Opinion / Politics / Press Releases

Assisted Living and Similar Facilities Need to Restrict Yearly Price Increases, says AMAC

assisted living senior costs price increasesWASHINGTON, DC – “It’s a fact that the cost of providing services at senior citizen facilities increases annually for any of a variety of reasons. It’s also a fact, however, that most seniors living in assisted living facilities and senior housing don’t have the resources to pay steadily increasing rates, particularly when they exceed the annual Cost Price Index [CPI]. Something’s gotta give lest the nation’s elderly join the ranks of the homeless,” according to senior advocate Dan Weber.

Weber, who is founder and president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], cites the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued earlier this month.  It concludes that its “all items [CPI] index increased 1.7 percent for the 12 months ending August.”

Yet, notes Weber, the most recent National Senior Living Cost Index prepared by the senior-living referral service, A Place for Mom, shows that the cost for independent living facilities rose 2.6%.  Assisted living costs were up by 2.4% and the costs for memory care facilities were up by 3.2%.

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018 “the national median cost for assisted living per month is $4,000, which breaks down to around $133 per day (and adds up to $48,000 per year).”  Meanwhile, the Pension Rights Center reports that fifty percent of older Americans over 65 had, at most, an annual income of about $24,224 in 2018.

“Consider the fact that 2019 Social Security Recipients received the highest Cost Of Living Adjustment since 2012, 2.8%.  In 2009, 2010 and 2015 benefits were stagnant as the Obama administration chose to not offer a COLA and relenting in 2016 they decided to increase the Social Security COLA by a mere .3%.  So It has been a harsh existence for too many senior citizens over the better part of a decade,” says Weber.

The nation is aging at a rate of new 65-year-olds a day and that growth will continue through the year 2030.  “It’s a population that creates a fast growing and lucrative market for the senior living sector and if the industry wants to maximize returns, it should take measures to make sure senior housing is affordable.  One suggestion: keep annual cost increases at or below the COLA.  Better yet, how about keeping increases at or below the CPI,” Weber suggests.

About AMAC

The 2 million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.

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Kris Moore
1 year ago

Not only are the monthly rates increase annually or earlier; the staffing levels remain very low and the regulations are minimal. I work at an AL and I know first hand that residents are not given the care being paid for.

Barbara Smith"Base"?
1 year ago

My husband and I have found, while looking into senior environment housing, i.e., apts., etc that there are none available. One must get on a list to move into one. We have our name on a list for low income housing at a beautiful senior environment apartments that was built within 4 years and our name has been in for 1 and 1/2 years. It is in town but not a golf type expensive senior living situation. We receive what has been said to be the “normal” household income for retired seniors of approximately $24,800 a year as a couple. BUT, because this is a government subsidized housing, there are folks with lower income than ourselves who move ahead of us on the “list” and we pretty much stay at Number 13 on the list for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. It doesn’t look promising that we will be able to get into these apartments because so many move ahead of us. Some how this doesn’t seem right although I’m glad for those folks who need housing and are able to move into these apartments, they are truly the better ones in this town as most senior housing that we could afford are two stores and have stairs which is major when one gets to the point where climbing stairs is not a good idea.
We are respectfully 77 and 75 years old and are living in our 40′ 5th wheel which is very nice as a large apartment type housing. It is quite comfortable but looking ahead we are hoping to move to something off wheels and steps into plus steps into the bedroom. We have found that affordable senior housing is not readily available and usually already full.

Fixer48
1 year ago

The corporations that own these facilities are raking it in but not compensating the employees to the degree the job deserves. Thus the turnover rate is very high. The quantity and quality of these employees who are involved in the direct care of the residents is many times not what it should be. Pretty outrageous considering how much they charge.

TJ
1 year ago

I am 83, wife 78, we are relatively healthy. we sold our home 3 years ago and rented a “cottage” in an independent living community in Georgia for $2000 a month, next year it was $2025. So we BOUGHT a home in a retirement neighborhood, For $100 a month they mow the grass and pick up he garbage. We don’t expect our mortgage payment to increase, in fact Quicken Loans is offering to refi at a lower interest rate.
Something to consider

weezer 1
1 year ago

In today’s economy senior living only means the taking away of one’s independence. Car insurance, house or renter’s insurance, car maintenance, appliance replacement, taxes, etc… where are seniors supposed to live on $1,500 a month? (California ) CA government is only concerned with the care of illegals. Will sanctuary cities protect the poor/seniors? Help us, please President Trump. I worked all my life and do not want to be homeless in my 70’s.

