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With nearly 42 percent of the state’s population reaching at least the age of 50, Vermont is one of the oldest states in the U.S. While this is also true in a literal sense (Vermont was the first non-colony to become a state), the figurative ways in which Vermont is aged are of particular interest for those concerned about senior issues.
More than 260,000 residents of the state are seniors, which puts Vermont at No. 2 nationally by the percentage of people 50 and older. Only Maine has a higher ratio of seniors, and Vermont is tied for No. 2 with New Hampshire for the highest median age. Vermont’s median age of 43.1 is nearly three years higher than the overall U.S. median age of 38.5.
What else can we learn from demographic, economic and health data about the state of Vermont’s seniors? The state’s life expectancy is among the highest at nearly 80 years, compared to the average U.S. life expectancy of 78.5. And while a higher-than-average percentage of seniors 55 and up remain in the workforce, the state’s median income for 65-and-up households is slightly lower than the national median.
*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.
Living Costs for Vermont's Retirees
Compared to other states in the country, Vermont is a relatively expensive state to retire in, with a housing index of 111.50. To give you an idea of what rent costs are like, one bedrooms average about $853 a month while the national average is $825. Two bedroom apartments go for $1,086 a month, compared to the national average of a little over $1,000 a month.
Depending on the living situation you need, the senior living costs in Vermont varies greatly. For example, home health care costs are approximately $4,624 a month. Seniors who are able to live in their own home comfortably and relatively independently will benefit from home health care because they'd be able to live freely but still take advantage of service aides helping them to keep keep the house clean, complete errands, and prepare meals.
Adult day care is a great solution for elderly individuals who need a supervised facility to spend the day while their caregivers are busy tending to their other obligations. For around $2,860 a month, Vermont seniors can partake in social activities to keep their mind busy, and take advantage of therapy and health services as needed. While health services are provided, it's not extensive care. With that in mind, seniors who need skilled nursing care may be better off looking into staying at an assisted living facility in the state.
Assisted living facilities operate statewide to provide elderly assistance with completing everyday tasks. Health services and personal care are available for an average monthly cost of $3,013 a month in Vermont.
Lastly, older individuals who require round the clock care and supervision, are not able to live on their own, and/or don't have a designated caregiver to provide for them will benefit from considering a nursing home in Vermont. Nursing homes are available throughout the state for an average cost of $8,760 a month for a semi-private room, and $9,292 a month for a private room. Residents of nursing homes can expect to receive housing, skilled nursing care, medication, supervision, and therapy as needed.
Vermont's Senior Living Options
Between independent living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home care, seniors have plenty of choices in Vermont to pick from depending on individual needs. Below, you'll find in-depth information on each option to help you make an informed decision according to your lifestyle.
65 independent facilities exist throughout Vermont to provide healthy seniors with comfortable and safe places to live. It can cost anywhere from $891 to $3,561 a month to stay at an independent living facility in this state. Those who prefer apartment-style living can choose between a plethora of apartment choices designated for seniors 55+ or 65+ in age. Some seniors enjoy apartment living because of the additional amenities they can take advantage of, such as workout rooms, walking trails, pools and jacuzzis, etc.
Dementia is a growing concern in the nation, affecting a growing amount of seniors each year. Vermont is no exception, and has more than 40 memory care facilities to help make life easier for those suffering from any form of dementia, such as Alzheimer's. Memory care facilities are specially designed to prevent seniors from wandering out of the facility and getting lost in public somewhere, and rooms that are easy to navigate. Staff are on hand day and night, in case a senior needs help calming down from a memory loss episode, or if they need help with personal grooming or taking their medications. Memory care facilities cost an average of $70,905 a year in Vermont, a bit higher than the national average.
Vermont is home to more than 60 assisted living facilities statewide. Seniors who need extra attention from experienced caregivers, healthcare, and access to social activities to thrive will benefit from staying at an assisted living facility. These facilities have trained staff who will help residents with housekeeping duties, transportation, meal services, laundry, and provide round the clock safety surveillance. It can cost anywhere from $1,620 to $6,475 a month to stay at an assisted living facility in Vermont.
The senior population of Vermont is increasingly at a faster rate than most other states, with 24% of the state's population being over 65 by the year 2030. There are many concerns on how to properly house and care for Vermont's elderly population, which has prompted an accelerated plan to set up programs to support the aging population responsibly.
Currently, there are more than 100 senior living providers in Vermont. Adult day care centers make up eight of those senior living providers. Adult day care is where seniors can go to be cared for while their primary caregiver is able to tend to their other duties in life. Seniors will receive all their meals while in adult daycare, and have trained staff on hand at all times to help with any daily tasks and medications. Adult day care costs $35,100 a year on average, with a monthly range of $570 to $5,550 a month.
Hospices provide extra care for terminally ill seniors, such as grief counseling and therapeutic activities like aromatherapy and painting. Hospices' primary objective is to help seniors live out their remaining days with dignity and as pain free as possible. There are 16 hospices in Vermont, all of which will have staff to help potential patients see how they can cover the costs with Medicaid, Medicare, or their private insurance
Respite care have been of tremendous help to seniors and their unpaid primary caregiver (which is generally a family member). Respite care provides professional help for any amount of time that is needed, whether it be just a single day, a couple days every week, or entire months with no set end time. Respite care can be done in the home of the senior, or at a fully staffed facility. There are more than 40 respite care facilities, with an average cost of $100,923 a year. Monthly charges can reach as high as $14,790 a month, depending on the amount of care is needed.
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