Assisted Living & Senior Living in U.S.

New Mexico Senior Living

New Mexico Assisted Living

New Mexico Senior Living CommunitiesNew Mexico ranks 31st out of the 50 states for its senior population, with 13.2% of residents of New Mexico who are age 65 or older. However, with the increase in the senior citizen age group and the variety of activities available in New Mexico, is the “Land of Enchantment” a wise option for those who looking for senior living communities or assisted living in New Mexico?

New Mexico is in the southwestern region of America, although it is usually considered to be one of the Mountain states as well. New Mexico is the 5th largest state in the nation with 121,589 square miles. The population is approximately 2,085,109, which is the 36th most populous state in the country. Yet, the population density is comparably small, with 17.2 people per square mile, (which ranks 45th in America.)

New Mexico has very little water, the surface water area is approximately 250 square miles. There are millions of acres of forest in New Mexico, many of which are national forests, mainly in the northern part of the state. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which are the southernmost part of the Rocky Mountains, run north-south along the Rio Grande river in the northern part of the state. Large rivers in New Mexico include: the Rio Grande, the fourth-longest river in the nation, Gila, Pecos, San Juan, and Canadian.

The geography of New Mexico allows for retirees and visitors to find interesting activities for both active and disabled people, as well for those who come to visit. The capital of the state is Santa Fe, but Albuquerque is the largest city as well as being the largest Metropolitan Area in the state. Over 20% of the population lives in poverty and that could alter the crime rates and health rates.

Costs of Assisted Living in New Mexico

The costs of a monthly stay in an Assisted Living Facility is expensive throughout the United States; however, the cost, both physical and emotional, of caregiving is incalculable. In the state of New Mexico, the average cost for a month stay in an Assisted Living Facility is $3,600 – although that amount ranges from $3,400/month in Albuquerque, NM; $3,600/month in Farmington, NM; $3,695/month in Las Cruces, New Mexico; to $4,355/month in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The annual average cost of Assisted Living in the state of New Mexico across all cities is currently a bit over $52,200 and the costs will only increase as the number of older and disabled people increase - and this is something that our society needs to be concerned about. By the year 2030, the monthly cost of Assisted Living across the nation is expected to be around $79,000. The increase in these prices is why Long-Term Care Insurance is on the rise in America.

Many people choose to try and keep their loved one at home with them. Often this is to try and save money and to assuage the guilt that inevitably comes with “putting someone in a senior home.” But there are costs associated with home care as well. In many cases the caregiver, most frequently a woman, is working full-time and has children of her own - she is the “sandwich generation.” However, it is almost impossible to care for someone at home without some sort of help, be it professional or not. Some choose to take their loved ones to Adult Day Health Care – a supervised setting that is open during what is typically described as working hours, where the person can enjoy other’s company, get out of the house, engage in recreational activities, and still be supervised. In New Mexico, the average cost of Adult Day Health Care is $2,340 ($28,080 monthly) – although that amount will change depending on the area that one lives in.

Another option is the use of a Home Health Aide which is, essentially, someone who comes into your home and takes care of the senior citizen. The responsibilities vary depending on the family and the level of comfort between the Aide, family, and senior citizen. The average cost of a Home Health Aide in the state of New Mexico is right around $4,000, or $48,025 per month. This figure is based on a 44-hour work week which works out to around 6 ¼ hours per day based on a 7-day week, or 8.8 hours based on a 5-day week. Unfortunately, especially with those that have dementia or Alzheimer’s, these “hours” do not fit their schedule and they are often up in the middle of the night. To truly provide 24-hour care in home with a Home Health Aide would require 3.8 Aides per week, which would cost an astounding $15,207.60 per month – far more than an Assisted Living Facility costs. However, if your health insurance covers home health aide costs, it may be worthwhile to try for that option, however it should be noted that home health aides are generally not specifically trained for dementia patients. As such, it is always a much better option to choose assisted living care in New Mexico for those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Assisted Living Facilities also have professional nurses, activities, meals, and exercise classes. Many even go on outings to malls, museums, or far-away places that require overnight trips. While it seems on the surface that Assisted Living is a more expensive option, the emotional toll that it can take on a family is enormous. Additionally, Home Health Aides do light housekeeping at best as their primary job is to provide care for your loved one, so a housekeeper may be necessary.

Nursing Facilities are on the other end of the long-term-care spectrum and are necessary when a person needs 24-hour nursing care. The cost of a semi-private skilled nursing facility room in New Mexico is around $6,471 per month, while a private room costs around $7,230 monthly.

