Dear Donna,

My older parents are considering moving to a senior living community, and I am confused about the different options for paying. I thought our only option was to pay for it ourselves, but a friend just told me that her parents used other methods as well.

Can you tell me more about what kinds of funding senior living communities accept?


Mary from Holland, MI

Financing a Move to a Senior Living Community


Thanks for asking this question. How to pay for senior living is an important topic, and we appreciate the opportunity to address it. Considering the national average cost for assisted living is just below $4,000 a month, it’s good to know all the options you and your family have on your side.

To begin, assess the level of care your parents will want and need. Consider if your parents are searching for independent or assisted living, or if they would need to move into a memory care community. Based on their needs, you’ll find different ways to fund this next chapter in their lives.

Assisted Living

If either of your senior loved ones was in the military, he or she (and spouse) may be entitled to VA benefits to help pay for assisted living. Medicaid is also an option, though this varies by state. Some long-term care insurances can help, too.

Long-term care insurance is similar to health insurance and must be purchased through a private insurance company. If one company denies an applicant or the benefits aren’t what you were hoping for, keep applying to other companies! You may find just the right one for your family’s situation.

Memory Care

Memory care communities are specially designed for those seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The care offered at these communities can be funded using a family’s private funds, veterans’ benefits, long-term care insurance, or, depending on the state, Medicaid.

Independent Living

Independent living communities may participate in state or federal programs that subsidize housing, meaning they are able to offer fees at a sliding scale based on the senior’s income. There are organizations that can point you to a list of subsidized senior housing options in your area and their entrance fees.

In general, however, independent living is financed using the senior’s private resources often with help from family.

Financing Senior Living

There may be other options available to help you and your family finance a move to a senior living community. We encourage you to call us with questions and to schedule a tour of the Heritage Senior Community in your hometown.

I hope this information helps, Mary!

Kind regards,