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Just over one in three residents of the state of Nebraska qualifies for senior discounts. In other words, about 34 percent of the state, or roughly 650,000 people, are age 50 or older. How do Nebraska seniors compare to others across the country, and what can we learn from demographic, health and economic data about the state of Nebraska’s seniors?
While Nebraska has a similar percentage of residents who are 50-plus compared to the rest of the U.S., there are few similarities beyond that. Nebraska’s median age of 36.7 is nearly two full years younger than the overall U.S. median age, which is 38.5, and Nebraska’s median age has risen less dramatically than some other states. That figure rose by just 1.1 percent between 2010 and 2018, putting Nebraska 43rd among all states.
The median household income for those 65 and older in Nebraska is nearly identical to the U.S. overall, but notably, the state ranks first when it comes to 55-and-older residents still in the labor force. What that means is that nearly half of all those over 55 are still working, but those at or near retirement age make less than average compared to other states.
*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.
Nebraska's Senior Living Costs
Nebraska boasts a housing index of 88.40, lower than the national average. This means it is a relatively affordable state to retire in. You can get a one bedroom apartment in Arkansas for an average of $579 a month (verses $825 a month being the US average), or a two bedroom apartment for an average of $747 a month ($1,027 a month is the US average).
Want to get an idea of what numbers look like when it comes to monthly cost of living in Nebraska for seniors? To start off, the average home health care costs are roughly $4,385 a month. Home health care services allow seniors to live in their own homes, while service aides help with housekeeping and running everyday errands.
Adult day care in Nebraska averages out to $1,593 a month. This fee allows seniors to stay at a supervised facility during the day and partake in therapeutic services and other social activities while caregivers are tending to their other everyday obligations. Since adult day care does not include around the clock care, it's ideal for seniors who are mostly independent.
Assisted living facilities are scattered throughout Nebraska to serve elders who require more help with their everyday tasks. Seniors are able to receive personal care and health services for an average monthly cost of $3,785 a month.
Last but not least, seniors who need extensive supervision and care are best off living in a nursing home, where professional staff and skilled nurses are able to provide the care that they need, along with medication, therapies, and rehabilitation. The cost for a semi-private room is roughly $6,334 a month, while a private room is about $6,768 a month. While it is more expensive than the other forms of living in the state, it does help to take a hefty load off of unpaid caregivers' (who may be a friend, family member, or relative) shoulders as they wouldn't have to worry about providing proper care for their loved ones.
Living Options for Nebraska's Seniors
Those wishing to retire in Nebraska have several living options to consider, depending on individual needs: independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Read more about each option below and determine which one best suits your lifestyle.
With more than 130 independent living facilities, Nebraska is able to offer plenty of housing choices for seniors who are healthy, active, and don't require round the clock care and supervision. The average cost of staying at an independent living facility in this state ranges from $591 to $4,125 a month. Independent living facilities in the Lincoln area are most expensive, while the more affordable ones are located around the Grand Island area.
The state also offers plenty of apartment choices for seniors 55+ or 65+ depending on the community. Active senior communities typically include useful amenities like fitness centers, walking trails, clubhouse, meeting rooms, and more for residents to enjoy.
Older people needing attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and social opportunities will benefit from staying at an assisted living facility in Nebraska. Here, residents can expect to receive help with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour safety surveillance. On average, it costs anywhere from $1,075 to $7,500 to stay at an assisted living facility in this state. Similar to independent living facilities, the cheaper assisted living facilities are in the Grand Island area while the more expensive ones are in Lincoln.
Living with dementia is often a difficult ordeal for all involved. Memory care facilities go a long way in easing the feelings of helplessness that can occur with memory loss. Memory care facilities have staff that will assist with personal grooming, provide meals and medications, prevent wandering, and help counsel patients through difficult times of memory loss. There are 174 memory care facilities in Nebraska. Lincoln has some of the more costly facilities that can cost up to $102,911 a year, while the Grand Island area has an average annual cost of $71,280 a year.
Nebraska has been becoming an increasingly popular state for people to move to for a variety of reasons. For retirees moving here, they'll find 490 senior living providers to learn of and pick from for the needs of their golden years.
Adult daycare centers will take care of all the cooking, cleaning, landscaping, and assist with personal grooming needs and medications. Not only that, but adult daycare centers will often provide group activities like game nights, art classes, movie watching, and even meditation hours. There are 79 adult daycare centers in Nebraska. The most expensive ones tend to be in the Lincoln metropolitan area, with an average cost of $16,900 a year. Grand Island and its surrounding areas have a concentration of lower cost adult daycare centers, averaging a low $11,050 per year, one of the lowest annual costs in the nation.
Terminally ill seniors will find solace in one of the 57 hospices in Nebraska. Most of the hospices will be located in and near Lincoln, providing end of life services to seniors. These services include grief counseling for families, professionally administered pain medications, therapy through the arts and group discussions, chaplain services, and more. The costs of hospices can often be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances. Hospice staff are on hand to help discover the best ways seniors can pay for hospice care.
Primary caretakers can get overwhelmed with the demands of caring for a senior, especially when the caretaker is unpaid and has other responsibilities to tend to while making an income. There are 230 respite care facilities in Nebraska that can assist caring for an elderly loved one in many ways, including sending a professional caregiver to the home of the senior, or admitting the senior into a respite care facility. Respite care facilities cost $69,076 a year in Nebraska, with the costs ranging from a low of $4,785 a month up to $16,574 a month.