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Just over one in three residents of Mississippi are age 50 or older, which means that about 1 million people in the state could be taking advantage of their senior discounts on any given day. Older adults have unique needs, and understanding the best policies to address their needs means understanding how seniors in Mississippi compare to their counterparts across the U.S.
Outside of a couple of areas, Mississippi is an outlier across several metrics related to seniors. For example, while the state’s percentage of those 50 and older is similar to the overall U.S. rate, the median age of 37.7 is considerably lower than the overall U.S. median age of 38.5. The state also saw a much faster-than-average increase to the median age between 2010 and 2018, while the average life expectancy is the worst in the U.S. — 74.7 years.
Mississippi is No. 12 in the nation when it comes to the percentage of those 60 and older who are people of color — 31.6 percent, though this isn’t much higher than the overall U.S. average for this metric.
*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 Mississippi
Boasting a low housing index of 84.50, the cost of living in Mississippi is very reasonable. You can get a one bedroom apartment here for an average of $595 a month (US average is $825 a month), or a two bedroom apartment for an average of $727 a month (US average is $1,027 a month).
Let’s review the monthly senior living costs in Mississippi. To start, home health care, which allows seniors to live in their own homes while getting assistance from service aides to help with housekeeping and errands, costs around $3,373 a month.
Adult day care in Mississippi is only $975 a month on average, which is lower than many other states in the country. Seniors can stay at a supervised facility during the day, stay socialized, and receive therapeutic and health services as needed. Since adult day care does not include round the clock care, it’s best for the elderly who are mostly independent and healthy.
Seniors who need more help with completing their everyday tasks may benefit from staying at an assisted living facility in Mississippi. For an average monthly cost of $3,332 a month, relatives and family members can be assured that their aging loved one will receive top-notch personal care and any required health services.
Mississippi has plenty of nursing homes available throughout the state for those who require round the clock supervision and care. The cost for a semi-private room in this state is roughly $6,494 a month, while a private room is about $6,646 a month. Residents can expect to receive personal care, skilled nursing, supervision, housing, medication, and therapies and rehabilitation at nursing homes. This form of care and housing is more expensive than the rest, but will relieve a lot of stress for at-home caregivers who may not be able to always properly provide for the senior.
Living Options for Mississippi Seniors
Retirees in Mississippi opt for independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care depending on individual needs. Learn more about each option below and determine which one suits your lifestyle best.
There are more than 60 independent living facilities in Mississippi. Seniors who are healthy, active, and don’t need round the clock nursing care will find this option to be the most comfortable living situation. Some seniors may also prefer apartment living. There are senior apartment communities made for individuals who are 55+ and 65+, allowing the elderly to live amongst others in the same age range. They can also enjoy apartment amenities like fitness centers, walking trails, meeting rooms, and more. The average costs of independent living facilities range from $440 to $4,331 a month.
Mississippi is home to more than 170 assisted living facilities, designed to provide seniors with attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and social opportunities. At these facilities, residents get help with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour safety surveillance.
The average cost of assisted living facilities in the state range from $800 to $7,875 depending on a variety of factors like location. The more affordable assisted living facilities are located around the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula area, while the expensive ones are found in the Jackson metropolitan area.
Alzheimer’s is one of the most stressful and demanding ailments a senior may face. Memory care facilities go a long way in mitigating the stress and helplessness a senior will feel when faced with memory issues. Memory care facilities do as much as possible to deter wandering and emotional breakdowns, through medications and attentive staff members. There are 102 memory care facilities in Mississippi, with the metropolitan areas like Gulfport and Biloxi having the highest cost ones with a range from $4,076 to $10,890 a month. Further inland around the Jackson metropolitan area, seniors will find more affordable options as low as $2,516 a month.
There are 390 senior living providers in Mississippi. Each of these providers will have an increasing demand as Mississippi’s senior population is expected to rise by 46% over the next 15 years, from 433,428 up to 634,067.
There are nine adult daycare centers in the state, providing everything seniors would need to get through each day. Professional staff will assist seniors with personal grooming, prepare all their meals, lead group activities like daily walks and game nights, and help administer medications. The metropolitan areas of Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula have the highest adult daycare costs, averaging $19,500 per year. Hattiesburg and surround areas have the lowest cost adult daycare centers in the state, with an average annual cost of $9,100.
Hospices in Mississippi allow seniors to live out their remaining days with dignity. Trained staff minimize physical as much as possible through medications and therapeutic activities like aromatherapy, art therapy, music therapy, and more. Grief counseling is provided to patients and their families, and chaplain services are available for spiritual support. There are 91 hospice facilities, with the most expensive ones in metropolitan areas, as is the case for other states.
Primary caregivers, such as a family member caring for an elderly loved one, can take a break from the constant duties of caregiving by enlisting the help of respite care. Respite care provides temporary care to seniors, lasting either just a day or two, up to several months or longer. Costs vary greatly as the respite care facility will need to determine how long each day the senior will need a caregiver, and how intensive the care will need to be. With that in mind, the average cost of respite care is $74,460 per year, with respite care near metropolitan areas like Biloxi and Gulfport costing up to $12,006 a month, and a low of $6,612 a month in the McComb and Jackson areas.
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