As the state capital and economic center of Iowa, Des Moines is an attractive spot for active seniors who want access to many recreational opportunities while enjoying good air quality and friendly tax policies. That’s why more than 25,000 adults aged 65 and over now call “Hartford of the West” home.

Assisted living facilities in Des Moines provide a home and community for seniors who need varying degrees of support carrying out daily activities of living, including housekeeping, grooming, meal preparation and taking medication. These facilities are a more affordable option than nursing homes for seniors who can’t remain independent in their own properties but don’t require constant medical supervision. The average monthly cost for assisted living in Des Moines is $5,005 per month. 

This guide is for seniors and families who want to learn more about assisted living in Des Moines. In addition to cost information for the city and surrounding areas, the guide offers more information about the city and links to local free resources, including organizations that can help find benefits that make paying for assisted living easier.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Des Moines, IA

Edencrest at Beaverdale

3410 Beaver Ave, Des Moines, IA, 50310

Edencrest at Beaverdale is a retirement living community in a peaceful neighborhood just minutes from downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Loved ones are impressed with the facility’s restaurant-style dining, … (read more)
Edencrest at Beaverdale is a retirement living community in a peaceful neighborhood just minutes from downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Loved ones are impressed with the facility’s restaurant-style dining, … (read more)

3801 Grand

3801 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA, 50312

3801 Grand, a Newbury Living community, is close to commercial establishments in the North Grand neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa. Independent and assisted living residents enjoy plenty of activities … (read more)
3801 Grand, a Newbury Living community, is close to commercial establishments in the North Grand neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa. Independent and assisted living residents enjoy plenty of activities … (read more)

Ramsey Village

1611 27th St., Des Moines, IA, 50301

Ramsey Village is an assisted living facility based in Des Moines, Iowa just moments away from Buel Field, Cowles Library and the bustling downtown area. The facility earns praise for being well-kept … (read more)
Ramsey Village is an assisted living facility based in Des Moines, Iowa just moments away from Buel Field, Cowles Library and the bustling downtown area. The facility earns praise for being well-kept … (read more)

Prairie Hills at Des Moines

5815 SE 27th Street, Des Moines, IA, 50320

Prairie Hills Des Moines was very gracious. They gave me plenty of information. I had no trouble with them at all. They showed me a 1-bedroom, which is kind of their demonstration apartment. They had … (read more)
Prairie Hills Des Moines was very gracious. They gave me plenty of information. I had no trouble with them at all. They showed me a 1-bedroom, which is kind of their demonstration apartment. They had … (read more)

Edencrest at Riverwoods

2210 E. Park Ave., Des Moines, IA, 50320

Edencrest at Riverwoods, an assisted living and independent retirement living community in Des Moines, is conveniently located next to a commercially-zoned area. Residents and their loved ones rave ab … (read more)
Edencrest at Riverwoods, an assisted living and independent retirement living community in Des Moines, is conveniently located next to a commercially-zoned area. Residents and their loved ones rave ab … (read more)

Valley View Village

2555 Guthrie Ave, Des Moines, IA, 50317

Village Assisted Living is located conveniently near a major freeway in Des Moines, Iowa. Housing options for seniors include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, and there’s restaurant-st … (read more)
Village Assisted Living is located conveniently near a major freeway in Des Moines, Iowa. Housing options for seniors include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, and there’s restaurant-st … (read more)

The Gardens Assisted Living

2910 East 16th Street,, Des Moines, IA, 50316

The Gardens Assisted Living, located in northeast Des Moines, Iowa, is close to I-235, medical clinics and several restaurants. Visitors to the community praise the well-decorated, large bedrooms that … (read more)
The Gardens Assisted Living, located in northeast Des Moines, Iowa, is close to I-235, medical clinics and several restaurants. Visitors to the community praise the well-decorated, large bedrooms that … (read more)

Wesley Acres

3520 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50312

Wesley Acres is a retirement community in the Greenwood neighborhood, just moments away from downtown Des Moines. Visitors are impressed by the clean, organized amenities, welcoming atmosphere, helpfu … (read more)
Wesley Acres is a retirement community in the Greenwood neighborhood, just moments away from downtown Des Moines. Visitors are impressed by the clean, organized amenities, welcoming atmosphere, helpfu … (read more)

