Assisted Living & Senior Living in U.S.

Vermont Senior Living

Vermont Senior Living CommunitiesVermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders the states of Massachusetts to the South, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Lake Champlain makes up half of the border between Vermont and New York State, and the Green Mountains run north-south through the length of Vermont.

Vermont is a small state with only 9,616 square miles, the 45th largest state in America. It is also the least populated with an estimated 626,042 residents – the 2nd least populated state. The population density is 67.7 people per square mile which is 30th in the nation. It is also the only state that doesn’t have any buildings taller than 124-feet tall.

Vermont is one of only four states that was a sovereign state before joining the United States and it was the first state to join the Union after the original 13. It was therefore the 14th state in the Nation and was the first of any future state to partially abolish slavery. Although the capital is Montpelier, the largest city is Burlington-South Burlington; however, there are towns that are large enough to be considered cities but they are not incorporated. There are five distinct regions of Vermont are categorized by geography and physical attributes. These include the Northeastern Highlands, the Taconic Mountains, the Green Mountains, the Champlain Lowlands, and the Vermont Piedmont.

Vermont may not be one of the states that one thinks of when they imagine retirees, yet the state is number 2 out of 50 with the highest percentage of seniors in the nation. 17% of the residents in Vermont are age 65 or older. However, is Vermont, “The Green Mountain State” a good choice for those who are looking for senior living communities or assisted living facilities?

Costs of Assisted Living in Vermont

The average cost for a monthly stay in an Assisted Living Facility in the United States is $3,628, while the state median for a month of care in an Assisted Living Facility in the state of Vermont costs, on average, $4,860 which is over $1,200 more than the U.S. average. The large difference in cost may be due, in part, to the cost of living, housing, and health-care costs being higher in Vermont than they are across other states in the country. The cost of care in Vermont Assisted Living facilities across various cities is relatively steady at $4,860. In most other states, the costs can vary significantly in specific cities and facilities. In facilities that use tier-based systems, the resident or prospective resident is charged based on the level of care that they require to remain living in an Assisted Living Facility safely.

Other popular senior living options for seniors are Adult Day Health Care (where seniors stay at the facility only during the day and come back to their own home for the night) and Home Health Aides. These senior living options are often preferred because they allow the person to remain in their home. However, their costs are quite high. A Home Health Aide in Vermont costs, on average, $4,481 a month – over $53,750 per year. Adult Day Care in Vermont costs on average $2,699 or almost $32,100 annually. It is important to remember that the cost of Adult Day Health Care is based on up to 12 hour stays, 5 days a week and does not include nightly care. The cost of a Home Health Aide is based on a 44-hour week, and more often than not also does not include care during the night, although such care is possible in rare circumstances for seniors with very poor health. It should also be noted that home health aides do not provided skilling nursing care that licensed nurses provide in Vermont Assisted Living Facilities. Experts forecast that over the next five years, the prices of Vermont Assisted Living will increase 6%, Home Health Aides costs will increase 2%, and Adult Day Health Care will increase 1%.

Nursing Facility Care is necessary when a person needs round the clock nursing care. It is estimated that a semi-private room in a Nursing Facility in Vermont costs almost $8,608 per month – over $103,000 per year, and a private room will cost around $8,900 monthly – over $106,700 annually. Experts project that the costs of Nursing Facility care in Vermont will increase between 1%-3% in the next five years.

As the number of seniors increase, particularly as the baby-boomers start needing more care, the regulations for nursing facilities will only increase as will the wages of those caring for these individuals. By the year 2030, it is projected that the fees associated with Assisted Living in Vermont will be close to $88,200 per year, and the fees associated with Nursing Home Care will increase to almost $156,300 for a semi-private room and over $161,400 for a private room. The costs of Adult Day Care will be almost $48,500 and a Home Health Aide will cost almost $81,400 annually.

            These are the latest approximate costs of a monthly stay in an Assisted Living Facility in different areas of Vermont:

  • Burlington Area, Vermont - $4,603.

