Top Ranked Assisted Living Facilities in Montana

There are 26 assisted living facilities in MT and the median cost of care is $4,450. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Montana is 3.81 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is MorningStar of Billings.

Despite its remote location and low population density, Montana is a popular retirement destination — especially among people who appreciate natural beauty or like having access to world-class fly fishing and other types of outdoor recreation. Approximately19.3%of the overall population of roughly 1,105,000 residents are aged 65 and over, which is almost 3% higher than the national average of 16.5%. Montana has nostate sales tax, and while there is a personal state income tax, it is capped at 6.5%. The information below provides information about assisted living communities in Montana, the costs of available options and the state regulates these facilities.

Montana Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options

Montana may be the fourth-largest state in the country, but it's the 48th most densely populated — meaning that there's plenty of individual breathing room out under those big skies. With an area of over 1 million square miles, there's a place for everyone in Montana. The largest communities in Montana are Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls, and there are plenty of small towns and rural options within Montana's 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.

Assisted living facilities in Montana provide older adults with services such as housekeeping, help with personal care, laundry, meal preparation, and household maintenance. TheMontana Department of Public Health and Human Serviceslicenses and monitors assisted living facilities in Montana. Montana has defined three levels of care for these facilities: 

  • Category Aprovides residents with basic assistance, such as housework and help getting dressed.
  • Category Boffers services, such as special diets as ordered by the resident's physician, incontinence care, and routine nursing tasks. 

Category Cprovides safe, secure environments for those with significant cognitive impairment who cannot make good basic decisions or recognize danger, causing them to be at risk of leaving the facility without regard for their own personal safety. 

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. Montana 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 $7,574 for a semi-private room and $8,060 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 is a residential facility 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

If you're employed during the day and are caring for an older adult family member in your home, you may be able to take your loved one to adult day care during the day. Adult day care typically provides supervision, personal care, meals, and help with the activities of daily living. 

Because adult day care is only offered during the daytime, it isn't the best choice for people who need around-the-clock care and supervision. The average monthly cost of adult day care in Montana is$2,600.

In-Home Care

There are two types of in-home care available in Montana: 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 and home health aides is $5,339 per month.

Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Montana

There are over 200 assisted living facilities in Montana with over 5,900 licensed beds.  The largest provider of assisted living, Brookdale has one community in the state of Montana.  There are some other companies with multiple locations in the state including The Springs, which has four communities, and Timber Creek Village which has two communities in Montana.

Quality and Safety of Assisted Living Facilities in Montana

Assisted living facilities in Montana have a statelicenseto operate. They must also have an administrator responsible for the facility's operations. Depending on the facility’s category, it must meet certain conditions. For example, administrators must complete 16 hours of relevant continuing education per year, and facilities must have emergency and fire safety plans. 

You can look up individual assisted living facilities in Montana through the Montana Department of Public Health and Human ServicesLicense/Certificate Verification Page. This will disclose the type of license a facility holds if there are administrative or disciplinary actions against it.

Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Montana

Theaverage cost of assisted living carein Montana is $4,450 per month. This is $50 lower than the national average of $4,500 per month. The cost of living in Montana is 6.0% lower than the national average with healthcare costs nearly 0.2% higher and housing costs 0.4% more than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located.The level of care that a person requires will impact the cost of assisted living, but where you also live matters. The level of care that a person requires will impact the cost of assisted living, but where you also live matters.The cost of assisted living ranges from a low of $4,150 in the Great Falls area to a high of $4,650 per month in the Missoula area of Montana.

How Costs Compare In Nearby States

If you live close to one of Montana’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option.   All of Montana’s neighbors have lower average monthly costs for assisted living.  Idaho and North Dakota both have average costs below $4,000 per month with Idaho at $3,838 and North Dakota at $3,391.  Wyoming still has a lower average monthly cost at $4,169 per month.

Paying For Assisted Living Care In Montana

The average cost of assisted living in Montana is around $53,000 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. 

Montana Optional State Supplement

Montana has anoptional state supplementthat is designed to increase the amount of SSI payments for those who qualify. The supplement is available to those living in specific living environments, including assisted living facilities. 

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

Montana has three Veterans Homes around the state, in Glendive, Columbia Falls, and Butte. These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Montana 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 the Aid 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 Montana?

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 Montana, 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 63% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 44% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 62% 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 Montana, 84% of communities conduct depression screening, and 44% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 48% 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 each other, their families, and the community. Montana facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services. 

Wellness Resources in Montana

Montana has severalhigh-ranking hospitals, including St. Vincent Healthcare - Billings, St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, and Barrett Hospital and Healthcare in Dillon. Overall, Montana has 69 hospitals. 

Mental Health Resources

TheNational Alliance on Mental Illnessis a national organization with a chapter in Montana. The organization provides free county mental health guides for each of Montana's 56 counties. Those struggling with mental health issues can also learn about community-based resources available in their location by callingMontana 211. People can also contact theAddictive and Mental Disorders Divisionof the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services or a localArea Agency on Aging

The Transition Into Assisted Living In Montana

The decision to move into an assisted living community can be difficult. Generally, you'll notice changes in your loved one 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 Montana, 17% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (27%), toileting (34%), and walking (51%). Caregivers in ACHs help 40% 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.

Montana Assisted Living Oversight

TheMontana Department of Health and Human Serviceslicenses assisted living facilities in the state. Montana also has aLong-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which handles complaints and concerns involving long-term care facilities. People with concerns about ALFs can also complete aCertification and Licensure Complaint Formwith the Office of the Inspector General. 

Legal Resources

The term "elder law" is often associated with estate planning, trusts, and help obtaining 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.

TheMontana Legal Services Developer Program provides older adults with resources such as telephone assistance, referrals to local pro bono providers, and other relevant legal services and hosts annual Legal Documents Clinics designed to help participants finalize their estate planning documents. This program works under the umbrella of Montana's Office on Aging. 

Montana Legal Services Association provides free legal assistance for those who meet income eligibility requirements. This service also provides free legal forms, self-help materials, and legal information.