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Costs of Assisted Living in Iowa

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:

  • Sioux City, IA - $2,500 per month. Sioux City is the #1 most affordable city for assisted living throughout Iowa. It costs $1000/month less than the state average, and more than $2300/month less than the most expensive Iowa city for assisted living - Des Moines.
  • Waterloo, IA - $3,050 per month
  • Dubuque, IA - $3,627 per month
  • Iowa City, IA - $3,675 per month
  • Davenport, IA - $3,805 per month
  • Cedar Rapids, IA - $4,300 per month
  • Ames, IA - $4,534 per month
  • Des Moines, IA - $4,851 per month

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.

Iowa Senior Living 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?

Services for Seniors Living in Iowa

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:

  • Public awareness regarding the range of long-term living options available in the state;
  • Provide information, advice, counseling, and help;
  • Connect people with services in both the public and private sector and programs at the local level; and
  • Give Iowans tools and resources so that they can make informed and intelligent decisions about their long-term care health needs.

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:

  • Information and assistance – this includes information about services and resources that are local for that person; help determining services that the senior needs, and referrals (when appropriate) to local service providers;
  • Options Counseling – provides information regarding the choices when planning for long-term care and how to remain independent; counseling to identify which option is best for the senior, considering their needs, resources, and wishes; and developing a plan to help the senior achieve their goals for aging.

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.

  • Service Coordination – those who are enrolled in the VD-HBCS are assigned a coordinator to help them navigate through the program. This coordinator works with the veteran to determine their individual needs; develop a service plan; assistance getting services while staying inside their monthly budget; and interview, hire, and train service providers. The coordinator is also there to help resolve issues and acts as an advocate on the veteran’s behalf if necessary; and
  • Financial Management – the finances are handled by a third party financial management service (FMS) which acts as the veteran’s payroll agent. The veteran uses the FMS to pay individuals or agencies for goods or services that are used.

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:

  • Those over the age of 50 have the highest rate of suicide than any other age group;
  • Older Iowans are going to substance use/abuse treatment centers at a higher rate than the national average and over half of these people have a co-existing mental disorder; and
  • 10.2% of Iowans over 65 report never getting social or emotional support.

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:

  1. The Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council
  2. Iowa’s Mental Health and Disability Services Commission
  3. The Iowa Suicide Prevention Planning Program, and
  4. The Iowa Suicide Prevention Coalition.

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:

  • If it is an emergency, call 911;
  • For those living in the community, there is an Abuse Hotline available 24 hours a day seven days a week at (800) 362-2178;
  • For those living in a Long-Term Care Facility or an Assisted Living Program you can call the Complaint Intake Line at 877-686-0027 or you can contact the Iowa Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman by clicking on the link or by calling (515) 725-3333 or 866-236-1430.
  • The Elder Abuse Prevention & Awareness State Clearinghouse – a single location point for anyone to find information and resources related to elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. It also helps people learn to recognize the signs of abuse and actions that can be taken to prevent it.

Other Senior Services:

  • Iowa Area Agency on Aging – there are six Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) throughout the state of Iowa that provide information and assistance with referrals to older adults, those with disabilities, veterans, and caregivers. They are an excellent source of information and are a good resource to help Iowa seniors find long-term care living services that are otherwise difficult to find.

Who pays for Assisted Living Care in Iowa?

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:

  • There are a total of 7 Iowa Home and Community Based Services Waiver Programs (HBCS). These waiver programs allow seniors and other individuals to remain in their homes or live in a community setting instead of being in a medical institution. Each of the waiver programs is designed for those with similar needs but offers a different set of services.

The 7 HBCS Waiver Programs available in Iowa are:

  1. Health and Disability Waiver
  2. AIDS/HIV (AH) Waiver
  3. Elderly (E) Waiver
  4. Intellectual Disability (ID) Waiver
  5. Brain Injury (ID) Waiver
  6. Physical Disability (PD) Waiver
  7. Children’s Mental Health (CMH) Waiver

What are the eligibility requirements for an HBCS Waiver?

  • Must be an Iowa resident, a U.S. citizen, or a legal alien with legal entry into the country;
  • Must be determined to be blind or disabled by the Disability Determination Services or, in some exceptions, receive Social Security disability benefits;
  • To receive HD Waiver services, an approved HD Waiver service provider must be available to provide the needed services;
  • Services provided by Health & Disability Waivers can’t be provided if a person is currently residing in a medical institution;
  • May be eligible for other Medicaid programs but chose to receive waiver services; and
  • Depending on the waiver program, the person must meet the specific eligibility requirements for that waiver.
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income) Requirements:
    • Applicants who are 21 years old as well as those who are younger than 21 must meet the following SSI requirements;
      • Meet the non-financial requirements for SSI;
      • Applicant income cannot exceed 300% of SSI; and
      • Resources for those who are aged 18 and over can’t exceed $2000.00
  • For those who are 25 and older: they must be ineligible for SSI due to excess income or due to a spouse’s income or resources;
  • For those under the age of 21: they can be eligible for SSI and they can be declared ineligible for SSI due to a spouse’s income or resources.