Pros and Cons of Senior Living in Vermont

Here are some important things to consider for seniors when choosing senior living communities in Vermont:

  • Cost of Living – Vermont has a higher cost of living than most other states, with housing being the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. Out of 100 points, Vermont ranked higher than the national average with a cost of living of 111.50. Vermont rated higher than the average overall (90) and in all of the categories including health (105), groceries (111.5), housing (114), transportation (107), utilities (129), and miscellaneous (111.)
  • Crime Rate – the rate of crimes in Vermont State is lower than the national average – both property and violent crimes. In terms of violent crimes, Vermont’s rate of violent crimes is 1.18, while the United States average is 3.8 for violent crimes. Regarding property crimes, the rate is 14.07 in Vermont, and it is 26 in the nation. The chances of become a victim of a violent crime in Vermont is 1 in 847 and 1 in 71 for property crimes. Vermont has a crime rate of 5 crimes per square mile, which is lower than the national median of 32.85, although this could be partially due to the low population density;
  • Taxes – Vermont is not tax-friendly towards seniors. Social Security Income is partially taxed and withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed. The taxes on wages are 2%. Private and public pensions for Vermont senior citizens are fully taxed;
  • Unemployment – Vermont has an unemployment rate of 3.40% and job growth is -0.66%. Over the next ten years it is predicted that job growth will be over 35.27%. The unemployment rate in Vermont is lower than the US average of 5.20%, while recent job growth is not only lower than the United States average, but it is actually negative. Future job growth is also lower when compared to the U.S. average, which is 35.27% and 37.98% respectively;
  • Health – Vermont state has an average of 275 physicians per 100,000 residents, much higher than the US average of 210. Other health indices that are rated (with 100 being the best): Air quality – 83.1 in Vermont, 58.4 nationwide; Water Quality – 64 in Vermont, 55 nationwide; Superfund sites – 97.9 in Vermont, 86.9 nationwide; and Health Cost – 104.7 in Vermont, 100 nationwide; and
  • Weather – Vermont has 43 inches of rainfall annually, while the United States has only 39.2, the average snowfall is 85.8 compared to the national average of 25.8. There are 87.5 days of precipitation, lower than the 102 days that is the national average, but it has only 167 sunny days while the United States has 205 on average. The July average temperature in Vermont is close to 79°, higher than the 86° in the rest of the nation, yet the temperatures in January average 6.55° which is much colder than the 22.5° found elsewhere in the United States. The “comfort index” is 37 in this state while the national average is 54. Finally, the UV Index is 3.1 in the state of Vermont, which is lower than the average in the United States of 4.3.

Places of Interest for Seniors Living in Vermont

Vermont has attractions that are interesting for people of all ages and has outdoor activities for all seasons. Here are some ideas for things that senior citizens may enjoy in Vermont:

  • Shelburne Museum – located in Shelburne, Vermont. This museum has approximately 80,000 items of folk art.
  • Coolidge Homestead – located in Plymouth, Vermont – also known as the Calvin Coolidge Homestead District or President Calvin Coolidge State Historical Site that was once the childhood home of Calvin Coolidge, the 13th President of the United States, and the place where he took the presidential oath of office.
  • Burlington Bike Path – located in Burlington, Vermont. In the 1970s, this path was converted from the Central Vermont Railway to a bike path. The path crosses beaches and parks with views of Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, and the city of Bennington;
  • Killington Resort – located in Killington, Vermont. This resort in southern Vermont is known for its winter skiing and is now available during the other seasons for golf;
  • The Trapp Family Lodge – located in Stowe, Vermont. Managed by Sam von Trapp, this 2,400-acre, four-and-a-half-star resort has activities for seniors and people of all ages. During the winter, guests can participate in cross country skiing, back country skiing and snowshoeing and during the summer there is mountain biking, hiking, disc golf, Nordic walking, and even concerts in the meadow;
  • VINS Nature Center – located in Hartford, Vermont. This nature center offers educational programs with live birds. Admission to the center includes entrance to Exhibits, Nature trails, and Avian Rehabilitation.
  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park – located in Woodstock, Vermont. This United States National Historical Park is dedicated to preserving the site where Frederick Billings established a managed forest and a dairy farm. It is one of the greatest history museums in the country, and combines a working Jersey dairy farm with educational exhibits and interactive events and programs. Daily livestock programs, afternoon milking, hands-on activities, a museum shop, and a dairy bar are all available at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park;
  • Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home – located in Manchester, Vermont. Seniors living in Vermont can visit this home of Robert Lincoln, the only child of President Lincoln and Mary Todd to survive to adulthood. The estate has beautiful gardens, a goat farm, a restored 1903 wooden Pullman car and cheesemaking facilities. There are also over 12 miles of greenhouses, walking trails and cross-country skiing in the winter.
  • Adams Family Farm – located in Wilmington, Vermont. This family-owned farm offers traditional Vermont sleigh rides. During the summer months, the Adams Farm offers scenic tractor pulled wagon rides around the property, Rainbow Trout fishing in a pond that is privately stocked, and horse-drawn wagon rides; and
  • Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio – located in Waterbury, Vermont. It is the working studio of Glass Artist Glenn Ziemke. There is an observation room where visitors can watch the glass blowers at work, as well as a gallery that features the entire line of Glenn’s work including glassware to sculptural pieces for both the home and for gifts.

Some cities to consider for Vermont Senior Living

When looking into senior living communities in Vermont, there are many different cities and communities to consider:

  • St. Johnsbury, Vermont – a city in, and the county seat (also called a shire town) of, Caledonia County, Vermont. It is located 10 miles northwest of the Connecticut River and 48 miles south of the United States-Canada Border. St. Johnsbury, called by locals as “St. Jay” is the commercial center for the region and was named, in 2006, as the “Best Small Town” in National Geographic Adventure’s “Where to live and play.” The more southern part of the town is more densely populated and is defined as a census-designated place where 81% of the population lives. The Northeast Kingdom Human Services is available for those with mental health needs and the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital is also within the town limits.

There is only one National Historic Landmark in the county and in the Northeast Kingdom – the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. However, there are 12 places on the list of National Register of Historic Places which are the most in Caledonia County or the Northeast Kingdom. The population of St. Johnsbury, Vermont is approximately 7,500 residents, of which nearly 20% belong to the 65+ senior living community;

  • Burlington, Vermont – a city in, and the County seat of, Chittenden County, Vermont. Burlington is the most populated city in Vermont. Burlington is a college town and is home to the University of Vermont and Champlain College. UVM Medical Center is within the city limits. In the year 2015, Burlington became the first town in the United States to run completely on renewable energy. Burlington’s location to Lake Champlain helped make it a center for trade and a port of entry, especially once the completion of Champlain Canal in 1923, the Erie Canal in 1825, and the Chambly Canal in 1843.

The population of Burlington is approximately 43,000 residents, of which around 17.5% are now part of the 65+ adults senior living community;

  • Shelburne, Vermont – a town in southwester Chittenden County, Vermont that is along the shores of Lake Champlain. Shelburne is a suburb of Burlington and the center of the town of Shelburne lies around seven miles south of the city’s center. The main settlement of Shelburne in the center of town is a census-designated place and Shelburne is the wealthiest municipality in both Chittenden County and the Burlington metropolitan area. Shelburne’s economy was based on farming in the beginning, but after clearing the land and burning trees the residents had to find other sources of income. This led to the construction of a gristmill, fulling mill, sawmill, and blacksmith shop built on the La Platte River at Shelburne Falls.

The three major tourist attractions in Shelburne are the Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum and the Fiddlehead Brewery. Lake Champlain has a beach, a boat launch, and a nature park.

The population of Shelburne, Vermont is estimated at approximately 7,800 residents, of which nearly 15.5% are part of the 65+ older adults senior living community;

  • Bennington, Vermont – a town located in, and one of the two County seats, of Bennington County, Manchester being the other. Bennington is the most populated town in southern Vermont as well as the third-largest town in Vermont. Bennington Battle Monument is the tallest man-made structure in the state.

Bennington is home to a historic downtown with businesses for barber shop, cobblers, a chocolatier, cafes, bakeries, live theatre, jewelry, men’s and women’s clothiers, crafts and potteries made in Vermont, music shops, toy stores, a hobby shop, an art shop, a country store, a museum, and several galleries. Downtown Bennington is a designated “Vermont Main Street” and is national accredited by the National Main Street Program by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Continuing Education is well represented in Bennington, with Bennington College – a four-year liberal arts college, Southern Vermont College – a private four-year liberal arts college, Northeastern Baptist College, the Community College of Vermont Bennington Campus, and the Vermont Technical College Bennington Campus.

Medical Care in Bennington is readily available to senior citizens, with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, the Bennington Rescue Squad, and primary and specialty care providers most of whom are affiliated with the Southwestern Vermont Healthcare System. The United Counseling Services (USC) provides services to individuals with mental health problems, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse.

The population of Bennington, Vermont is estimated to be around 15,500 residents, of which only 7% are belong to the 65+ senior living community;

  • Montpelier, Vermont – the capital city of the state of Vermont and the seat of Washington County. It is the least populous state capital in the United States with approximately 7,600 residents although that number increases to around 21,000 because there are many jobs in the city limits.

It is named for Montpellier in Southern France.

