Washington DC Senior Living Statistics & Facts

Stats about Seniors in Washington DC - Life Expectancy & Demographics

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If it were to become a state, the District of Columbia would be the youngest state in a literal sense. But it also would be among the youngest in a figurative sense, too. That’s because D.C. has a much lower percentage of residents who are age 50 or older, and its median age is the second-youngest when compared to the states.

Just under 200,000 people living in the District are 50 or older, which equates to about 27 percent. Nationally, that rate is closer to 35 percent, putting D.C. at No. 50, with only Utah having a smaller percentage of seniors. Similarly, the District’s median age of 33.9 is much lower than the overall U.S. median age of 38.5, again putting D.C. ahead of only Utah in the median age of its residents.

What can we learn from economic and other data about the lives of seniors in the District of Columbia? While they’re a smaller bunch, they’re far more diverse than the age bracket in most of the states. In fact, nearly three in four D.C. residents 60 and older are people of color, which is No. 2 in the country, behind only Hawaii, and nearly three times the overall U.S. rate. D.C.’s seniors also are slightly more likely than average to remain in the workforce, while the median income for 65-and-older folks is the third-highest in the country.

27.40%
% of population 50+
RANK - 50th
U.S. Average 35.30%
78
Life Expectancy (from birth)
RANK - 35th
U.S. Average 78.5
70.90%
% of 60+ who are poc*
RANK - 2nd
U.S. Average 27.60%
$59,086
median houshold income, 65+
RANK - 3rd
U.S. Average $43,735
35.9%
% of 55+ population in labor force
RANK - 12th
U.S. Average 40.80%

*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.

Nursing in Washington Dc
Average annual wage for home health and personal care aides: $31,150
Average annual wage for nursing assistants: $35,320
Average annual wage for registered nurses: $94,820
Average annual nursing and in-home care wage: $53,763.33
Average annual entry-level nursing and in-home care wage: $39,590
Average annual experienced nursing and in-home care wage: $71,683.33
Average annual nursing and in-home care wage as percentage of typical household income: 63.18%
Nursing and home care job openings per 1,000 residents: 2.91
Annual rent costs as percentage of annual nursing and in-home care wage: 52.41%

Washington D.C. may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about retirement because of its high cost of living. However, the District of Columbia does offer plenty of benefits for retirees. The central location allows residents to easily get around throughout the East Coast to see family nearby or simply enjoy different scenery and activities. Here's a fun fact: D.C. has been ranked as one of the healthiest areas in the country!

Becoming familiar with the living costs, facilities, and benefits available to seniors in Washington D.C. is the first step to retiring here if that's your goal. To help make your information search more efficient, we have compiled the essentials here about the senior living options available in District of Columbia, along with the support systems and amenities that each has to offer. If you already have a general idea of where you might want to retire here, then feel free to browse through the list of cities below and find senior living options available in any given area.

To make your information search on senior living options in Washington D.C. easier, we've provided links below for you to easily get to a specific section and read specifics on that topic.

Senior Living Costs in Washington D.C. ↓
Benefits of Living in Washington D.C. ↓
Washington D.C.'s Senior Living Options ↓

Washington D.C.'s Best Senior Living Communities

In the process of narrowing down senior living options in District of Columbia? The below list of Washington D.C.'s best senior living communities may be helpful.

Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue

type of care

Assisted Living, Memory Care

Seabury at Friendship Terrace

type of care

Independent Living

Forest Hills of DC

type of care

Assisted Living

Forest Side

type of care

Memory Care

The Residences at Thomas Circle

type of care

Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care

Army Distaff Foundation & Knollwood

type of care

Independent Living

Chevy Chase House

type of care

Assisted Living

Grand Oaks

type of care

Assisted Living, Memory Care

Ingleside at Rock Creek

type of care

Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care

Maple Heights Senior Living

type of care

Assisted Living, Independent Living

Washington D.C.'s Senior Living Costs

Washington D.C. is one of the most expensive places to retire in the United States, as it has a housing index of 158.70. To give you an idea of what housing costs are like here: one bedroom apartments average out to $1,402 a month (compared to the U.S. average of $825 a month), and two bedroom apartments go for an average of $1,623 a month (compared to the U.S. average of $1,027 a month).

If you are considering retirement in the District of Columbia, you'll want to get an idea of what the monthly senior living costs are like here. To begin, the average home health care costs are about $3,813 a month here. This fee allows elderly people to live comfortably in their own residences while receiving some assistance from service aides to keep the house clean, cook meals, and run everyday errands.

In Washington D.C., seniors needing to stay at an adult day care facility during the day can expect to pay an average of $2,145 a month. This form of care is best for healthy seniors who just need a supervised place to stay and socialize while their caregivers are busy tending to their other obligations during the day. Adult day care does not include skilled nursing care.

Assisted living facility costs are quite high in Washington D.C. Elders requiring more help with executing their everyday tasks can expect to pay a hefty $6,750 a month to receive health services and personal care at an assisted living facility. Bear in mind that assisted living is not an alternative to nursing home care — rather, it is an intermediate level of long-term care.

Last but not least, nursing homes are available throughout District of Columbia for older people requiring round the clock supervision and care. The cost is anywhere from $9,870 to $10,570 a month depending on whether you choose a semi-private or a fully private room. Nursing homes are perfect for seniors who are not really able to live or complete mundane tasks on their own, and don't have a designated caregiver to provide for them. Residents of nursing homes can expect to receive medication, therapy, and rehabilitation as necessary, as well as skilled nursing care and supervision.

