Senior Guidance

Rhode Island Senior Living

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Rhode Island Senior Living CommunitiesRhode Island, officially called “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” is a state in New England in the northeastern part of the United States.  Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S. with only 1,214 square miles, and is ranked 43rd in population with around 1,056,000 residents. The small size and large population make it the 2nd most densely populated state with 1006 people per square mile.

Rhode Island is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and the east, the state of Connecticut to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south through Block Island Sound and Rhode Island Sound. There is also a small maritime border that Rhode Island shares with New York. Due to the amount of water that makes up the state of Rhode Island, 14% of the state is water - mainly bays, inlets and oceanfront beaches. Its official nickname is “The Ocean State.” The state is mostly flat with few to no mountains and the highest point in the state is Jerimoth Hill, which is only 812 feet above sea level. There are only five counties in the state of Rhode Island and only 39 recognized cities and towns. Providence is both the capital as well as the largest city and largest Metropolitan Area.

You may be wondering if Rhode Island is considered as popular state for retirees. It rates 11th out of the 50 states with 15.84% of residents of Rhode Island who are age 65 or older. On this page, we’ve prepared all the information you need in order to make an informed decision when choosing senior living communities in Rhode Island, or when selecting the best assisted living facility in the state.

Costs of Assisted Living in Rhode Island

Most people do not want to be in a senior living facility, nor do they want to put their loved ones in one, yet in some cases there comes a point where a person may not be able to care for themselves at home or their safety may be compromised if they stay at home. It is also very hard on the caregiver to provide 24-hour care to someone and can be emotionally and physically taxing or even, in dementia cases, abusive.

Rhode Island assisted Living provides 24-hour care, housekeeping, meals, housing, medical care, and a safe environment for the residents. In America, the average cost for a monthly stay in an Assisted Living Facility is $3,628. In Rhode Island, the state median cost for a month of care in an Assisted Living Facility is $4,931 which is over $1,300 more expensive than the average cost of Assisted Living nationwide. The difference in cost is due, in part, to the cost of housing and health care being higher in Rhode Island than they are across the country.

The cost of assisted senior living care also varies across the state, with $5,200 per month in the Providence Area. As the population ages and more people need care, Rhode Island senior living facilities have started to use tier-based systems where the resident or prospective resident is charged based on the level of care that they need individually for them to live safely in an Assisted Living Facility or in a senior living community that provides assisted living care.

Adult Day Health Care and Home Health Aides are other senior living options in Rhode Island to help care for the elderly and these options are sometimes preferred, whenever it is possible for the senior to stay at their own home. However, these costs are high as well and there are non-monetary, emotional and psychological costs on the caregiver that can’t be ignored. A Home Health Aide in Rhode Island costs, on average, $4,814 a month – almost $58,000 per year. Adult Day Care in Rhode Island costs on average $1,517, or $18,200 annually.

It is important to remember that the cost of Adult Day Health Care is based on 5 days a week and usually is only for no more than 60 hours per week. To provide the care at home that is typically found in a Rhode Island Assisted Living Facility you would need 3.8 Home Health Aides weekly which would cost almost $18,300 per month. The high cost of Home Health Aides in Rhode Island may be related to the higher cost of health care as well as the low rate of unemployment. Experts forecast that over the next five years, the prices of Home Health Aides costs will increase 2%, and Adult Day Health Care will increase 1%.

For seniors with higher level medical needs, Rhode Island Nursing Facility Care is necessary. This is also true for those with severe dementia or Alzheimer’s disease as the mid to end stages of dementia make it nearly impossible to care for someone in their home. It is estimated that a semi-private room in a Nursing Facility in Rhode Island costs almost $9,277 per month – $111,325 per year, and a private room will cost around $9,733 monthly – $116,800 annually. Experts project that the costs of Nursing Facility care will increase only 1% for semi-private rooms and will stay the same for private rooms in the next five years.

By the year 2030, as the number of seniors needing care increase substantially, the regulations on Rhode Island senior living facilities will also increase, as will the staff salary necessary to care for these people. It is projected that the cost of Assisted Living in Rhode Island will be close to $94,300 per year in 2030, and the cost of Nursing Home Care will increase to almost $168,400 for a semi-private room and almost $176,700 for a private room. The costs of Adult Day Care will be around $27,500 and a Home Health Aide cost almost $87,400 annually.  