Both the Vermont College of Fine Arts and New England Culinary Institute are in the city.

Montpelier is in the north-central area of the state and it is surrounded by hills and granite ledges. The Winooski River flows west along the south edge of downtown village which makes Montpeiler prone to flooding – two major floods were in 1927 and 1992. To the west of the town is Middlesex, Berlin is to the south, and East Montpelier to the north and the east.

The population of Montpelier, Vermont is approximately 7,600, with approximately 15% of 65+ adults belonging to the senior living community;

  • Middlebury, Vermont – a city in, and the County seat of, Addison County, Vermont. It is home to Middlebury College and the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History. Middlebury College is one the United States’ elite liberal arts colleges and was founded in 1800.

Middlebury and the surrounding area gives seniors access to the Porter Medical Center. Other attractions in Middlebury are: Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, Otter Creek Brewing, Middlebury State Airport, Emma Willard Memorial, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Middlebury to Her Soldiers (a sculpture), TAM – Trail Around Middlebury, and Ilsley Public Library.

The population of Middlebury is approximately 9,000 with just 6% of the residents who belong to the 65+ senior living community;

  • Wilmington, Vermont – a town in Windham County, Vermont. The city is in the Deerfield Valley of the Green Mountains. Wilmington is in the part of Vermont called the “Southern Vermont Snowbelt” where they have received up to 54 inches of snow at one time, which is because of the town’s high elevation in the Green Mountain’s high country. The population of Wilmington is approximately 1,900, of which 5.6% of the residents belong to the 65+ senior living community;
  • Brattleboro, Vermont – a town in Windam County, Vermont. It was originally named Brattleborough, but was shortened to Brattleboro in 1888.

Brattleboro is the most populated town on Vermont’s eastern border, which is defined by the Connecticut River. Whetstone Falls, near where Brattleboro’s Whetstone Brook flows into the Connecticut River, was a good place for watermills.

The Estey Organ company, the largest organ manufacturer in the United States, began operating in the city in 1852.

Author Rudyard Kipling lived in the city after marrying Carrie Balestier of Brattleboro in 1892. Kipling wrote the Jungle Book there as well as writing about the local life of those in small town America.

The first person to receive a Social Security Check on January 31, 1940, was Ida May Fuller from Brattleboro.

At the peak of the farming in the city, there were more than 170 farms - today less than a dozen remain.

The city has quite a few schools of higher education as well.

Hospitals and health-care centers are also readily available to seniors in Brattleboro, including the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Rescue Inc., which provides EMT and ambulance service for Brattleboro and Cheshire County, New Hampshire. Brattleboro Retreat, known locally as the Retreat, was founded in 1934 and was one of the first acute mental health hospitals in the United States. It is the third largest employer in Brattleboro with a workforce of around 400. Health Care and Rehabilitation Services of Vermont serves Brattleboro as well as Windham and Windsor Counties, by providing outpatient services for mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. Brattleboro is also home to the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

In May 2012, Brattleboro placed 11th on “The 20 Best Small Towns in America in 2012” list by Smithsonian Magazine.

Brattleboro also has a strong arts community and was listed in John Villiani’s book “The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America” where it ranked in the 9th spot among ‘arts towns’ with populations of 30,000 or less. On the first Friday of the month, Brattleboro hosts the Gallery Walk, where galleries, artists, art organizations and shops display new art work.

Also in Brattleboro are: the Brattleboro Music Center, the New England Youth Theater, the Vermont Theatre Company, the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus, the Vermont Performance Lab, the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), and the Vermont Jazz Center. 

The population of Brattleboro, Vermont is approximately 11,700 residents, of which around 16.5% are part of the 65+ adult senior living community;

  • Essex Junction, Vermont – a village located within the town of Essex in Chittenden County, Vermont. Essex Junction was incorporated on November 15, 1892. Essex Junction is in the southwest part of the town of Essex and is bordered on the south by the Winooski River. It is only six miles east of downtown Burlington.

Essex Junction is home to the Champlain Valley Expo, what used to be a dirt racetrack that has been turned into an event field. The population of Essex Junction, Vermont is about 10,300 residents, with around 1300 65+ adults who are part of the senior living community.

  • Norwich, Vermont – a town in Windsor County, Vermont. Norwich is home to some of the wealthiest residents in Vermont and it is a commuter town for Hanover, New Hampshire on the other side of the Connecticut River. The population of Norwich is approximately 3,500 residents of which around 11% of the residents are senior citizens aged 65 or older.

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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