The cost of caring for older or disabled people will grow as the senior population grows and it is estimated that within the next 5 years Home Health Aides will cost 1% more, Adult Day Health Care will cost 10% more, Assisted Living will increase 1% and Nursing Home Care will increase between 3%-4%. By the year 2030, the annual costs will increase to $72,642 for a Home Health Aide, $42,474 for Adult Day Health Care, $65,344 for Assisted Living Care, $117,459 for a semi-private room, and $131,205 for a private room in a Nursing Facility.

Senior Living Communities in New Mexico

Whatever type of senior living option you choose in New Mexico, you should consider your health and the health of your partner, the likelihood of upcoming health problems, and your finances. If you have been healthy your entire life and both of your parents lived to the age of 90 before dying of heart attacks in their sleep you might look at different places than someone who had parents die of dementia in their 60s. Consider your current lifestyle: If you enjoy skiing and more active exercise like hiking and rock-climbing, you may consider living in a senior community with access to a hospital with rehabilitation services.

Here are some well-known senior living communities and assisted living facilities in New Mexico:

  • Las Cruces, New Mexico – There are seven Assisted Living Facilities in Las Cruces and two others are nearby. The average cost of Assisted Living in Las Cruces is $3,650 monthly while the cost in El Paso, Texas at “Royal Estates of El Paso” is only $1,800/month.

Two of the featured Assisted Living Facilities in Las Cruces are:

  • Desert Peaks Assisted Living and Memory Care – a Compass Senior Living Community with prices starting $3,195 per month. Desert Peaks holds events at the community including educational presentations, guest speakers, arts and crafts, bingo, cultural activities, and exercise programs.

Studio Apartments and One-bedroom apartments are available with individual heating and cooling units in each apartment.

Desert Peaks is a dementia facility and they offer the “Generations” memory care program.

Amenities include: Kitchenette, 24-hour staffing, Emergency Call System, Beauty/Barber Shop, Outside Patio/Gardens, Piano, Restaurant-Style Dining, Housekeeping, Meals and Snacks prepared daily, Assistance with ADL’s, Transportation to Appointments, Medication Management, Housekeeping, Trips and Outings, Full-Time Activities Director, Exercise Classes, Gardening, and Live On-site Entertainment;

  • Haciendas at Grace Village – locally owned community with prices starting at $5,000 per month. Haciendas at Grace Village strives to maintain a “home-like” feel while still providing quality care for those with dementia-related diseases. This small facility, with a capacity of 48, is strictly for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

Amenities include: Outside Patio/Gardens, Cable/Satellite TV, Computer/Internet Access, Special Meals (i.e. Gluten Free), Medication Management, On-Call nurses 24 hours a day, Assistance with ADLs, Housekeeping, Laundry Service, Activities, Social Events, Educational Opportunities, and Exercise Classes; and

  • The Aristocrat of Las Cruces – locally owned senior living community with facilities “The Adobe” in Las Cruces and “The Aristocrat” in Alamogordo. The costs are based on a tier structure, depending on the level of care that your loved one needs.

Tier I - $3,135 per month – includes a private studio apartment with a private handicapped accessible bathroom, three restaurant-style meals served daily in the dining room and snacks are available 24 hours a day; daily housekeeping which gives you as many linens as towels as you need, transportation to and from hospitals and doctors’ offices, personal laundry, free cable TV, group and personal activities, wellness program, three nightly bed checks available upon request, and medication assistance;

Tier II - $3,345 monthly – includes preparation of special dietary needs, help with getting dressed, help with bathing up to 3 times a week, grooming, hygiene, and ambulation including wheelchair use, and all the services provided in Level I; and

Tier III - $3,555 per month – this level includes help going to the bathroom, getting dressed and grooming at both morning and evening, assistance with getting to the dining room and activities, assistance with transferring, one-on-one assistance during mealtime, bed checks every half hour during the nighttime shift, and all the services provided in Level I and Level II.

  • Corrales, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Rio Rancho, New Mexico – these cities are close to each other and therefore many of the senior retirement communities and facilities for senior citizens are applicable to residents in those cities.
    • Brookdale Santa Fe – owned by Brookdale Senior Living Solutions and formerly called Ponce de Leon. The facility is for both Independent and Assisted Living, depending on the level of care that is required.

The costs for Assisted Living at Brookdale Santa Fe include the following, but they may increase depending on the level of care needed and/or the size of the apartment:

  • Basic Monthly Service Rate: ranges between $2,600 and $3,800;
  • Monthly Care Fee Average: $800 = an approximate average monthly cost of $4,000;
  • One-time fee of $500 - $1,500 – covers admission and apartment preparation and renovation if necessary; and
  • Additional person fee – covers meals and other services your spouse will receive, but does not include care fees.
  • Medication is paid for by the resident directly.

