Assisted Living

Understanding the Cost of Assisted Living

August 16th, 2023

CRISTA Senior Living Blog - Assisted Living Costs Hero

Understanding the cost of assisted living is essential for families planning for their loved ones’ care. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Costs vary greatly depending on location and the degree of help your loved one requires. This blog gives an overview of considerations when planning ahead for your loved one.

Assisted living communities provide a supportive and engaging environment for seniors who need help with daily activities. Read our blog “What You Need to Know About Assisted Living” to learn more.

As you look at assisted living options, consider these things in the Seattle, Washington, area.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Washington State

The average cost of assisted living in Seattle is $6,750 per month. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Seattle pay the highest costs in the state, which is $1,750 more than the Washington average and $2,250 more than the national average of $4,500.

Examining other parts of the state, Walla Walla offers the lowest cost for assisted living at $3,211 per month, less than half of Seattle’s monthly costs.. In Spokane, that cost is $4,888 per month. Those in Bellingham, Washington’s northernmost city, pay a monthly average of $4,600. And, in the center of the state in Wenatchee, assisted living costs are $1,000 less than those in Seattle, at an average of $5,750 per month.

CRISTA Senior Living in Shoreline, WA, and Silverdale, WA, has done extensive market research and is competitive in costs. Assisted Living communities vary on whether they charge “inclusive rates” or charge base rates with add-on fees. CRISTA Senior Living is a hybrid. We have an inclusive room and board rate, which is the same for everyone. First, we assess each individual’s care needs and determine their care level, ranging from levels 1 through 8. Next, we add a flat inclusive monthly fee for the suitable care level to the room and board costs to calculate the total monthly payment.

For a complete list of average costs in the nation, visit There you will find that Washington State is one of the most expensive places for seniors to enter assisted living.

How To Pay for Assisted Living

Private, out-of-pocket pay is often required for assisted living and continuing care retirement communities. Another option is long-term care insurance, so be sure to check with your insurance agent to see your policy’s coverage. At CRISTA Senior Living, we have residents who pay in the following ways: savings (IRA, CDs, Mutual Funds, Gold/silver, Money Market, etc); Social Security income; retirement pension from previous employer; selling real estate and/or collecting rental income from property; and long-term care insurance.

Another option in Washington State is the Community First Choice Option (CFCO) which provides funding for eligible seniors. Qualifications include residency in Washington state, age 65+, meeting the level of care criteria, and a maximum monthly income of $2,523 for a single person or $5,046 when applying with a spouse.

Is Assisted Living Tax Deductible?

Assisted Living Care

Good news! Some of the costs of assisted living may be tax deductible. Medical expenses above 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income are deductible. And some long-term care expenses can be counted as medical expenses.

For more information about tax deductions for assisted living, visit ElderLawAnswers.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care in Seattle

The average cost of in-home care in Seattle is only a few dollars higher than assisted living. Adult day health care is the least expensive option, and nursing home care costs are the most expensive. Here is a breakdown of typical costs in the Seattle area for senior care:

  • In-Home Care: $6,769

  • Home Health Care: $6,769

  • Adult Day Health Care: $2,600

  • Assisted Living: $6,750

  • Nursing Home (semi-private room): $9,916

  • Nursing Home (private room): $11,984

Comparing Adult Family Homes to Assisted Living Facilities

An adult family home (AFH) provides housing and care for up to six adults in a regular house located in a residential neighborhood. An assisted living facility (ALF) is able to care for seven or more people. A family, single person, or business partner may operate an AFH. Some allow pets, and in some, multiple languages are spoken.

All AFHs and ALFs provide housing and meals (room and board) and assume general responsibility for the safety and care of the resident. Services may include varying levels of assistance with personal care, intermittent nursing care, and assistance with medications. Some AFHs and ALFs also provide specialized care to people living with developmental disabilities, dementia, or mental illness.

There is a wide range of costs in Adult Family Homes, typically ranging from $3,000 to $9,000 a month. The difference in price depends on the following:

  • If the provider/owner is managing the home or an on-site manager

  • The number of people staffed to provide care

  • Whether or not there are awake caregivers on duty throughout the night

  • The number of services hired to support the operation of the home

  • The location of the home

  • The level of care the older adult requires

  • The occupancy rate of the adult family home

Adult Family Homes usually accept long-term care insurance, financial assistance for veterans, and private pay. In recent years, fewer ADHs are willing to accept Medicaid.

Preparing for the Costs of Assisted Living

There’s no doubt about it — assisted living can be costly. The more savings your loved one has, the better off they will be when it comes time to pay for essential help with the daily tasks of living. Aside from independent streams of retirement income, long-term care insurance is the best option for paying for assisted living.

If you are able to help with more than half of the cost of assisted living for your loved one, you will gain tax benefits to offset the cost. And there are some veteran and government options for assistance for those who qualify financially.

We would love to talk with you more about Assisted Living at CRISTA Senior Living. Please contact us at 206.594.2607 or arrange to take a tour of our community through our website.

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What People Are Saying …

I would like to commend Cristwood Park staff on their efforts to protect themselves and their residents from COVID. It’s been a concern of ours since last March and we have been relieved to see so few cases in the Cristwood Park community. I would like to thank the staff and leadership for their diligence in maintaining good protocols throughout this pandemic.

CWP Family Member

CRISTA has been a warm, friendly atmosphere to be a part of these past two years. It encourages friendships that encourage a pleasant living environment.

Marty Victor, CWP

Exceptional personalized holistic care. Helps keep Mom’s mind active and she flourishes with the nurturing care. Especially of value currently given the COVID restrictions. We are genuinely pleased with our mom's care.

Resident's Daughter, Memory Care

Thinking back on all the great care you and your team have given her at CRISTA, we thank you for all that. I am sure it made a difference in the quality of her life.

I appreciate the personal relationship I have with the staff and the good communication they give me.

I am so stunned by all the amazing people who live at CRISTA. The depth of their stories, their experiences are so powerful. They are fascinating and I learn something new every day! Such a wealth of intellect, experiences, and fun loving people. I love living here.

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