Frank
1 year ago

My long term care policy with AARP/Met Life is approved to increase 23% over the next 3 years. Outrageous!

PaulE
Reply to  Frank
1 year ago

Most insurance companies that were in the LTCI business got out a few years back. The industry badly miscalculated the true costs of providing nursing home care in America. So the 4 or 5 companies still in the business have been re-pricing their policies upward to reflect the true costs. I suspect in another 2 or 3 years, the number of insurance companies offering LTCI will shrink to only 2 or 3 and the restrictions and terms of coverage with radically change.

I looked into potentially getting LTCI a few years back and after some research, I realized the rate of annual premium hikes would render the policies a non-starter. You end up forking over nearly the same amount of money in insurance premiums over a projected 12 or 15 years that you would end up paying to a nursing home for the term period of most policies. The only ones making out with LTCI are those that bought policies way back when they were first marketed to the public.

maryanne
1 year ago

paying for: NON American citizens, those who know how to work the system, medical patients from other countries whose families get them on medicare/medicaid and SS, food stamps ++++. New American citizens who bring family members and do the same. This I believe is only a part of –our American problem. CEOs, Congress\Senate end up millionaires using the rest of us. I f it is bad now, and getting worse imagine the future, younger folks should understand this.
I know there are other examples please reply and tell me these, please.

Dennis A Smith
1 year ago

Very simplistic. So many variables and pressures affecting this industry, this article is barely revelatory. Too much government regulation beyond healthy conditions and safety, huge influx of over-65s, inadequate family participation across the board, and much more.
Remember, these are the same folks who are responsible for the highest Medicare costs of their lives, and our citizens have very high expectations to go along with their unwillingness to assume responsibility. Sounds like a lot of failure to prepare.

Joan
1 year ago

The real cost of nursing homes and assisted living in this New Hampshire state if over $9000 per month for a county nursing homes which is a two-person room. The room cost then is actually $18000 per month in order for a senior who can no longer care for thems is astronomical. How can anyone afford these out of line costs. The private homes are much worse and owned by large corporations paying their CEO’s CFO”s Etc big salaries and benefits. These costs must be reduced as the persons needing these types of living arrangements cannot afford the cost to live.

PaulE
Reply to  Joan
1 year ago

Wow! That is some low rates for a nursing home. Here in the PRNJ (Peoples’ Republic of New Jersey) the average cost is over $16,000 a month. That is in a two bed / 2 patient room. Nothing fancy. For more up-scale nursing homes, the monthly cost is well over $20,000. In New York, the monthly rates are even higher. If you’re not suffering from dementia, alzheimers or some physical infirmity that severely limits your personal mobility, it would actually be cheaper to live in a hotel than a nursing home at those rates. The food, accommodations and quality of life would certainly be better.

Jean P-Jones
1 year ago

3% raise annually at our retirement living. That’s too high! What can we do about it?

Ruth ONEILL
1 year ago

My husband and I live in VA ( near Winchester); we have been touring Assisted Living places in Front Royal and Stephens City. The “AVERAGE” monthly cost in these places is closer to $6000.! Everything is an ‘added fee”: level of care ( scale of 1-4), rides to doctors, meals ‘in your room’, etc. etc. We cannot afford any of this and my husband would even get a veteran’s benefit to assist us. Sad. We have one son with two children , a wife recovering from cancer, and work obligations ….

James Nash
Reply to  Ruth ONEILL
1 year ago

If you are willing to come out west, assisted care facilities cost less out here. Harmony Home of Yuma, Colorado averages $4000.00 per month. Nice facility.

Pat R
1 year ago

Concerning the statement: “Consider the fact that 2019 Social Security Recipients received the highest Cost Of Living Adjustment since 2012, 2.8%.” That was the first increase in a long time that we actually received most of it to spend. There was a 2.0% increase in 2018 – $30 monthly for me, but $24 went as increased Medicare premium. So yes, 2019 was first actually take-home increase in a long time. Cost of living ate it up before we ever received it. And interest on IRAs has been so low for years that retirement funds will no longer cover my anticipated years of life.
I’m sure a lot of folks have a similar situation as well.

Jude
Reply to  Pat R
1 year ago

My 2019 S.S. increase and Medicare premium balanced out. So I got zilch, nada, zero!

