Guide to Independent Living in Vermont
The picturesque New England state of Vermont offers exciting year-round events, numerous state and local parks and award-winning museums and galleries that provide seemingly endless recreational opportunities for active retirees. The state has low crime rates and a high number of doctors per capita that offer peace of mind for those moving to the state for their retirement years, and its weather is generally comfortable throughout the year. Vermont is also an affordable place to live with an overall cost of living that’s about 5% lower than the national median, which may help older adults maximize their retirement income and cover independent living costs, which exceed the national average at $3,413 per month.
Independent living communities provide a low-maintenance lifestyle for active older adults while supporting their comfort and quality of life. These communities provide services such as housekeeping and yard care, meals and local transportation. Some provide additional amenities and activities such as fitness classes, social clubs and travel opportunities. This guide gives more information on how much independent living communities in Vermont charge for their services. It also highlights some options for covering monthly costs and outlines some agencies and programs for seniors in the state.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Vermont?
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, independent living communities charge $2,925 per month for services, but in some regions of the country, such as New England, rates are higher. In Vermont, seniors pay $3,413 per month, which is high compared to the national average but consistent with rates in surrounding states. In New Hampshire, care costs are several hundred dollars higher at $3,934, and in Massachusetts, seniors pay $4,225. Costs in Connecticut are estimated at $3,334, and in New York, communities charge $2,977 per month.
The United States
The Cost of Independent Living in Vermont’s Top Cities
In Burlington, the only surveyed city in Vermont, independent living rates exceed the state median at $4,141 per month. This indicates that other cities may have more cost-effective options. To draw further comparisons, we look at cities across state lines. In Manchester, New Hampshire, care costs are considerably higher than in Vermont at $5,240. In New York City, rates are slightly higher than in Vermont at $3,738, and in Norwich, Connecticut, care costs are competitive at $2,795. Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is among the cheapest places in New England and the nation to obtain care with independent living communities charging an estimated $1,355 per month.
New York, NY
The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care
With monthly fees coming in at an estimated $3,413, independent living is one of the cheapest long-term care options in Vermont. Only adult day health care, which includes daytime services, such as meals and medical monitoring in a daytime community setting, is cheaper at $3,224. Seniors who need personal care services pay $5,250 for assisted living services. If they obtain care in their own homes, they pay $5,720 per month for homemaker services and home health aide services. Nursing home residents pay the highest monthly rates of $10,585 for a semiprivate room.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Aide
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home (Semiprivate Room)
Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in Vermont?
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 Vermont 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 Vermont.
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 Vermont
Seniors moving to independent living communities have several options for covering monthly fees, including:
- Reverse mortgages: Reverse mortgages are available to those aged 62 and over. These loans let older adults access their home’s equity to pay for living expenses and long-term care services.
- Long-term care insurance: While long-term care insurance doesn’t provide full coverage for independent living, it may cover some services, such as housekeeping, meals and recreational activities, which may bring down the overall monthly rate.
- Life insurance: Some life insurance policies let individuals cash out their policy or sell it to a third party to access their death benefits for living expenses.
- Annuities: Annuities convert lump sums of cash to regularly scheduled payments to supplement retirement income and pay for independent living.
Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in Vermont
Older adults in Vermont get support from several local resources, including information and referral specialists, legal and financial advisers and options counselors. Through the following agencies and programs, seniors can get one-on-one support and guidance with making decisions regarding their long-term needs.
|Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging||(800) 642-5119||Five Area Agencies on Aging serve those aged 60 and over in Vermont through a range of free and low-cost services. Seniors can contact their region’s AAA for community-based services, such as transportation, home-delivered and congregate meals and social and recreational activities.|
|State Health Insurance Program||(800) 642-5119||SHIP is a statewide program that provides free, confidential Medicare options counseling for older adults. Its trained volunteers who help seniors understand their Medicare coverage as well as private Medicare options that may help cover long-term care expenses.|
|Vermont Legal Aid||(800) 889-2047||Vermont Legal Aid is a statewide program that provides free legal advice and assistance to those aged 60 and over. Its licensed legal professionals can help older adults apply for public benefits that may cover medical care and living costs, such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.|
|Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs||(802) 828-3379||Vermont’s Office of Veterans Affairs administers an array of state benefits, such as emergency financial assistance, survivor and family benefits and home and vehicle modifications, and it helps older veterans access federal VA benefits that may help pay for independent living.|
|Vermont 211||211 or|
|Vermont 211 provides free information and referral services to all Vermont residents to help them access programs and services in the community that meet their needs. It’s staffed 24/7 with information specialists who help older adults find independent living communities, ways to pay for services and wellness services in the community.|
|AARP Vermont||(866) 227-7451||AARP Vermont is a nonprofit organization that provides older adults with up-to-date information on programs and activities in their communities, such as safe driver classes, free income tax preparation services, volunteer opportunities and informational workshops. It also provides exclusive benefits to members, such as recreation and travel discounts and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Vermont Independent Living Communities
The following rules and guidelines were obtained from healthvermont.gov/covid-19. 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 (Conditions Apply)|
|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)|