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Roughly 2.2 million residents of Wisconsin are eligible for senior discounts at their favorite restaurant. In other words, about 38 percent of the state’s residents are age 50 or older.
With a median age of 39.6 years, Wisconsin is among the oldest states, ranking No. 14 in median age and No. 11 in the percentage of those 50 and up. What else can statistics tell us about how the state’s seniors compare to their counterparts across the country?
Apart from being on the older side, Wisconsin’s life expectancy is almost identical to the overall life expectancy in the U.S., while seniors here can expect to make slightly lower wages, though a larger percentage of them remain in the workforce compared to the nation as a whole.
*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.
Senior Living Costs in Wisconsin
Boasting a housing index of 96.10, Wisconsin is one of the more affordable states to retire in the country. You can get a one bedroom apartment in The Badger State for an average of $634 a month – compared to the US average of $825 a month. If you want more space, you can opt for a two bedroom apartment for an average of $814 a month – compared to the U.S. average of $1,027 a month.
Intrigued to find out what the monthly costs of living for Wisconsin's seniors are like? Let's take a look at some numbers. Firstly, the average home health care costs in this state come out to roughly $4,481 a month. Seniors who want to live in their own homes but receive some basic help with housekeeping, daily errands, and meal prep may want to consider this.
If you are a senior requiring a supervised facility to stay at during the day, you can look into adult day care facilities available in Wisconsin. On average, it costs $1,413 a month to stay at an adult day care facility in the state. Bear in mind that adult day care does not include extensive health care, so it is ideal for those who are mostly independent and healthy, but could use some socialization and therapy.
Wisconsin also has a good number of assisted living facilities available statewide to serve the elderly who require more help with executing their everyday tasks. It costs roughly $4,000 a month for seniors to stay at an assisted living facility in The Badger State and receive health services and personal care.
Older people requiring round the clock supervision and care may want to look into a nursing home option in Wisconsin. Residents of nursing homes can expect to get medications and therapies as needed, along with comfortable housing, personal care, and 24/7 skilled nursing care. Depending on if you want a semi-private room or a fully private room, you could be looking at costs ranging from $7,908 to $8,953 a month.
Wisconsin's Living Options for Seniors
Wisconsin's retirees can opt for one of the following living options depending on individual circumstances and personal needs: independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. Not sure which one is best for you? Learn more about each option below to get a better idea!
Wisconsin is home to more than 400 independent living facilities statewide. Seniors who don't need round the clock care and are mostly healthy and active will enjoy independent living. It can cost anywhere from $501 to $5,362 a month to stay at an independent living facility in Wisconsin.
For those who prefer apartment-style living, The Badger State also has plenty of senior apartment choices for elderly aged 55+ or 65+, depending on the community. Typically, active senior communities will offer attractive amenities for their residents to use such as pools and jacuzzis, workout rooms, walking trails, and dog parks, to name a few.
The Badger State has more than 1,100 assisted living facilities available statewide to provide seniors with things they need to thrive, such as healthcare, attentive caregivers, and access to social opportunities. Residents of assisted living facilities can expect to get assistance with laundry, transportation, meal prep, housekeeping, and round the clock safety surveillance. It can cost anywhere from $911 to $9,750 a month to stay at an assisted living facility in Wisconsin. If you're looking to save money, it's advisable to look in the La Crosse-Onalaska area, where the assisted living prices are lower. Assisted living costs are highest in the Sheboygan metropolitan area.
Memory care is invaluable for the mental health of a senior facing memory loss, as there is nothing more stressful than forgetting where you are or how to do day-to-day tasks. Wisconsin has over 650 memory care facilities to help tend to the unique needs of seniors with dementia-related ailments. Memory care has an average cost of $66,990 a year. Costs can vary greatly based on how far progressed the dementia is, and the location of the facility. For example, Sheboygan has the highest average cost at $92,070 a year, while La Crosse and Onalaska have the lowest average annual costs at $58,905.
Wisconsin's population has been growing slowly, but it's senior population is growing rapidly. Currently, 16.1% of the state's population is over 65 years of age with no signs of slowing down. Wisconsin has over 1,500 senior living providers to help seniors get the care they need.
The average cost of adult daycare in Wisconsin is $15,600 a year. Sheboygan has the lowest annual costs, coming in at $13,000. Janesville and Beloit have the highest average costs, costing $27,300 a year on average. Adult daycare can be an incredible option for seniors who rely on family to care for them, but their families may be too busy in the day. Adult daycare takes care of seniors and provides their meals throughout the day, while family can take care of them in the evenings and overnight. Families would have 90+ options to choose from within the state for adult daycare centers.
There are over 100 hospices operating in Wisconsin. Hospice care is geared towards terminally ill seniors. Hospices have professional staff to monitor the health levels of seniors, and to administer medications as needed to minimize the amount of pain and suffering caused by the terminal illness. Hospices can also help handle the funeral services and provide grief counseling to the senior's family. The cost of hospice care can vary, but can be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances.
Respite care facilities provide professional care for seniors who are primarily cared for by family. Respite care is often a huge relief to the family, as the demands of senior care can be quite draining and difficult to manage amongst other responsibilities. The cost of respite care in Wisconsin averages $87,363 a year, with the range going from a low of $7,395 a month up to a very high of $22,446 a month. There are nearly 700 respite care facilities in the state.
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