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North Dakota is one of the youngest U.S. states, joining the union on the same date as South Dakota in 1889. That ties the two Dakotas for 40th among the 50 states. Not only is North Dakota literally young compared to other states, but it’s also figuratively young thanks to a relatively low median age and lower-than-average percentage of seniors.
One in three residents of North Dakota are at least age 50, which is 44th in the country, and the state’s median age of 35.4 is No. 47 among the states and the District of Columbia. And North Dakota is getting younger. The median age in the state fell by more than 5 percent between 2010 and 2018, the biggest decline reported. For comparison’s sake, the median age in the entire U.S. rose by nearly 3 percent in that same time, and North Dakota was one of just a few states where the median age fell.
What else can we learn about the demographics and well-being of North Dakota’s seniors? As a group, they’re more likely to remain in the workforce (47.1 percent, tied for second) but have lower-than-average household incomes once they reach 65. And while life expectancy is higher, the percentage of seniors who are people of color is one of the lowest in the country.
*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.
North Dakota's Senior Living Costs
With a housing index of 100.60, North Dakota pretty much sits in the middle when it comes to cost of living. It's not really cheaper or more expensive to live here compared to the other states of the country. The median home value in the state is $201,100 and the median rent price is $1,170 a month.
Before committing to retirement in North Dakota, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the state's monthly costs of living for seniors. The average home health care cost is $5,331 a month. This cost enables seniors to live comfortably in their own home while receiving help from aides to keep the house clean, run errands, and cook meals.
Adult day care facilities are available throughout the state to provide seniors a safe and supervised place to socialize and take advantage of therapeutic and health services during the day. It costs an average of $2,123 a month to stay at an adult day care facility in North Dakota. Bear in mind that adult day care does not include extensive nursing care, so it's best for the elderly who are mostly independent and healthy.
Seniors requiring more help with completing their everyday tasks may consider staying an assisted living facility in North Dakota to receive personal care and health services for an average monthly cost of $3,018.
Last but not least, older people who are not able to live in their own homes with a caregiver responsible for them will be well taken care of at a nursing home in North Dakota. Here, residents can expect to receive not only housing, but also personal care, medication as needed, supervision, 24/7 skilled nursing care, and therapies and rehabilitation. The cost for a semi-private room is roughly $10,636 a month, while a private room is about $10,864 a month. All nursing homes provide residents with personal care, medication, housing, supervision, skilled nursing care 24/7, and therapies and rehabilitation.
Living Options for Senior North Dakotans
North Dakota's retirees have several options to choose from when it comes to living, depending on individual circumstances and needs: independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Learn more about each option below and determine which one is best for you and your lifestyle.
North Dakota is home to more than 50 independent living facilities. Independent living is ideal for older 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 from $594 to $2,543 a month. Seniors who prefer apartment style living can opt for a 55+ or 65+ community, which on top of housing, will usually include great amenities like small gyms, walking trails, pools and jacuzzis, meeting rooms, and more for residents to take advantage of.
Seniors needing attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and social opportunities to thrive will benefit from staying at an assisted living facility in North Dakota. Here, they can receive to get assistance with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and round the clock safety surveillance.
On average, it costs anywhere from $1,080 to $4,625 a month to stay at an assisted living facility in North Dakota. If you are looking to stretch your dollar, the Grand Forks area is most affordable. The most expensive assisted living facilities are in the Fargo metropolitan area.
Memory care facilities do an excellent job at providing care for seniors with any type of dementia. There are 64 memory care facilities in North Dakota, with a low cost of $1,566 a month up to $6,706 a month. Fargo has the highest average costs at $71,775 a year, while the Grand Forks area has the lowest average of $56,717. Overall, the average cost of memory care in North Dakota is $54,027 a year, which is lower than the national average of $60,900 a year.
There are 168 senior living providers in North Dakota, a significant amount less than other states but seniors should still have a pretty good chance to find the type of care they need here.
Adult daycare centers in North Dakota average $14,695 a year, lower than other states. Bismarck has the highest cost adult daycare centers, costing up to $19,562 a year. Fargo, on the other hand, has the lowest cost adult daycare centers, with a median cost of $10,920 a year. There are 31 adult daycare centers to choose from in North Dakota, all providing three meals a deal and assistance with personal grooming, medications, and more.
As for hospices, there are 23 located in North Dakota. Hospice staff help terminally ill seniors live out their final days with dignity and as pain free as possible. Hospice care can be paid for by Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurances. Hospice staff will help seniors and their families figure out how to best utilize their available insurance to cover the costs.
Respite care in North Dakota is of tremendous help to primary caregivers who are unpaid. Caring for an elderly loved one who is not fully independent anymore and may have health complications, can be extremely draining. Respite care can be as short as a few hours a week of in-home care, or up to several months in a senior living facility with no set end date. There are 61 respite care facilities in North Dakota, costing an average of $87,783 a year.
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