Amenities include: a 24-hour Security System; Concierge Services, a Café-Bistro, a General Store, Fitness Center, Beauty/Barber Shops, Game Rooms, Billiards, Fireside Living Room, a Snack Shop, Piano, Private Dining Room, Special Dietary Menus, Screened Lanai, Flat Screen TVs, Bank, a Community Room (available for rent,) Walking Paths, Private Dining Room, Meeting Room and Landscaped Grounds; and

  • Fairwinds Rio Rancho – owned and operated by Leisure Care Retirement Communities, Fairwinds Rio Rancho is located just north of Albuquerque and is close to world-class shopping, dining and medical services. The staff and attendants strive to make Rio Rancho fun for the residents and offer concierge services, language lessons, weekly happy hours, and tea in an English-style tea room that is open to the public. Fairwinds Rio Rancho is a pet-friendly facility and dog-walking services are available.

Costs for Assisted Living care at Fairwinds Rio Rancho run from $2,400 - $4,200 per month, depending on the size and location of one of the 76 Assisted Living Apartments.

There are four levels of care offered that are determined after an assessment from a nurse, but ranges from $200 - $2,400 monthly. This makes the total cost of Assisted Living Care at Fairwinds Rio Ranch between $2,600 - $6,600.

Staffing includes: a visiting dentist, a visiting Physical Therapist, 24-hour Awake Staff, a visiting Occupational Therapist, PrimeFit Group Fitness Instructor who provides Personal Training, a visiting Podiatrist, On-Call Registered Nurse, On-Site Home Health Agency, House Calls from Local Doctors, Sales Advisor available 7 days a week, Activities Coordinator, Maintenance Staff Available Daily, and Concierge Services available 5 days a week.

Amenities include: Brain Fitness – a program by Rosetta Stone which concentrates on the six main areas of the brain, including memory, speed, concentration, visual, language, and problem solving; Concierge Services; Travel by Leisure Care; Lounges; Full-Service Salon; Activity Room; Private Mailboxes; Transportation Services; Weekly Housekeeping and Linen Service; Shuttle Service; Movie Theater with theatre-style seating; Computer Room with Internet; Private Shopper; Essential Shop; Weekly Outings; Covered Parking Available; Mailing Services on-site; Enclosed Courtyard; Bocce Ball Court; Church Services Available; Guest Suites; and a Library.

  • Palmilla Senior Living – operated by Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC. The Community is in Albuquerque, but it the website describes it as “the premier senior living community near Rio Rancho city, New Mexico.”

Palmilla has Independent Living, Assisted Living, Transitional Memory Care, and Memory Care within its facility.

Assisted Living apartments starting costs are $2,995 per month, although services cost extra. Included with the rent are: All meals with your Dining program; Daily wellness checks, Activities and wellness programs, Many Concierge services, Bi-weekly housecleaning and linen service, use of all amenities, Utilities (i.e. gas, water, electric, cable TV, and trash removal), emergency call system available 24 hours a day, climate controlled apartments, transportation, maintenance on both the inside and the outside of buildings, grounds, and apartments.

Also available at Palmilla senior living are: pet-friendly apartments, full-service beauty salon, resource library with computer access, fitness and physical therapy center, meeting rooms for clubs, theater with surround sound, and lounges with fireplaces.

  • Atria Vista del Rio - operated by Atria with headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. Established in 1996, they have grown to more than 190 communities in 28 states and 7 Canadian provinces with over 14,500 employees, 21,000 residents, and 21,000 units.

Atria Vista del Rio offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care.

Services included with the price are: 24-hour staff; Vegetarian Meals; Outdoor grill; Courtyard; Outdoor Fireplace; Walking Paths; Community Laundry Service; Town Car Service; Concierge Service; Library; Wi-Fi in common areas; Transportation to scheduled appointments; On-site parking for residents and guests; Fitness center; salon and barber shop; Game Room; Alzheimer’s and dementia support group; Movie theater; Emergency alert pendant or wristband; Transfer Assistance as needed, On Call Nurses 24/7; Newspaper delivery; and a pet-friendly environment.

  • Elmcroft of Quintessence – operated by Elmcroft Senior Living which is based out of Louisville, Kentucky and has 83 senior living communities and four multi-level retirement communities that house and care for over 6,000 residents in 18 states.

The cost of care of Assisted Living at Elmcroft of Quintessence can run from $3,000 to $5,000 per month, although the rates vary depending on the level of care needed and the size of the apartment.

