[Video Blog] How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Los Angeles?

 [Video Blog] How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Los Angeles?

Starting the journey of finding the right assisted living community involves more than simply selecting a location. It includes understanding not only the care, social, and personal aspects but also the financial considerations of assisted living. 

One of the most frequently asked question I get asked is, "How much does assisted living cost?"

The cost of assisted living is influenced by many factors, including where in Los Angeles you’d like to live, the level of luxury, amenities offered, floor plan selection and the specific care levels provided. 

Los Angeles assisted living and memory care communities usually charge on two tiers: the base “rent” and the cost of care. Each one is discussed more fully below.

Determining the Base “Rent”

Costs for studio apartments in assisted living within the San Fernando Valley can begin around $3,000 per month, while a one-bedroom in West Los Angeles might reach upwards of $12,000 monthly. And of course, there are many options in between that price range, with the average falling between $6,000 to $7,000 per month.

The above is considered the base price for a room, this base price factors in many services beyond your room accommodation. It includes three daily meals in a restaurant-style dining area, access to activities, transportation, light housekeeping, a fitness center, some have a movie theater, and all other community amenities. Basic utilities such as gas, electricity, water, and building maintenance are also covered.

The one thing it does not include? The cost of care.

Determining the Cost of Care

Care is the extra support you or your loved one may require with daily tasks like medication management, dressing, or showering – collectively known as activities of daily living. Determining this cost isn't straightforward due to the different needs of each resident. 

Some residents can live independently in a community, not needing this support, these folks only pay the base price and enjoy everything the community has to offer. 

They can choose to add care services as needed in the future if and when it’s needed. 

For others, additional care is a necessity. Whether it's minimal assistance with medication reminders or extensive care involving transfers and incontinence care, the associated costs vary based on individual needs.

So, How Are Care Costs Determined?

Every community adopts a different approach, in determining care costs, but the process remains consistent. When considering assisted living, it's important to obtain a Physician's report, also known as a 602 form, from your primary care doctor. This form, mandatory for moving into any licensed senior living community in California, outlines your primary diagnosis and the type of care you need, signed by a doctor. 

Once the 602 is complete, you or your loved one will undergo an initial assessment by the community’s nurse. This assessment evaluates your loved ones’ needs in different areas such as mobility, medication management, personal care, and cognitive abilities.

In Los Angeles, communities like to use what’s called a “point system” to calculate care costs, others use levels of care and some have a la carte plans. 

Locally, the point system, however, is probably the most common approach a community uses to determine the cost of care.

Based on the assessment, points are assigned to different care needs required by the resident. For example, needing assistance with bathing might be assigned a certain number of points, while requiring help with medication management could earn additional points.

These points are often grouped into tiers or levels of care. Each level corresponds to a specific range of points and has a matching fee. The more points a resident accumulates, the higher the associated cost.

Although a complicated system to decipher, it the fairest way the community can ensure you’re only paying for the care that you need, with options to customize and tailor care in the future. 

In short, when considering assisted living, it’s important to not only budget for the base cost of the room but also to factor in your current care needs and anticipate any future needs. Reach out to April Godales at Assisted Living Locators to learn more about how we can assist with finding the best assisted living community tailored to your unique budget and care needs. 

Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles

Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles is one of LA’s top senior living placement companies with advisor April Godales serving as the managing director for the San Fernando Valley. Godales earned her master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California (USC) and an undergraduate degree in health care administration. With nearly a decade working in home care, she brings passion and expertise to her work with older adults and their families. Call April at 310-853-8282 for a consultation. Assisted Living Locators is no cost to clients.