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About 580,000 people in Maine are age 50 or older. While this doesn’t necessarily feel like an impressive number, in a small-population state like Maine, that means that nearly 44 percent of the state’s residents are seniors. What else can demographic, health and economic data teach us about Maine’s seniors and how the state stacks up to the rest of the country?
By a couple of measures, Maine is the oldest U.S. state. Not by the state’s year of founding, of course, but by how aged its residents are. For example, just under 44 percent of Maine residents are 50 or older, which is the highest percentage in the country. Similarly, Maine’s median age of 45.1 is the oldest in the U.S., compared to the American median age, 38.5 years. The state also has aged rapidly over the past decade, with the median age rising in Maine by nearly 6 percent through 2018.
While the state does lead the nation, or get close to it, in a few measures, there are some areas in which Maine lags. Just under 3 percent of Maine seniors (60 and older) are people of color, which is the lowest in the country. And Maine households led by those 65 and older have a median annual income of just over $40,000, below the U.S. median for the age group.
*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.
Maine's Senior Living Costs
Boasting a housing index of 97.60, Maine is slightly cheaper than the national average when it comes to cost of living. The US average sits at 100. For reference, a one-bedroom apartment averages out to $693 a month (compared to the U.S. average of $825 a month), while a two-bedroom apartment goes for around $865 a month (compared to the U.S. average of $1,027 a month).
Seniors in Maine can expect to pay an average of $4,385 a month for home health care, which enables them to live in their own homes while receiving assistance with housekeeping and completing errands.
Adult day care is a great place for seniors to stay during the day to receive supervision and socialization while caregivers are tending to their other responsibilities. The rate for adult day care averages out to $2,340 a month in Maine. Since adult day care doesn't include extensive care, it is most suitable for the elderly who are mostly healthy and independent.
Maine's assisted living facilities are designed to provide aging loved ones with more assistance with their everyday tasks. For an average monthly cost of $4,890 a month, seniors are able to receive personal care and health services.
Seniors who have trouble living their lives without needing help with every little task will benefit from staying at a nursing home, where professional staff members are able to provide that assistance. Maine has plenty of nursing homes available for seniors who need 24/7 supervision and care, therapies and rehabilitation, medications, and of course, housing. The cost for a semi-private room is roughly $9,140 a month. If you prefer more privacy, you can get a private room for approximately $9,764 a month.
Maine's Living Options for Seniors
Retirees in Maine can opt for independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care depending on individual needs. Check out each option below to see which one best suits your lifestyle.
Home to more than 100 independent living facilities, it's safe to say that Maine has a plethora of senior living options. Healthy and active elders generally prefer to either stay at an independent living facility or a senior apartment community to live out their golden years. Senior apartment communities typically offer amenities like workout rooms, walking trails, and more for residents to enjoy. The average costs of independent living facilities range from $1,760 to $4,422 a month.
Attentive caregivers, healthcare, access to local activities, and social opportunities can be found at assisted living facilities in Maine. Senior residents can also expect to receive assistance with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour surveillance staffing.
Staying at an assisted living facility in this state can range anywhere from $3,200 to $8,040 a month. The cheapest assisted living facilities are located around the Lewiston-Auburn area, while the more expensive ones are in the Portland-South Portland areas.
Memory care facilities in Maine are specifically designed for seniors with dementia. These facilities are built to minimize injuries brought on from the frustrations of not knowing where one is, or forgetting how to do mundane tasks. Trained staff are on hand all through the day and night, to help seniors get through their tasks without frustration. There are 100 memory care facilities, with an average cost of $86,130 per year.
The northeastern tip of the country, Maine, has over 280 senior living providers. Retirees will find all the care and assistance they need, while enjoying the pristine forests and dramatic coastlines to be found here.
Adult daycare facilities help seniors get through their days with ease. Assistance is given to those who need it for personal grooming, taking medications, and more. Meals are prepared throughout the day, and group activities arranged for seniors to be engaged and ward off loneliness. There are 25 adult daycare facilities in Maine, with average cost of $26,000 per year.
There are 39 hospices in Maine, providing excellent care for terminally ill seniors. Hospices will have highly trained staff to administer medications that help ease the pain and suffering of patients, and to provide emotional support. Group counseling is also available at most hospices, where family members may come in to express themselves and feel more connected with their elderly loved one during their final days. Staff at hospices will help prospective patients figure out how to use Medicaid, Medicare, or a private insurance to cover most, if not all, of the costs associated with hospice care.
Respite care in Maine has helped a countless amount of caregivers better handle the demanding duties of caring for an elderly loved one with health complications. There are 98 respite care facilities in the state, with an average cost of $100,735 per year. The specific needs of the senior will determine the cost of care. Stays can be as short as a few days, a few months, or open ended. Professional care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with medication assistance, chronic disease management, onsite physicians, and much more.
U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 1-Year Estimates Subject Tables (2010, 2017 and 2018)
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