Unique programs at Elmcroft include the Vitality Club, Heartland Village, Walking Tall, and Second Wind Dreams.

Food at Elmcroft facilities is taken very seriously. “Port of Call” is part of the “Vitality Club” which allows residents to try food from around the world as well as trying food that is closer to home but less popular.

The “Chef’s Challenge” is a contest held at Elmcroft which encourages everyone to submit special recipes that are then taste-tested by the residents and, if they pass inspection, are then incorporated into the meal.

Theme Parties also happen every month and they focus on different types of foods. Some months they may put focus on farm fresh vegetables and other times it may be a delicious apple pie.

  • Hobbs, New Mexico – a city in Lea County, New Mexico. Lea County is on the border of Texas and New Mexico. The population of Hobbs is approximately 38,500 and around 12% of residents are 65 years of age or older.
    • Landmark Desert Gardens Assisted Living & Memory Care – operated by Landmark Senior Living Companies, this community is in the historic part of downtown Hobbs and art galleries, shops, restaurants, and the library are all within walking distance from the facility.

The cost of Assisted Living care at this senior living community is between $2,700 and $3,500 per month for the room and depending on the level of care needed the price will increase so that Desert Gardens can provide appropriate and adequate care for you or your loved one.

Other services offered by the Landmark Desert Gardens Assisted Living & Memory Care include: Spacious Personalized Apartments; an Active Grand Foyer; a Sun Filled Dining Area; an Open Courtyard with Trees; Walking Areas; Lounging Furniture; and Local Events and Trips.

Pets are welcome, but there are pet fees assessed;

  • Clovis, New Mexico – a city in, and the county seat of, Curry County, New Mexico. Curry County borders the state of Texas. The population of Clovis is around 40,000, of which 13% of residents are 65 years of age or older.
    • Wheatfields Senior Living Community – a full service community that provides Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care.

The cost of Assisted Living at Wheatfields senior living community is $2,500 - $4,500 per month on average, although these prices may increase depending on the level of care necessary for the staff to properly take care of the resident.

Basic Services for those in Assisted Living include: three meals daily, activities, 24-hour staff, apartment maintenance, transportation, weekly housekeeping and linen services, paid utilities, fire detection services and emergency call button in all apartments.

  • Roswell, New Mexico – a city in, and the county seat of, Chaves County, in the southeastern part of the state. The population of Roswell is approximately 48,600, with 16% of residents age 65 or older.
    • Brookdale Country Club – operated by Brookdale Senior Living Solutions. This facility in Roswell, New Mexico offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, and an area devoted to Memory Care.

The costs of accommodations in the Assisted Living section run from $2,060 - $4,600 per month depending on the size of the room. There are additional costs depending on the needs of the resident and the care that is required to provide care for these residents while keeping them and others safe, after an assessment by a nurse from a facility.

There are 12 large two-bedroom, two-bath stucco condominiums with full kitchens, a patio, a washer and dryer, and garage parking.

This New Mexico Assisted Living Community features 80 small apartments (studio and one-bedroom units,) microwave and sink, a small kitchenette with a refrigerator, a large wheelchair accessible bathroom including a roll-in shower, and heating and cooling system that can be individually controlled according to the needs of the residents. There is also an emergency call system in every room. The Assisted Living Apartments were designed so that plenty of outside light could enter through the many windows and there are ceiling fans and ample closet space within these apartments.

Community activities include, among others, a monthly Alzheimer’s Association support group, and an annual health fair that brings medical vendors and health-related organizations such as optometrists, local hearing-aid suppliers, and hospice agencies who provide free screening and information.

The staff at Brookdale County Club’s Assisted Living Community has a variety of jobs that vary from day to day. The staff assists residents with Activities of Daily Living as well as housekeeping, transportation, and recreation. Specially trained caregivers provide assistance with medication management, getting dressed, bathing, and they coordinate with providers outside of the facility (doctors and hospitals for example.)

Brookdale County Club’s staff recognizes that the best way to work with seniors is to work together and to recognize the individuals needs and preferences and work to meet those needs. One of the most important things that anyone, but particularly someone in a facility or in a position of dependence needs is trust and Brookdale employees work to foster trust between the caregivers and the residents.

The “Optimum Life” Program – Brookdale has a unique approach to resident activities which balances six main areas: purposeful, emotional, wellness, social, spiritual, intellectual and physical. Services are provided to allow the resident to reach these goals, regardless of real or perceived limitations.

Amenities included at Brookdale Country Club include: Emergency Response in Each Room, Private Dining Room, Walking Paths, Landscaped Gardens, Billiards, Beauty/Barber Shop, Postal Services, Greenhouse, Gardening, Fireside Living Room, and Flat Screen TV.

This is not to say that there aren’t other amazing senior living communities in New Mexico. In fact, there is even a Del Webb at Mirehaven in Albuquerque. However, in many cases with couples particularly, one couple is in poorer health than the other and in cases like that it might be a good choice to be in a facility that offers both Independent Living as well as Assisted Living or Memory Care.

Some cities to consider for New Mexico Senior Living

Just as you can’t put all 30-year-olds into one atmosphere and expect them to be happy, the same is true with the senior population. Some people would rather be in a city with lots of cultural and historic opportunities, whereas others would prefer to live in a smaller area with little traffic where there are more options for outdoor activities.

Here are some cities or towns that have ranked highly in different categories and in which seniors may enjoy living. We have tried to include towns that are both large as well as those that are smaller, some are tourist towns and some are more agricultural. With the different geography that New Mexico has, we are sure that you can find a place that meets your senior living needs.

  • Las Cruces, New Mexico – a city in, and the county seat of, Doña Ana County, New Mexico. Las Cruces is the part of the combined statistical area of El Paso-Las Cruces and is the second-largest city in New Mexico with a population of around 103,000 people.

The growth of the city is due to New Mexico State University, founded in 1888, and the relatively close White Sands Missile Range, established in 1944, and White Sands Test facility in 1963. Las Cruces is the closest city to these opportunities and allows people to live in a city while they are employed at stable, government jobs. But recently, there have been more retirees moving to the area.

There are 136 physicians for every 100,000 people in the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico which is below the national average of 210; however, the Las Cruces magazine website says that there are almost 400 physicians in 30 different areas of practice. El Paso, Texas is only 42 miles east of Las Cruces and is a city of nearly 685,000 people.

Hospitals in Las Cruces include Memorial Medical Center – winner of the Best Hospital Reader’s Choice Award from 2003 – 2011, Mountain View Regional Medical Center – offering cardiac rehabilitation and digital Mammography - Alliance Hospital, Santa Teresa, and Mesilla Valley Hospital.

Las Cruces has a two main Senior Centers – Munson Senior Center and Eastside Senior Center. These senior centers have been given 5 out of 5 stars and can help provide activities, congregate meals, help seniors find volunteer opportunities, provide transportation to senior citizens, connect seniors to caregivers and others who can help improve their quality of life, and are a good contact to have for both recreational activities as well as if you find yourself needing help and do not know where to get that help.

The cost of health care in Las Cruces is below the national average and some residents go to Mexico for even cheaper health care (not that it is recommended.)

The crime rate in Las Cruces, based on a 100-point-scale, is 31 for violent crimes and 56 for property crimes. The U.S. average for these crimes is 31.1 and 38.1 respectively.

The population of Las Cruces, New Mexico is approximately 103,000 of which around 13% of residents are age 65 or older;

  • Corrales, New Mexico – a village in Sandoval County, New Mexico near the Rio Grande River. It is part of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area and the village has worked hard to maintain is rural feel with the city of Albuquerque so close-by.

There are 120 physicians for every 100,000 residents in Corrales, New Mexico which is far below the national average of 210 (although Albuquerque is not far away.) There are no hospitals in Corrales, but Albuquerque is only 28 miles away and has quite a few high-ranking hospitals, including: Kindred Hospital Albuquerque, Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital, Lovelace Westside Hospital, Lovelace Women’s Hospital, and the UNM Health System Hospital System. Albuquerque is the home of the University of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine which tends to mean that the city is well staffed with physicians and interns who are learning.

There is a Corrales Senior Meal Site which helps seniors with meals in either a congregate setting or, sometimes, by arranging for food to be delivered to an older person (also called Meals on Wheels.) More information on the Corrales Senior Center can be found here. There is a more in-depth program for seniors in Albuquerque at the Meadowlark Senior Center (MCM), which you can find here.

The crime rate in Corrales, based on a 100-point-scale, is 19 for violent crimes, and 20 for property crimes. The U.S. average for these crimes is 31.1 and 38.1 respectively.

In 2007, Corrales was #19 on CNN Money’s list of the 100 best places to live.

The population of Corrales is around 8,500 residents with a median age of 52 and approximately 10.5% of the population is seniors 65 years of age or older;

  • Santa Fe – a city in, and the capital seat of, Santa Fe County, New Mexico. Santa Fe is also the capitol of the state of New Mexico and is the principal city of a Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as part of the larger Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas combined statistical area. The city’s full name is La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis, which translates to “The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi.” Santa Fe was founded by Spanish colonists in 1610 and is known as the oldest state capitol city in the nation and the oldest city in the state of New Mexico. 

