Senior care in Washington costs more than the national average. It’s important to understand the main differences between living and care arrangements when deciding the best setting for an older adult transitioning to senior care. The cost of home care, assisted living, and nursing homes can be significant, depending on your location and necessary care level. Here, we describe these differences and introduce some options to help you pay for senior care in Washington.

senior couple standing in a room together

Cost of assisted living in Washington

Multiple factors influence the cost of assisted living in Washington. Many of these factors depend on the type and level of care you need. Long-term care financial company Genworth reported in 2021 that the average cost of assisted living in Washington is $6,000 per month. This cost has increased by 4.35% in the last year.

The level of care a person requires will impact the cost of assisted living, but where you live also matters. The monthly cost varies by as much as $3,539 a month, depending on where you live in the state. The cost of assisted living ranges from a low of $3,211 in the Walla Walla area to a high of $6,750 per month in the Seattle area of Washington.

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Cost of nursing homes in Washington

The difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities is in their accommodations and the level of care they provide. In nursing homes, the living environment is more clinical, where residents live in a private or semi-private room without a living room or kitchen area. In assisted living facilities, residents live in apartments with a private bathroom and kitchenette.

The cost of nursing homes in Washington is nearly 70% greater than that of assisted living facilities. The average cost for a semi-private room is $9,429 per month, and a private room is $10,466 per month. These costs vary across the state. Longview has the lowest average cost for a semi-private room in the state at $7,817, and Longview has the lowest average cost for a private room at $11,163 per month. The area with the highest average cost for a semi-private room in the state is Mount Vernon where the average price is $11,163, and Bremerton has the highest price for a private room at $12,243 per month.

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Read more: How to Pay for Nursing Home Care

Cost of home care in Washington

If you can stay at home but need a little help, home care is an excellent alternative to moving into a facility, which allows you to stay at home and brings care to you. There are two types of home care that can help meet your needs. One option is homemaker services, where a non-medical caregiver goes to your home to help with basic living activities, like grocery shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, and cleaning. The other option is to hire a home health aide. A home health aide assists with bathing and toileting and can provide health monitoring, like taking their pulse and blood pressure readings. Home health aides can also monitor the person’s mental health condition they are helping.

The cost difference between the two care types is not very big, only about 8.6%, but the type of care you need will determine what type of training the aide needs. The average hourly cost of a home health aide is $34.28 per hour, and the homemaker service averages $34.44 an hour. Again, Wenatchee has the lowest average cost in the state, with costs averaging about 10% below the average at $30.95 per hour. The highest average cost is in Mount Vernon, where the cost is 10% higher than the state average at just under $37.93 an hour.

Cost of memory care in Washington

Memory care is the fastest-growing care segment in the U.S. as measured by the number of individuals needing the care and the number of memory care providers. Memory care specializes in the care of residents or patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Memory care is provided at a standalone memory care facility or at an additional cost in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

Memory care is typically an additional cost above assisted living or a nursing home. The incremental cost is due to these residents’ receiving 24-hour long-term care. This additional cost is between $950 and $1,687 monthly in Washington.