How to Pay for Assisted Living: 6 Options

Find out about 6 options for how to pay for assisted living

How does one pay for assisted living?

When seniors can no longer live independently, home care isn’t possible, or if there are safety issues, it may be time to consider moving to assisted living.

Changing their living situation would get your older adult the care they need and make their living space safer.

But the big question is: how does one pay for assisted living? After all, monthly fees can range from $1,500 to more than $10,000.

Here, we share an overview of 6 ways to pay for assisted living and explain how to get help planning for major care expenses.


From our partner


6 ways to pay for assisted living

1. Private savings

  • If your older adult has enough savings, they could pay “out of pocket” using personal savings or income.
  • Consider speaking with a reputable financial adviser to confirm that your older adult’s savings will last through the years. For a quick ballpark estimate, use this long term care cost estimator.

2. Sell their house

  • Some older adults have the option of selling their house and using that money to pay for assisted living expenses.
  • If the house is still on the market, but the move to assisted living needs to happen ASAP, a bridge loan could help until the home is sold. FYI, that’s a short-term loan and could be a risky choice. But it’s something to consider if you’re really stuck.

3. Long-term care insurance

  • This type of insurance usually covers nursing home care, home-based health care, assisted living care, and other medical services.
  • Don’t assume it won’t be affordable – check with a reputable insurance agent. Long-term care premiums are based on many factors, including:
    • Age
    • Health
    • Benefit amount and duration
    • When the company will start paying benefits
    • Other factors like location

4. Veterans benefits

5. Reverse mortgage

  • This is a special type of home loan where long-time homeowners borrow cash against the value of their home and don’t have to sell their home.
  • There are three types of reverse mortgage. Speak with a reputable bank to learn about the risks and benefits.

6. Medicare vs. Medicaid

  • For those who qualify, Medicaid pays for long-term assisted living care.
  • Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term assisted living, but may pay for short-term rehab stays, typically after an inpatient hospital stay.


From our partner


Get help planning for care expenses from an elder law attorney

Paying for assisted living and other long-term care costs can be expensive and complex. That’s why it may be worthwhile to consult an elder law attorney.

An elder law attorney should be able to answer important questions like:

  • Could dad qualify for Medicaid so it will pay for his care?
  • How do we protect Mom’s house and assets, but still afford the care she needs?
  • How do we make sure mom will have money left after all of dad’s care expenses are paid?

These are complicated questions and the answers will be different in each state and for each unique situation. 

A reputable elder law attorney may be able to help figure out how to afford the care your older adult needs. The lawyer fees could be well worth it if they could save your older adult a significant amount of money.


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team


This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


  • Reply December 1, 2023


    Why would you not consider selling your home and annuitizing with that money with a rider that includes any unspent part of the annuitization will go to your children?

    • Reply December 1, 2023


      Thanks for the suggestion, this might be the right choice for some people, but may not be the right financial move for everyone. We strongly urge people to get an expert opinion from a fiduciary to help make an informed decision that will benefit their finances in the long run.

  • Reply February 10, 2018

    Ray Starks

    There is no discussion of Government Retirements: Civil Service GS-13, Lt Col Res, VA Disability. These retirements are for as long as the USA is in business.

    • Reply February 10, 2018


      #4 talks about Veteran’s benefits and how in some cases, they may be used to cover assisted living costs. It’s not as common, but it’s possible that other government pensions could include these benefits, but each person would have to look into their specific plan.

  • Reply January 11, 2017

    Kirsten Irgens-Moller

    Medicaid does not pay for Assisted Living in California. We need a law change soon, because it is a major crisis for elders who have outlived their resources, are frail but not in need of nursing care .

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