Pros and Cons of Iowa Senior Living

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:

  • Affordable Housing – Iowa has very affordable housing for retirees, about 12% less than the national average; and although the housing prices are rising in the Hawkeye State, they are still affordable for retirees;
  • College towns in Iowa rank high as good places to retirees. Traditionally known college towns like Ames, Decorah and Iowa City are all popular with seniors due to the college ambience, good air, reasonable cost of living, affordable home prices, cultural offerings, small town feel, low unemployment rate and job growth;
  • Happiness Factor – CNNMoney says that Iowa ranks No. 6 in its list of the “10 best states to retire in.” Besides Iowa having impressive healthcare for a state so small, the residents are some of the happiest people in the country; and
  • Taxes – Iowa is a state that is moderately tax-friendly toward retirees:
    • Social Security earnings received by Iowa seniors are not taxed;
    • Withdrawals from retirement accounts are partially taxed;
    • Wages are taxed at the normal rates; and
    • Both public and private pension income is partially taxed.
  • Weather - Iowa has a humid continental climate throughout the state which is characterized by hot and humid summers and cold winters. Winters can be very brutal and snowfall is common, with the average temperature often staying below freezing and even -18° F at times. Summers in Iowa are both hot and humid and the daytime temperature often reaches 90° F. Spring is the season for severe weather in Iowa, which averages about 50 days of thunderstorms annually. In the past 30 years, Iowa has had an average of 47 tornadoes per year is – some of which have been severe enough that people have been killed. Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, has an average of 204 sunny days per year and 100 days of precipitation. Annually, Des Moines gets 35.8 inches of rain per year and 34 inches of snowfall.

Iowa Demographics

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:

  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa with a population of almost 130,000 – although the Cedar Rapids metro area has a population of almost 264,000;
  • Davenport, Iowa has a population of approximately 105,000 and the Davenport metro area has almost 264,000;
  • Sioux City, Iowa has a population of about 83,000, but the Sioux City metro area has almost 165,000 people; and
  • Waterloo, Iowa has a population of nearly 70,000, with the Waterloo metro area having almost 170,000.

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.

Places of Interest for Seniors Living in Iowa

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:

  • Field of Dreams – located in Dyersville, Iowa – found at the century-old Lansing family farm, you will find the “Field of Dreams,” a carved full-sized baseball diamond that was featured in the movie “Field of Dreams”;
  • Brucemore – located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This estate was owned by only three families between 1884 and 1981 – the Sinclairs, the Douglases, and the Halls. It was built by Caroline Sinclair in 1884 for $55,000, and in 1906 it was sold to George Bruce Douglas at which point he named it Brucemore. In 1937, Margaret inherited Brucemore with her husband Howard Hall. Today, visitors can see the 26-acre park-like estate, the gardens, grounds, and the 21-room mansion;
  • John Wayne Birthplace – located in Winterset, Iowa. It is a modest 4-room home where John Wayne was born and there is a museum with the largest diversified exhibit of John Wayne artifacts in existence. Admission includes the museum, a guided tour, a documentary of John Wayne’s life, a meeting with his daughter Aissa;
  • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – located in West Branch, Iowa – this library/museum commemorates the 31st President of the United States who was also the first President born west of the Mississippi River. The museum sits on the grounds of the Hoover National historic site where seniors can tour the cottage that he was born in, the blacksmith shop, Quaker meeting house, local school, and Hoover’s gravesite;
  • Reiman Gardens – located in Ames, Iowa – this is a 14-acre garden with displays that change seasonally. Inside you will find a live, exotic butterfly exhibit and gardens;
  • National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library – located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – this 50,000 square foot museum opened in July of 2012 and features 230 pieces direct from Prague and London. There are two other galleries with rotating exhibitions on art, culture and history of the Czech and Slovaks. There is also a two-room 1880s Czech immigrant home that housed five generations. You can stroll down Czech Village and visit the exhibition;
  • John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park – located in Des Moines, Iowa. Over two dozen sculptures turned a green space in Des Moines into a fabulous sculpture – particularly at night when the lights illuminate the sculptures. About five miles west, senior citizens can visit the Art Center which has a collection of contemporary art collection;
  • Iowa State Fairgrounds – located in Des Moines, Iowa – the Iowa State Fair is one of the most popular state fairs in America as well as the single largest event in the state. It attracts more than one million people worldwide to see the state’s best in agriculture, industry, entertainment, and achievement. The Iowa State Fair was the inspiration for the novel “State Fair” and three motion pictures. It is ranked as the country’s most famous state fair and is one of the top events in the country. It usually occurs during the month of August;
  • Cedar Rock State Park (Lowell Walter Residence) – located in Independence, Kansas – home to the Lowell and Agnes Walter Estate designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It was designed in 1950's and remains as if you stepped out of the 1950s. There are four Wright designed structures on the property – the house, council fire, river pavilion, and the formal entrance gate. Tours are available, but you should call ahead;
  • National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium – located in Dubuque, Iowa – this museum features the culture, creatures, and history of the Mississippi River and all of America’s rivers. There are exhibits and 12 large aquariums in two main centers. It is located on a 14-acre riverfront campus and 3D/4D theater, boatyard, and dining;
  • Bridges – thanks to the book and the movie “The Bridges of Madison County,” Iowa is famous for its many covered bridges - obviously particularly those in Madison County, although they are present throughout the state.

