Bickford Senior Living: Costs, Review and More
Pet-friendly senior living with a home-like atmosphere
Older adults and their families have a lot of choices for senior living facilities, but that hasn’t always been the case. Bickford Senior Living was founded in Olathe, Kansas, in 1992, when Mary Bickford’s family realized there was no suitable living arrangement outside their home for their mother and wife. In the past 30 years, her family has expanded the business to include 61 senior living facilities in 10 states. Bickford Senior Living continues to honor Mary’s memory, providing services and a loving, pet-friendly environment to people who want to live in a home-like atmosphere but aren’t safe at home alone.
The facilities offer memory care, assisted living, and independent living housing and services. Staff, called “family members,” provide residents with everything from homestyle meals to help with the activities of daily living to medication management services. Resident reviews speak to the high quality of the staff and welcoming environment they foster. In this review, we’ll cover more services offered by Bickford Senior Living, as well as locations, rates, and more.
Pros About Bickford Senior Living
- Pet-friendly facilities
- Dementia care services
- All-inclusive rates
- Transparent pricing
- Easy-to-use website
- Linen service
- Positive resident reviews
Cons About Bickford Senior Living
- Only accepts private pay
- Limited nationwide availability
Types of Care
Each Bickford Senior Living branch offers a certain level of care. Some offer assisted living and memory care, while others offer independent living and assisted living. Make sure the location you contact has the level of service you’re looking for. Below, we’ll look at the types of care Bickford offers.
Trained health care professionals administer all medications at Bickford Senior Living properties. An electronic medication-administration system keeps a record of meds to avoid any mix-ups. Bickford also does prescription fulfillment, so that’s one fewer task to keep track of.
Assistance With Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
As older adults age, their likelihood of needing help with personal care activities increases.1 Fortunately, Bickford Senior Living offers ADL services to seniors who need them. Certified caregivers help with bathing, dressing, grooming, mobility, and toileting. Bickford’s five levels of care range from independent to advanced care. Every 90 days, a nurse will review your plan and make any necessary adjustments. Bickford hopes to meet every senior’s needs for as long as possible to minimize moves throughout the later years.
Registered Nurse Care Coordination
Registered nurses on staff coordinate care for all residents and oversee all caregivers. That includes communicating with external care providers such as doctors, pharmacies, therapists, and medical equipment providers. Nurses also develop individualized service plans and conduct routine observations for changes in resident health and wellness.
Seniors with dementia need a little extra care. Bickford offers support groups and specialized small group activities designed for residents with memory difficulties. Dementia programming also includes the creation of a Lifesong document, which contains historical information — think hobbies, career, favorite memories — caregivers can use in their daily interactions. That gets paired with a Lifesong basket/station, which contains items that match your loved one’s interests. A clipboard, blank patient charts, and a stethoscope may be used if your loved one used to be a doctor.
Bickford also offers premium companion care services for an added cost. A resident enjoys one-on-one activities aimed at keeping them engaged and happy.
Our free housing and care finder uses your unique needs to curate a list of the best options in your area.
Older adults who live at any Bickford Senior Living location all have access to similar services. Let’s take a look at some services Bickford offers to meet seniors’ basic needs.
Bread Basket Scratch Kitchen
Everyone needs to eat, but cooking becomes more difficult and even unsafe for a lot of adults as they age.2 At Bickford, residents enjoy homestyle dining with cooked-to-order breakfast and multiple entrée and a la carte selections for lunch and dinner. Chefs gladly accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, no added salt, diabetic, or lactose intolerant.
Life Enrichment Program
Social isolation and loneliness can cause a slew of problems for older adults. One study even suggests that social isolation is associated with a 50 percent increased risk of dementia.3 Bickford Senior Living combats both by offering a variety of activities, events, and outings.
- Daily activities: a variety of creative, intellectual, spiritual, physical, and social activities
- Outings: trips into the community to visit restaurants, stores, parks, museums, and more
- Community involvement: community members come on campus to share their talents, skills, and time with residents
- Theme days: meals, costumes, activities, and decorations coordinated with a theme, such as Western Day
- Family gatherings: fun for the whole family, such as a Thanksgiving meal, Grandparents’ Day, or Easter egg hunts.
Resident Call and Security System
Bickford meets its residents’ safety needs too. All buildings have controlled access to keep residents and visitors safe. Every apartment has strategically placed pull cords, and residents receive a pendant with a help button so they can request assistance 24/7, no matter where they are in the facility. Residents in the memory care program, called Mary B’s, also receive personal monitoring devices with real-time location information for enhanced safety.
