Senior Housing & Assisted Living in North Carolina
If you want to retire somewhere with small-town charm but still be only around 45 minutes away from a big city, then North Carolina may be a great fit. The Old North State has plenty to offer, such as beautiful nature, four distinct seasons, and Southern hospitality. Seniors are able to live here in peace while admiring the beauty around them — day and night.
Before committing to a place to retire in North Carolina, you may want to familiarize yourself with the state's senior living costs, facilities, and benefits. Here, you'll find valuable information about North Carolina's senior living options, from independent living facilities to assisted care choices, and the support systems and amenities that each has to offer. If you already have a general idea of where you'd like to retire, the below cities are clickable, allowing you to find the closest senior living options available in a given city of North Carolina.
If you already know what you're looking for, feel free to use the quick links below to jump directly to a specific section to find specifics on that topic.
Best Senior Living Communities in North Carolina
It can be difficult to find the perfect living facility for yourself or an aging loved one. Narrow down your choices by checking out our list of the best senior living communities in North Carolina below.
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Independent Living, Memory Care
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Assisted Living, Independent Living
North Carolina's Senior Living Costs
North Carolina has a housing index of 94.70, making it one of the more affordable states to retire in the United States. It is lower than the national average of 100. One bedroom apartments average out to $656 a month (compared to the US average of $825 a month), while two bedrooms go for an average of $793 a month (compared to the US average of $1027 a month).
Curious about what the numbers look like when it comes to monthly costs of living for seniors in North Carolina? Firstly, the average home health care costs are approximately $3,432 a month. Home health care services enable elders to live comfortably in their own homes while receiving help to keep the house clean and complete everyday errands.
Adult day care facilities are available throughout North Carolina for around $1,148 a month. These facilities are for seniors needing to stay at a supervised place during the day and take part in social activities while their caregivers are busy tending to their other obligations.
Seniors requiring more help with completing their everyday tasks and obligations may consider staying at an assisted living facility in North Carolina. Here, they would receive personal care and health services for an average of $3,250 a month.
Last, but not least, North Carolina also has nursing homes to accommodate those who need round the clock supervision and care. The cost for a semi-private room is roughly $6,844 a month, while a private room is about $7,604 a month. Senior residents can expect to receive personal care, medication, housing, supervision, skilled nursing care, and therapies and rehabilitation while staying at a nursing home.
Perks of Retiring in North Carolina
Thinking about retiring in North Carolina, but curious about what seniors enjoy about the state? There are a plethora of perks to retiring in areas of North Carolina, such as Mecklenburg County and Wake County, and below are just some of them:
Four Beautiful Seasons
If you've always dreamt of retiring somewhere where you can experience four distinct and beautiful seasons, North Carolina will give that to you. Summers are warm but mild, making it enjoyable to be outdoors especially by the forests and streams. Spring gets an early start in this state, and during this time you'll see a lot of beautiful colors from changing leaves. In the fall, people love to hike, bike, and partake in outdoor activities because the weather is very pleasant — cooler but not too cold. You'll also see beautiful changing colors of leaves in autumn. In the winter, snow can be seen in the mountains and the air is very crisp. The average high temperatures in winter are in the high forties and low fifties, with occasional snow. The distinct four seasons allow seniors to fully enjoy the change of temperature as well as scenery.
Senior Friendly Things to Do & Sights to See
North Carolina has a bit of everything. From the rolling mountains covered in trees that the famed Appalachian Trail goes through, to the relaxing beaches of Nags Head and the Outer Banks. The Smoky Mountains are here as well, and a little known fact is that the Venus Flytrap naturally grows here. Asheville is filled with restaurants and lively shows to see, as is Charlotte and Raleigh.
Moderate Tax Benefits
North Carolina isn't among the best states for senior taxes, but it is above average. Social security income will not be taxed, but public and private pensions will be fully taxed. Withdrawals from retirement accounts are also fully taxed. The marginal state tax rate is 5.5%, which is a bit lower than some states.
Living Options for North Carolina's Seniors
When compared to all fifty states, North Carolina is ranked 24th in Long-Term Care and 32nd in the country’s health rankings. Twenty-eight percent of the state’s seniors live alone. This makes the need for quality housing options for these and all seniors very important and, fortunately, North Carolina offers a plethora of senior living options. Depending on individual needs and circumstances, they can choose between independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Explore each option below and see which one is best for you and your lifestyle.