Calvin Community

4210 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA, 50310

Calvin Community, a faith-based, not-for-profit retirement complex, lies in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines. Family members praise the highly knowledgeable and dedicated long-term caregivers … (read more)
Calvin Community, a faith-based, not-for-profit retirement complex, lies in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines. Family members praise the highly knowledgeable and dedicated long-term caregivers … (read more)

Rose of Des Moines

1330 19th St., Des Moines, IA, 50314

Rose of Des Moines is an assisted living community located in a vibrant neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents who enjoy the outdoors give the facility high marks for its well-maintained grounds … (read more)
Rose of Des Moines is an assisted living community located in a vibrant neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents who enjoy the outdoors give the facility high marks for its well-maintained grounds … (read more)

Walden Point

1200 Fourth St., Des Moines, IA, 50314

My father-in-law is in Walden Point. He has been there for about 3 years. However, they changed the food there, and change is a tough thing for a guy that age. So, he is putting up with the things tha … (read more)
My father-in-law is in Walden Point. He has been there for about 3 years. However, they changed the food there, and change is a tough thing for a guy that age. So, he is putting up with the things tha … (read more)


VA Central Iowa Healthcare System Community Living Center

3600 30th Street, Des Moines, IA, 50310

The staff is very good with the residents and takes very good care of them. They call me with the slightest issue. It could be cleaner, as my grandfather sat in a room in which he had peed in the corn … (read more)
The staff is very good with the residents and takes very good care of them. They call me with the slightest issue. It could be cleaner, as my grandfather sat in a room in which he had peed in the corn … (read more)

2015

Bickford of Urbandale

5915 Sutton Place, Urbandale, IA, 50322

Bickford of Urbandale is nestled in a residential neighborhood just off of I-80 and I-35, near the Urbandale Healthcare Center. Visitors note the homey, personable feel of the facility right away and … (read more)
Bickford of Urbandale is nestled in a residential neighborhood just off of I-80 and I-35, near the Urbandale Healthcare Center. Visitors note the homey, personable feel of the facility right away and … (read more)

Edencrest at Siena Hills

455 SW Ankeny Rd, Ankeny, IA, 50021

Just south of Des Moines Area Community College and minutes west of Fidley Springwood 9 Theaters, Edencrest at Siena Hills is an assisted and independent living and memory care facility in Ankeny, Iow … (read more)
Just south of Des Moines Area Community College and minutes west of Fidley Springwood 9 Theaters, Edencrest at Siena Hills is an assisted and independent living and memory care facility in Ankeny, Iow … (read more)

Edencrest at Green Meadows

6750 Corporate Drive, Johnston, IA, 50131

Edencrest at Green Meadows is located in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston, Iowa, about two blocks north of Interstate 35. Residents and visitors appreciate the modern feel of Edencrest and the beauty … (read more)
Edencrest at Green Meadows is located in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston, Iowa, about two blocks north of Interstate 35. Residents and visitors appreciate the modern feel of Edencrest and the beauty … (read more)

Bishop Drumm Retirement Center

5837 Winwood Drive, Johnston, IA, 50131

My parents will move into Bishop Drumm Retirement Center. The apartment building that they’re moving into is not ready yet. It was a faith-based decision. We have dealt directly with one staff member, … (read more)
My parents will move into Bishop Drumm Retirement Center. The apartment building that they’re moving into is not ready yet. It was a faith-based decision. We have dealt directly with one staff member, … (read more)

McCauley Terrace

5921 Winwood Drive, Johnston, IA, 50131

The staff at McAuley Terrace is perfect, very friendly, very open, and very helpful. The condition of the rooms is great. My mother-in-law is in a studio, which seems to meet all her needs. It’s very … (read more)
The staff at McAuley Terrace is perfect, very friendly, very open, and very helpful. The condition of the rooms is great. My mother-in-law is in a studio, which seems to meet all her needs. It’s very … (read more)

Prairie Vista Village

2785 1st Avenue South, Altoona, IA, 50009

We had a wonderful tour of the facility. Mackenzie was so friendly and informative about everything. The facility seemed to meet all our expectations.
We had a wonderful tour of the facility. Mackenzie was so friendly and informative about everything. The facility seemed to meet all our expectations.

