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Guide to Independent Living in Ohio

The Midwestern state of Ohio has the seventh-largest senior population in the nation, and over the next few years, the number of those aged 60 and over is projected to increase by 30%. High access to affordable health care, a generally pleasant climate and scenic state parks with free admission make the state a great option for active adults seeking a comfortable retirement. Ohio is also one of the cheapest places to live in the nation, and it has retirement-friendly tax laws, helping older adults make the most of their retirement income. Overall, its cost of living is about 17% cheaper than the nation as a whole, making Ohio a practical option for those with budgetary considerations.  

Older adults who are active and independent but want a low-maintenance lifestyle have numerous independent living options throughout Ohio. These communities offer services and amenities, such as on-site dining, health and wellness services, housekeeping and yard care, giving residents the time to pursue hobbies and interests.  

This guide provides more information on independent living in Ohio, including how much it costs, options for paying for services and some statewide programs that serve older adults. 

How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Ohio?

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.

Nationally, seniors pay $2,925 per month for independent living, and in Ohio, care costs are about $90 higher at $3,013. Ohio is a pricier option than its bordering states, all of which have rates below the national median. In Michigan and Indiana, respective care costs average $2,763 and $2,784, and in West Virginia, residents pay $2,704. Rates are lower in Pennsylvania, where seniors pay $2,665, and in Kentucky, care costs are nearly $800 below Ohio’s median at $2,241. 




The United States








West Virginia



The Cost of Independent Living in Ohio’s Top Cities 

Springfield is the cheapest city to obtain independent living services, with local rates coming in over $600 below the state average at $2,379. In Columbus, rates are a little higher but still affordable at $2,655, and in Lima, rates are on par with the national median at $2,992. In Cincinnati, independent living communities charge $3,033, and in Canton, residents pay $3,188. Costs in Cleveland come in at $3,211, and Akron is the costliest city for services at $3,245. 















The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care 

Independent living is one of the cheapest senior living options in Ohio, with seniors paying approximately $3,013 for monthly services. Adult day health care, which provides recreational activities, health monitoring and meals in a daytime community setting, is about $1,300 cheaper at $1,733 per month. Older adults who need help with daily living activities pay $4,635 for assisted living, and those who obtain this type of care in a private home pay $4,957 for basic homemaker services and $5,053 for skilled home health care. Nursing homes are for those who need around-the-clock medical monitoring and charge $7,300 per month for shared rooms.  


Independent Living


Adult Day Health Care


Homemaker Services


Home Health Aide


Assisted Living Facility


Nursing Home (Semiprivate room)

Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Ohio?

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 Ohio 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 Ohio.

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 Ohio

Because independent living communities don’t provide medical services, health insurance doesn’t pay for monthly expenses. Even so, older adults have several options for covering expenses. Seniors who own homes may take out reverse mortgages to supplement their monthly income, and those who have access to lump sums of cash may purchase an annuity, which provides regular payouts that can be used toward living expenses. Finally, while health insurance doesn’t cover independent living, long-term care insurance policies often have coverage for services.   

Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Ohio

Seniors in Ohio have access to numerous nonprofit agencies and programs that support their independence and quality of life. The following table features resources that provide free and low-cost services to address seniors’ needs.  

Resource Contact Description 
Ohio Department of Aging (800) 266-4346 The Ohio Department of Aging operates Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state. These agencies offer a range of services to support the independence and quality of life of those aged 60 and over, including congregate meals and volunteer-based transportation services. The department also has a help center that individuals can call for information on obtaining home-delivered meals, getting a Golden Buckeye Card and finding volunteer opportunities in their communities.  
Ohio Department of Veterans Services (614) 644-0898 The Ohio Department of Veterans Services administers a range of state benefits to older veterans, including pension benefits, financial assistance, health care services, legal services and discounts for state parks and recreational activities. Through the County Veterans Service Offices, older veterans can also get help with applying for federal VA benefits and finding resources and services in their communities.  
Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (614) 644-2674 OSHIIP is a statewide program that provides free health insurance options counseling for Medicare-eligible individuals. It’s staffed with trained volunteers who answer individuals’ questions about Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, available Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans and eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Volunteers can also help older adults review and understand medical bills, resolve issues with denied health insurance claims and understand how to prevent Medicare fraud.  
Pro Seniors (513) 345-4160 Pro Seniors is a nonprofit organization that provides civil legal services to those aged 60 and over. It operates a legal helpline that provides free legal information, advice and referrals for older adults, regardless of their income or resources. Seniors get help with Medicare, Medicaid and Medicaid estate recovery, housing issues, consumer debt problems, drafting living wills and assigning powers of attorney. The organization also provides a monthly legal clinic for veterans and over-the-phone legal advice regarding accessing benefits and resolving overpayment issues.  
Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (330) 297-7027 RSVP is a nationwide program that provides exclusive volunteer opportunities to those aged 55 and older. Volunteer activities vary by region, but seniors may have opportunities, such as tutoring school-aged children, serving as ushers at performing arts centers, sharing knowledge as tour guides in museums and visiting those who are housebound. Individuals choose how much and in what capacity they want to serve. In exchange, they receive benefits, such as supplemental liability insurance, mileage reimbursement and invitations to recognition events.  

COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Ohio 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 (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)
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