Guide to Senior Living in Vermont
Located along the northern border between Hampshire and New York, Vermont is a small state that’s home to 638,989 residents. Seniors age 65 and older make up 19.4% of the population, and with a statewide median age that’s the third-highest in the country, the number of seniors in Vermont is expected to rise in the next decade.
As one of the least-populated states, there are fewer senior living options in Vermont than in many other locations. Limited availability means the cost of senior living care is relatively high. For example at $5,338 per month, assisted living care in Vermont is $1,287 above the national average.
This guide covers the cost of senior care in Vermont and neighboring areas, financial resources to help cover care costs and information on local, state and federal services for seniors who need help navigating their long-term care options.
Covid-19 Rules and Restrictions for Vermont Senior Living Facilities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from the The Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living website, as well as other state-level government sites. Among others, these rules apply to long-term care facilitites (LTC) including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes. Retirement and independent living communities are recommended but not necessarily required to follow similar guidance.
This data has been most recently updated on 7/3/20, 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, outdoors (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?||No|
|Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?||NA|
|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?||Up to the facility to decide|
|Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?||Yes|
|Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?||Yes (varies by facility)|
|Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?||Yes (varies by facility)|
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?||In cases of local outbreaks|
|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?||Yes, if no active cases are present|
|Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?||Optional|
|Are residents being tested for coronavirus?||Yes (in case of local outbreaks)|
Paying for Senior Living in Vermont
Vermont seniors who require long-term care have a number of options to choose from. The lowest-priced service is adult day care, which provides care in a group setting during business hours. In-home care options are slightly more affordable than assisted living, but it’s important to note that, unlike in-home care, assisted living includes room and board. Here are the average monthly fees for elder care in Vermont:
Home Health Care
Adult Day Care
Nursing Home Care
The Cost of Assisted Living in Vermont
According to Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of assisted living care in Vermont is $5,338. Costs in Vermont are significantly higher than the national average of $4,051. Assisted living costs in neighboring states are also above the national average, and New Hampshire has some of the highest costs in the country at $7,021 per month.
The Cost of In-Home Care in Vermont
Seniors who are in good health but unable to complete household chores on their own may opt for in-home care. In Vermont this will cost $5,196 a month, which is on par with rates in neighboring states Massachutes, $5,186; New Hampshire, $5,243; and Maine, $5,117. Only in New York will seniors find less expensive in-home care at $4,767 per month. Even greater savings can be found in other parts of the U.S. as the price of in-home care in the Vermont area is above the national average of $4,290.
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Vermont
Nursing home care in the state of Vermont comes with a hefty price tag of $10,722 a month, more than $3,000 above the national average of $7,513. As a whole, the northeast region of the United States has exorbitant prices for this high-level of care. New York and Massachusetts have even higher rates than Vermont with costs of $11,613 and $12,473, respectively. Maine is slightly cheaper with a cost of $10,038 and New Hampshire is the most affordable with a price tag of $9,581.
Financial Assistance for Senior Living in Vermont
Vermont’s Choices for Care program helps low-income seniors and people with qualifying disabilities cover their long-term care costs, which may include care services provided in a senior living facility. Offered through the Global Commitment to Health Medicaid section 1115 demonstration waiver, CFC funds long-term services and supports for Medicaid-eligible seniors who meet the criteria for nursing home placement, but who can safely reside in a senior living setting with appropriate care.
Although Choice for Care doesn’t cover room-and-board costs, the program does fund senior living services, case management, personal care, adult day care and companion services. CFC benefits are assigned on an individual basis in order to delay or prevent nursing home placement among Medicaid-eligible Vermonters.
To qualify for CFC, seniors must:
- Require the level of care normally provided in a nursing home
- Have a monthly income of $2,349 or less
- Own no more than $2,000 worth of countable assets, or up to $5,000 for those who live in their own homes
- Be at least 65 or older or be enrolled in Vermont Medicaid due to disability
Vermont residents who are 65 or older, enrolled in VT Medicaid and reside in an senior living residence may be eligible for enrollment in the Assisted Community Care Services program. As with the Choices for Care program, seniors seeking services under the ACCS must meet the following income and resource criteria for regular Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled:
- Earn no more than $1,091 per month, per person, if living outside of Chittenden County, or
- Earn no more than $1,175 per month, per person, if a resident of Chittenden County
- Own no more than $2,000 worth of countable assets such as cash, stocks and bonds
- Require services provided by the ACCS
This Medicaid State Plan option for seniors who are SSI or Medicaid-eligible pays for the following services:
- Case management
- Help with activities of daily living such as toileting, transferring, grooming and eating
- Assessment and ongoing health monitoring provided or supervised by a licensed registered nurse
- Housekeeping and personal laundry
- Limited transportation to medical appointments
- Assistance with medication administration
- Assistive therapies to promote pro-social behavior and cognitive skill development
Contact: For more information on the ACCS, seniors and their families can contact the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s HelpLine at 1-800-642-5119.
