Guide to Independent Living in Arizona
The Grand Canyon State is a popular place to retire thanks to its great health care, beautiful parks and world-renowned golf courses. Arizona is home to over 7 million residents, and about 18% of them are aged 65 and over. The state is moderately tax-friendly toward retirees, as it does not tax Social Security income. However, it does tax withdrawals from retirement accounts. Seniors living in Arizona enjoy an average of 286 days of sunshine each year, giving them plenty of time to partake in all the outdoor activities available.
There are a number of independent living communities for seniors to chose from throughout the state. Independent living is best suited to active seniors who are still capable of living on their own without assistance. These communities provide easy access to medical services, dining options and entertainment or activities. Some communities also offer housekeeping and transportation services.
This guide provides a basic overview of independent living in Arizona. Read on to find out about the costs of independent living in Arizona and nearby states, the costs of alternative care options, how to pay for independent living and a list of free resources for seniors in the state.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Arizona?
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.
Independent living in Arizona costs an average of $2,600 per month, which is $325 below the national average of $2,925. Communities in the neighboring states of California and New Mexico tend to be more expensive at $3,413 and $2,924, respectively. Average costs are slightly lower in Nevada ($2,438) and Utah ($2,275) in comparison to Arizona.
The United States
The Cost of Independent Living in Arizona’s Top Cities
The average monthly cost of independent living varies greatly across the state of Arizona. In the capital city of Phoenix, the average senior pays $2,584 per month, and the cost is similar in nearby Tucson at $2,633. The most expensive city in the state is Flagstaff at $3,250, while the cheapest option is Yuma at $2,470. Prescott Valley and Lake Havasu City have some of the highest costs for this type of care in the state, at $2,925 and $3,055, respectively. Sierra Vista is close to the state average at $2,698 per month.
Lake Havasu City
The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care
Seniors and their loved ones need to spend time finding the best care option to suit their needs. In Arizona, the cheapest care option is adult day health care, which costs approximately $2,102 per month and is best suited to seniors who only require assistance during the workweek. Independent living is the next cheapest option and has a monthly average cost of $2,600. Seniors who are still active but require some assistance with the tasks of daily living can look at assisted living, which has an average cost of $4,000. Those seniors who would like to age in place in their own homes may want to consider home care or home health care, which costs $5,339 and $5,434, respectively. A semiprivate room in an Arizona nursing home costs an average of $6,540 per month.
Adult Day Care
Home Health Aide
Nursing Home (semiprivate room)
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Arizona?
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 Arizona 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 Arizona.
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 Arizona
Seniors who have chosen independent living may be interested in ways to pay for services besides cash and savings.
- Reverse Mortgages: Seniors aged 62 and over can take out a reverse mortgage loan based on the equity of property they own.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: This type of insurance will not cover the full cost of independent living but can be used to cover some services, such as meals and transportation.
- Annuities: Annuities are based on a lump sum deposit and provide regular, scheduled payouts that can bed used to pay for independent living.
Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Arizona
Seniors in Arizona have access to a number of resources to improve their quality of life and assist with the aging process. These services are provided for free or at a low cost by government departments and non-profit organizations.
|Foundation for Senior Living||(602) 285-1800||The Foundation for Senior Living is a non-profit organization based in Phoenix that assists seniors throughout the state. The aim of the organization is to promote health and dignity for all seniors and disabled adults. Services include wellness programs, caregiver support, nutrition education, community action programs and congregate meals. It runs senior centers that offer a range of activities and classes.|
|Arizona Department of Economic Security||Local Office Contact Details Online||The Arizona Department of Economic Security runs a number of programs to support elders. They include an employment program, legal assistance, chronic disease management education, health and wellness classes, caregiver support and Medicare assistance.|
|Area Agency on Aging Region One||(888) 264-2258||The Area Agency on Aging Region One aims to improve the quality of life of seniors and disabled adults in Maricopa County. Programs and services run by the agency include a mental health support program, nutrition services, health and wellness classes, Medicare assistance and legal assistance. In addition, it runs a 24/7 senior helpline to assist older adults in finding the information and resources they need.|
|Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services||(602) 255-3373||The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services assists men and women who have served in the military. The department connects veterans with services, including benefits counseling, medical assistance, cemetery information, education, volunteer and work opportunities and housing assistance.|
|Pima Council on Aging||(520) 790-7262||The Pima Council on Aging aims to promote dignity and respect for the elderly in Pima County. It offers a number of services to assist seniors, including end-of-life care planning, healthy aging classes, budgeting assistance, nutrition information, congregate meals, fitness classes and transportation. It additionally runs volunteer programs such as the senior companion program and foster grandparent program in the region.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Arizona Independent Living Communities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from azdhs.gov, as well as other state-level government sites. Among others, these rules apply to independent living communities and assisted living facilities.
This data has been most recently updated on 2/2/2022, but keep in mind that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, so all of the below information can change at any time. For additional questions and up-to-date information, you can contact your loved one’s senior living facility or your local Area Agency on Aging.
Visiting Loved Ones
|Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?||Yes|
|Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?||No|
|Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?||Yes|
|Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?||Not Available*|
|Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?||Yes|
|Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?||Yes|
*NOTE: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.
Outings and Group Activities
|Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?||No (Conditions Apply)|
|Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?||No|
|Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?||Yes|
|Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?||Yes|
Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors
|Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?||Yes|
|Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?||Yes|
Safety Measures for Residents
|Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?||Yes|
|Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?||No|
|Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?||Yes|
|Are residents being tested for coronavirus?||Yes|