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More than one in three residents of Alabama should be in possession of an AARP card. Put another way: About 1.8 million people residing here in Alabama are at least age 50. How do seniors here stack up against their counterparts in the rest of the U.S.?
Alabama’s median age of 39.3 is almost a year higher than the overall U.S. median age (38.5), and the state’s median age climbed by 4 percent between 2010 and 2018, far higher than the overall U.S. increase of 2.7 percent.
But while the state has gotten older more quickly than the rest of the U.S., life expectancy here is near the bottom (75.4 years), household income for seniors lags, and just over one-third of residents 55 and older remain in the workforce, the second-lowest rate in the country.
*Includes Black, Native American, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or individuals of one or more other races, and Hispanic/Latinx people of any race.
Senior Living Costs in Alabama
Compared to other states nationally, Alabama's overall cost of living is lower. The living index is just 92, compared to the national average of 100. The healthcare index in the state is 91, and the housing index is 77. If you're looking for an affordable place to retire in the United States, Alabama wouldn't be a bad choice. Alabama's three largest cities, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile offer the greatest number of senior living options.
Let's take a quick look at the monthly costs of living in Alabama. The average home health care costs came out to $3,213 a month. Home health care services make it possible for seniors to live in their own homes, and covers service aides that help to keep the house clean, run day to day errands, and cook meals for example.
If you're a senior requiring day health care, you'll be pleased to learn that Alabama's monthly cost for that is relatively low compared to other states. The median cost came out to only $563 a month. This offers a community for seniors to stay during the day and receive supervision, but not around the clock care. Centers may provide therapeutic and health services as well as social activities.
Assisted living monthly costs in Alabama came out to a median of $3,057 a month. This form of care is not as extensive as nursing home care, but provides personal care and health services for people who may need help with Activities of Daily Living. This calculated cost is based as reported for a private one bedroom.
Those requiring extensive supervision and care in an assisted living facility will want to consider nursing home care in Alabama. The cost for a semi-private room came out to $6,083 a month, while a private room was $6,464. Both types of facilities provide senior residents with personal care, housing, medication, supervision, therapies and rehabilitation, and skilled nursing care 24/7. Alabama's average for nursing home care is pretty affordable compared to other states like California, where the average comes out to eight thousand peaking close to ten thousand a month.
Alabama's Senior Living Options
Whether you're looking for independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care, the senior living options in Alabama are ample. Learn more about each and get an idea of your options and which would suit you best below.
Alabama is home to 68 independent living communities, which are conveniently located within walking distance to a wealth of excellent shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Independent living communities in the state are suitable for elders who don't have serious medical conditions requiring 24/7 nursing care.
The state has a multitude of senior apartments. Some are designed for those who are 55+ in age, in good health and want to live in an active seniors only community. Then there are senior apartments that range from luxury to low-budget living, offering a wide range of amenities and activities for the elderly to enjoy.
In addition to senior apartments, there are a good number of active senior communities for the elderly to live out their golden years. One of the top communities is located in Opelika, Alabama. Named The Springs of Mill Lakes, it is a beautiful new active adult community made for those who want a resort style living lifestyle surrounded by nature. Opelika was named one of the 25 Best Places to Retire in America by Forbes Magazine. Many active senior communities like this one offers great amenities like fitness centers, fishing lake, walking/hiking trails, clubhouse, meeting rooms, and more for residents to enjoy.
With a large senior demographic, there are plenty of assisted living choices for the elderly to choose from in Alabama. Ideally, the assisted living facility you choose will offer the help you need but also allow you to feel at home with social opportunities, attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and entertainment.
As mentioned above, assisted living monthly costs in Alabama came out to a median of $3,057 a month. The monthly base rate for assisted living in this state is lower compared to that of neighboring states. In general, Alabama's assisted living costs are lower than the national average.
Assisted living facilities in Alabama provide amenities that all seniors need to live comfortably and feel at home. Amenities will vary from place to place. Housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24 hour staffing is provided as well to make sure everyone living there is safe.
A larger staff to resident ratio is required to ensure that elders are properly taken care of when memory care is needed. With that said, the cost is usually higher than other communities, and may vary depending on a variety of factors like geographical location of the community, size of the room, level of care needed, and whether the room is private or semi-private. Memory care offers 24-hour supervised care with meals, activities, and health management for the residents. Elders can take advantage of comfortable private or semi-private rooms, daily meals, housekeeping, laundry, medical management, social programs and activities, personal assistance, and exercise and physical therapy programs.
Memory care facilities are equipped with secured areas to prevent wandering, which is a common symptom for Alzheimer's. Staff will help senior residents with medications, bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, and completing other daily tasks. They also provide long-term medical care to seniors with serious dementia conditions in a monitored setting.
With Alabama's top-of-the-line medical facilities and educated staff members, the state is able to offer quality care for dementia and Alzheimer's residents. Larger metropolitan areas like Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville have a plethora of memory care communities for families to select from. If you prefer living in a smaller town, there are also a variety of promising options to consider. The cost of memory care in Alabama ranges greatly depending on location. For example, the highest memory care costs in the state are incurred by facilities in the Anniston – Oxford – Jacksonville metropolitan area. Prices in this region range from $3,259 to $10,765 a month. On the other hand, the lowest memory care prices in Alabama are in the Gadsden vicinity. Costs here range from $2,888 and $5,074 a month.
Whether you're looking for adult day care, skilled nursing, hospice, or respite care, there are plenty of great nursing homes for the elderly in Alabama.
Adult day care nursing homes will keep residents busy with activities like music therapy, art therapy, and more. Seniors can expect supervision, health screening, nutrition, exercise, and lots of love at nursing homes. Those suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia, stroke, PTSD, or brain tumor can take advantage of the help offered at these nursing homes in the state. Adult day care costs vary in Alabama but as mentioned above, the average came out to $563 a month.
When someone you love is dealing with a terminal illness, quality of life is essential. Those who are terminally ill or getting there will benefit from hospice. It allows for compassion and dignity in the process of dying. Staff working in hospice care facilities not only provide the patient with required medications and manage pain and symptoms, they also provide counseling for the family on how to best care for their loved one. Hospice nursing homes help seniors live as comfortably as possible in their final years of life. There are hospice care facilities located throughout Alabama. Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans, and each hospice care facility will work with each patient to quality for care in Alabama.
Respite care is also available in the state for temporary institutional care of a dependent elderly, handicapped, or ill person. It gives their usual caregivers a break and helps ward off burnout that can result in caregivers feeling depressed and exhausted. Alabama is home to more than 61 respite care facilities that provide short-term care stays for seniors. Typical prices for respite care in this state range from $1,500 – 7,475 a month depending on a variety of factors. Respite care facilities offer your everyday nursing home services and amenities, including but not limited to three nutritious meals everyday, housekeeping and laundry service, transportation, activities, personal assistance (bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting), medical management, and 24-hour supervision and security. Many assisted living and memory care communities in Alabama will also offer respite care if they are not already full.
Annual rental cost, Zillow Rent Index, States
Job openings, pulled from Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com in April 2020
Employment and wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019 publication
Household income and population figures, U.S. Census Bureau, most recent publications on all topics