Of Missouri’s 6.1 million people almost half (2.3 million) are over the age of 50. While this isn’t senior citizen age (which is considered to be 65 and older), it’s safe to say that Missouri isn’t a very youthful state. In fact, the median age (half of the population falls below this age while the other half is above) is almost 40 years old.
With an aging population this large, it’s important to take into consideration the needs of seniors as they age— especially since people are living longer. One of the most important concerns for senior citizens is their living arrangements. Not all seniors in Missouri are able to age in place (remain in their own homes safely and comfortably), so they’ll have to choose from a variety of other options.
As the name suggests, independent living means that a senior isn’t under the care of a health professional. They may receive help from time to time, but ultimately they’re independent.
Independent Living Facilities
Independent living facilities in Missouri number at over 300, and they’re specifically designed for adults over the age of 55. All adults living in these types of facilities are fully independent, although some independent living facilities may have housekeeping and cooking. An example of an independent living facility would be a retirement home. Retirement communities are great options for seniors who may not be able to safely remain in their homes, or for those who want to be around others their age.
Living with Family
Many senior citizens may also move in with family members and live as another independent adult in their home. This option can be considered independent living or dependent living, depending on how much care the family members provide. There are also adult day care centers (more than 200 in Missouri) and respite care (436 facilities in Missouri) to temporarily relieve caregivers of the tough responsibility of caring for an aging loved one.
Assisted living facilities provide assistance for seniors who may not be able to live fully independently. In Missouri, residents in assisted living facilities can expect to receive assistance with meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and so much more. Some facilities are also transitional, meaning that residents can start off as living independently, and then transition into receiving assistance if necessary.
Nursing homes are the most “assisted” type of assisted living facility, giving round-the-clock skilled nursing and medical care to their residents. Residents of nursing homes suffer from life-changing illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia and other debilitating diseases that require skilled medical care. Unfortunately, this makes Missouri nursing home residents susceptible to abuse and neglect, and this goes for many nursing home residents all over the country. This is because they are seen as weak and vulnerable, and less likely to speak up against abuse.
Senior Living Costs in Missouri
Overall, the most expensive senior living is going to be found in the St. Louis area, but Missouri is a very affordable state for senior living. The most expensive living arrangement by far is nursing homes, costing well over $60,000 per year, and this trend is seen all over the United States. On the other hand, independent living and independent living facilities are some of the least expensive options when it comes to senior living. In Missouri independent living facilities, the average cost of daily living can range anywhere from $600 to $4,000 a month, depending on things like food buying habits and medical needs.
Assisted living (outside of a nursing home) can range from $2,000 to $7,000 a month in Missouri depending on the exact location and the type of assistance offered by the facility. Again, the St. Louis area will be on the higher end of the spectrum while the Springfield area typically falls on the lower end. When it comes to adult day care centers, the average cost for the entire state is around $19,500 per year and respite care ranges from $5,000 to $11,000 per month.
Senior care is expensive, and gets more expensive with the amount of care that they need. This is why it’s important to understand the best type of care for your aging loved one because not every senior citizen needs to be in a nursing home, nor do they all need to be in assisted living. There are also many other resources available in the state, such as home health aides.