Pat White
1 year ago

I am 80 years old and have been looking for the ideal Independent living situation for at least 4 years. My reluctance to make the move has been that while I can afford the high cost of Independent senior apartments now I am concerned that in just a few years, given the rate of increase in rates, I would no longer be able to afford that lifestyle. This would be particularly true if I had to upgrade for some assisted living. One place that I looked at in 2015 Independent living for a 2 bedroom apartment ranged from $1600- $1700 a month. Not bad since that included all utilities. However in just 4 years they went to $2100 -$2200 an increase of about 5% per year. That outpaces any expected Social Security increase (net) by quite a bit. This seems to be pretty much the case for most senior living facilities. Wouldn’t take long until they could be unaffordable. By then your older and it is much more difficult to move let alone find reasonable priced housing.

Diana
1 year ago

One thing QUIT TAXING Social Security, that money was already taxed, that is Double Tax, illegal, then give a decent cost of living, 10% and up depending on the government and business raising prices on everything they can think of, raise taxes on those making, 700,000. And up, these rich even get help from the government this is to STOP Immediately, we the people Taxpayers don’t want our money going to prison having air conditioning we have people that have not done anything that don’t have air conditioning, and the food they get needs to be soups, oatmeal, milk, water, bread crackers, spaghetti, Mac+ cheese, they are there for wrong doing not on vacation, our tax money should never go to other countries that dislikes, hates us, no rich peoples vacation spots, no money to any sports, if an individual wants to support sports that’s up to them, but the government giving OUR MONEY to these people is a NO, same for Abortion, transgender, queers any of the perverted garbage out there , Congress needs a pay cut, made part time workers, so No Retirement, No medical, all benefits stopped immediately, same for the Senate, that way money they stole over the years from Social Security can get paid back, that includes those that are retired, just what obama did to the workers of America, these people don’t even work part time and what they do is NOT Work so this need addressed immediately. And we need a few new laws, others Enforced

Jude
Reply to  Diana
1 year ago

What’s a ‘vacation’? Word seems familiar.

maryanne
Reply to  Diana
1 year ago

just saying, perverted garbage is what YOU make it the “Q” word , and other such slurs will stop people reading. what do others think??

Anne
1 year ago

Perhaps families need to get serious about taking care of their elders. Of course it cost more to take care of people who have dementia or Alzheimer’s. More staff is required, as these people can do very little for themselves. How can we expect to pay less when it demands more?

Dan
Reply to  Anne
1 year ago

Do it the asian way. The facility is there for the medical care necessary, but it is up to the family to meet the daily needs of the senior/patient/disabled. Ie the bathing, feeding, companionship, etc.

In perhaps the only thing i will ever agree with Hillary on, is that “it takes a village.” We all really need to get back to a family clan type of lifestyle, where we raise, look after, and take care of our own.

Marsha
1 year ago

Too bad our forced Social Security and Medicare withdrawals weren’t allowed to compound over the years, but was spent by our caring government. Now they call it an entitlement.

Dave
Reply to  Marsha
1 year ago

So true.
If the politicians hadn’t STOLEN the SS trust fund, SS would not be in trouble today, and we’d all be much better off.

Joan
Reply to  Marsha
1 year ago

Yes, but the government employee never paid more than their share of the 7% split with the government and it is called a pension. The government employee did not pay much more than the average social security employee over their life- time of work. Tell me the difference. Social Security 7.45% with 1.45% going into the medicare fund.

weezer 1
Reply to  Marsha
1 year ago

AMEN. It is infuriating when I hear entitlement and Social Security in the same sentence. As working Americans we were lied to and those lies are leading us to the poor house.

PaulE
1 year ago

So AMAC, a supposedly conservative organization, is espousing the imposition of government cost controls on what are private sector businesses. I’m no fan of the high costs prices charged by this sector of the senior care marketplace, but your proposed solution is what I would expect from AARP. The operational costs of senior living facilities includes the building maintenance and financial up-keep costs, property taxes, all utilities, the staffing costs and all the expenses associated with providing food, leisure activities and other amenities expected from such facilities.

The problem is you seem to feel that SS, which was NEVER designed to function as the sole source of one’s retirement income, should be the benchmark for what things should cost. Well guess what? If one is living in retirement ONLY off of SS, then almost none of these assisted living places is in one’s budget and AMAC dangling the prospect of somehow tying assisted living costs to SS is a pipe dream. For that matter, if SS is your only source of retirement income, it is undoubtedly very hard for most seniors to even continue to live in their own homes and meet current expenses.

