According to the Genworth study, Assisted Living Care services in Iowa cost approximately $3,500 per month throughout the state, (over $42,000 a year.) Assisted Facilities may vary in their pricing due to a number of factors. Dementia facilities will usually cost more as they require more staff and staff that is trained specifically to deal with dementia. Some facilities also work on a tier scale where you only pay for services that you need – it all depends on the facilities. Also, facilities may be less expensive in the rural areas of Iowa. City-by-city average assisted living costs in Iowa are as follows:
Assisted Living in Iowa are a bit more expensive than the national average of $3,293 per month, but when you consider that Iowa is a state with relatively low unemployment and quite a few colleges and universities, it is harder for facilities to get workers who make the minimum wage or close to the minimum wage. However, the expense of assisted living in Iowa is still much lower than the price of a nursing home, where semi-private rooms cost almost $67,000 annually, and a private room costs around $73,000 annually.
The average cost for Adult Day Health Care in Iowa is $1,340 per month which averages around $16,000 per year. A Home Health Aide for older Iowans is also an option, but at the cost of over $4,300 per month. A Home Health Aide is more expensive than an Assisted Living Facility and, unlike Assisted Living, where there is 24-hour care available, the cost for the Home Health Aide is based on a 44-hour week. Furthermore, a good Home Health Aide is hard to find when you are trusting your loved one to that person. It is estimated that by the year 2030, Assisted Living in Iowa will cost almost $64,000 per year – an increase over $22,000.
674 senior living facilities in Iowa
The state of Iowa is in the Midwestern United States. The Mississippi River flows on the East side of Iowa, while the Missouri and the Big Sioux River flow on the West side. Iowa is the only state in America where both the west and east are bordered by rivers. Iowa has traditionally been an agricultural community and it is in the Corn Belt. With an estimated 3.14 million people, Iowa is the 31st most populous state in America and almost 15% of the Iowa community is comprised of seniors who are at least 65 years old. With an area of 56,272.81 square miles, it is the 26th largest state in the nation. The state density is 36th in the nation with 54.8 people per square mile. The state of Iowa is a quiet, peaceful state with plenty of small towns and large cities. It is home to many colleges and universities and there are truly some beautiful parts of the state. Is Iowa a great option for senior living?
Iowa has many community-based services that are aimed at the growing elderly population. Through these programs, Iowa is trying to keep seniors healthy and able to live at home. Additionally, they have a forward-thinking and innovative program for veterans in Iowa. These services are organized in different areas, as follows:
Iowa Supportive Services for Older Adults – these 3 Iowa senior support programs are used to help older Iowa adults maintain long-term independence through services that are provided by the community and providers. This type of can allow a senior to delay or prevent institutionalization.
1. LifeLong Links™ – this program is part of Supportive Services and was created in response to the need of community-based programs to help Iowa seniors stay at their own residences as they get older. This program which serves as Iowa’s Aging and Disability Resource Center. The goals of this program are:
The program is accessible at the Supportive Cervices website through a call center and through the six Area Agency on Aging centers throughout the state. Once a senior contacts LifeLong Links they have access to the following:
2. Case Management for Independent Living is similar to the LifeLong Links program but the goal of this program is to allow the individual to remain in their home with services provided by the community. There are eligibility requirements for the “Case Management” Program, including: the person must live in Iowa; must be 60 years of age or older; need two or more services; not reside in or have been discharged from a nursing home within 30 days; and needs case management based on a needs assessment.
The first part of this program is the needs assessment where the case manager collects information about the senior and their family to determine whether they are eligible for enrollment and determine the appropriate senior services that are needed. This step also identifies if there are any barriers to care for the senior and determines how to overcome those barriers.
Service Coordination – the case manager identifies and contracts with providers so that the senior can get the services that they require to live at home. This also includes determining how the senior will pay for said programs or if there are programs and services that may help with payment.
Monitoring and Evaluation – after the senior begins receiving long-term care services the case manager stays involved to advocate or intervene if necessary on the client’s behalf. The case manager will also watch to see what, if any, other needs or services the elderly person requires.
3. Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services is a program which is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Aging and the Veterans Health Administration. It helps veterans of any age who are enrolled in the Iowa City VA Medical Center and need a level of care that is provided by nursing facilities but prefer to receive care at home, in a caregiver’s home, or in an independent living community. The VAMC determines a monthly budget for each veteran so that they can pay for services and goods such as: personal care, medication assistance, transportation, chore and housekeeping services, memory care support, adult day services, assistive technology, caregiver education and training, and medical equipment.
This is an interesting and innovative program due to the number of veterans that do not receive appropriate care from the Veterans Administration and, because it has no age requirements, it is appropriate for the older veterans as well as those who have returned from recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are two components to the Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services program.
Iowa Health Prevention and Wellness Program is administered by the Iowa Department of Aging and provides health, prevention, and wellness programs as well as information for the senior population about these services and how to access them. The Health Prevention and Wellness Program includes the following 3 services for a senior living in Iowa:
1. Nutrition Programs – administered by the Iowa Department of Aging in accordance with the Older Americans Act, the goal of this program includes: reducing hunger and food insecurity among the senior population; foster socialization of senior individuals; improve the health and well-being for the elderly population; and postpone negative health conditions.
The nutrition program is for Iowans aged 60 and over; however, preference is given to: low-income elderly people, minority elders, older people who live in rural communities, older people who have limited English, and elders who are at risk of institutional care. The Iowa Nutrition Program serves its citizens by: Congregate Meals, Home-Delivered Meals, and Nutrition Education and Counseling.
2. Falls Prevention – older people are at a higher risk for falls than younger people, and when older people fall it can lead to far more health problems, including the need for rehabilitation and loss of independence for the senior. One out of every three adults 65 and older falls annually and unintentional fall-related deaths are on the rise in Iowa. Although many people mistakenly believe that falling is the cause of broken hips, it is actually the opposite that is true. Normally what occurs is that a person’s hip breaks while they are standing and they fall – which is why it is important for seniors speak to their physicians about Osteoporosis and supplements that they can take to help strengthen their bones. However, falls do not have to be a part of the typical aging process and programs which help identify fall hazards, improve balance, and improving physical strength can help to prevent these falls. There are three evidence-based fall prevention programs in Iowa: A Matter of Balance, Stepping On, and Tai Chi for Arthritis.
3. Mental Health – although some mental issues are a normal part of the aging process, many are not and it is estimated that as many as one in five older Iowans have mental health concerns that are not related to the aging process. The most common ones are anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. Here are some sobering statistics about the mental health of Iowa’s elderly population:
The parts of the Mental Health Program begin with Behavior Health Services which is defined as “a state of mental and emotional well-being and/or choices and actions that affect wellness”. There is a group of four teams to address the Mental Health of seniors in Iowa, including:
Family Caregiver Support – funded through the Area Agencies on Aging, this program employs family caregiver specialists who provide services to seniors. At least 350,000 Iowans are caregivers every year. Components of the program include: Information and assistance; Counseling and Education; and Respite Care Services.
Respite Care Services is a program funded via a grant from the Administration for Community Living. The Iowa Lifespan Respite Coalition provides monies for emergency respite care for caregivers who are in crisis. This service provides access to care for people of every age at any time of the day or night when a caregiver is having a crisis.
Iowa Senior Employment – older people are continuing to work into their retirement years, but many of these people are finding the job market to be challenging to enter or re-enter. It takes double the amount of time for older workers to find work as compared to the younger ones. There are also 3 times as many older seniors (55+) who make under $20,000 yearly income who are jobless, as compared to the general workforce. There are two different parts to the Senior Employment Program:
1. Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) - a federal program authorized under the Older Americans Act and funded through Congressional appropriations. The program helps low-income seniors who are 55 and older and unemployed who meet both income and residence eligibility requirements.