Pros and Cons of Senior Living in Rhode Island

Here are some important to consider for seniors when deciding whether Rhode Island senior living communities are the right choice:

  • Cost of Living - Rhode Island has a lower cost of living than most other states, with housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. Out of 100 points, Rhode Island ranked higher than the national average with a cost of living of 121.70. Rhode Island rated higher than the average overall (122) and the categories of health (116), groceries (112), transportation (106), housing (127), utilities (127), and miscellaneous (132.)
  • Natural Beauty – with 400 miles of coastline in this small state there are many opportunities for those who have dreamed of living by the sea. There are dozens of sandy white beaches and lighthouses waiting to be explored;
  • Crime Rate – the rate of crimes in Rhode Island State is lower than the national average – both property and violent crimes. In terms of violent crimes, Rhode Island’s rate of violent crimes is 2.43, while the United States average is 3.8 for violent crimes. Regarding property crimes, the rate is 18.97 in Rhode Island, and it is 26 in the nation. The chances of become a victim of a violent crime in Rhode Island are 1 in 412 and 1 in 53 for property crimes. Rhode Island has a crime rate of 46 crimes per square mile, which is higher than the national median of 32.85, yet this may be partially due to the high population density in the state of Rhode Island;
  • Educated population and education opportunities – two of the top higher learning institutions, Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design are in Providence. This means that there are always lectures or exhibits to attend and enjoy and classes that you can attend in your retirement years, should you desire to do so;
  • Taxes – Rhode Island is not tax-friendly towards seniors at all. Social Security Income is partially taxed and withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed. The taxes on wages are 3.8% and both private and public pensions are fully taxed;
  • Unemployment – Rhode Island has an unemployment rate of 5.10%, and job growth of 1.60%. Over the next ten years it is predicted that job growth will be over 38.10%. The unemployment rate is lower in Rhode Island than the US average of 5.20%, while recent job growth is on par with the United States average. Future job growth is higher when compared to the U.S. average, which is 38.10% and 37.98% respectively;
  • Health – Rhode Island state has an average of 271 physicians per 100,000 residents, quite a bit higher than the US average of 210. Other health indices that are rated (with 100 being the best): Air quality – 68.4 in Rhode Island, 58.4 nationwide; Water Quality – 46 in Rhode Island, 55 nationwide; Superfund sites – 69.9 in Rhode Island, 86.9 nationwide; and Health Cost – 115.9 in Rhode Island, 100 nationwide; and
  • Weather – Rhode Island has around 48.34 inches of rainfall annually, while the United States has only 39.2, and the average snowfall amount is 33.76 inches compared to the national average of 25.8. There are 79.52 days of precipitation, lower than the 102 days that is the national average, but it has 202 sunny days which is close to the United States of 205. The July average temperature in Rhode Island is close to 81°, lower than the 86° in the rest of the nation, yet the temperatures in January average 20° which is a bit colder than the 22.6° found elsewhere in the United States. The “comfort index” is 41 in this state while the national average is 54. Finally, the UV Index is 3.6 in the state of Rhode Island, which is lower than the average in the United States of 4.3.

Places of Interest for Seniors Living in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has attractions that are interesting for people of all ages and has played an interesting role in the history of our country. Here are some ideas of things that senior citizens living in Rhode Island may enjoy:

  • The Breakers – located in Newport, Rhode Island. This is one of, if not the grandest, Newport’s summer cottages. It was purchased by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt’s grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II who was Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885. He purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in 1885 and in 1893 he hired architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the wooden house that had burned down. Hunt hired a team of craftsmen and artisans and created a 70 room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin.

The mansion has a gross area of 125,339 square feet and 62,482 square feet of living areas on five floors.

The Breakers is the most-visited attraction in Rhode Island and is open year-round.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1994, and designated a National Historic Landmark District Contributing Property in 1972.

  • Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum – located in Bristol, Rhode Island. It was named in Yankee Magazine’s 2010 Best 5 Public Gardens in New England. This 33-acre summer estate is on Narragansett Bay and is significant in American history as it is one of the best examples of the Country Place era.

The house is a 45-room mansion and the gardens surrounding it include rare and unusual plants, specimen trees, a greenhouse, and stonework.

  • John Brown House – located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is the first mansion built in Providence, Rhode Island. Many notable guests visited the house including George Washington and John Quincy Adams who thought very highly of the mansion.
  • Green Animals Topiary Garden – located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. It is the oldest and northernmost topiary garden in the nation. It is on seven acres of land and was gardened by Joseph Carreiro from 1905 to 1945 and then his son-in-law, George Mendonca until 1985. There are 80 sculptured trees, a reindeer, a unicorn, teddy bears, two bears and a camel. There are over 45 formal flowerbeds and many other plants.  Also on the land is a Victorian house that overlooks Narragansett Bay.
  • Frosty Drew Observatory – located in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Senior citizens can visit this educational astronomical observatory located in the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge along the coast between Westerly and Point Judith.
  • Herreshoff Marine Museum & America’s Cup Hall of Fame – located in Bristol, Rhode Island. Seniors living in Rhode Island can check out this maritime museum that overlooks Narragansett Bay, dedicated to the history of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, the America’s Cup and yachting. The museum is the host to classic yacht regattas and even contains a sailing school.