As early as 1912, Santa Fe has been devoted to the preservation of the historic streets and structures. When the main railroad bypassed Santa Fe many residents left, but artists, writers, and retirees stayed for the culture, climate, and beauty. In 1957, an ordinance passed that all new and rebuilt buildings must exhibit a “Spanish Territorial” or “Pueblo” style of architecture. Perhaps due to the city’s laws and the historical significance, Santa Fe has been designated as an UNESCO Creative City in Design, Crafts, and Folk Art.

In 2012, Santa Fe was listed as one of the top 10 best places to retire in the United States by CBS Money Watch and U.S. News.

Santa Fe, New Mexico has 289 physicians per 100,000 population which is higher than the US average of 210.

There are quite a few Senior Centers in the City of Santa Fe – the Edgewood Senior Center, Santa Cruz Senior Center (Abedon Lopez Community Center), El Rancho Senior Center, Chimayo Senior Center (Bennie J. Chavez Senior Center), Rio en Medio Senior Center, Eldorado Senior Center (Ken and Patty Adam Center), and the Nambe Senior/Community Center. The goal of these centers is to provide opportunities for creativity, learning and socialization, and they offer both health and wellness classes. These centers have yoga, ceramics, exercise, jewelry making, pinochle, art classes, creative writing, museum visits, and more.

They are also offer Congregate Meal for lunch services for $1.50 those 60-years-old or older. Meals on Wheels is also offered to homebound senior citizens. Transportation services are available for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, volunteering, and other errands. For more information, you can check all Santa Fe county senior services.

On a scale of 1 to 100, Santa Fe comes in at 38 on violent crimes and 66 on property crimes, this is compared to the national average of 31.1 for violent crimes and 38.1 for property crimes.

The population of Santa Fe is approximately 85,000 with almost 14% of residents who are senior citizens of age 65 or older; and

  • Rio Rancho, New Mexico – the largest city in, and the economic hub, or Sandoval County, New Mexico – although a small part extends into northern Bernalillo County. Rio Rancho is the third-fastest city in New Mexico and is also one of the fastest expanding cities in the state. It is part of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Intel is the largest employer in Rio Rancho and is the site of one of the largest semiconductor fabrication plants in the world. Rio Rancho is continuing to expand, with the City Centre development, Loma Colorado development, Central New Mexico Community College, Mariposa development, and a new 14-screen Premiere Cinemas theatre.

Rio Rancho is to host the National Speleological Society’s annual convention (essentially a study of caves.)

Although the main hospital that serves the Rio Rancho population is the Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, the proximity to Albuquerque allows Rio Rancho residents to use those hospitals when needed and, at only 17 miles – or a half hour drive – it is a convenient option.

Although there are only 120 physicians within Rio Rancho proper, the proximity to Albuquerque should not dissuade you from considering relocating to this area. Hospitals that serve this area include: Kindred Hospital Albuquerque, Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Presbyterian Hospital, Lovelace Westside Hospital the UNM Health System Hospital System and Lovelace Women’s Hospital. Albuquerque is the home of the University of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine which tends to mean that the city is well staffed with physicians and interns who are learning.

Meadowlark Senior Center (MSC) is the focal point of the community for those who are 55 and older. The MSC provides both individual and groups activities, including: Arts & Wellness Programming; Intergenerational Programming; Arts & Humanities Programming; Social Activities; Information and Referral Services, Assistance with Finances and Benefits; Transportation Services, Meal Programs, and Volunteer Opportunities.

While MCS is the main point of the community, there are six Senior Centers, one Meal Site, a Transportation Program, a Frail and Elderly Program, and a Volunteer Program. The locations of these centers are in Rio Rancho, Placitas, Corrales, Bernalillo, Jemez, Pena Blanca, and Cuba. These centers provide services include: Congregate Meals, Transportation, Home Delivered Meals, Enhanced Fitness, Caregiver Respite Services, Case Management Services, Homemaker Services, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Senior Companion & Foster Grandparents Program, and Senior Employment Programs.

The crime rate of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, on a scale from 1 to 100 with 1 being the lowest, is 17 for violent crimes and property crimes rank at 27, compared to the United States average of 31.1 and 38.1 respectively, so Rio Rancho has a low crime problem.

  • Cloudcroft, New Mexico – a village in Otero County, New Mexico, as well as in the Lincoln National Forest. It is at an extremely high elevation of 8,600 feet which makes it a popular tourist attraction for people in West Texas and New Mexico and tourism is one of the primary economic drivers of the village.