2. Older Worker Employment Program – in collaboration with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Iowa Department of Aging has created the Older Worker Employment Program (OWEP). This program uses federal funds and houses older worker employment specialists at each of the state’s Area Agencies on Aging. Services provided include: helping older people complete job applications, writing resumes, practicing for interview and networking.
Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services Program – the objective of this program is to oversee other programs that are in place to protect the rights of older adults. The three parts of this program are: Legal Assistance, Elder Justice & Adult Protective Services, Office of Substitute Decision Maker (OSDM).
If you believe that an older person is being abused in any way you should contact Iowa Adult Protective Services immediately. Here are some phone numbers and contacts:
Other Senior Services:
Most Iowa Assisted Living care costs are covered privately by either the senior or their families. Medicaid is the only program that will help pay for assisted living services, and you must first qualify for Medicaid in Iowa.
Waiver Programs available for seniors in Iowa:
The 7 HBCS Waiver Programs available in Iowa are:
What are the eligibility requirements for an HBCS Waiver?
The cost of living in Iowa is lower when compared to the rest of the nation, which is something to consider when you are relocating. If you are purchasing a house in Iowa, you should know that the median cost of housing is lower than the rest of the nation.
Here are some things to consider when choosing whether to retire in Iowa:
Located in the Midwestern U.S., Iowa, or “The Hawkeye State” is a state that most of us associate with corn and the annual state fair. It is the 30th most populated state in America, with an estimated 3.13 million people as per the latest Census. Iowa is the 26th largest state in the United States with an area of 56,614 square miles. Iowa ranks 36th in population density with 54.8 people per square mile. The percentage of seniors in Iowa has increased from 12.5% in 2010 to 14.2% in the previous Census. Iowa ranks as the 12th highest state with the percentage of senior citizens over the age of 65, at 15.69%.
Two interesting facts: Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed by rivers and although Iowa has 99 counties, it has 100 county seats because Lee County has two.
The city of Des Moines is the largest city in the state and the population is almost 210,000. The Metropolitan area of Des Moines-West Des Moines has a population of nearly 612,000. Other large cities within Iowa based on the last Census include:
The top three religious majorities recently have been: The Roman Catholic Church has around 500,000 adherents, the United Methodist Church with around 240,00 adherents, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Iowa is also home to some religions that prefer to be secluded and live much differently than the rest of the country, such as Mennonites, Quakers, German Pietists, followers of Transcendental Meditation, and the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
English is the primary language in Iowa and is spoken by 94% of the people, followed by Spanish, and then German. According to the latest Census, the racial composition of Iowa is approximately: 91% White (88.7% non-Hispanic white); 3% Black; 1.7% Asian; 0.4% Native-American, and 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. 1.8% of the population is from two or more races and 5% was of Hispanic or Latino origin.
Iowa’s personal income tax system has nine different tax brackets, ranging from 0.36% to 8.98% and the state sales tax has increased to 6%. Property taxes are assessed on the taxable value of the property – land, buildings, structures, etc.
Iowa also collects an inheritance tax that ranges from between 5% to 15% depending on the value of the estate and the relationship of the recipient to the person who died. Iowa does not impose an estate tax. Also of importance if you are working during your retirement years is the reciprocal agreement between Iowa and Illinois regarding taxes. If you live in Iowa yet work in Illinois, you are only required to pay tax in Iowa, and vice versa - any wages earned by an Illinois resident who works in Iowa only pays taxes to Illinois.
The purchasing power in Iowa is a higher than the average the nation. For example, what would cost you $110.74 in Iowa is what you would expect to spend $100 on in another state. The cost of living is lower in Iowa overall than it is in other states in every category, with housing being the biggest difference with the number being a low 69. All other factors are also below the national average – such as groceries, health, housing, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous.
There are many things that might be of interest for senior citizens in Iowa State. Some of the more interesting things that seniors, and those who visit them, may enjoy in Iowa include:
Here are some cities or towns that have ranked highly in different categories that are helpful to seniors:
SeniorGuidance.org provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.
Explore senior living options below: