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About 7 million residents of New York are at least 50 years of age. That’s more than the entire combined number of people of any age who live in New Hampshire, Nebraska and Connecticut. And it’s nearly as much as the entire population of New York City. No doubt that’s a big number, but where does New York stand when it comes to the representation of older adults compared to the nation as a whole?
In some cases, New York is quite representative of the United States. About 36.5 percent of New York residents are 50 or older, which is roughly equivalent to the overall national rate of 35.3 percent. And the median age in New York has risen by 2.6% since 2010, almost identical to the national increase of 2.7 percent.
But in other areas, New York is an outlier. For example, the state has the fifth-highest life expectancy and the sixth-highest percentage of adults 60 and older who are people of color. What else can we learn about the state of New York’s seniors?
*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 New York
With a housing index of 121.80, there is no doubt that New York is one of the more expensive places to retire in the country. However, those who can afford it may find it a perfect retirement destination filled with beautiful scenery and rich culture. For reference, a one bedroom apartment in New York averages out to a monthly rent fee of $1,119, while the U.S. average for a similar one bedroom apartment goes for $825 a month. Two bedroom apartments are more expensive, averaging out to $1,329 a month, compared to the national average of $1,027 a month in rent. New York City is one of the top-rated places to retire in the state, although it will be most expensive. Other retirement-friendly cities include Buffalo and Syracuse.
Before committing to retirement here, you may be looking to get a better feel for what the monthly senior costs of living in New York is like. Let's take a look at some numbers!
First and foremost, seniors who are healthy enough to live at home independently may take need home health care services depending on whether they have a caregiver at home to help with daily chores. Home health care services basically enable older people to live comfortably in their own residences while service aides help with housekeeping duties, completing everyday errands, and meal prep, for example. It costs on average $4,290 a month to take advantage of homemaker services in New York.
Seniors who require a little more personal and health care aside from just everyday chores may consider hiring a home health aide. Home health aides in New York cost an average of $4,528 a month.
Adult day care centers are available throughout the state of New York to provide seniors with a supervised facility to stay during the day. It costs around $1,733 a month to stay at an adult day care facility in The Empire State. Since adult day care does not include extensive nursing care, it is ideal for older people who are pretty healthy and independent, but could use some therapy and socialization during the day while their caregivers are busy tending to their other obligations.
New York also has plenty of assisted living facilities to serve elders requiring more help with their everyday tasks. It costs an average of $3,988 a month to stay at an assisted living facility in this state. The level of care provided at assisted living facilities is not as extensive as that of nursing homes, but is an intermediate form of long-term care. Seniors who have been living independently but no longer can do so may transition into assisted living before going into a nursing home.
Finally, nursing homes are designed for seniors who require round the clock care and supervision. It is the most costly form of care in all states, but especially so in New York. For a semi-private room, you can expect to pay $11,076 a month. If you want a fully private room, it is an average cost of $11,701 a month. Skilled staff in nursing homes work hard to provide residents with proper housing, both personal and extensive nursing care, along with supervision, medications, therapies, and rehabilitation as necessary
New York's Senior Living Options
The senior living options in New York are ample. Depending on individual circumstances and needs, retirees can opt for independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Find out more information about each option below to determine which one suits your lifestyle best.
New York is home to more than 440 independent living facilities statewide. Seniors who are healthy, active, and do not require round the clock nursing care will typically find themselves most comfortable living independently in their own residences, and sometimes with a caregiver. Independent living costs in The Empire State can range anywhere from $669 to $5,727 a month.
There are several forms of independent living. The most common one is apartment living. Seniors in The Empire State who choose apartment living basically would live in a 55+ or 65+ community, which often include attractive amenities like small gyms, pools and jacuzzis, dog parks, and walking trails, for example. Some active senior communities also include useful services like transportation for the elderly needing to get around.
If you would rather buy a property rather than rent an apartment, then you can consider buying a condo, townhome, mobile home, or single-family home in New York. The median home value in the state is $307,800. Home values here have gone up over the years and are expected to continue hiking up, so it may be a worthwhile investment to buy a place if you can afford it. It could end up as an investment property that your kids or grandkids could take over after your final years!
More than 610 assisted living facilities exist throughout New York. Aging adults who need access to health care and social activities to thrive will want to consider staying at an assisted living facility. Attentive caregivers and staff members work hard to help the elderly residents with laundry, meal services, transportation, and housekeeping duties. These facilities are also monitored 24/7 for safety.
It can cost anywhere from $1,217 to $10,413 a month to stay at an assisted living facility in New York. As you might guess, New York City is the most expensive place to live. If you are looking to stretch your retirement funds a bit, then you may want to consider looking in the Staten Island area where assisted living costs are lower.
Dementia has been a growing concern, affecting more seniors in recent years and no signs of slowing down in the coming years. Memory care helps seniors with memory loss ailments, by providing staff who are experienced with handling dementia in a calming manner. Memory care facilities are also designed to be easy to navigate, with 24/7 monitoring to ensure a senior does not wander off and receives immediate medical attention when needed.
There are 400+ memory care facilities in New York with an average cost of $64,097 a year, with monthly costs ranging from $1,764 to $15,098. Ithaca turned up as the city with the highest average costs for memory care, coming out to a near national high of $152,262 a year. Staten Island had the lowest average costs for the state, at $58,410 a year.
New York's senior population is currently 15.4% of the overall population. Thanks to New York City's huge and dense population, the state has been very proactive on making life easier and more accommodating to the growing senior population. Some of the programs to help seniors is to automatically enroll them in rent increase exemptions and homeowner exemptions so that more seniors can afford to live at home. If a senior doesn't qualify for these exemptions, or needs a greater level of care, then New York has over 1,400 senior care providers, with several nursing home options.
Adult Day Care
Seniors who live with busy families in New York will benefit greatly from an adult day care. Adult day care is a place for seniors to go to in the day, while their primary caregiver goes to their job or tends to their other responsibilities. Seniors will receive nutritious meals, assistance with day to day tasks, and help with medications and any physical ailments. From a social aspect, adult day care can do wonders for seniors, allowing them to make new friendships and feel a part of a group. Adult day care is typically Monday through Friday, during the hours that most people spend at work.
The average cost of the 200+ adult day care centers is $19,500 a year. Manhattan tends to have the highest adult day care costs, coming in at $49,400 a year. Elmira is more affordable, with an average cost of just $10,920 a year. Generally speaking, insurances do not cover the cost of adult day care. There may be other costs associated with adult day care, such as extra amenities and care options that can be paid for a la carte as needed.
Hospice care provides specific care from several angles for terminally ill seniors. Chaplain services are often utilized as part of hospice care for spiritual support, grief counseling for emotional support, and medications for relief from physical pain.
In New York, Hospice care is provided nearly free of charge through hospice benefits of Medicaid or Medicare, whichever one the senior qualifies for. Staff will help with any paperwork necessary to qualify for the hospice benefit.
For the families caring for an elderly loved one, respite care can be a huge help and prevent burnouts. Respite care provides a professional caregiver to offload the duties from a primary caregiver so that they can take a break. Respite care is also especially helpful after surgeries when a senior may need a higher level of care than a family member can provide. Another big advantage of respite care is that it can be set for any amount of time. It can be set up to recur weekly or monthly, or to be just a one time thing. It can also be for entire months at a dedicated respite care facility, with no set end time.
Respite care can vary tremendously in costs, with a low of $6,525 up to $26,666 a month. The state average is $124,100 per year, between the 500+ respite care facilities in New York. Manhattan tends to have the highest average costs, while upstate New York towns like Rochester and Syracuse are on the lower end of costs.
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