Veterans, dependents and survivors who receive a regular VA pension and who have a permanent disability or chronic illness may qualify for additional funds through one of two VA pension top-up programs.
The VA Aid and Attendance Benefit and the VA Housebound Allowance provide eligible seniors with enhanced VA pension benefits that can be used toward the cost of senior living care. Qualified applicants can receive either Aid and Attendance or Housebound, but not both.
To qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, VA pension recipients must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Live in a nursing home as a result of a physical or mental impairment
- Have eyesight tested at 5/200 or worse when wearing corrective lenses
- Have a visual field restricted to 5 degrees or less
- Be bedridden due to chronic illness
- Require assistance from another person to perform one or more activities of daily living, including getting dressed, using the toilet, bathing, transferring and adjusting a prosthesis
To qualify for the Housebound allowance, VA pension recipients must have a permanent disability that restricts them to their home, which may be a senior living facility, most of the time.
Contact: For more information and application assistance, veterans and survivors can contact the State of Vermont, Office of Veterans Affairs at (802) 828-3379.
Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Vermont
Note: All these rules typically apply to non-clinical senior living facilities, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Nursing homes and other senior living facilities with a clinical setting may have additional or slightly different requirements and regulations.
Senior living facilities in Vermont are licensed by the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, Division of Licensing and Protection. In Vermont, senior living residences must meet or exceed Level III residential care home standards. Below is a brief overview of admission requirements, regulations around medication management and dementia care, and staffing levels for licensed senior living communities in Vermont.
Scope of Care
Vermont AFLs are required to provide the following:
- 24-hour awake staff
- Hands-on assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming and toileting
- Intermittent skilled nursing care, including an intake assessment and ongoing health monitoring
- Supervision and support for residents with dementia
- Medication management
- Access to third-party services for medical care, home health care, barber and beauty services, and social activities
- A comprehensive intake assessment completed by a licensed registered nurse within 14 days of move-in
Individuals who require nursing home placement due to medical need or who exhibit behavior that poses a threat to themselves, staff or other residents are ineligible for placement in a senior living facility.
All senior living facilities must provide medication management services under the supervision of a licensed nurse. These services can include helping residents self-administer prescription medications by providing reminders, opening containers and dispensing the dose into a med cup. Staff who have been trained in medication administration by a registered nurse are permitted to administer oral and topical medications.
Senior living facilities that offer dementia care in a dedicated unit must only do so with prior authorization from the licensing agency.
In order to provide dementia care services, ALFs must:
- Provide the licensing agency with an outline of the scope of the services
- Develop a clear description of the physical environment
- Provide an in-depth description outlining how the unit will be staffed, including the credentials of the staff and staffing levels
- Establish clear protocols regarding admission, residency and discharge planning
Memory care staff need to have specialized training in communicating with residents who have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Although Vermont doesn’t have regulations regarding staffing ratios in senior living facilities, by law at least one personal care attendant must be on-site, awake and available to the residents at all times. AFLs must also have a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse on-site as needed to monitor medication administration, perform wellness checks and oversee service plans.
Senior living facilities must provide each resident with a private unit measuring at least 225 square feet, excluding closets and bathrooms. The units must include a private bathroom, private bedroom, living space, storage space, kitchen capacity and locking door. Residents can volunteer to share a unit if they so choose.
Vermont Senior Living Free Resources
The Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living is a state government department that works to improve services and supports for the elderly and people living with disabilities. As a part of the Agency of Human Services, the Department provides information on state services for seniors, maintains an extensive online resource library and administers special projects and initiates to help improve the lives of older Vermonters.
Contact: Seniors can call (802) 241-2401 to connect with the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living.
Area Agencies on Aging in Vermont
Vermont’s network of five regional Area Agencies on Aging provides information, assistance and advocacy services to seniors, family members and caregivers. Each of these nonprofit agencies work to help older Vermonters understand health and long-term care options, access senior nutrition programs and coordinate local transportation and home health services. Seniors can contact their local AAA, known as Councils on Aging, or call the AAA HelpLIne at 1-800-642-5119 to learn about senior living services, as well as financial programs to help cover care costs.
|AREA AGENCY ON AGING||ADDRESS||PHONE NUMBER|
|Age Well(Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties)||76 Pearl Street, Suite 201|
Essex Junction, VT 05452
|Central Vermont Council on Aging(Lamoille, Orange, and Washington Counties)||59 N. Main Street, Suite 200|
Barre, VT 05641
|(802) 479-0531 or|
|Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging(Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties)||481 Summer Street, Suite 101|
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
|Senior Solutions(Windham and Windsor Counties)||38 Pleasant Street|
Springfield, VT 05156
|(866) 673-8376 or|
|Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging(Bennington and Rutland Counties)||143 Maple Street|
Rutland, VT 05701
160 Benmont Ave. Suite #90
Bennington, VT 05201
|(802) 786-5990 or|
Veterans Affairs Offices in Vermont
The Office of Veterans Affairs is a state-run agency that provides veterans, dependents and survivors with free information on local, state and federal benefits, VA health care services and emergency financial assistance programs for vets. Vermont veterans can contact the Office of Veterans Affairs by calling (888) 666-9844 or (802) 828-3379.
