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Guide to Independent Living in South Dakota

There are many reasons to choose to retire in South Dakota. The state has the sixth-lowest cost of living in the United States, and it consistently ranks near the top for its quality of life. Seniors who enjoy taking part in outdoor activities will find numerous parks and ski resorts to explore. South Dakota is tax-friendly towards retirees as Social Security income and withdrawals from retirement accounts are not taxed. Sales taxes are also low meaning that seniors will have more funds available to partake in all the activities that the state has to offer.

Independent living is best suited to seniors who are still active and able to care for themselves. These communities offer a range of amenities and activities to help residents enjoy their golden years. Communities in South Dakota may provide dining options, medical services, transport and maintenance. The services offered and amenities available may differ between communities.

This guide discusses the costs of independent living in South Dakota and neighboring states. It looks at alternative care options and ways for seniors to pay for independent living. Additionally, it lists resources for seniors in the state.

How Much Does Independent Living Cost in South 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 monthly cost of independent living in South Dakota is $2,178. This is significantly lower than the national average of $2,925. Communities in this state charge less than those in neighboring states, such as Nebraska and Minnesota, where independently living costs $2,649 and $2,930 respectively. North Dakota is similarly priced at $2,204, while the other nearby states of Wyoming ($2,710) and Montana ($2,893) both charge higher monthly prices.


South Dakota


The United States






North Dakota





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

There are only two cities in South Dakota that have average care costs listed. The most expensive option is Rapid City, which has a monthly average cost of $2,544, while the cheapest option is in the southeast part of the state in Sioux Falls at $1,892 per month. Further southeast across the border of Iowa, seniors in Sioux City pay $2,696 for Independent Living. 


Rapid City


Sioux Falls


Sioux City, IA

The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care

Independent living is the cheapest senior care option in South Dakota; however, there are a number of alternative options that may be better suited to a particular senior’s requirements. Adult day care is the next cheapest option at an average of $2,600 per month, and this type of care is best suited to those seniors who have caregivers at home but need assistance during the working week. Assisted living has an estimated cost of $3,350 per month. It’s a good option for seniors who still enjoy being active and independent but may require assistance with some tasks of daily living.

Both home care and home health care have a monthly average cost of $5,911. These are good options for seniors wanting to receive care in their own homes. Nursing home care costs around $7,118 per month for a semiprivate room, and it’s the best option for seniors who require 24/7 skilled nursing. 


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 South 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 South 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 South 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 South Dakota

Seniors who have decided to make the move to an independent living community in South Dakota may be interested in the following financial options that can help them cover the costs involved.

  • Reverse mortgage loans: This is a loan that is available to seniors aged 62 and older. The loan is based on the equity of a primary residence, and it must be paid back in full when the property is sold.
  • Equity lines of credit: This is a revolving line of credit that uses a property as collateral. 
  • Life insurance: A number of insurance policies can be cashed in early and used for expenses.
  • Annuities: Annuities are based on a lump-sum deposit and pay out scheduled amounts for a fixed period of time.

Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in South Dakota

The following resources may be of interest to seniors in South Dakota who are currently living in an independent living community or are considering making the move. These resources aim to assist seniors to improve their quality of life.

Dakota at Home(833) 663-9673Dakota at Home is a website run by the South Dakota Department of Human Services. The website provides free and objective information regarding support services for seniors and their caregivers. Seniors can access all the information they need online or by calling the helpline for assistance.
Active Generations(605) 336-6722Active Generations is a nonprofit organization that provides a range of services to assist seniors in Sioux Falls and surrounding areas. The group’s main aim is to help seniors remain as active as possible. It runs a senior center that offers fitness classes and nutrition information. There’s a full gym available for a small fee. Additional services include benefits counseling, adult day care services and volunteer opportunities.
Department of Human Services(605) 773-5990The Department of Human Services offers information to seniors and connects them with supportive services across the state. The department advocates on behalf of seniors to make sure their needs are met. In addition, it runs a long-term care ombudsman program to educate seniors in long-term care facilities about their rights and provide mediation when required.
South Dakota Adult Nutrition Program(833) 663-9673The South Dakota Adult Nutrition Program promotes socialization and well-being by providing a number of resources for seniors. Services offered include nutrition classes, home-delivered meals and an online directory of healthy recipes. Additionally, it serves daily congregate meals at senior centers across the state.

COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for South 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 (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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