The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company was known for producing high-quality yachts, including eight America’s Cup defenders, and steam-powered vessels.

Currently the museum has a collection of over 60 boats, including Nathanael Greene Herreshoff’s Ciara, Harold Vanderbilt’s Trivia, and the 1992 IACC yacht Defiant.

The museum was founded in 1971 to preserve the accomplishments of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and in 1992 the museum opened the America’s Cup Hall of Fame to honor the America’s Cup yacht race, the individuals who raced, and those that manufactured the boats.

  • National Museum of American Illustration – located in Newport, Rhode Island. Elderly residents can visit this museum in Vernon Court. It is a Gilded Age mansion with the interiors inspired by the palace at Versailles. The museum has its primary focus on original illustration artworks that were made to be reproduced in various print media and books.

The museum has over 2,000 original works by American illustrators such as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, and more than 150 other illustrators.

  • Touro Synagogue – located in Newport, Rhode Island. Jewish senior citizens can visit this oldest U.S. synagogue that was built in 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

Touro Synagogue was designed by British architect and the Rhode Island resident Peter Harrison. The building was designed so that it would face east toward Jerusalem. It was built from 1759 to 1763 for the Jeshuat Israel congregation in Newport under the leadership of Cantor (Chazzan) Isaac Touro. The synagogue remains an active Orthodox synagogue to this day.

  • Stephen Hopkins House – located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is the 1707 home of Declaration of Independence signer Stephen Hopkins, his family, and their slaves. This house is the city’s oldest house. Although it has been moved twice it has been left virtually un-modernized.

Some cities to consider for Rhode Island Senior Living

Choosing the right city to live in when you are a senior is a difficult task. We’ve collected various information on cities that you can consider in your Rhode Island senior living communities search:

  • Barrington, Rhode Island – a town in Bristol County, Rhode Island. Barrington is approximately seven miles southeast of Providence. Barrington was founded by Congregationalist separatists from Swansea, Massachusetts.  For many years agriculture was the base of the town’s economy, particularly corn, rye, oats, and barley. Some people planted fruit trees, since apple cider was often used as a commodity for trading. However, it was religion that truly drove Barrington into becoming a town. The “Congregational Society” was declared the official religion of the town and, until 1797, taxes supported the Congregational minister. The southern part of town was the historical center and was the home of the Congregational Church, but as the citizens found that the land north of town was more suitable for farming many of the citizen relocated as did the church.

Even in recent years, religion still has some influence over Barrington. In the 1990s the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the town for its Christmas display which featured a crèche. And although the town was forced to remove the display, an individual placed a privately-owned scene near the town hall. Another lawsuit was brought against the town in 1996. Barrington remained the only “dry” county in Rhode Island until 2011 when two liquor stores were approved by the town council.

There are nine residential and commercial developments in Barrington that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including: The Allen-West House; Jenny’s Lane Historic District; Alfred Drowne Road Historic District. Rhode Island Country Club, which is also in Barrington, was built in 1911 and has hosted the CVS Charity Classic annually since 1999. The Barrington Civic Center Historic District includes Prince’s Hill Cemetery, the Leander R. Peck School, Barrington Town Hall, and the “T-shaped Elizabethan-Revival Peck School.” Also on the list are Nyatt Point Lighthouse, Belton Court, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, and the O’Bannon Mill, which was converted into elderly apartment housing complex in the 1990s.

There are 487 physicians per capita in the town of Barrington and the crime rate is 21. The population of Barrington, Rhode Island is approximately 16,350, with around 15% who belong to the 65+ adult senior living community;

  • Newport, Rhode Island – a seaside city on Aquidneck Island, and the county seat of Newport County, Rhode Island. Newport is about 37 miles southeast of Providence, 21 miles south of Fall River, and 74 miles south of Boston. Newport is the home of Salve Regina University, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Naval Station Newport which is where the United States Naval War College is located, and a major United States Navy Center. Newport is well-known for its mansions and was the “Summer White House” for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower. Newport has one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in the country in the downtown Newport Historic District. The population of Newport is approximately 25,000 residents, of which around 14.2% belong to the 65+ senior living community.
  • Greenville, Rhode Island – a village and a census-designated place in the town of Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island. The CDP is centered in Greenville but it also includes Spragueville, West Greenville, and the Mountaindale Reservoir and beach.

