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Long-Term Care vs. Medical Alert System

If you are a new retiree, adjusting to senior living or independent living can be overwhelming. It is important to do the research and figure out what is best for you. For example, how much money do you have to spend on things like long-term care? When figuring these details out, you will need to weigh your options to see if something else may be better for you.

Long-term care cost

When considering the option of long-term care, it is important to consider your expenses that will and will not be covered by your insurance. Long-term care can be extremely expensive in the United States, no matter the services you have provided to you. Depending on the long term care that you need, it could quickly exceed your budget.

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey from 2016 broke down the cost of long-term care services can vary from state to state. The survey found that the average cost in the United States for long-term care services are:

  • Semi-Private Room in a Nursing Home
    • $225 daily, $6,750 monthly
  • Private Room in a Nursing Home
    • $253 daily, $7,590 monthly
  • Assisted Living Facility
    • $3,628 monthly
  • Adult Day Care
    • $68 daily
  • Home Health Aide Services
    • $20 hourly
  • Home Maker Services
    • $20 hourly

Depending on your plans for the future, you may be expected to spend over $91,000 a year on a private nursing home or similar living environment. The prices will vary depending on the state you are retiring in. A cheaper option for independent living is an assisted living community, unless you need a higher level of professional care.

Nursing Home: The average cost of care for a year in a private Medicare-certified nursing home is about $104,000.

In-home: The average in-home care costs for 40 hour weeks is about $50,000 a year.

Assisted Living: A year in an assisted living facility can average at about $57,000 a year.

Planning for long-term care

No one knows if they will need long-term care later in life. With long-term care costs being so high, you should have a plan in place. Long-term care insurance can make a significant difference in your lifestyle. Long-term care insurance can also help in the case of an injury or illness.

Long-term care with government assistance

It is a common misunderstanding that programs like Medicare and Medicaid will cover the costs of long-term care. The government programs will help in the following ways:

  • Medicare will cover a maximum of 100 days of services after a hospital stay.
  • Under Medicaid, the state can make care decision for you, like when and where you receive care.

Medical Alert Systems

For some people, paying for long-term care is out of the question. It is important to do your research to find out what other options are available to you. A cheaper option that still allows you to be independent, monitored, and kept safe is a medical alert system.

Medical alert systems require their own research even after you have decided that a monitoring system is the best option for you. There are so many brands and systems that are on the market to pick between, but there are not nearly as many companies to pick from.

Not only will you need to find a system that is ideal for you, it is crucial to know which company is the best one for you and your needs. Each company offers their own monitoring services that come with an additional monthly fee. A monitored device will send for help when the button is pushed and a live, medically-trained representative will talk you through your situation while you wait for a loved one or emergency services.

Medical alert system cost

Medical alert systems come with their own costs, but can save money in the long run. You can find a high-quality medical alert system with an affordable monthly fee for the monitoring service. Companies like Bay Alarm Medical and LifeFone are popular and inexpensive.

When doing your research, it is important to know what you want and to look at the key features of medical alert systems and the plans the companies offer.

Features to consider on a medical alert system:

  • At-home landline
  • At-home cellular
  • GPS location
  • Voice-In calling

Other costs

When you are picking a medical alert system, the cost that is initially shown is not always the only expense you will need to know about. It is important to ask questions and check any fine print that may be in a contract before committing to a medical alert system and the company that you are going through.


It is important that you understand the pricing plan before signing up for anything. A company that has a complicated pricing or payment structure is probably not a company that you want to work with, let alone get stuck in an expensive contract with. Make sure that you are doing business with a company who doesn’t charge extra for things related to equipment, shipping, installation, activation, service, or repair.


It might help to simplify things for you if you stay away from companies that want you to sign a long-term contract. Agree to pay your monthly fees, but nothing in advance.

Cancellation policies

You want a system that will allow you to cancel at any time without any penalties. Look for services that offer a full money-back guarantee if you choose not to keep it after the trial period.


Don’t be afraid to ask about any specials or discounts that the company may be running on either the system or the service. Companies often give veterans discounts. Some organizations you have membership to will help slash the cost. There may also be a sliding fee scale for individuals with lower incomes.

Tax Deduction

Your tax professional can tell you if your medical alert system is tax deductible because it can be considered a medically necessary expense. You may also want to check with your home insurance company. The fire or intruder emergency notifications may help you qualify for a lower rate.

Retiring and adjusting to senior living is no small task. The process does not have to be overwhelming if you do the research necessary to make decisions.

Hannah Verret
Hannah Verret is a Content Developer at Med-Alert Pros in Memphis, TN. Hannah has been working in content creation throughout her entire adult career. When Hannah isn't writing or organizing social media posts, she's spending her time reading and loving on her many pets.

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