Assisted Living

2/19/2020 | By Terri L. Jones

When shopping for an assisted living community in Virginia, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re paying for. Those dollars are not only covering your housing, but they’re also paying for all of your utilities, services including the assistance you need, plenty of amenities, and so much more. Essentially, that monthly fee is paying for your quality of life! 

What Does It Cost?

According to the Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Study, the median monthly cost for assisted living communities in Virginia is $4,800 (for a private, one-bedroom unit). That’s $158 per day and $57,600 per year, which is higher than the national median.

What Do You Get?

Beyond your room or apartment, that monthly fee will pay for the assistance you need, which ranges from housekeeping and transportation to helping you bathe, dress and get around safely, plus making sure you’re taking your medications. Your monthly rate also includes your utilities, meals (you may also have a kitchen to cook some of your meals, if you choose), 24-hour emergency response, activities, and amenities. Some communities also include laundry and cable.

While onsite activities – such as movie nights, exercise classes, and book clubs – are generally included, you may have to pay extra for activities off campus as well as services – such as getting your hair cut at the community salon or barber.

What Determines Your Cost?

Not surprisingly, your “rent” will depend on the size of your unit (is it one room or an apartment?) and where it’s located. For example, assisted living communities in cities like Richmond and further north in the state will run higher than those in more rural areas. Communities in different parts of the same city or town will also vary in price, just like real estate.

How much help you need on a day-to-day basis also affects your cost. Be sure to have a clear idea of your needs before you move in; you want to have all the help you need but don’t want to pay for more than is necessary. Amenities such as fitness centers and in-house therapists, plus details like well-appointed lobbies, restaurant-like dining areas, and chandeliers in common areas may also drive up rates. Sharing your apartment with a friend can help defray some of these costs.

How Do You Make Your Choice?

First, do your homework to narrow down your options. Also ask friends with loved ones living in these communities for their recommendations. Then go see your favorites in person. Take a tour, have a meal and talk to everyone, staff and residents alike. Only after you’ve done your due diligence can you choose the perfect assisted living community for you!


Find out more about assisted living here!

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide. She also writes for many other local magazines and publications.

Terri L. Jones