Guide to Independent Living in Michigan
Seniors are drawn to Michigan because of its proximity to the Great Lakes, low cost of living and picturesque winters. The state is tax-friendly to retirees, as Social Security income is not taxed, and withdrawals from retirement accounts are only partially taxed. Michigan is home to over 10 million residents, and about 17.7 % of the population is aged 65 and over. Michigan has a more moderate climate than other northern states.
Independent living is a senior care option for those seniors who are still able to live independently but like the idea of community living. There are a number of independent living communities located across Michigan. These communities offer convenient amenities, maintenance services, access to medical assistance and dining options.
This guide discusses independent living in Michigan and the costs of alternative care options. It compares the cost of care with other nearby states and the nation as a whole. Additionally, it provides a list of free services for seniors in the state.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Michigan?
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.
The average senior in Michigan pays around $2,763 per month for independent living. This is $162 less than the national average of $2,925. Communities in Michigan charge less than those in the closest neighboring states of Indiana ($2,784), Illinois ($2,917), Wisconsin ($2,990) and Ohio ($3,013).
The United States
The Cost of Independent Living in Michigan’s Top Cities
In Michigan, fees for independent living depend on the city, and costs vary across the state. Seniors living in the capital city of Lansing pay around $2,803 per month, while those in the larger city of Detroit pay $2,740. The most expensive option in the state is the picturesque city of Ann Arbor at $3,960, and the cheapest option is Battle Creek at $2,210. Grand Rapids and Monroe are on the upper end of the cost scale at $3,138 and $3,283, respectively. Flint ($2,844) and Saginaw ($2,876) are similarly priced to the capital.
The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care
Seniors in Michigan have access to a number of senior care options aside from independent living that may better suit their requirements. Adult day health care is the least expensive option in the state at $1,733 per month. This type of care is appropriate for seniors who only require assistance during the day from Monday to Friday. The next most cost-effective option is independent living at $2,763.
Seniors who require some assistance with the tasks of daily living may want to consider assisted living at an average cost of $4,250 per month. Older adults who wish to remain in their own homes can look to home care and home health care, which both have a monthly average cost of $5,529. Those who require full-time skilled nursing care need the services of a nursing home at $9,095 per month for a semiprivate room.
Adult day care
Home health care
Nursing home (semiprivate room)
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Michigan?
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 Michigan 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 Michigan.
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 Michigan
Those seniors who have decided to move to an independent living community may want to look at alternative options to help pay for it.
- Reverse Mortgages: Seniors aged 62 and over can apply for a reverse mortgage loan that pays out the value of a primary residence. This loan can be used to pay for independent living.
- Annuities: Annuities are based on a lump sum deposit and provide regular, scheduled payouts that can be used to pay for end-of-life expenses.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: This policy can be used to pay some of the costs of long-term care, such as prepared meals or transportation.
- Life Insurance: Cashing in or using the death benefit prior to death will give seniors access to policy funds.
Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Michigan
The following resources may be of interest to seniors living in Michigan. These resources are provided by government departments and non-profit organizations with the aim to improve the lives of seniors in the state.
|The Senior Alliance||(800) 815-1112||The Senior Alliance is a non-profit organization that provides services for seniors aged 60 and older in Wayne County. The group offers benefits counseling to assist elders in understanding and applying for medical insurance policies. It provides free legal assistance by phone and in-person. In addition, it runs the Meals on Wheels program that provides home-delivered meals to homebound seniors.|
|Senior Resources||(231) 733-3585||Senior Resources is a non-profit organization that connects seniors in West Michigan with services that meet their requirements. It runs a program that advocates for the rights of seniors in the area by educating public officials about the rights and interests of seniors. The organization hosts social and recreational activities at senior centers. Additional programs include transportation and nutrition education.|
|Area Agency on Aging 1-B||(800) 852-7795||The Area Agency on Aging 1-B supports seniors and their families in Southeast Michigan. Services include community meals, home-delivered meals, transportation, assistance for LGBT seniors, caregiver support and long-term care ombudsman services.|
|Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan||(800) 442-1713||The Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan assists seniors in Traverse City and surrounding areas with living their best lives. The non-profit organization offers resources to help seniors continue to live independent and healthy lives. Long-term care ombudsman services are available to advocate for the rights of seniors in care facilities.|
|Department of Health and Human Services||Online Information||The Department of Health and Human Services in Michigan runs a number of programs to help seniors age with dignity. The department provides nutrition programs and education classes for seniors looking to live a healthy lifestyle. Transportation services are available for older residents who are unable to use public transportation and don’t have access to a car.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Michigan Independent Living Communities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from michigan.gov/coronavirus, 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?||Not Available*|
|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|
|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)|