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Just under 600,000 residents of Idaho are 50 or older. While this number seems small in the grand scheme of things, this actually represents more than one in three people in Idaho. How else does the state of Idaho’s seniors compare to their counterparts across the country?
For starters, the median age in Idaho (36.8) is nearly two years younger than the U.S. median age, which ranks Idaho as one of the youngest states. But there’s reason to believe that’s changing. Between 2010 and 2018, Idaho’s median age rose by 6.1 percent, the second-fastest rate in the country and more than double the national increase.
But while the state is something of an outlier when it comes to median age, the 79.1-year life expectancy is only slightly higher than the U.S. life expectancy, and senior-led households boast a median income that’s just a few ticks below the national median for the age group. Similarly, a nearly identical percentage of Idaho’s 55-and-up population remains in the workforce compared to their national cohorts.
*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 Idaho
With a housing index of 95.10, Idaho's cost of living is lower than the national average. Retirees can expect to find a one bedroom apartment in the state averaging out to $570 a month (versus $825 a month when looking at U.S. average). Two bedrooms go for an average of $737 a month (the US average is $1,027 a month).
Monthly costs of living in Idaho are fairly reasonable. The home health care costs are on average, $4,052 a month. This cost covers services that ultimately enable seniors to live in their own homes, while aides help to housekeep and run everyday errands.
Adult day care is available in Idaho for an average of $2,185 a month. This allows the elderly to stay at a supervised facility during the day and be socialized while caregivers are busy. This form of care is ideal for seniors who are mostly independent and healthy, not requiring skilled nursing care.
Those who do need more assistance with their daily tasks may want to consider living in an assisted living facility in Idaho. For an average monthly cost of $3,150 a month, seniors are well taken care of by experienced staff and health professionals. This level of care is more extensive than adult day care but is not an alternative for a nursing home.
Idaho offers a plethora of nursing homes for older people needing all day and night supervision and care. The cost for a semi-private room is approximately $7,391 a month, while a private room is $7,910 a month on average. Nursing home facilities provide residents with skilled nursing care, medication, housing, supervision, and therapies and rehabilitation as needed. While pricier than the other forms of living, the nursing home costs in this state are fairly reasonable compared to the national average.
Idaho's Living Options for Seniors
Those looking to retire in Idaho have a number of living options to choose from: independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Individual needs will determine which living option makes most sense. Check out the options below to find out which one fits your lifestyle.
Idaho is home to more than 80 independent living facilities. Independent living is designed for elderly individuals who are healthy, active, and don't require round-the-clock care. Seniors wishing to live amongst people in their age range can find a 55+ or 65+ senior apartment community to live in. These often come with fitness centers, walking trails, a clubhouse, pools and jacuzzis, and more for residents to enjoy. The average costs of independent living facilities range from $548 to $2,887 a month in this state.
Seniors requiring attentive caregiving, healthcare, and access to social opportunities will benefit from staying at an assisted living facility in Idaho. For anywhere from $998 to $5,250 a month, residents can expect to get assistance with housekeeping, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour surveillance for safety. The range is quite huge in Idaho. If you want a more affordable facility, then your best bet is in the Idaho Falls area. The highest assisted living costs are found in the city areas like Coeur d'Alene.
Memory loss diseases are the cause of the most trying times in a person's life. Memory care facilities are designed to make living with Alzheimer's, dementia, and other memory loss diseases as easy as possible. Staff are on hand at all times to help with daily tasks like personal grooming, eating meals regularly, and managing the stress and depression caused by losing memories, like sundowning. The average cost of a memory care facility in Idaho is $56,985 a year.
The Potato State has 369 senior living providers within its borders. Most of them are concentrated in the southern half of the state, with some peppered throughout the northern stretch. Overall, Idaho boasts somewhat lower costs for senior living facilities.
The 38 operating adult daycare centers in Idaho can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $5,250 a month, with a yearly average of $24,960. Many variables affect the cost, including location, quality of staff, amenities, and more. Seniors will find that all adult daycare centers will provide all their meals, dedicated staff to help with medications and personal hygiene, and group activities.
As for hospices, there are 56 facilities in Idaho for terminally ill seniors. These hospices all have a focus on mitigating the pain associated with death, emotionally and physically. Counselors are available to help seniors and families through this transitional time, and nurses can administer medications to help with any physical pain. They also have staff to assist with finances, as Medicaid and Medicare can generally be used to cover the costs, as well as private insurance.
Idaho is generally family oriented, with families taking care of their elderly loved ones as much as possible. With that said, senior care can be very taxing mentally and emotionally, and a big time investment. Respite care facilities in Idaho can provide relief from the demands of senior care, allowing family caregivers to recharge and maintain their personal life. Seniors can stay in respite care facilities as long as needed, where their meals are provided, health monitored, needs met, and engaging activities provided. The cost of respite care is on the lower end in Idaho, with an annual cost of $79,767, significantly lower than the national average that is over $100,000 a year.
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