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Just over 300,000 residents of the state of South Dakota are eligible for special deals at their favorite restaurants. This means that more than one in three people in the state are at least age 50. How does South Dakota compare to other states when it comes to senior-related metrics, such as demographic, health and economic data?
In many ways, South Dakota is quite average. The 35.7 percent of residents who are 50 and older is nearly identical to the overall U.S. rate, and life expectancy in South Dakota is only slightly higher than the overall U.S. average. The state’s median age is slightly lower than the overall U.S. median (37.2 in South Dakota vs. 38.5 in the country overall), but the state is one of the few where the median age fell between 2010 and 2018.
From an economic standpoint, South Dakota is one of the national leaders when it comes to seniors remaining in the workforce. In fact, almost half of all residents 55 and older are in the labor force compared to about 41 percent nationally. However, while more seniors may be working, the median household income for those 65 and older is lower in South Dakota than the country overall.
*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.
South Dakota’s Senior Living Costs
South Dakota is one of the more affordable states to retire in the country, with a housing index of 96. One bedroom apartments, on average, go for $556 a month here (compared to the U.S. average of $825 a month). Two bedrooms go for an average of $714 a month (compared to the U.S. average of $1,027 a month).
Curious about South Dakota’s senior living costs? Let’s take a look at some of the numbers! First and foremost, the home health care cost averages out to $4,767 a month. This fee allows elderly individuals to live comfortably in their own residences while receiving some help to keep the house clean, run day to day errands, prep meals.
Adult day care facilities are available throughout South Dakota so that seniors are able to stay at a supervised facility while their caregivers are busy tending to their other obligations during the day. For an average monthly cost of $1,473, seniors are able to participate in social activities to stay busy, and receive therapeutic and health services as needed. However, bear in mind that adult day care does not include extensive nursing care, so it’s ideal for those who are mostly independent.
If you are a senior needing more assistance with executing everyday tasks, then it may be worthwhile to consider staying at an assisted living facility in South Dakota. It costs an average of $3,570 a month to stay in an assisted living facility in this state. Residents are able to receive personal care and health services as needed.
South Dakota is also home to plenty of nursing homes to serve those who require round the clock care and supervision. The cost for a semi-private room is roughly $6,300 a month, while a private room is about $6,813 a month. At nursing homes, senior residents receive personal & skilled nursing care, supervision, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation as needed.
Living Options for Senior South Dakotans
Senior South Dakotans have several living options depending on individual needs. These options are independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Explore each option below and see which one best suits your lifestyle.
Seniors who are healthy, active, and do not require round the clock nursing care generally prefer independent living. There are more than 60 independent living facilities in South Dakota. The average cost of staying at an independent living facility here ranges from $1,045 to $3,418 a month.
Elders who enjoy apartment style living can choose to live in a 55+ or 65+ senior apartment community. Most of these communities offer useful amenities like fitness centers, walking trails, pools and jacuzzis, meeting rooms, and more for residents.
More than 140 assisted living facilities are available throughout The Mount Rushmore State to provide seniors with attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and social opportunities. For anywhere from $1,900 to $6,215 a month, older people staying at assisted living facilities in this state can receive assistance with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour safety surveillance. If you are looking to stretch your dollar, then it may be worthwhile to check out the assisted living facilities located in the Sioux Falls area. The highest assisted living costs in South Dakota are found in the Rapid City metropolitan area.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are extremely debilitating to seniors. Memory care facilities are the best option for memory loss ailments, as they are specifically designed to ease the amount of stress and hopelessness that usually accompanies dementia. The average cost is $54,114 a year, with a range of $2,755 a month up to $9,011 a month. Rapid City has the highest cost for memory care facilities, averaging $69,300 a year, while Sioux Falls has the lowest cost facilities at $59,400 a year.
Currently, seniors 65 years of age and older make up 16% of South Dakota’s population. Most states have senior populations in the 12% – 15% range, meaning South Dakota needs to more rapidly prepare policies and care for their senior population, as it’ll only grow larger in the coming decades. Currently, it’s not at a great start with only 246 senior living providers spread thin over a large state.
There are more than 40 adult daycare centers in South Dakota providing the daily care seniors need to get through each week. Staff is on hand throughout the day to assist with personal grooming, transportation, and socialization. Adult daycare centers often have group activities as well, to enrich the lives of seniors with arts and games. Sioux Falls and its surrounding areas have the lowest cost adult daycare facilities, averaging $22,750 a year. Rapid City, on the other hand, has the highest average cost of adult daycare centers, at $24,960 a year.
Terminally ill seniors thinking to live in South Dakota, or who already live in the state, will be able to choose from 28 hospices. Hospices are the best option for end of life care, with specially trained staff who can help ease the pain and suffering often associated with terminal illnesses. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances can all cover the costs of hospice care, and seniors don’t have to worry about piles of paperwork to do in order to qualify, as hospice staff will be able to assist with completing the paperwork as well.
Familial caregivers are often strained by the demanding duties of caring for an elderly senior. Respite care can offset the strain on the caregiver by providing a professional caregiver to look after the senior at their home for specific days of the week, specific hours of the day, or within a full fledged senior living facility for months at a time. The costs of respite care can vary greatly given so many variables, but the yearly average is $67,890 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