Guide to Independent Living in Texas
The Lone Star State is a popular retirement destination thanks to its low cost of living and mild climate. Texas is tax-friendly to retirees, meaning that seniors will have additional funds to enjoy all the activities that the state has to offer. Seniors living in Texas have access to golden beaches, golf courses and outdoor activities. The state has a population of around 29.5 million people, and an estimated 12.9% of residents are seniors aged 65 and over.
Seniors who are still able to live alone and carry out all the tasks of daily living without any assistance may want to consider independent living. There are a number of independent living communities throughout the state of Texas. These communities provide easy access to medical services, dining and social interaction. Some communities offer housekeeping and maintenance services.
This guide provides an overview of independent living in Texas. It discusses the average costs of independent living in Texas and neighboring states, as well as the costs of alternative senior care options. In addition, it lists ways to pay for independent living and free or low-cost resources for seniors in the state.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Texas ?
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.
In Texas, seniors can expect to pay around $2,599 per month for independent living. This is $326 less than the national average of $2,925. The cost of independent living in Texas communities is similar to the neighboring states of Arkansas and Oklahoma, which cost $2,600 and $2,506 respectively. New Mexico is significantly more expensive at $2,924, and Louisiana is cheaper at $2,436.
The United States
The Cost of Independent Living in Texas’s Top Cities
The cost of independent living varies greatly across the state of Texas. The city of Texarkana is the lowest cost option in the state, at $1,801, and the most expensive option is Victoria, at $3,640 per month. The capital of Austin is not much cheaper at $3,474, and the popular city of Dallas costs an average of $2,727. The average senior in the coastal city of Corpus Christi pays $2,202 for independent living.
The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care
It is important for seniors to understand the costs and benefits of the different types of senior care and to choose the option that best suits their needs. The cheapest care option is adult care, with an average cost of $769 per month. This type of care is best suited to seniors who need assistance during the work week but have the help of loved ones during the weekend. The next cheapest option is independent living, at $2,599 per month. Assisted living provides 24/7 assistance with the tasks of daily living and costs around $3,998 each month.
Those seniors who would prefer to remain at home should consider home care or home health care, which both cost $4,576 per month. Seniors requiring chronic care may need to move to nursing home care, which is the most expensive option at $5,125 for a semiprivate room.
Adult day care
Home care services
Home health care
Nursing home (semiprivate room)
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Texas ?
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 Texas 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 Texas .
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 Texas
Seniors who chose independent living may be interested in ways to pay for these services without using cash or savings.
- Annuities: These offer regular, scheduled payouts which can be used to pay for independent living.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: This is unlikely to pay the full cost of independent living each month, but it can be used to cover some expenses such as prepared meals and transport.
- Life Insurance: Paying for independent living is not the intended purpose of life insurance, but it is possible to use the policy to pay for end-of-life expenses such as independent living.
Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Texas
Seniors living in Texas have access to a number of free or low-cost services to help them improve their quality of life or find aging assistance. These services are offered by government departments and nonprofit organizations.
|Texas Health and Human Services||(855) 937-2372||Texas Health and Human Services has an aging department that offers a number of services to assist seniors in aging with dignity. Services provided by the department include advocating for people in long-term care facilities, Social Security assistance, Medicaid assistance, caregiver support and assistance in finding care solutions that best suit each individual.|
|Elder Options Of Texas||Online Only||Elder Options of Texas is an online resource designed to help seniors find the information they need. It offers a senior living section that focuses on seniors looking at independent living. Information is provided regarding senior living communities, storage units, moving companies and realtors that specialize in assisting seniors.|
|Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas||(254) 770-2330||The Area Agency of Aging of Central Texas provides a range of services to seniors in central Texas. Services offered by the agency include nutrition counseling, well-being classes, caregiver support, long-term care ombudsman and Medicaid support.|
|Area Agency on Aging of East Texas||(800) 442-8845||The Area Agency on Aging of East Texas is dedicated to meeting the needs of all seniors living in east Texas. The agency provides services to residents aged 60 and over and their caregivers. Some services provided include nutrition programs, senior centers, congregate meal sites, transportation, wellness programs and benefits counseling.|
|The Senior Source||(214) 823-5700||The Senior Source is a nonprofit organization that works with seniors in Dallas to help them live their best lives. Programs run by the organization include foster grandparents, caregiver support, senior volunteer programs, senior job assistance, financial assistance and legal assistance.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Texas Independent Living Communities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from hhs.texas.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 2/15/2022, 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)|