Guide to Independent Living in Alabama
Alabama is considered one of the best states to retire to in the United States, thanks to its warm climate, golden beaches and range of golf courses. The state offers an average of 213 days of sunshine each year, and all of this is topped off with a cost of living 13.6% below the national average. In addition, the state is tax-friendly toward retirees, with no taxes charged on social security income. Around 17.3% of Alabama’s population is over the age of 65.
Independent living is a good option for active seniors who are still able to live on their own without assistance but would enjoy the social aspect of community living. There are a number of independent living facilities located throughout the state that offer varying levels of activities and services. These communities may provide access to meals, medical services, recreational and social activities, amenities, housekeeping and maintenance.
This guide provides an overview of independent living in Alabama. It discusses average costs in Alabama and neighboring states and the costs of alternative care options. Additionally, it lists free or low-cost resources in the state to help seniors live their best lives.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Alabama?
Note:There currently isn’t authoritative data on the average cost of Independent Living Facilities nationwide, so instead, we use the cost of Assisted Living to estimate it. Since the cost of Independent Living is typically 30-40% lower than the cost of Assisted Living, the numbers below were calculated by subtracting 35% from the cost of Assisted Living as reported in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
In Alabama, seniors can expect to pay around $2,277 for independent living. This is almost $700 less than the national average of $2,925. Alabama communities are similarly priced to those in the neighboring states of Mississippi and Georgia, which cost $2,275 and $2,298, respectively. Tennessee has a higher average monthly cost of $2,668.
The United States
The Cost of Independent Living in Alabama’s Top Cities
The average cost of assisted living varies greatly across Alabama. Seniors in Dothan pay the lowest fees with a monthly average cost of $1,398, while the most expensive city is Anniston with an average cost of $3,101 per month. Independent living in Birmingham is slightly cheaper at $2,618, and the average senior in the coastal city of Mobile pays $2,290 for this type of care. Montgomery and Huntsville cost $2,275 and $2,174, respectively.
The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Senior Care
Seniors living in Alabama have a choice of senior care options to suit their particular needs and budgets. The lowest cost option is adult day health care, which has an average monthly cost of $758. This is a good option for seniors who require care during the working week but have alternative assistance options on the weekend. Independent living is the next cheapest option at $2,277 per month. Assisted living is a popular choice that offers 24/7 assistance with the tasks of daily living for seniors who can no longer live independently. It has a monthly average cost of $3,503. Those seniors who prefer to remain in their own homes may consider home care or home health care services, which cost $3,813 and $3,851, respectively. The highest level of senior care is nursing home care, which costs $6,676 per month for a semiprivate room.
Adult day health care
Home health care
Nursing home care (semiprivate room)
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Alabama?
The short answer is no, Medicaid and Medicare do not cover the cost of living in an independent living community. That being said, those who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), may be able to take advantage of financial assistance programs in Alabama to partially or fully cover the cost of care in Assisted Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need help with ADLs, read our guide to Assisted Living in Alabama.
For more information about other ways to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc, read the section below.
How to Make Independent Living More Affordable in Alabama
Seniors looking at independent living communities have several options available to help them pay for these services, aside from cash and savings.
- Reverse Mortgage Loans: This is a type of loan that can be taken out against the value of a primary residence without having to sell the property.
- Life Insurance: This may not be the intended purpose of life insurance, but it is possible to use a life insurance policy to pay for later-in-life expenses such as independent living.
Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Alabama
Seniors living in Alabama have access to a variety of services designed to assist them in living their best life. The majority of these services are offered by nonprofit organizations and government departments.
|Alabama Department of Senior Services||1-800-AGE-LINE||The Alabama Department of Senior Services offers a range of services to assist seniors throughout the state. It offers legal assistance, nutrition programs, senior employment help, health care fraud assistance and insurance counseling.|
|Central Alabama Aging Consortium||(334) 240-4680||The Central Alabama Aging Consortium is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the lives of seniors living in Central Alabama. Services offered by the program include legal assistance, hospital-to-home assistance, nutrition programs, ombudsman services and chronic disease self-management programs. In addition, it runs a number of senior centers that offer a range of social and recreational activities.|
|Area Agency on Aging South Alabama||(251) 706-4680||The Area Agency on Aging South Alabama promotes healthy living and aging in place services for seniors in the southern portion of the state. Programs include nutrition services, benefits check-ups, legal assistance, caregiver assistance, prescription assistance and health and wellness programs.|
|TARCOG Area Agency on Aging||(800) 243-5463||TARCOG Area Agency on Aging provides a range of services to promote the interests of seniors living in Northeast Alabama. Services include mental health assistance, transportation, nutrition classes, group activities and health care classes.|
|Department of Veterans Alabama||(334) 242-5077||The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs connects seniors who have served in the military with programs and services offered by the federal and state government to assist them. These services may include health care, benefits counseling, psychiatric counseling, housing assistance and help filing medical benefits claims.|