First settled in the 17th century, Greenville has many apple orchards and the Greenville Baptist Church. U.S. Route 44, known as “Putnam Pike” runs through the center of Greenville.

There are 404 physicians per capita in Greenville and the crime rate is 22. The population of Greenville, Rhode Island is around 10,000, with approximately 22.5% of the residents who are part of the senior living community of 65 years old or older adults;

  • Burrillville, Rhode Island – a town in Providence County, Rhode Island.  It was incorporated on November 17, 1806 and was named for the 19th century United States senator James Burrill, Jr. who was at that time the Rhode Island Attorney General.

Burrillville is further divided into villages such as Glendale, Mapleville, Harrisville, Mohegan, Oakland, Nasonville, and Pascoag. There are 402 physicians per capita in Burrillville and a crime rate of 23. The citizens are well educated as the town has quite a few competitive private colleges. The population of Burrillville is over 16,300, with approximately 11.5% senior citizens part of the 65+ senior living community;

  • Cranston, Rhode Island – a city in Providence County, Rhode Island. Cranston was once known as Pawtuxet and the center of population of Rhode Island is in this city. Cranston is the 3rd largest city in Rhode Island and is part of the Providence Metropolitan Area. In 2006, Cranston was named one of the “100 Best Places to Live” in the United States by Money magazine, and ranked 36th on the list of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” by 24/7 Wall St. website.

The town of Cranston was founded in 1754 from a portion of Providence north of the Pawtucket River. As Providence grew larger and began to take up portions of the town of Cranston, Cranston became a city itself on March 10, 1910. The population of Cranston, Rhode Island is close to 82,000 residents, with around 14,000 65+ adults part of the senior living community.

  • Warren, Rhode Island – a town in Bristol County, Rhode Island. Warren was the original site of Brown University as the Baptist answer to the Congregationalist schools of Yale and Harvard, Episcopalian Penn and Columbia and Presbyterian Princeton. Brown was the only school that allowed students no matter their religion.

Warren was famous until the middle of the 19th century for the ships made in the shipyard which were used for whaling, merchant service, and the West India trade.

Warren is on the east bank of the Warren River and opposite of the town of Barrington, Rhode Island. It is a town that has a lot of art and history but it is particularly famous for its restaurants and seafood.

Warren has 487 physicians per capital and a crime rate of 42. The population of Warren, Rhode Island is approximately 10,400 with almost 18% of the residents who are part of the 65 years or older senior living community;

  • Ashaway, Rhode Island – an unincorporated village and a census-designed place in the town of Hopkinson, Washington County, Rhode Island.

The population of Ashaway is approximately 1,700 residents, with almost 12.5% who are senior citizens 65 years or older.

  • Warwick, Rhode Island – a city in Kent County, Rhode Island. It is the second largest city in the state. Warwick is about 12 miles from downtown Providence, 63 miles southwest of Boston, and 171 miles northeast of New York City.

Warwick is very culturally diverse and is famous for its seafood dishes as well as buildings such as the Goddard Memorial State Park, Warwick Public Library and Rocky Point State Park.

There are 279 physicians per capita in Warwick and the crime rate is 31. The population of Warwick is around 82,000, of which 17% are belong to the 65+ senior living community;

  • Bristol, Rhode Island – a town in the historic seat county seat of Bristol County, Rhode Island. Industries in Bristol today include boat building, marine industries, and tourism.

Roger Williams University is in Bristol, and it is named for the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams.

The Easy Bay Bike Path is at Independence Park on Bristol Harbor and the path continues north to East Providence, Rhode Island. Bristol is also home to the boat company Herreshoff which built five consecutive “America’s Cup” Defenders between the years of 1893 and 1920.

Bristol also has the oldest continuously celebrated Independence Day festivities in the United States, starting in 1777. Bristol has 487 physicians per capita and a crime rate of 31. The population of Bristol is around 22,500 with around 13% of the total population who belong to the 65 years old or older senior living community.

  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island – a city in Providence County, Rhode Island. Woonsocket is the sixth-largest city in the state of Rhode Island and it is part of the Providence metropolitan area. The town is directly south of the Massachusetts state line. Woonsocket is the corporate headquarters of some large companies, such as CVS, Landmark Medical Center, the Museum of Work and Culture and the American-French Genealogical Society. There are 402 physicians per capita in Woonsocket with a crime rate of 56.  The population of Woonsocket self-reports over 40% French or French-Canadian ethnic heritage which has led the city to calling itself the most French city in the United States.
    The population of Woonsocket is approximately 42,000 of which around 15.2% of the residents belonging to 65+ senior living community.

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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