Some cities to consider for Iowa Senior Living

Here are some cities or towns that have ranked highly in different categories that are helpful to seniors:

  • Sheldon, Iowa – located in O’Brien and Sioux counties, Iowa. The population is approximately 5,100 with around 18.5% age 65 or older. Last year, Sheldon ranked #2 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” #27 of 143 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Iowa,” and #37 of 143 of the “Best Places to Live in Iowa;
  • Cherokee, Iowa – located in, and the county seat of, Cherokee County, Iowa. The population of Cherokee is approximately 5,050 of whom around 23% are seniors aged 65 or older. Last year, Cherokee ranked #4 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” and #57 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Live in Iowa;”
  • Spencer, Iowa – a city in, and the county seat of Clay County, Iowa. The population is around 11,200 with almost 20% of the population age 65 or older. Last year, Spencer ranked #7 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” and #7 out of 77 of the “Safest Places to Live in Iowa;”
  • Algona, Iowa – located in, and the county seat of, Kossuth County, Iowa. Ambrose A. Call State Park is located two miles away from Algona. It has a population of approximately 5,500, around 24% of whom are elderly residents 65 or older. Last year, Algona ranked #1 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” #16 out of 77 of the “Safest Places to Live in Iowa,” and #37 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Iowa;”
  • Charles City, Iowa – located in, and the county seat of, Floyd County, Iowa. Floyd County is named for Sergeant Charles Floyd of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The population of Charles City is estimated to be 7,500 of which around 23% are older Iowans, age 65 or older. Last year, Charles City ranked #5 of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” #14 of the 77 “Safest Places to Live in Iowa,” and #54 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Live in Iowa;”
  • Shenandoah, Iowa – located in both Freemont and Page Counties, Iowa. Shenandoah was once the “seed and nursery capital of the world” and is the home to the Earl May Seed Company. The population of Shenandoah has been decreasing since the 1980s and is estimated to be around 5,000 of whom around 23% are age 65 or older. Last year, Shenandoah ranked #6 of 77 of the “Safest Places to Live in Iowa,” #8 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” and #47 of 143 of the “Most Diverse Places to Live in Iowa;”
  • Iowa Falls, Iowa – located in Hardin County, Iowa. Ellsworth Community College is in Iowa Falls. The population is approximately 6,000 of which around 23% are 65 years of age or older. Last year, Iowa Falls ranked #11 out of 143 of “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” #17 of 77 of the “Safest Places to Live in Iowa,” and #59 of 143 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Iowa;”
  • Carroll, Iowa – located in, and the county seat of, Carroll County, Iowa. The population of Carroll, Iowa is approximately 10,500 with around 20% of residents age 65 or older. Last year, Carroll ranked #10 of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” #12 out of 77 of the “Safest Places to Live in Iowa,” and #27 out of 143 of the “Places with the Best Public Schools in Iowa;”
  • Decorah, Iowa – located in, and the county seat of, Winneshiek County, Iowa. Decorah is the largest community in Winneshiek County. The population of Belpre is approximately 8,000 with close to 19% residents who are at least 65 years old. Last year, Decorah ranked #14 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa,” #2 out of 77 of the “Safest Places to Live in Iowa; and #13 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Iowa;”
  • Winterset, Iowa – located in Madison County, Iowa. Winterset is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area and the birthplace of John Wayne. The population is approximately 5,200 with over 18% of the community who are seniors age 65 or older. Last year, Winterset ranked #24 out of 143 of the “Best Places to Retire in Iowa, #6 of 19 of the “Safest Suburbs in Iowa, and #66 out of 143 of the “Healthiest Places to Live in Iowa.”

