Guide to Independent Living in Maryland
Maryland is a good choice for seniors who like four seasons and relatively mild climates. Almost 16% of its 6.1 million residents are aged 65 and older, which, although slightly below-average, is still a significant portion of the population. They benefit from not paying tax on their Social Security benefits and their loved ones don’t pay inheritance tax on the wealth they bequeath them. The Retirement Tax Reduction Act 2020 also means seniors aren’t taxed on the first $50,000 they earn annually, freeing up more of their money for other purposes.
An independent living community is suitable for reasonably healthy seniors looking for homes designed around the needs of older adults, such as smaller rooms they can quickly clean. A typical community will also have a clubhouse where residents can participate in leisure pursuits with their neighbors, such as fitness classes and popular games, including bingo. Many communities have swimming pools and tennis courts, and a few of the more exclusive ones have golf courses.
This guide reviews independent living fees in and around Maryland and the costs of other types of senior care. It also lists some useful resources for older citizens.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Maryland?
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.
Although Maryland’s median fee of $3,185 for independent living is $260 more per month than the national average, the state is still one of the most affordable in the region. Only West Virginians and Pennsylvanians expect to pay less, at $2,704 and $2,665, respectively. The other states bordering Maryland typically cost more, such as Virginia, at $3,413, and Delaware, at $3,897. Washington, D.C. is also more costly, with the average senior paying $3,866 per month.
The United States
The Cost of Independent Living in Maryland’s Top Cities
Baltimore’s status as Maryland’s largest city may account for its independent living fees being among the most affordable in the state at $3,088 because of increased competition. Only Hagerstown is less costly, with its typical seniors saving $78 per month when compared to their peers in the larger city. The most expensive locations in Maryland are Salisbury, where the average is $3,237, and Cumberland, at $3,411.
The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care
At $3,185 per month, independent living costs in Maryland are competitive when compared to other types of residential senior care. An assisted living facility is likely to charge an additional $1,715 per month for its services, while a nursing home commonly costs $7,157 more for its most affordable option, a semiprivate room. Seniors who need help to continue living at home can expect to pay $5,148 per month for homemaker services in addition to the expenses they already have. This is also true of home health aide services, although seniors who can attend an adult day care center can get regular support for around $1,928 per month.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Aide
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Maryland?
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 Maryland 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 Maryland.
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 Maryland
Monthly fees for independent living can be beyond the means of many seniors and not all will have enough savings to cover the unknown period of time they’ll be residing in their communities. However, there are other options, such as life insurance and long-term care insurance, both of which can cover limited and unlimited periods, depending on the type of policy. Homeowners can release equity on their homes through reverse mortgages and those financially able to make a lump-sum payment or regular installments to an insurance provider can benefit from annuities that could cover independent living costs.
Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Maryland
There are many free resources available to seniors in Maryland. Those listed here can help veterans get much-needed benefits and help all older residents access advisors who can assist with filing taxes and resolving legal problems.
|AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program||(888) 687-2277||AARP manages a free tax-aide program to help seniors prepare and file their taxes. Seniors can access online support or get one-on-one help from specially trained IRS-certified volunteers. They operate in multiple locations throughout Maryland, typically in senior centers, libraries and community centers. In 2022, due to COVID-19 restrictions, seniors must book an appointment in advance.|
|Area Agencies on Aging||(800) 235-4045||There is an Area Agency on Aging in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and the city of Baltimore. They’re state-funded to administer many resources that help seniors age safely and comfortably, and have the added benefit of being able to coordinate several resources if the senior needs assistance in varying areas. These could include arranging free transportation for seniors with no other means of travel and others dedicated to those with disabilities.|
|AmeriCorps RSVP Maryland||(800) 942-2677||RSVP is the Retired and Senior Volunteers Program, which is managed locally in Maryland by a number of nonprofit organizations and county agencies. Seniors can volunteer for a wide range of jobs to help others in their communities. These vary from place to place and may include some roles that utilize the senior’s existing skills. RSVP provides training, when necessary, and always arranges accident and liability insurance for periods the volunteer is helping others.|
|Senior Legal Assistance||(844) 627-5465||Senior Legal Assistance is a statewide program managed by the Department of Aging and administered at a local level by Area Agencies on Aging. They work with attorneys and law centers experienced in aspects of the law that commonly apply to seniors, such as age discrimination, consumer rights, elder abuse and health care. All legal services for seniors are free of charge.|
|Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs||(410) 260-3838||The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs can secure state and federal benefits for U.S. military veterans and their families. It can also grant loans to vets in crisis through the Maryland Veterans Trust and arrange via the Cemetary and Memorial Program for eligible seniors to be given a final resting place in one of Maryland’s five veterans cemeteries. Additionally, it can refer vets and their dependents with medical and non-medical health care needs to their nearest VA medical center or clinic.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Maryland Independent Living Communities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from coronavirus.maryland.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 2/8/2022, 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?||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?||Yes|
|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 (Conditions Apply)|
|Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
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 (Conditions Apply)|
|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 (Conditions Apply)|