There are 118 physicians per 100,000 people in the city of Cloudcroft, which is lower than the United States average of 210.  Although Cloudcroft is a small town with few major health care choices and no hospital, it is only 30 miles away from Ruidoso, New Mexico which is home to the Lincoln County Medical Center.

Cloudcroft is served by the Sacramento Mountain Senior Services, INC (SMSSI.) SMSSI provides services including, but not limited to: home-delivered meals, Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Counselors (HIBAC), housekeeping, recreation opportunities – dances, sing-a-longs, games, parties, and even recreational trips, health and nutrition services, access to faxes and computers, 55-Alive driving courses, a lending library, and transportation service. The crime rate in Cloudcroft, based on a 100-point-scale, is 59 for violent crimes, and 72 for property crimes. The U.S. average for these crimes is 31.1 and 38.1 respectively. The population of Cloudcroft, New Mexico is approximately 690 residents, of which close to 15.5% are senior citizens 65-years-of-age or older;

  • Silver City, New Mexico – a town in, and the county seat of, Grant County, New Mexico. It is at the southern foot of the Pinos Altos Range of the Mongollon Mountains and is only 3 miles east of the continental divide.

For the senior who still wishes to go to college, either to purse a degree or simply to learn something new, Silver City is home to Western New Mexico State University.

Silver City is still a place for mining activity, but tourism, retirement, and trade also play integral roles in the city’s economy. The town has a strong musician and artist community and the Mimbres Region Arts Council (MRAC) has been named the #1 arts council in New Mexico for over a decade.

The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is less than 45 miles away from Silver City where the remnants of Native American people within five caves in a cliff can be seen. Whitewater Canyon is 70 miles away and the “Catwalk” is a trail that is suspended 25 feet above the Canyon and enclosed by a metal walkway. The “Kneeling Nun” is a natural rock formation that is around 20 miles east of Silver City, although its origins are unknown.

There are 217 physicians for every 100,000 people in Fallon compared with a national average of 210. The health care in Silver City, NM includes Silver Health CARE, Urgent CARE Clinic, and the Gila Regional Medical Center. There are EMT and ambulances in the outer areas of Silver City for immediate response and Life Flight is available to transfer emergency cases to specialty hospitals nearby.

The senior centers in Silver City offer community service, teaching, volunteer opportunities and skill training. Societies include the Grant County Archaeology, Astronomy, Gem and Mineral societies, Audubon, Hiking, Habitat for Humanity, Golfing, the Lions Club, the Arts Council, Silver City Museum, and the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning classes.

The Grant County Senior Services is very helpful organization which will help transport seniors to doctors and hospitals. Additionally, Home Health Services, Foster Grandparents, Meals on Wheels, Senior Olympics, Senior Companion Services, and Retired Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP) are also available to seniors in this area.

Regarding crime in Silver City, out of a 100-scale, violent crime ranks 70 and property crime is 71, which is far above the U.S. average of 31.1 for violent crime and 38.1 for property crime.

The population of Silver City, New Mexico is around 10,000 people with almost 16.5% of the residents age 65 or older;

  • Taos, New Mexico – a city in, and the county seat of, Taos County, New Mexico.  Taos the principal city of the Taos Micropolitan Statistical Area and is close to the communities of Ranchos de Taos, Taos Canyon, Ranchitos, El Prado, Arroyo Seco, and Taos Pueblo.

The city is home to over 20 places that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Taos has 198 physicians per 100,000 residents, below the average of 210 in America. The nearest hospital is Holy Cross Hospital although there is an urgent care center in Taos.

Taos’ Senior Centers are numerous, although some cater to different parts of the city. For example, the Taos Pueblo Senior Citizens Center provides a list of activities and services available to senior citizens.

Ancianos Inc. provides: Congregate Meals, Transportation, Home-Delivered Meals, information and Assistance, Outreach, Legal Advocacy Work, Recreation, Foster Grandparent Program, Senior Olympics, Senior Companion Program, and Health Insurance and Benefits Assistance.

On a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the lowest, Taos is ridden with crime, with rates at 81 for violent crime – the average nationally is 31.1 – and 92 for property crime – the US average is 38.1.

The population of Taos is approximately 5,750 with a little more than 16% of residents age 65 or older;

  • Ruidoso, New Mexico – a village in Lincoln County, New Mexico, adjacent to the Lincoln National Forest. The nearby suburbs of Ruidoso Downs and the area of Alto are close and contribute to the Ruidoso Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is the largest community in Lincoln County and is the economic hub of the area. Ruidoso is a mountain town in the Sierra Blanca mountain range, which merges with the Sacramento Mountains to the south and is close to the slopes of Ski Apache, a ski resort on Sierra Blanca that is owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. Ruidoso is the fourth-fastest growing city in the state and there have been massive developments – retail, condos, and large subdivisions – within the last ten years that have changed this resort town and raised questions about the adequacy of the water supply and whether there is proper zoning enforcement.