Getting around can be a major struggle as you age. That’s why Bickford helps its residents coordinate transportation, whether it’s a taxi to the airport or a handicapped-accessible ride to a doctor’s appointment. For an added cost, residents can use Bickford’s Companion Care service. A Bickford employee will transport you to and from any scheduled appointment. This is a great service if you require supervision or assistance while you’re out and about.
Chaplain services seek to meet your spiritual needs. Bickford offers nondenominational church services, Bible studies, and small group meetings on-site. You can also request specific denominational services, or have one-on-one visits with chaplains from Marketplace Chaplains.
If there’s a special furry friend in your life, then you’re in luck! Bickford welcomes all shapes and sizes of pets. Every facility offers pet assistance services, so you can receive extra help with feeding your pet, taking them outside, or dealing with the litter box. Bickford also hosts traditional and nontraditional pets for pet therapy visits to help reduce residents’ loneliness, anxiety, and stress. There are even “community pets” that live at each branch for everyone to enjoy.
Our team of senior living advisors provide free guidance to help you find the right housing option for your needs and budget.
How Much Does Bickford Senior Living Cost?
Bickford Senior Living provides individual rate ranges online for each of its branches. Simply choose the location you’re interested in, and you’ll see the rates displayed on the branch’s homepage. Factors such as location, apartment type, and level of care and services required all affect your daily cost.
Let’s take a look at the rates for the branch in Shelby Township, Michigan. Living at this facility costs between $165 and $300 per day.
- Base rate: $135 to $165 per day, depending on the apartment you choose
- Care rate: $30 to $135 per day, depending on the care and services needed
That may seem high, but you’ll likely find that Bickford is more affordable than your current housing situation thanks to its all-inclusive pricing model. Use the easy-to-use price comparison tool on the Bickford website to help you compare your current cost of living to the cost of living at Bickford. We appreciate that Bickford is so transparent about pricing. Other companies, such as Brighthouse Senior Living, don’t list prices online.
Helpful Tip: Many Bickford branches are assisted living facilities. Check out our ultimate guide to assisted living to see if it may be right for you or your loved one.
In addition to comparing Bickford to your current expenses, it’s also helpful to see how it stacks up to other facilities in the country. In 2023, the estimated median cost of residential long-term care ranges from $157 to $317 per day.4 You can find cheaper options than Bickford, but you're likely to encounter much pricier options too.
What’s Included in the Cost?
Bickford uses the word “all-inclusive” to describe its rates. Of course, that doesn’t mean everything is included, but it does include a lot.
- Three homestyle meals per day
- Snacks and beverages throughout the day
- Certified caregivers available 24/7
- Care and services listed in your individualized service plan
- Registered nurse care coordination
- Basic utilities
- Daily activities
- Linen service
- Chaplain services
What’s Not Included in the Cost?
It’s up to residents and their families to pay for or provide the following services and items:
- Phone and cable
- Guest meals
- Barber and beauty shop services
- Personal monitoring devices (unless you’re in Mary B’s)
- Companion care
- Optional outings and trips
- Personal furniture and household items
- Personal supplies, including toiletries and medications
How to Pay for Bickford Senior Living
Bickford Senior Living is a 100 percent private-pay senior living provider. Older adults hoping to live at a Bickford facility will need to use savings, long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages, Social Security benefits, or other private funds to cover costs.
Bickford Senior Living Locations
Bickford Senior Living has 61 branches in 10 states, but the majority of facilities are in Iowa and Illinois. The full list includes:
Compared to some larger senior living companies, Bickford has limited locations nationwide. For example, Atria senior living has over 400 locations in 45 states. Still, if Bickford offers a location in your area, it’s an excellent option.
Final Thoughts on Bickford Senior Living
Bickford Senior Living is a family-owned-and-operated business that helps seniors age gracefully and safely in a home-like environment. It offers pet-friendly assisted living and programs you won’t find from every senior living facility. It lists transparent price ranges right on its website, which takes some of the stress out of the search for your new home. Many residents and their families leave positive reviews of Bickford, stating that the facilities offer a warm sense of community, clean environment, and kind staff. Before choosing Bickford for yourself or your loved one, make sure you know how you’re going to pay for it since it accepts only private pay.
National Library of Medicine. (2012). Aging: physical difficulties and safety in cooking tasks.
The National Academies Press. (2020). Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults.
Genworth. (2021). Cost of Care Survey.