Common Questions About Assisted Living in Iowa

What is assisted living?

Assisted living is a type of senior housing that provides personalized support and care services to residents while promoting independence. In Iowa, cities like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids offer various assisted living communities with amenities tailored to seniors' needs.

How much does assisted living cost in Iowa?

Assisted living costs in Iowa can vary based on location, amenities, and services provided. On average, the cost ranges from $2,500 to $4,500 per month. Cities like Iowa City and Davenport offer a range of options to fit different budgets and preferences.

Are there memory care facilities in Iowa?

Yes, Iowa has memory care facilities that specialize in providing care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Cities like Sioux City and Waterloo have reputable memory care communities with trained staff to support residents with memory-related challenges.

What types of amenities are offered in Iowa's assisted living communities?

Assisted living communities in Iowa offer a variety of amenities including communal dining, recreational activities, fitness centers, and transportation services. In cities like Ames and Dubuque, seniors can enjoy beautiful surroundings and engage in social activities to maintain an active lifestyle.

Is Medicaid accepted for covering assisted living costs in Iowa?

Yes, Medicaid can help cover the costs of assisted living in Iowa for eligible seniors. Iowa's Medicaid program offers the Elderly Waiver, which provides financial assistance to qualified individuals seeking assisted living services. Cities like Council Bluffs and Ankeny have facilities that accept Medicaid payments.

What should I consider when choosing an assisted living facility in Iowa?

When choosing an assisted living facility in Iowa, consider factors such as location, cost, available services, staff qualifications, and community atmosphere. Research options in cities like Ames and Cedar Falls to find a facility that aligns with your preferences and needs.

Do Iowa's assisted living communities organize social activities?

Yes, many assisted living communities in Iowa organize a variety of social activities to keep residents engaged and active. Cities like Dubuque and Iowa City offer events such as group outings, fitness classes, art workshops, and social gatherings to promote a sense of community among residents.

Can I bring my own furniture to an assisted living apartment in Iowa?

Yes, many assisted living apartments in Iowa allow residents to bring their own furniture to make their living space feel familiar and comfortable. In cities like Waterloo and Council Bluffs, residents can personalize their apartments with their cherished belongings.

Are there pet-friendly assisted living options in Iowa?

Yes, there are pet-friendly assisted living options in Iowa. Many facilities in cities like Ames and Des Moines recognize the importance of pets in seniors' lives and offer accommodations that welcome small pets, providing companionship and comfort to residents.

Are assisted living facilities in Iowa regulated?

Yes, assisted living facilities in Iowa are regulated by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. The department ensures that these facilities adhere to specific standards to ensure the safety, well-being, and quality of care for residents. Cities across Iowa, including Cedar Rapids and Davenport, benefit from these regulations.

Is transportation provided for medical appointments in Iowa's assisted living communities?

Many assisted living communities in Iowa offer transportation services for medical appointments. Cities like Sioux City and Iowa City often provide scheduled transportation to ensure residents have access to necessary healthcare services, promoting their well-being and peace of mind.

Are there assisted living options with scenic views in Iowa?

Yes, some assisted living communities in Iowa boast scenic views of natural landscapes. Cities like Dubuque and Ames offer facilities with beautiful surroundings, allowing residents to enjoy picturesque views that contribute to a serene and peaceful living environment.

Do assisted living communities in Iowa offer religious or spiritual services?

Yes, many assisted living communities in Iowa provide religious or spiritual services to accommodate residents' diverse beliefs. Cities like Davenport and Des Moines offer on-site chapels, prayer groups, and access to religious resources, fostering a sense of community and spiritual well-being.

What are the qualifications of staff in Iowa's assisted living facilities?

Staff in Iowa's assisted living facilities typically have relevant training and qualifications in caregiving and senior services. Many cities like Cedar Falls and Ankeny have facilities that prioritize hiring compassionate and skilled staff to provide quality care and support to residents.

Can I visit Iowa assisted living facilities before making a decision?

Absolutely, you can and should visit Iowa assisted living facilities before making a decision. Cities like Cedar Rapids and Iowa City have facilities that encourage scheduled tours, allowing you to explore the environment, interact with staff and residents, and assess if it's the right fit for you or your loved one.

Cities and Counties With Assisted Living Facilities in Iowa

Don't see your city/town/village on the list? Please use our search bar at the top of the page to search through 674 senior living options from 256 cities, towns and villages in Iowa. Simply enter your city name or zip code.

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.

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