|VA CENTER||ADDRESS||PHONE NUMBER|
|South Burlington Vet Center||19 Gregory Drive Suite 201|
South Burlington, VT 05403
|White River Junction Vet Center||118 Prospect Street Suite 100|
White River Junction, VT 05001
Social Security Offices in Vermont
Low-income seniors in Vermont may be eligible for federal Supplemental Security Income benefits through the Social Security Administration. For more information, seniors can visit one of the three Social Security field offices in Vermont or call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.
|SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE||ADDRESS||PHONE NUMBER|
|Burlington Social Security Office||58 Pearl Street|
Burlington, VT 05401
|(877) 840-5776 or|
(800) 325-0778 TTY
|Montpelier Social Security Office||1 Home Farm Way|
Montpelier, VT 05602
|(877) 505-4542 or|
(802) 223-0586 TTY
|Rutland Social Security Office||88 Merchants Row, 330 Asa Bloomer Bldg|
Rutland, VT 05701
|(866) 690-1944 or|
(802) 773-3202 TTY
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does assisted living cost in Vermont?
On average, assisted living in Vermont costs approximately $5,338 per month. Actual costs vary depending on the location and facility and may be significantly higher or lower than the state average cost of assisted living care.
Are there financial assistance programs for assisted living in Vermont?
Yes. Low-income seniors who are SSI or Medicaid-eligible may qualify for financial assistance through Assistive Community Care Services or the Choices for Care Medicaid waiver. These programs cover the cost of assisted living care for eligible seniors, while seniors are responsible for room-and-board costs. Veterans and their dependents may also qualify for additional funds through the two VA pension top-up programs, Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound allowance.
What are “Activities of Daily Living”?
Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, are self-care tasks that an individual needs to perform on a daily basis to maintain basic hygiene and wellness. These self-care tasks include using the toilet, grooming, dressing and moving about. As seniors age, they may develop physical and cognitive limitations that make completing ADLs independently a challenge.
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?
While both assisted living facilities and nursing homes provide 24-hour supervision along with room and board, there are some significant differences between these two types of care. In general, assisted living facilities are geared toward those who can perform many daily tasks with minimal help and who don’t need constant medical monitoring and support. By comparison, nursing homes are medical facilities that provide around-the-clock medical care and monitoring for residents who may be bedridden, have complex medical needs or require skilled nursing services.
What types of amenities are commonly in assisted living communities?
Most assisted living facilities have a number of common areas that are available to all residents, such as a dining room, recreation area and outdoor space such as a garden, yard or patio. Many communities also offer enhanced amenities, including barbershops and beauty salons, fitness centers, music rooms and resident gardens. Pet-friendly assisted living facilities may have a designated dog walking area, and some communities have on-site movie theaters, swimming pools and transportation to appointments and events.
The Top Cities for Senior Living in Vermont
Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Vermont cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.
- Alburg (1)
- Barre (5)
- Bellows Falls (3)
- Bennington (8)
- Benson (1)
- Berlin (1)
- Bradford (2)
- Brandon (1)
- Brattleboro (7)
- Bristol (1)
- Burlington (25)
- Canaan (1)
- Castleton (2)
- Chelsea (1)
- Chester (1)
- Colchester (4)
- Craftsbury (1)
- Danville (1)
- Derby Line (2)
- Enosburg Falls (2)
- Essex (1)
- Essex Junction (1)
- Fair Haven (1)
- Fairfax (1)
- Gilman (1)
- Glover (1)
- Grand Isle (1)
- Greensboro (1)
- Groton (1)
- Hancock (1)
- Hardwick (2)
- Hinesburg (1)
- Island Pond (1)
- Johnson (1)
- Killington (1)
- Ludlow (3)
- Lyndonville (3)
- Manchester Center (8)
- Middlebury (7)
- Milton (2)
- Montpelier (4)
- Morrisville (3)
- Newport (6)
- North Bennington (1)
- Northfield (2)
- Norwich (1)
- Pittsford (1)
- Plainfield (1)
- Poultney (2)
- Proctor (1)
- Randolph (4)
- Readsboro (1)
- Richford (2)
- Richmond (1)
- Rochester (1)
- Rutland (12)
- Saint Albans (7)
- Saint Johnsbury (3)
- Shelburne (3)
- Sheldon (1)
- South Burlington (10)
- Springfield (3)
- St Albans (2)
- Stowe (2)
- Swanton (3)
- Townshend (1)
- Vergennes (3)
- Vernon (2)
- Waitsfield (2)
- Waterbury (3)
- White River Junction (3)
- Williamstown (2)
- Williston (1)
- Windsor (2)
- Winooski (1)
- Woodstock (2)