheaper/more beneficial for a place that includes a level of care if they do not have a high clinical need.”

Families can also find support among care providers, especially if their senior loved one already knows where they’d like to live or who they’d like to be their support system. For clients who select to use Landerbrook Transitional Care in their plans, Catherine said families can expect help through different stages.

“Our facility can assist in the budgeting process,” she stated. “We have long-term care and short-term rehab. While short-term rehab is primarily covered by insurance, long-term care is not covered by insurance. When a person has spent down their funds and needs Medicaid to pay for long-term care, it can be a very confusing process. We are bale to be your representative in the Medicaid process and help assist you in getting Medicaid to cover you for long-term care if appropriate.”

But Catherine said individuals shouldn’t let the stress get to them.

“It can be a very confusing and stressful time for many families,” she said. “The best advice is to start early before you think it will be necessary. That way when an event does occur and a loved one needs long-term care or senior living, the budget is already made and the family knows what to expect. You can never be too prepared for the future.”

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