Top Ranked Assisted Living Facilities in Idaho

There are 97 assisted living facilities in ID and the median cost of care is $3,838. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Idaho is 4 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is North Star.

Idaho is known for being an economically-friendly state for retirees. The cost of living is lower than the national average, so people on a budget see their dollars go further than in many other parts of the country. Health care costs alsotrend lower, and those who receive social security will find that those payments areexempt from state tax. If you're considering a move to Idaho, read through the information below to learn about senior housing options, what you can expect to pay for those options, and Idaho regulations that govern senior communities.

Idaho Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options

Idaho is known for its diverse landscape, where densely forested mountain ranges and expansive, semidesert grasslands are divided by fertile valleys that most of the state's population call home. The Gem State enjoys all four seasons, so summers in Idaho can have a week or more of triple-digit temperatures and frozen winters, even in the southern areas of the state. For those who don't mind temperature fluctuation, Idaho offers a variety of housing options within its borders.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)

When a loved one can no longer live independently, an assisted living provider can be a good option.  Assisted living residences are for residents who would like to, and can, maintain some independence but need help with meals, housekeeping, and some of the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as showering, getting dressed, or personal hygiene.  In Idaho, assisted living facilities are referred to as Residential Assisted Living Facilities or RALFs.

In Idaho, assisted living facilities are sometimes referred to as Residential Assisted Living Facilities (RALFs) and arelicensed and governedby theIdaho Department of Health and Welfare. To achieve this designation, a community must provide a safe, home-like atmosphere shared by residents who fall within the eligibility guidelines. The community must be staffed with professionals who can assist residents with personal care and activities of daily living while promoting an appropriate level of independence.

Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are a good housing option for seniors who can still live independently but want to downsize. Each resident or couple lives in a private unit, and most communities offer social programs so residents can meet their neighbors. Housekeeping, chores, and some meals may be provided, although these may incur an additional cost. Unlike the care given in an assisted living community, assistance with activities of daily living and medication management aren't available in these communities. 

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes offer the highest level of care of all senior living options. These communities provide around-the-clock supervision and skilled nursing care, and medical help is available. Generally, people in nursing homes have complex medical issues or need more residential care than is offered in an assisted living facility. Idaho has both skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for people who require 24-hour care and intermediate care facilities (ICF) for people who don’t need as much medical care. Theaverage cost of nursing home carein the state is $8,517 for a semiprivate room and $9,125 for a private room. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Many seniors prefer to choose a community that will continue to meet their needs in the future. Continuing care retirement communities have independent living, assisted living, and nursing home facilities on the same property or owned by the same community. This model allows seniors to stay near their friends in familiar surroundings, even as their needs change. The care provided in the assisted living section of a CCRC is the same as in any assisted living community. The difference is that residents can easily move to a skilled nursing room if required. Often, CCRCs are bigger than ACHs, as they encompass more care options. 

Supportive Housing

Supportive Housing facilities are residential facilities designed for older adults or persons with disabilities who are unable to live independently.  These individuals need help with toileting, bathing, dressing, medication management and administration, assistance with meals and housekeeping, and other activities of daily living.  These individuals do not need regular nursing care.  There are several housing options available that range from living in a facility to residents living in their own home or apartment, with community-based support services.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care programs are an excellent option for older adults who live with caregivers but need daily supervision during work hours. In Idaho,adult day care centersmust be licensed or otherwise approved and available to adults at least 60 years of age. Centers are required to offer programs that support health and social needs, and each participant must have an established plan of care. Meals are provided, and operational staff is required to undergo Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) training.

Although similar to assisted living, adult day care is not available for overnight care and is meant to help people who live at home. On average, Idaho adult day care centers charge $2,167 each month.

In-Home Care

There are two types of in-home care available in Idaho: homemaker services and home healthcare. Homemaker services generally provide personal care and may also help with errands, chores, and housekeeping. Home healthcare can deliver these services and also offer medical care such as skilled nursing and medication management. Unlike assisted living care, in-home care is provided to people in their homes, making it a good choice for those who prefer to age in place. However, it doesn’t give seniors access to the social and recreational programming of assisted living communities. The average cost of homemaker services or the cost of a home health aide is $5,434 per month for either service. 

Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Idaho

There are over 200 assisted living facilities in Idaho with over 8,300 licensed beds in the state.  The largest provider of assisted living facilities in the US, Brookdale operates 5 assisted living communities in Idaho, with 1 community in nearby Ontario, Oregon.  Some other providers of assisted living in Idaho include; Grace Assisted Living with 4 facilities, Ace Elder Care, 2 communities, The Gables 3 communities, The Cottages, 4 communities and Pacifica Senior Living operates 2 communities in the state.

Quality and Safety of Assisted Living Facilities in Idaho

Assisted living facilities require licensing to operate in Idaho, and these communities must meet the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’shealth and safety standards. The local fire department must issue a statement confirming they are within range for fire assistance, and buildings must be evaluated for safety features and structural integrity.

Any employee with direct access to residents must complete a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Staff members must also complete training covering medication assistance, supervision, intervention procedures for unsafe situations, and behavior management. New hires who will be working with residents must be supervised until they complete at least 16 hours of orientation training within the first 30 days of being hired. Additionally, eight hours of training must be completed each year. Communities that accept individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia are required to undergo targeted training that covers the unique needs of these residents.

The community must retain a licensed registered nurse to develop care plans for residents and conduct regular assessments to evaluate the need for potential changes in care. Assistance with medications can only be offered by staff members who have completed a medication assistance course through one of the local community colleges. This does not count toward the orientation or yearly maintenance training.

Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Idaho

Theaverage cost of assisted living carein Idaho is $3,838 per month. This cost is $662 lower than the national average of $4,500 per month.  The cost of living in Idaho is 2.1% higher than the national average with healthcare costs nearly 2.8% higher and housing costs 10.4% more than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. Costs in the state range from $3,500 in Idaho Falls to $4,675 in Couer d'Alene. 

How Costs Compare In Nearby States

If you live close to one of Idaho’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option.  Two of Idaho's neighbors could offer lower cost assisted living with Nevada and Utah both having lower average costs at $3,750 and $3,500 respectively.  The other border states have higher average costs ranging from Wyoming at an average cost of $4,169 per month up to $6,000 per month in Washington.  In many states in the west, you could find closer communities in bordering states, depending on where you live, so as you are doing your research, be sure to include states beyond the border of some states.

Paying For Assisted Living Care In Idaho

The average cost of assisted living in Idaho is around $46,000 per year, so, understandably, you or a family member may be wondering how to pay for care. A range of options is available to fund senior housing in the state. 

Private Funds

Selling a home is a common way for seniors to raise funds for assisted living care. Income from pensions and Social Security may also pay for some care. Other examples of private funds include your retirement accounts, mutual funds, and other investments. 

Idaho Optional State Supplemental

People over the age of 65 may receive cash assistance through Idaho's Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD) program to assist with living expenses. If eligible, the amount received depends on the person’s living arrangements and financial situation. The maximum payout for this program is $53 per month, which can be used to help with the cost of assisted living programs.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance covers personal care, residential care, and other long-term support and services. Each plan is different; however, most offer a daily amount based on the policy that pays for assistance with activities of daily living. Most people buy a policy in their 50s or 60s and access it when required. If you or your family member has a policy, read it carefully to see what care it covers. 

Programs For Veterans

Idaho has three Veterans Homesaround the state, in Boise, Lewiston, and Pocatello. These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Idaho who served in the military. The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also has offices around the state where team members can help people obtain benefits and services. This includes theAid and AttendanceBenefit, which can help qualified veterans fund personal care. 

Elderlife Financial can help you understandhow to pay for assisted living.

What Is Included With Assisted Living Care In Idaho?

The services provided in assisted living communities generally come under three broad categories: personal care, medical care, and amenities. 