There are more than 330 independent living facilities scattered throughout North Carolina. Independent living is best for elderly people who are healthy and active, and don't require 24/7 nursing care. The average cost of staying at an independent living facility in this state ranges anywhere from $605 to $4,342 a month.
Seniors who prefer apartment style living can pick an apartment community for seniors 55+ or 65+. These communities often include useful amenities like small gyms, walking trails, pools and jacuzzis, meeting rooms, and more for residents to enjoy.
Retirement Communities in North Carolina
There are lots of reasons to consider the Southern charm of retirement living in North Carolina. In fact, the Tar Heel State has become one of the primary retirement destinations of choice in the US. Many people from the Northeast who have become disillusioned with retirement living in Florida, find themselves venturing back north, retiring in North Carolina and referring to themselves as “half-backs” because they made it halfway back up to the northeast.
Let’s look at some information and key statistics about seniors in North Carolina so you’ll have a better idea of living conditions in the state should you decide to join those who have already determined to live out their retirement in North Carolina.
According to 2010 data from the United States census bureau, 13% of North Carolina’s population is comprised of seniors. This means that seniors retiring to the Tar Heel State will find that they’re not alone – they’ll find lots of other people their age and the state already has an infrastructure set up and prepared to deal with the needs and desires of seniors.
As we discussed earlier, North Carolina’s housing index falls below the national average. This is good news for many since 8% of senior households in North Carolina have an annual income less than $10K and 28% survive on less than $20K; however, the median household income for a North Carolina senior is slightly more than $2.8K per month with the average Social Security Income being slightly more than $1.4K per month. Twenty-five percent of the state’s residents who are 60 and above receive assistance through the food stamp program.
North Carolina provides employment opportunities for seniors as well. Almost 200K of the state’s seniors continue to work as they follow their retirement dreams.
North Carolina is home to more than 650 assisted living facilities which provide seniors with attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and social opportunities. At an assisted living facility, residents can expect to get assistance with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour safety surveillance.
The average cost to stay at an assisted living facility in the state ranges from $1,100 to $7,895 a month depending on a variety of factors like location. If you are looking to save some money, then it may be worthwhile to look around the Burlington area where assisted living costs are lower. In the Wilmington metropolitan area, the assisted living costs get steeper.
Seniors developing dementia would do best in a memory care facility. Memory care facilities provide specialized care for seniors facing memory deterioration, with staff who will assist with personal grooming and helping seniors find their way back to their room if they forget. The average cost of a memory care facility in North Carolina is $51,156 per year, with the cheapest facilities around the Burlington area costing $46,530 a year. Wilmington area has the highest memory care costs, coming in at $83,903 a year.
North Carolina has over 1,300 senior living providers, giving retirees more than enough options for all types of care and living arrangements.
There are 16 adult daycare facilities in North Carolina, at an average cost of $13,260 a year. Jacksonville and its surrounding communities have the lowest cost adult daycares in the state, at an average of $9,100 per year. Goldsboro metropolitan areas have the highest cost adult daycare centers, with an average annual cost of $32,500. Statewide, costs can range from an absolute low of $630 to a maximum of $3,000 a month.
Hospices can be found all throughout the state, to help comfort terminally ill seniors and help them live their final days as best they can. There are 149 hospices in North Carolina, and their staffs will help seniors find out how to utilize their Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance to cover most, or all, of the costs. Terminally ill patients at a hospice will have their pain managed through a combination of traditional medications administered by a skilled nurse, and holistic therapies like aromatherapy, senior friendly yoga, meditation, and more.
Respite care provides relief to a primary caregiver, unpaid or paid, by taking over the caregiver duties for a temporary amount of time. Respite care can be as short as a day or as long as months or even open ended. Respite care in North Carolina is $73,913 a year on average, with the overall costs ranging from $5,655 a month or tp $12,311 per month.
Resources for Seniors in North Carolina
North Carolina Health & Human Services – North Carolina is dedicated to helping their older adults, persons of disabilities, and their families through a community based system of programs, opportunities, benefits, and protections. Learn more here.
WakeGov – There are three property tax relief programs for qualified seniors/homeowners of North Carolina. Learn more about them — how they work and who qualifies, here.
North Carolina Medicaid Program – Learn about the state's Medicaid program and see whether you qualify for it. If you do, there's information on this website that will lead you to the application process.