We found an assisted living facility for my mother and are wondering aside from the monthly payment, what other hidden costs might there be?

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WE HAVE FOUND AN ASSISTIVE LIVING FOR MY MOTHER FOR 1,600 FOR A STUDIO APARTMENT. WHAT OTHER HIDDEN COSTS MIGHT THERE BE CONCERNING HER CARE. THIS ASSISTIVE APARTMENT DOES NOT TAKE MEDICARE OR MEDICAID. THANK YOU ROSEMARY

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Of course it all depends on the facility and your mother's requirements, but my experience has been that utilities, tv, and phone are usually the only additional charges on a base level. I usually budget an additional $100 per month for activity fees.

Still, be careful as to how the facility handles levels of care. Many facilities have a "base" rate that includes amenities and meals. However if the resident really needs "care", such as hands-on assistance with activities of daily living, incontinence, or medication management, there is usually an "up-charge" based on the resident's requirements. Make sure you ask about this before you commit.

Another item to watch out for is inflation clauses in lease agreements. Many communities still have annual inflation escalators in there contracts of upwards of 4% which is obviously crazy in this environment. If present, I would negotiate this clause.

By the way, was mom married to a veteran and were they married when he passed away? If so, she may be eligible for a non-service connected pension called "Aid and Attendance" which may provide her a monthly benefit of up to $1,057 per month towards her cost of care.

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