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Guide to Senior Living in Indiana

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana had more than 6.7 million residents as of July 2019; nearly 16% of those residents were aged 65 and older. Using census data, the Indiana Business Research Center developed population projections showing that seniors are expected to make up 20.9% of the state’s population by 2050. State seniors pay no state tax on their Social Security payments, and the state has fairly low sales and property tax rates, making Indiana a good place for seniors to retire. The Hoosier State also has plenty of museums, restaurants and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The state’s low cost of living may contribute to the low cost of nursing home care in Indiana, but seniors will pay more than the national average for assisted living and in-home care. This guide examines the average costs of senior care in Indiana and some of its largest cities. It also provides information about programs available to help make senior living affordable.

Covid-19 Rules and Restrictions for Indiana Senior Living Facilities

The following rules and guidelines were obtained from the Indiana State Department of Health website, as well as other state-level government sites. Among others, these rules apply to nursing homes and licensed assisted living facilities.

This data has been most recently updated on 7/11/20, 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?N/A
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?Yes
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

Outings and Group Activities

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?NA
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?NA
Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?Yes
Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?Yes, with social distancing
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?Yes, with social distancing

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 (in case of local outbreaks)
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 (in case of local outbreaks)

Paying for Senior Living in Indiana

Several care options are available for seniors with a variety of health conditions and personal needs. Nursing homes provide comprehensive care for seniors who need daily medical care, but they’re the most expensive option. Adult day care costs the least, but some seniors need more help than this type of program provides. The cost of assisted living falls between these two options.


In-Home Care


Assisted Living


Home Health Care


Adult Day Care


Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Assisted Living in Indiana

Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey shows that seniors in Indiana can expect to pay an average of $4,100 per month for assisted living, which is just over the national average of $4,051. This makes Indiana one of the more affordable states in the region, as costs can vary dramatically from one state to another. Ohio and Illinois both have higher average costs, while seniors in Michigan and Kentucky can expect to pay less for assisted living.




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The Cost of In-Home Care in Indiana

Seniors in Indiana pay the median monthly cost of in-home care in the surrounding area. At only $44 more than the U.S. national average, Indiana in-home care facilities average $4,334 per month. The surrounding states of Illinois and Michigan range from $51 – $147 more per month, while Kentucky and Ohio are on the lower end of the spectrum, on average costing $44 – $521 less than Indiana.




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The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Indiana

When it comes to nursing home care, costs in Indiana are on the higher end of the spectrum. While costs in Indiana at $7,021 per month are less than the national average of $7,513, monthly prices are higher than almost all surrounding states, with care costs in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio ranging from $25 – $1,090 less than in Indiana. Michigan is the only exception, with a cost of $8,373 per month.




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Financial Assistance for Senior Living in Indiana

Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver

Traditionally, Medicaid doesn’t cover the cost of room and board at a senior living facility; however, some Indiana residents may qualify for a special waiver program that provides coverage for long-term care.

The Aged and Disabled waiver is available to seniors, the visually impaired and individuals with disabilities. To qualify for the waiver, an individual must require a nursing facility level of care, meaning that the individual would need to live in a nursing facility if Medicaid services and other supports were not available. Applicants must be living in noninstitutional settings or in the process of transferring from an institutional setting to a noninstitutional one. The waiver program also has an income limit of no more than 300% of the maximum monthly SSI income.

Contact: Call the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration at 1-800-545-7763 or visit one of the local district offices operated by the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services.

Medicaid Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver

The Community Integration and Habilitation waiver aims to help adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities access the support they need to remain in their communities, rather than enter a nursing home. Participants work with case managers and other professionals to develop an individualized care plan that addresses their physical, social and emotional needs. To qualify for the waiver, a senior must have been diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability before the age of 22. Applicants must also earn no more than 300% of the maximum monthly SSI income and currently reside in or be in the process of transitioning to a senior living community or another noninstitutional setting.

Contact: Call the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration at 1-800-545-7763 or visit one of the local district offices operated by the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services.


The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly offers medical care and support services to help seniors remain in their communities. In addition to comprehensive medical care, PACE provides transportation to medical appointments, social services, prescription drugs and personal care as needed. To qualify for PACE, an individual must be at least 55 years old, live in a region served by PACE and be certified to require nursing home care. Indiana has three PACE programs available: Saint Joseph PACE in Mishawaka, Franciscan Senior Health and Wellness in Dyer and Franciscan Senior Health and Wellness in Indianapolis.

Contact: Seniors Seniors can call 1-574-247-8700 to connect with Saint Joseph PACE, 1-219-864-2630 to connect with Franciscan Health and Wellness in Dyer or 1-317-528-7223 to connect with Franciscan Health and Wellness in Indianapolis.

Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Indiana

Note: All these rules typically apply to non-clinical senior living facilities, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Nursing homes and other senior living facilities with a clinical setting may have additional or slightly different requirements and regulations.

The Indiana Department of Health is in charge of issuing licenses and monitoring senior living facilities in Indiana. In addition to granting licenses, the Department of Health conducts inspections and investigates complaints, ensuring that residents of senior living facilities are as safe and comfortable as possible. A facility doesn’t have to obtain a license if it doesn’t provide nursing care or medication management services; however, each facility still has to follow a variety of regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents.

Scope of Care

In Indiana, residential care facilities are not permitted to provide comprehensive nursing care. They may provide meals, activities, laundry services and limited personal care to residents who need some help with activities of daily living.

Memory Care Regulation

Facilities that operate Alzheimer’s and dementia special care units must be managed by administrators that have obtained the certified health facility administrator designation or completed a four-year degree in social services, health care or a closely related field. Administrators must complete at least 12 hours of initial training on meeting the needs of patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia; they must also receive six hours of continuing education each year to ensure they understand how to meet the needs of residents with cognitive impairments.

