Written by Sally Perkins
The infamous battleground of New York real estate is not lost on the rest of the nation, whether you hail from the affordable and inexpensive Midwest or from the equally ruthless Bay Area market. Affordable housing eludes millions of New Yorkers, with the average sale price of an apartment tipping over $2 million in 2016, and the average rental price in Manhattan up 91% than just ten years ago. But thankfully, for the home of the third-largest elderly population in the nation (2.6 million seniors aged 65+) assisted living facilities offer a welcome reprieve to the stressful tussle of the general real estate market.
Quick Facts About NYC Elder Living
- Due to New York’s varied population density and large geographic area, the state has the largest range of elder care cost in the United States.
- The average cost of assisted living in New York is $4100 a month, however it dips in many areas to the $3000-$3500 a month range.
- The convenience and cost of assisted living far outweighs in-home care, with averages climbing as high as $25 an hour in some areas (and that’s not even round-the-clock, 24/7 availability care).
- NYC assisted-living real estate rates do not trump nearby states, as it does in the general real estate market. In New Jersey, the average monthly cost for a senior living in an assisted living facility is $5725.
- Unlike other states, approved assisted living residences offer a daily meal and snack service, 24-hour medical care and monitoring, personal counseling and social work services. Optional and (often included) services like housekeeping, group activities, medication assistance and recreational activities are common.
- Online reviews from experts about the different assisted living residences in New York, make it easier to choose which facility is best for you or your family member.
While the monthly sticker shock of an assisted living facility is less than that of an apartment in downtown Manhattan, the price tag is not insignificant. Thankfully, New York State’s Assisted Living Program pays for services in assisted living facilities who meet the required personal/financial qualifications. Those in the program require a very high level of care, equal to what is provided by certified nursing/care homes. This program provides needy qualifiers with a structured, hygienic, care-centered environment and also kicks back savings to the state government which saves on providing full-time nursing home care. The basics of the program include:
- 85% of eligible participants are on Medicaid, although all who meet the requirements are welcome to apply.
- Assisted living residences operating within the program are certified by the NY State Health Department, and are subject to frequent, unannounced checks.
- This is a unique program in that it does not separate Medicaid/Non-Medicaid needy seniors. In this, the actual “assisted living” services (medication, mealtime help, etc.) are covered in conjunction with boarding costs.
- The ALP caps at 4200 residents.
While this excellent program helps seniors find affordable, assisted living homes within their home state it is unfortunately not open for everyone. Requirements for ALP consideration include:
- Medicaid recipients AND those with private insurance must have a medical need to be placed in an assisted living facility. (This is subject to medical record inspection along with doctor/patient sign-off forms.)
- Recipients must NOT be completely bedridden, and must not pose a danger to those around them (including other ALP beneficiaries.)
- Monthly income- must not exceed $825 for an individual and $1209 for a couple. However, applicants who receive a higher monthly sum may still qualify via the Medicaid Excess Income option.
- Assets of applicants must not exceed $14,850 (single) or $21,750 (couples.) This does not include current residences, if they are owned and occupied by the applicant.
What If I don’t Qualify for the State/City-Run ALP?
If you’re a senior seeking out an assisted living facility as your next residence, cannot pay the monthly cost and do not qualify for Medicaid/privately-funded ALP eligibility, you are not forgotten. There are numerous non-profit local and national organizations that seek to increase affordability within elder care, as well as federal programs that were created to ease the burden. If you or your elderly loved one is a veteran, check with your local VA for veteran assisted living programs. If none of these are applicable, eldercare loans can be financed specifically for assisted living senior care.
With numerous financial options available, and reasonably priced statewide elder care assisted living facilities in NY, there are feasible options for the ever-increasing aging population. With daily services like housekeeping, social interaction, medical care, and round-the clock meal services, assisted living facilities are the reasonable solution for seniors looking for help while maintaining their independence.