For those not yet retired and who belong to AMAC, the best thing you could do is start saving and investing heavily towards your own retirement. SS is NOT going to cut it. The problem isn’t that assisted living facilities costs so much. It is the general lack of financial literacy in so much of our population and the lack of proactive planning over the entire course of one’s working like to prepare adequately for retirement. If you actually talked to most of the people who can afford to live in these assisted living facilities, you would find that they did exactly that. They took the initiative, over their working lives, to build up actual investment assets that allow them to afford to live comfortably in such places.

Dave
Reply to  PaulE
1 year ago

Exactly! My Mom is in an assisted living facility, and the charges are paid by herself from her investments, as well as she and Dad had the foresight to purchase Long Term Care insurance while they were still fairly young, so the premiums weren’t too high. It has paid off many times over as the insurance reimburses her for most of her Room and Board fees.
Medicare and her supplement take care of most of her medical and medication needs.
Neither Mom or Dad made big money either, they just lived below their means, and saved a bit over their lifetimes, to be sure they had what they needed later in life.

Obviously, my and my wife’s expenses will be much more than theirs, but we also have Long Term Care insurance, and are saving and investing as much as we comfortably can, to be able to do what we want in retirement
We’ll be in control of our own future, instead of depending on others to take care of us.

Diana
Reply to  PaulE
1 year ago

We had planned for our retirement we had money saved not millions but we could have lived nicely but obamacare took our savings over 70 Thousand dollars we had Free medical ins. Free meds till that garbage so now we live on SS and my husband of 75 works part time to help us so not all plan to live on SS it was just to help but the corrupt dems. did destroy a lot of people’s retirement , I know we are not the only ones that where Robbed

Pat R
Reply to  PaulE
1 year ago

I’ve always liked your comments. This time I find myself at odds.
I agree with proactive planning over one’s lifetime. However, just as there were poor, median, and wealthy back then, the proactive planning is still based on one’s income. Those wealthier were able to plan/set aside more and now afford the upscale senior facilities. Those of us on median incomes have the same needs but not the means to afford such facilities. There are also facilities that are income-based which covers the poorer of us. BUT the median income folks find ourselves in between and as far as I’ve been able to determine, there are few/far between facilities for median income seniors.

The wise thing we did was to make sure our last home was mortgage-free (downsizing helps). A widowed friend went into one of the facilities this article talks about by selling her home and paying 80% of proceeds to buy into it. In addition she pays $1600 monthly. I refuse to hand over what amounts to my life-savings (value of home) to get into a place and still have to pay nearly my whole monthly income to stay there. Do they boot me out when their cost increases become more than I can afford monthly? I’ll take my chances with continued frugality.

Dennis A Smith
Reply to  PaulE
1 year ago

I did not see where this article endorsed government cost controls, though it may be implied…

Jim Shaw
1 year ago

My wife and I are in our 80’s and living at home. In the past, we took in our parents and made sure that they were taken care of. Today’s youth can’t be bothered so the elderly are left on their own to take care of themselves. We planned for our retirement but costs have gone beyond our ability to keep up. Don’t know how long before we become homeless.

Pam Kowal
Reply to  Jim Shaw
1 month ago

Yes, it’s true that people in the past took care of their elderly parents in their family homes, but you must remember that most women were full time homemakers back then and were at home all day to monitor and provide for their loved ones’ needs. Nowadays, most households require two incomes due to the rising costs in living expenses. Furthermore, the life expectancy rates were much shorter in previous generations, so many of the diseases of old, old age were not as frequently seen or had to be managed. Dementia, in particular, is not simple benign forgetfulness—it also can cause violent behavior, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, recognition issues, immobility, total incontinence, wandering, etc. which prior generations may not have had to deal with because their loved ones died at a much younger age. Medical advancements in prolonging life have far outstripped society’s ability to properly care for the severely incapacitated elderly who are now artificially outliving their natural lifespan. Life extension is a double-edged sword.

Ray
1 year ago

This is the kind of socialistic garbage that I expect to hear from AARP, not Amac. Everyone expects someone else to take care of them. It has been proven time and again that if you start this price control stuff the quality of care will go down. I just went through this with my mother. The facilities around here can’t hire good people now, if you restrict their prices, I would hate to see who they can get.

Marilyn VanDerZee
Reply to  Ray
1 year ago

The quality of care is not that great for my mother-in-law. Communication is not great doesn’t return phone calls and we pay $6000 a month. Not enough staff as far as I can see. She is in memory care. We took care of her at home until she broke her hip.

Elvin Taylor
1 year ago

The cost of assisted living is to high and out of reach for most people!