Guide to Independent Living in Utah
Utah is a popular place to retire for seniors who like exploring the great outdoors. The state is home to a number of national parks and excellent ski resorts. It receives an average of 43 inches of snow and 238 days of sunshine each year that give seniors plenty of options to enjoy the outdoors in every season. The state is moderately tax-friendly towards retirees. All forms of retirement benefits are taxed, but the tax rate is low, and seniors are able to claim some credits. Utah has a population of just over 3 million people, and around 11.4% of its residents are over the age of 65.
Independent living is a popular choice for seniors who are still able to live alone without any assistance but want to partake in the social side of community living or have easy access to medical assistance in an emergency. There are a number of independent living communities located across the state.
This guide gives a general overview of independent living in Utah. It discusses the price of services in Utah and neighboring states and the average cost of alternative care options. Additionally, it lists some free resources for seniors in the state.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Utah?
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.
Seniors living in Utah can expect to pay around $2,275 per month to reside in an independent living community. This is about $650 less than the national average of $2,925. Communities in Utah charge less than those in the neighboring states of Colorado ($3,088), Nevada ($2,438), Wyoming ($2,710) and Arizona ($2,600).
The United States
The Cost of Independent Living in Utah’s Top Cities
The average cost of independent living in the different cities in Utah does not vary much. The most expensive city in the state is Provo at $2,402, and the cheapest option is Logan at $2,145 per month. The average senior in the state capital of Salt Lake City pays around $2,152 per month for assisted living. Those in nearby Ogden pay $2,381 per month, and seniors in St. George pay around $2,275 for these services.
Salt Lake City
The Cost of Independent living vs. Other Types of Senior Care
Seniors living in Utah have a choice of care types and can find the one that best suits their needs at any point in the aging process. Adult day care is a good choice for seniors who only require assistance during the working week when their loved ones are at work. This is the lowest cost option at $1,939 per month. Independent living is the next cheapest option at around $2,275 per month. Seniors who are still active but require some assistance on a daily basis should look at assisted living with a monthly average cost of $3,500.
Home care and home health care cost around $5,625 and $5,720 per month respectively. These are good options for seniors wanting to age in place. Nursing home care is the most expensive option at around $7,178 for a semiprivate room. This type of care is best situated to those seniors requiring full-time skilled nursing care.
Adult Day Care
Home Health Care
Nursing Home Care (Semiprivate room)
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Utah?
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 Utah 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 Utah.
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 Utah
Once seniors have made the decision to move to an independent living community, they may be interested in the different options available to help pay for independent living services.
- Reverse Mortgages: This is a loan that’s only available to seniors aged 62 and over. It’s based on the equity of a primary residence.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: This type of insurance will not cover all the costs of independent living, but it may pay for some of the services provided.
- Life Insurance: Policies like this can be cashed out at any time, and the funds can be used for any expenses, such as independent living.
- Annuities: These are scheduled payouts from a lump-sum deposit that can be used for long-term care.
Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Utah
Seniors living in Utah have access to resources that can assist with the aging process and improve their quality of life. The state provides a number of free or low-cost services to meet the needs of seniors.
|Department of Veteran Affairs Utah||(801) 326-2372||The Utah Department of Veteran Affairs assists veterans and their families by connecting them with state and federal programs that meet their specific needs. Veteran Services Officers can guide seniors through the complicated process of applying for military benefits. In addition, they can coordinate medical and legal services.|
|Utah Department of Human Services Aging and Adult Services||(801) 538-4171||The Utah Department of Human Services runs the Aging and Adult Services section that focuses on the needs of the state’s seniors. The nutrition program provides daily lunches at senior centers throughout the state and runs regular classes to educate seniors on the importance of healthy eating. Transportation to medical appointments is offered to seniors aged 60 and over who don’t have access to a vehicle or public transportation.|
|Leaving Well Utah||Online Information||Leaving Well Utah is run by the Utah Hospital Association. The aim of the website is to help seniors and their loved ones make informed choices about their options for end-of-life care. The system lets seniors put together a plan that details their wishes for palliative and hospice care.|
|Salt Lake County Adult and Aging Services||(385) 468-3200||Salt Lake County Adult and Aging Services promotes independence for seniors by advocating on their behalf and providing access to services that improve their quality of life. The Active Aging Program is run at senior centers in Salt Lake County, and the program aims to help seniors lead a healthy and active lifestyle. It offers nutrition seminars and fitness classes. Additional services offered by the agency include caregiver support, transportation and home-delivered meals.|
|Utah Eldercare Planning Council||(800) 989-8173||The Utah Eldercare Planning Council is a nonprofit organization that aims to meet seniors’ changing needs as they age. The website includes a list of resources for seniors in each county. The council connects seniors with services that meet their requirements. Resources they can assist with include legal advice, reverse mortgage services, real estate, health care and financial assistance.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Utah Independent Living Communities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from coronavirus.utah.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|
|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)|