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Almost 3 million Virginians are 50 or older. That’s more than the entire population of any age living in the city of Chicago. On its face, 3 million seems like a big number, but what is the context surrounding the state of seniors here in Virginia, and how do we compare to the rest of the country?
Virginia’s median age of 38.3 years is roughly in line with the overall U.S. median age of 38.5, and the state has a lower percentage of people who are 50 or older than the nation as a whole, though the difference is only about a percentage point.
Life expectancy in Virginia is a few months higher than the rest of the U.S., and seniors tend to have a better-than-average standard of living. In fact, the median household income for seniors in Virginia of $52,594 is the seventh-highest in the country and almost $10,000 higher than the overall U.S. median household income for those 65 and older.
*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.
Virginia’s Senior Living Costs
The Old Dominion State has a housing index of 107, which means that it is more expensive than the national average when it comes to cost of living. For reference, a one bedroom apartment in Virginia goes for roughly $990 a month, while the national average is $825 a month for a similar apartment. Two bedrooms go for $1,170 a month on average, compared to the average in the US being $1,027 a month.
Before committing to a place in Virginia for retirement, it’s important to become familiar with the state’s monthly living costs for seniors. To start, it costs an average of $3,787 a month to receive home health care, which encompasses help with housekeeping, errands, and meal prep. Home health care is much more affordable than assisted living and nursing home care because seniors are still able to live comfortably in their own homes.
Adult day care in Virginia costs an average of $1,471 a month. This fee would enable seniors to stay at a supervised facility during the day, where they’d actively take part in social activities to stay busy, and utilize therapeutic and health services as needed. Adult day care is not a substitute for assisted living or nursing home care though, because it does not include extensive nursing home care.
Virginia also has assisted living facilities scattered throughout the state to serve elders needing more assistance with completing their everyday tasks. Seniors can be sure to receive the necessary health services they need as well as personal care, for an average monthly cost of $4,508.
Seniors who require round the clock care and supervision are best off at a nursing home in Virginia, especially if they don’t have caregivers to provide for them at home. For a semi-private room, it costs approximately $7,148 a month. Those wanting more privacy can opt for a private room, which goes for an average of $7,908 in this state. While the costs are significantly higher than those of other living options, bear in mind that nursing homes provide the elderly with not only a safe place to stay, but also the personal care, skilled nursing care, medicine, supervision, and therapy they need to live comfortably.
Living Options for Senior Virginians
Between independent living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home care, Virginian seniors have plenty of living options to choose from depending on individual needs and circumstances. Learn more about each option below and get a better idea of which one would best suit your lifestyle.
In Virginia, there are more than 260 independent facilities statewide. Older people who can for the most part, take care of themselves are ideal candidates for independent living. It costs anywhere from $637 to $3,674 a month to stay at an independent living facility in the state. Seniors who prefer apartment style living can opt to live in a 55+ or 65+ community. These apartment communities typically offer attractive amenities on top of housing for residents to enjoy. Examples include workout rooms, pools and jacuzzis, walking trails, and many more.
Virginia is home to more than 500 assisted living facilities which provide the elderly with experienced caregivers, healthcare, and access to social activities. Residents of assisted living facilities can expect to get assistance with laundry, meal services, transportation, and housekeeping duties. Also, the facilities are monitored 24/7 to ensure safety. On average, it costs anywhere from $1,159 to $6,681 a month to live in an assisted living facility in The Old Dominion State.
Memory care facilities are designed to specifically aid seniors who are suffering from memory loss ailments. Memory care has professional staff to help ease the stresses caused from forgetting where one is, or how to do a simple task like putting on clothing. The cost of memory care facilities in Virginia cost $69,426 per year on average, with the most expensive care costs found in Charlottesville at $92,565 a year. Virginia Beach and Norfolk areas have the lowest average costs at $64,726 a year.
Virginia has been a state of change ever since the original thirteen colonies. One change that Virginia is seeing lately is that of it’s senior population. The 65+ demographic is currently at a historic high of 14.6% of the state’s population. That figure is expected to increase to over 20% by 2030, a change Virginia shares with many other states.
To help take care of the aging population, Virginia has more than 950 senior living providers. Adult day care makes up more than 20 of those providers, and is a great solution for seniors who are cared for by their family, but their family is not able to care for them day and night. Adult day care centers in Virginia cost $15,860 a year on average. The highest average cost is found in the Staunton and Waynesboro areas, with an average cost of $20,800 a year. Harrisonburg has the lowest cost average at $12,480 per year.
For terminally ill seniors, Virginia has more than 130 hospice facilities. Hospices provide specialized care for seniors with terminal illnesses, with a focus on easing their pain and helping them live their final days with dignity and happiness. Families can also benefit from grief counseling and therapeutic activities with their elderly loved one, like making a hand cast of their hands to have as a remembrance. The costs of hospice care can oftentimes be fully covered by Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurances.
Respite care provides professional care for a temporary amount of time when a senior’s primary familial caregiver needs a break or is busy with other responsibilities. There are more than 380 respite care facilities in Virginia, with an average cost of $77,015 a year. This average is a bit lower than the national average, however Virginia’s cost range is from a low of $5,090 a month up to a very high $17,357 a month.