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Guide to Independent Living in North Dakota

North Dakota is consistently ranked as one of the top states to retire in the country thanks to its affordable health care, low crime rates and beautiful scenery. The state is moderately tax-friendly as Social Security income is only partially taxed; however, all other retirement account withdrawals are fully taxed. Active seniors who partake in winter sports may be attracted to North Dakota, which receives an average of 39 inches of snow each year. It has a small population of around 775,000, and about 15.7% of residents are senior citizens.

Independent living communities are best suited to active seniors who are still able to live on their own and don’t require any assistance with the tasks of daily living. Seniors will find a number of independent living options located across the state. The majority of these communities offer social and recreational activities, dining options and easy access to medical services. Housekeeping and transportation are provided in some instances.

This guide gives a basic overview of independent living in North Dakota. It reviews the average costs of independent living and alternative care options that seniors may consider. Additionally, it lists free resources for seniors in North Dakota.

How Much Does Independent Living Cost in North Dakota?

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 North Dakota pays around $2,204 per month for independent living. This is over $700 less than the national average of $2,925, making the state an affordable option for budget-conscious seniors. The cost of care is similar in neighboring South Dakota at $2,178 per month. However, communities in North Dakota charge far less than those in Minnesota and Montana, which charge a monthly average of $2,930 and $2,893 respectively.


North Dakota


The United States


South Dakota





The Cost of Independent Living in North Dakota’s Top Cities

The average monthly cost of independent living differs across the state. In the capital city of Bismarck, the average monthly cost is $2,412, which makes it the second most expensive city in North Dakota. At the low end of the cost scale is Grand Forks with a monthly average price of $1,430, while Fargo sits at the upper end of the scale at $2,496 per month.




Grand Forks



The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care

In North Dakota, independent living is the most affordable care option for seniors at an average of $2,204 per month. Adult day care is the next cheapest option at around $3,383 per month. This is a good option for seniors who have family members to assist them in the evenings and on weekends but need care during the week. Assisted living has a similar cost at $3,391 per month, and this type of care should be considered by seniors who are still independent but require some assistance with the tasks of daily living.

Home care and home health care are suitable for seniors who need help but want to remain in their own homes. Both of these options carry a monthly average cost of $5,689. Seniors who require full-time skilled nursing should look at nursing home care, which has a monthly average fee of $11,978 for a semiprivate room.


Independent Living


Adult Day Care


Assisted Living


Home Care


Home Health Care


Nursing Home Care (Semiprivate room)

Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in North Dakota?

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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota.

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 North Dakota

Once seniors have decided to make the move to an independent living community, they may be interested in the options available to help pay for these services.

  • Equity Lines of Credit: This is a revolving line of credit that uses a home as collateral, and it can be used for everyday expenses, such as independent living.
  • Life Insurance: Paying for independent living is not the intended purpose of life insurance, but technically, it can be used for end-of-life expenses which may include independent living.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages are a type of loan that’s available to seniors aged 62 and over. The loan is based on the equity of a primary residence and must be paid back once the property is sold.

Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in North Dakota

Seniors living in North Dakota have access to resources and services to assist in the aging process and improve their quality of life. Resources are offered by nonprofit organizations and government departments throughout the state.

Veterans Department of North Dakota(701) 239-7165The Veterans Department of North Dakota aims to assist veterans and their families in obtaining all the benefits they are entitled to. Officers are on hand to help seniors to navigate the complicated military benefits system. They can assist seniors in applying for pensions and disability grants. In addition, the department connects seniors with housing options, medical services and therapy.
Valley Senior Services(701) 293-1440Valley Senior Services is a nonprofit organization that provides a range of services to seniors in Fargo and surrounding areas. The organization runs the Meals on Wheels program that delivers meals to seniors who are homebound due to an illness or disability. It runs a number of senior centers where adults can take part in social or recreational activities. Health services offered include wellness checks and nutrition classes.
South Central Adult Services(800) 472-0031South Central Adult Services runs a number of programs to improve the lives of seniors in Valley City and eight surrounding counties. Some of the services offered by the organization include transportation, frozen meal deliveries, congregate meals and volunteer opportunities. It operates senior centers in each county that provide activities for older adults, such as art and fitness classes.
Legal Assist(866) 621-9886Legal Assist is a statewide service that provides free legal services to low-income and elderly citizens. It can assist clients with drawing up wills and advance health care directives. Additional services offered include assistance with Social Security benefits and power of attorney documents.
Williston Council for the Aging(701) 577-6751The Williston Council for the Aging advocates for the rights of seniors in the city and provides services to make their lives easier. It runs a senior center that offers a range of activities, such as musical entertainment, arts and crafts, field trips, bingo and card games. Additionally, it provides lunch each day for seniors attending activities at the center, and it delivers meals to homebound seniors in the area.

COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for North Dakota Independent Living Communities

The following rules and guidelines were obtained from, 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 2/13/2022, 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
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)
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