Pros of Living in Washington D.C.

Despite the hefty cost of living, those who can afford to retire in Washington D.C. will certainly enjoy the many perks it has to offer. Below are just some pros of living in the District of Columbia:

Excellent Public Transportation and City Cleanliness

As far as cities go, Washington D.C. is known for its cleanliness — thanks to the diligent and well funded public works crews of the city. This extends to the public transportation, where the metro is timely and not very costly. The metro extends far past Washington D.C., making it easy for seniors or their families to visit each other if they live nearby in Maryland or Virginia.

Federally Funded Free Things To Do

One of the best benefits of seeking senior care in Washington D.C. is that there is a ton of things to do, especially free things! Museums in D.C. are unique in that half of them are federally funded, and are therefore free to public. Nearly ever museum on the National Mall is free, including the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Museum of American History, and many more. There are dozens of memorials scattered around the city as well, to pay homage to those who have sacrificed greatly for the advancement of the nation, and are often awe-inspiring like the Lincoln Memorial and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. On top of all this, are countless amounts of events happening every month that are senior friendly.

Senior Tax Benefits in the Nation's Capital

While the majority of Washington D.C. is funded by taxpayers across the nation, retirees will be able to relax a bit knowing their lifetime of work gets them some tax benefits. Firstly, social security income is not taxed, and public pensions are only partially taxed. Private pensions are fully taxed on the other hand, and withdrawals from retirement accounts are also fully taxed.

Living Options for Seniors in Washington D.C.

Depending on individual needs and circumstances, Washington D.C.'s seniors have a plethora of living options to select from. They can choose between independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Not sure which one will be best for you? Read about each option below to get a better idea.

Independent Living

There are more than 10 independent living facilities in Washington D.C. Seniors who are active, healthy, and don't require extensive care are suitable for independent living. On average, it can cost anywhere from $2,557 to $4,735 a month to stay at an independent living facility in the District of Columbia. Active senior apartment communities are available as well, for the elderly aged 55+ or 65+ depending on the community. Some older people prefer apartment living and being able to take advantage of attractive amenities like pools and jacuzzis, walking trails, small gyms, meeting rooms, and more.

Assisted Living

Washington D.C. is home to 20 assisted living facilities which provide the elderly with health care, access to local activities and social opportunities, and experienced caregivers to help them live life to the fullest. Assisted living facility residents can expect to get assistance with laundry, transportation, housekeeping, meal services, and 24-hour safety surveillance. On average, it can cost anywhere from $4,650 to $8,610 a month to stay at an assisted living facility in the District of Columbia.

Memory Care

Seniors with dementia tend to do best in memory care facilities, where their unique care needs are met. Memory care facilities are designed to reduce incidences of seniors wandering and forgetting where they are, or being frustrated from forgetting how to do something basic. Staff are on hand at all times to help seniors with their daily tasks, and to guide them through the day so that they get their needed nutrition, medication, and personal grooming. Memory care facilities cost an average of $119,877 a year in Washington D.C., which is significantly higher than the national average.

Nursing Homes

The nation's capital has a total population of 693,972, with 16.8% of that being seniors. That percentage is expected to keep growing significantly, reaching up to 1 in 5 residents being a senior by 2030.

There are 5 adult daycare centers in Washington D.C. to help seniors get through the day, while their family is busy with other responsibilities. Adult daycare centers have staff to assist seniors with their day to day activities, and provide their meals. The average cost of adult daycare facilities in Washington D.C. is around $28,600 per year. The monthly costs can range from a low of $2,460 a month up to $3,300 a month.

Washington D.C. has 5 hospices for terminally ill seniors. As with other states, hospice care can be covered by the senior's insurance, whether it is private, Medicaid, or Medicare. Hospice care provides highly trained staff who administer medications whenever the senior is experiencing great pain due to their terminal illness. To calm emotional and mental pain, seniors can take part in counseling sessions to constructively discuss their feelings and concerns during their remaining days.

Respite care is also available in Washington D.C., averaging $107,128 a year. Costs can vary significantly though, depending on what exactly is needed and how often. Respite care can be arranged to be just a single day every now and again, or a few days weekly, or even for months with no set end time. Respite care is a great way for familial caretakers to get a break from the demanding duties of senior care. With that in mind, the level of care needed will also affect the cost of respite care, ranging from a low of $8,700 a month up to $17,444 a month.

Resources for Seniors in Washington D.C.

DC Office on Aging – Find out about the senior services available in D.C., and get other relevant information about senior living here.

DC Office of Tax and Revenue – See if you qualify for homestead & senior citizen tax deduction here, and how you can apply to get it.

DC Medicaid – Learn about Medicaid, a health care program that some seniors may qualify for in D.C. Find out what this program offers, how to apply if you are qualified, and more here.

Citations
  1. U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 1-Year Estimates Subject Tables (2010, 2017 and 2018)

  2. Journal of the American Medical Association

  3. Virginia Commonwealth University

  4. Annual rental cost, Zillow Rent Index, States

  5. Job openings, pulled from Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com in April 2020

  6. Employment and wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019 publication

  7. Household income and population figures, U.S. Census Bureau, most recent publications on all topics