Staffing Requirements

The Indiana Department of Health does not require senior living facilities to maintain minimum staffing ratios; however, each facility must maintain a written staffing plan detailing the number of employees and their education levels.

Abuse and Neglect Reporting

In Indiana, all capable adults, including employees of senior living facilities, are required to report any suspicion of elder abuse or neglect to Adult Protective Services or the nearest law enforcement agency. Adult Protective Services maintains a state reporting hotline and an online complaint form to make it easier to submit confidential reports.

Indiana Senior Living Free Resources

Indiana Agencies

FSSA INConnect Alliance

Indiana’s INConnect Alliance aims to help seniors navigate long-term care options available throughout the state. INConnect helps seniors understand the difference between senior living and nursing homes and maintains an online database of resources that can help seniors identify services that may help them remain independent.

Contact: Visit the FSSA INConnect Alliance website to find services using the resource database.

Family and Social Services Administration

The Family and Social Services Administration administers a variety of programs designed to help seniors stay safe, healthy and independent, including Adult Protective Services and the INConnect Alliance. FSSA also operates an ombudsman program that handles complaints about senior living facilities and other long-term care providers. Eligibility for FSSA services depends on individual program requirements.

Contact: Call the FSSA at 1-888-673-6978 or use the online screening tool to determine benefits eligibility. Complaints can be made to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman by calling 1-800-622-4484.

Area Agencies on Aging in Indiana

Area Agencies on Aging provide information and services to help seniors get the services they need to maintain their independence. AAAs have district offices staffed with professionals who can connect seniors with services available right in their own communities. An AAA can provide seniors in Indiana with information about senior living and other types of long-term care, as well as other supports.

Veterans Affairs Offices in Indiana

The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs provides a variety of benefits to seniors living in the state. Staff members also help seniors determine whether they qualify for benefits awarded at the federal level, such as monthly pensions following an honorable discharge from the military. State benefits include medical care provided by the Indiana Veterans Home.

In most cases, VA benefits don’t cover room and board in a senior living facility and only cover the cost of some personal services provided by staff members. For seniors who want to remain in their communities, the VA Aid and Attendance benefit may help solve this problem. The Aid and Attendance benefit supplements a veteran’s existing pension, providing additional funds that may be used to pay for senior living. This benefit is available to veterans who have limited eyesight, are bedridden due to an illness, need help performing some activities of daily living or live in a nursing home due to a loss of function related to a disability.

Indianapolis Vet Center8330, Naab Road, Suite 103
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Fort Wayne Vet Center5800, Fairfield Avenue, Suite 265
Fort Wayne, IN 46807
South Bend Vet Center4727, Miami Street
South Bend, IN 46614
Evansville Vet Center1100 North Burkhardt Road
Evansville, IN 47715
Gary Area Vet Center107, East 93 Avenue
Crown Point, IN 46307

Social Security Offices in Indiana

The Social Security Administration maintains 26 offices in Indiana, ensuring that Indiana seniors can get help applying for Social Security benefits. Monthly Social Security payments are made to seniors who earned credits by working and paying Social Security taxes. To qualify, a senior must complete at least 40 lifetime credits before retiring. Seniors can start taking Social Security payments at age 62, but full retirement age is not until 65 or 66, depending on the senior’s year of birth. Those who take early payments will get paid a lower monthly amount than seniors who wait until their full retirement age. These payments can be used to pay for room and board at a senior living facility.

Social Security Disability Insurance is available to seniors who are disabled, which means they can’t work due to a significant level of impairment. Supplemental Security Income provides cash assistance to help low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities pay for food, shelter and other basic necessities. Although monthly SSDI and SSI payments aren’t enough to cover the full costs of senior living, they may be used to defray the costs.

Anderson Social Security Office117 S Scatterfield Rd.
Anderson, Indiana, 46012
Auburn Social Security Office1240 South Grandstaff
Auburn, Indiana, 46706
Bloomington Social Security Office515 W Patterson Drive
Bloomington, Indiana, 47403
Columbus Social Security Offices2535 Arnold Street
Columbus, Indiana, 47203
Crawfordsville Social Security Offices1515 S Grant Avenue
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
Elkhart Social Security Offices231 Waterfall Drive
Elkhart, Indiana 46516

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does assisted living cost in Indiana?

On average, assisted living costs $4,100 per month in Indiana, with residents of Indianapolis and South Bend generally paying more for services than residents of Evansville and Fort Wayne.

Does Indiana Medicaid pay for assisted living?

Regular Medicaid doesn’t cover expenses related to residing in an assisted living facility. In Indiana, residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities may qualify for a waiver to pay for assisted living. The waiver program aims to help seniors stay in their communities instead of entering nursing homes.

Does Medicare pay for assisted living?

Medicare typically doesn’t cover the cost of assisted living or services aimed at helping seniors live independently. Enrollees who need help paying for these services may qualify for help from Medicaid, state agencies or nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping seniors.

What types of amenities are commonly in assisted living facilities?

Assisted living facilities have a variety of amenities, including private dining rooms, linen services, on-site libraries, computer centers and activity centers. Most facilities also provide housekeeping and laundry services.

What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?

One of the main differences between an assisted living facility and a nursing home is the environment. Nursing homes typically look like hospitals, while assisted living facilities may consist of apartments or suites decorated to look like private homes. Each facility also provides a different type of care. Assisted living facilities don’t provide regular medical care; instead, they provide some personal services and may help residents take their medications. Nursing homes provide daily medical care to seniors who aren’t well enough to remain in their homes or communities.

The Top Cities for Senior Living in Indiana

Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Indiana cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.

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