Most people move to assisted living communities because they look for easy access to personal care. These services assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, walking, and toileting. Communities also provide supervision and can deliver care for unforeseen needs or in cases of emergencies.  

In Idaho, ACHs must provide care and services in the resident’s care plan. This can include coordinating medical care and appointments. Communities may also deliver health services, with 82% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 57% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 78% of ACHs have hospice services.

ACHs may provide specialized care for people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. These special care units have additional security measures to ensure residents don't wander, a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Typically, they also offer programs designed to improve cognitive function and routines that help lower stress.

Mental health issues are a growing consideration for communities, and services to address these concerns are becoming more common. In Idaho, 86% of communities conduct depression screening, and 66% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 62% of ACHs. Social workers can provide counseling, conduct assessments, and help ensure residents have access to all the resources they need.

Amenities refer to other features and services of the community. ACHs offer three meals a day and coordinate activity programs to help residents stay active and connected with families, and the community. Idaho facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services.

Wellness Resources in Idaho

Idaho has 52 hospitals within the state. Two major hospitals havehigh rankings by U.S. News,and medical care is supplemented through over 100 urgent care and specialty clinics scattered through many cities and towns.

St. Luke's Regional Medical Centeris a not-for-profit healthcare system and is Idaho's top-ranking hospital. It is also identified as high-performing in a variety of cardiac conditions as well as diabetes care.St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Centeris a private hospital affiliated with Trinity Health, ranking high in stroke care and hip and knee replacement surgeries.

Mental Health Resources

 The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare maintains a list ofmental and behavioral health servicesfor adults, along with two state hospitals. Several crisis centers also offer meals, a bed, and mental health services for up to 24 hours to help navigate the next steps to healing.Empower Idahois an advocacy program that helps connect Idahoans with the mental and behavioral health services that best meet their needs. There are also resources available throughNAMI Idaho, the National Alliance on Mental Illness state branch.

The Transition Into Assisted Living In Idaho

The decision to move into an assisted living community can be difficult. Generally, you'll notice changes in your loved ones that suggest they need some assistance. Signs that this environment could be beneficial include increased isolation, loss of mobility, noticeable weight loss or gain, and signs that they’re neglecting household chores. 

Your older family member may be the one to start talking about assisted living. For many seniors, the idea of moving into a home where cooking, laundry, and other chores are taken care of is appealing. For seniors who realize they need help with daily tasks, the addition of personal care may come as a relief. In Idaho, 29% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (38%), toileting (46%), and walking (62%). Caregivers in ACHs help 46% of residents to dress, and 64% of residents need help bathing. 

If you think your family member would benefit from assisted living, start by talking about it openly. Highlight the positives of a move, such as social activities, cooked meals, and easily accessible assistance. Some ACHs provide respite care, which may allow your family member to have a trial run. Remember, this should be a conversation, not a lecture. Stay open to their opinion. If they’re not ready to transition to assisted living, talk about the care they need to stay at home. 

Idaho Assisted Living Oversight

Idaho assisted living residents have several resources at their disposal regarding facility compliance. TheBureau of Facility Standardsworks with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services to promote resident rights and enforce rule and regulation compliance. Idaho'sLong-Term Care Ombudsmanalso advocates for residents, offering information to families and working with theIdaho Commission on Aging.Adult protective servicesis another branch available to handle abuse complaints, neglect, and exploitation.

Legal Resources

The term "elder law" is often associated with estate planning, trusts, and helping obtain benefits through Medicare or Medicaid. Unfortunately, the field has grown to include cases involving elder abuse, elder neglect, and exploitation. Skilled attorneys can help older adults affected by these issues. Idaho offers several resources to help navigate these issues. 

TheSenior Medicare Patroldivision of the Idaho Commission on Aging primarily deals with suspected Medicare fraud. The program also educates older adults and their caregivers about identifying Medicare fraud and other common scams that target this age group.

People needing legal assistance can contact their localArea Agency on Agingor get in touch withIdaho Legal Aid. Legal aid provides free legal advice to older adults and can assist with representation for civil legal issues.