There are 160 physicians per 100,000 residents in Ruidoso, New Mexico. The US average is 210. The area is served by the Lincoln County Medical Center.

Senior Centers that serve the Ruidoso area include: Captain Senior Center, Corona Senior Center, Carrizozo Senior Center, Hondo Senior Center and Ruidoso Downs Senior Center. These centers offer many different services, including: Onsite meals, Home Delivered Meals, Recreational Activities, Medical Transportation, Assisted Transportation (a handicap accessible van is available), Homemaker Services, Nutrition Screening, Health Promotion, AARP Tax assistance, Medicare and Medicaid Assistance, Health Insurance and Benefits Assistance Corps, Housekeeping and Errands, and Information and Assistance.

On a scale from 1 to 100 Ruidoso has a score of 22 when it comes to violent crimes and for property crimes Ruidoso scores 42. The US average is 31.1 and 38.1 respectively.

The population of Ruidoso, New Mexico is approximately 7,750 and over 21% of the residents are senior citizens 65 years of age or older; and

  • White Rock, New Mexico – a town, and a census-designated place in, Los Alamos County, New Mexico. The other CDP in the county is Los Alamos. White Rock is considered to be a bedroom community for those who work at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The city of White Rock is in White Rock Canyon which was carved through basalt and tuff by the Rio Grande River. This canyon allows for hiking and amazing vistas, as well as being home to rare plant species and three endangered bird species. There are four main trails that are in use: White Rock Canyon Rim Trail, Red Dot Trail, Blue Dot Trail, and River Trail.

There are 281 physicians per 100,000 residents in White Rock, New Mexico while the national average is 210. The nearest major hospital is the Los Alamos Medical Center.

The “Betty Ehart Senior Center,” although located in Los Alamos, has been the center that has historically served the residents of White Rock.

The “White Rock Senior Center” has opened in White Rock, and is designed to meet the needs of the senior residents of White Rock. Activities include: fitness classes, cards, a weight room, dancing, table tennis, games, and computer games. These facilities provide blood pressure checks, tire pressure checks, and massage.

The crime rate, out of a scale from 1 to 100 is 19 for violent crimes and 21 for property crimes, while the U.S. average is 31.1 and 56 respectively.

The population of White Rock, New Mexico is approximately 6,000 with almost 11% of the residents aged 65 and over.

Things seniors should go out of their way to see in New Mexico

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)

The UNESCO World Heritage Emblem stands for the close relationship between the world’s natural and cultural diversity. The list now has 962 areas (745 cultural, 188 natural and 29 mixed). New Mexico has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other state in America. They include:

  • Chaco Culture – in Northwestern New Mexico one can find the “Chaco Culture National Historical Park” where public and ceremonial buildings prove that those who came before us, the Chaco Anasazi people, built great architectural structures and understood complex astrological phenomena that we were unaware of until recently.

The Chaco Culture is an example of a culture and a civilization that flourished during the harsh weather in which they lived. These people dominated the area for over 400 years;

  • Taos Pueblo –the only living Native American Community that is designated as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. It has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years and is the longest continuously inhabited place in America.

The Taos Pueblo is estimated to have been built between 1000 and 1450 AD. It is the most northern of the New Mexico pueblos and is in a valley of a tributary of the Rio Grande. In some places, the pueblo is five stories high and contains many individual homes with common walls. There are over 1,900 Taos Indians that live within the pueblo-area community but many of them have modern homes near their fields where they live in the summer months. It is thought that only 150 individuals live in the pueblos year-round;

  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park – a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. The park is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The primary attraction is the show cave, Carlsbad Cavern. This cavern includes a large chamber made of natural limestone that is almost 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide, and 255 feet tall at the highest point. It is the fifth largest chamber in North America and the 28th largest in the world.

There are two entries to the park that are on the National Register of Historic Places: The Caverns Historic District and Rattlesnake Springs Historic District. Around two-thirds of the park has been designated as a wilderness area, helping to preserve the beauty of the caverns for future generations; and

  • Aztec Ruins National Monument – located in North-Western New Mexico close to the town of Aztec and Northeast of Farmington. These building are believed to have been around since the 11th – 13th centuries, and due to a mistake, the structures were thought to be built by the Aztecs, when it was the Ancestral Puebloans who built them. The site is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway which is one of the designated New Mexico Byways.

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