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As one of the original 13 U.S. colonies, Delaware is among the very oldest U.S. states. This is true in both the literal sense (Delaware was the first colony to become a state), but it’s also true in a more figurative sense. Why? Because of the percentage of the state’s residents who are in the senior age bracket.
Just under 400,000 residents of Delaware are 50 and older, which equates to almost 40 percent of the state’s population. That’s the sixth-highest percentage of seniors among all states, and Delaware’s median age of 41.1 is almost three years higher than the overall U.S. median age. What else can we learn from economic, demographic and health data about seniors in Delaware and how they stack up to the rest of the country?
In some ways, Delaware is unexceptional in terms of senior-related metrics. So while the state has the third-highest rate of increase to the median age over the past several years, life expectancy in Delaware is about even with the overall U.S. life expectancy, and a nearly identical percentage of those 55 and older are in the workforce in Delaware compared to the U.S.
*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.
Delaware's Living Costs for Seniors
Living in Delaware is not the cheapest option in the country, but it's also not the most expensive. While the housing index of 116 is higher than the national average, the costs ultimately depend on which town you choose to retire in.
Delaware residents can expect to pay an average of $4,195 a month for home health care, which allows seniors to live in their own homes with some help keeping the house clean and running everyday errands. Home health aides provide more extensive care to seniors who need it at an average cost of $4,242 a month.
Adult day care in Delaware costs around $1,571 a month. This fee allows seniors to stay at a supervised facility during the day and engage in social activities while their caretakers are busy. This type of place and care is best for seniors who are healthy and independent, requiring no skilled nursing care.
If you need more assistance with everyday tasks, an assisted living facility in Delaware may be worth considering. It's more costly than independent living and day care, but for an average cost of $6,015 a month, seniors are sure to receive personal care and health services as needed.
Lastly, elderly who cannot navigate through life without supervision and care 24/7 will want to look into nursing homes in Delaware. The costs are quite steep, with an average of $10,646 a month for a semi-private room and $10,996 a month for a private room. However, skilled professionals work with seniors to make sure that they are cared for 24/7 on a personal level at nursing homes. This means medications are provided on time, as well as therapies and rehabilitation on a need basis.
Senior Living Options in Delaware
Delaware seniors have a plethora of living options to choose from — whether it be independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Explore the different options below to find out which one best suits your lifestyle.
Seniors who are physically and mentally capable of taking care of themselves will most likely prefer to be in an independent living facility. There are 34 independent living facilities in Delaware, costing $36,300 per year on average. These facilities usually have several amenities like outdoor sports facilities, a workout room, landscaped walking paths, on site security, and more.
Senior years can be trying as physical strength fades, and loneliness can creep in. Assisted living facilities can effectively ward off loneliness through dedicated caregivers and social activities from tabletop games, group exercise, meals with others, and outdoor activities. The caregivers will also be able to help with daily grooming and help with mobility so that no senior stays bedridden.
Delaware is a bit higher than the national average in terms of cost for assisted living. It'll cost an average of $66,000 per year in Delaware, compared to the national average of $42,000 per year.
A senior who is losing the ability to remember their past and basic functional skills is always a very difficult time for them and their loved ones. Memory care facilities were designed to ease the pain and frustration of Alzheimer's disease and other memory loss issues. Seniors will be provided with specialized care for their issues, in facilities that are monitored to prevent mental breakdowns brought on by the frustration of not knowing where they are or how to perform basic day to day tasks. There are at least a dozen memory care facilities in Delaware, with an average cost of $95,700 per year.
Delaware is a small state but still packs in over 100 senior living providers, covering all the various senior living facilities needed including adult day care centers, hospices, and respite care.
Adult daycare centers in Delaware will cover all the necessities of senior living, including help with bathing and personal hygiene, taking medications on time and on a regular basis, and much more. Meals are provided, and if any health issues arise there are trained staff to respond immediately and call in an ambulance if needed. There are seven adult daycare centers in Delaware, and cost approximately $1,500 a month on average. That is a bit lower than the national average cost.
Hospices are ideal for Delaware retirees with a terminal illness, as they will have special training to focus on coming to terms with death, as well as easing the physical pain that may accompany this final life event. Hospice care is not only beneficial for the terminally ill patient, but also for any family members who will need counseling and help through this trying time. Medicaid and Medicare will generally cover all, or most of, the costs associated with hospices. Private insurance will as well, the hospice will be able to assist interested persons on how to secure funding from their insurance options.
Children can easily get worn out from the amount of effort and time required to care for their elderly parents. Respite care will ease the pressure of 24/7 work by an unpaid caregiver. There are 38 respite care facilities in Delaware to take care of seniors for however long is needed. Seniors are provided with meals, physical and artistic activities, health monitoring, and more. The average cost of respite care in Delaware is $107,310 per year, with a wide range in costs depending on what type of care is needed. The national average is around $110,000 a year for reference.