Shores at Pleasant Hill

1500 Edgewater Drive, Pleasant Hill, IA, 50327

My parents moved in here years ago and have loved it. New management took over last year and has made significant changes – the latest is trying to force all residents from their 1 & 2 bedroom ap … (read more)
My parents moved in here years ago and have loved it. New management took over last year and has made significant changes – the latest is trying to force all residents from their 1 & 2 bedroom ap … (read more)

What to Consider About Assisted Living in Des Moines

Assisted living facilities in Des Moines, as well as the rest of Iowa, are licensed and regulated by the state’s Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA). Rules for assisted living facilities, officially recognized as Assisted living programs (ALPs), are located in Iowa Code Chapter 231C.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Assisted Living in Des Moines

  • According to the American Lung Association, the Des Moines area has good air quality. Polk County received a passing grade for particle pollution and a B for ozone pollution. In these conditions, seniors can feel comfortable breathing the air while enjoying the city’s numerous parks and outdoor features.
  • From golfing and hiking to fishing and swimming, outdoor activity is a regular part of life for many seniors in Des Moines. Saylorville Lake and Big Creek Lake are popular aquatic destinations, while Blank Park Zoo and the Des Moines Botanical Gardens are ideal spots for enjoying nature. The city also offers plenty of entertaining indoor attractions, including the extensive collection at the Des Moines Art Center.
  • Social security benefits are exempt from state income tax in Iowa, which gives the nine out of 10 seniors in Des Moines who receive money from social security greater ability to pay for assisted living. While Iowa has a marginal tax rate for withdrawals from retirement accounts, the $6,000 deduction provides some relief. 
  • Rates of property and violent crime are high when compared to state and national averages. Many assisted living facilities improve peace of mind for residents and families by implementing a variety of security features, including video surveillance, 24-hour monitoring and controlled access points.
  • Des Moines Area Transit (DART) operates 150 fixed bus routes and other transportation services that can move seniors throughout the city quickly and affordably. All adults aged 65 and over are eligible for the half-fare program. Seniors can fill out and submit the application at DART Central Station located at 620 Cherry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309.

Paying for Assisted Living in Des Moines

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2020, the average monthly cost for assisted living in Des Moines is $5,005. This is more than $900 more than the state average and $700 more than the national average.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Nearby Cities

At an average monthly cost of $5,005, Des Moines is one of the most expensive cities in the state for assisted living. The only place that costs more is Waterloo, with a monthly average of $5,060. The least expensive nearby city, Ames, costs an average of $3,723. Sioux City, which is on the western border with Nebraska, has a similar cost of $3,750. 

$5005

Des Moines

$4073

Iowa

$4300

The United States

$3723

Ames

$5060

Waterloo

$3750

Sioux City

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care

In Des Moines, assisted living is in the middle of the pack in terms of costs for senior care. Homemaker services and home health aides have an average cost of $5,148, making them slightly more expensive than assisted living. When possible, some families may opt for adult day health care, which costs just $1,517 per month. Nursing homes are the most expensive type of care in Des Moines: $7,148 for a semiprivate room and $7,604 per month for a private room.

$5148

Homemaker Services

$5148

Home Health Aide

$1517

Adult Day Health Care

$5005

Assisted Living Facility

$7148

Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)

$7604

Nursing Home Facility (private room)

Note: Data for Des Moines was unavailable, so data for the Des Moines area was used instead.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Des Moines

Seniors in the Des Moines area can have the cost of their assisted living accommodation subsidized by the Medicaid program. Medicaid waivers are also available for individuals who require long-term care that they are unable to pay for themselves. 

Learn more about these programs, plus who’s eligible, on our Assisted Living in Iowa page.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Des Moines

More Ways to Pay for Assisted Living

While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Reverse Mortgage

For more information about different ways to finance assisted living, visit our Assisted Living in Iowa page.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Des Moines

Seniors and families can file complaints, access benefits and get advice and assistance by contacting the government and private organizations that offer free assisted living resources in Des Moines. These organizations are available to current and prospective residents of assisted living programs. 

ResourceContactService
Long-Term Care Ombudsman(866) 236-1430Seniors, or other concerned parties, can contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to file a complaint about any issue related to an assisted living facility. Concerns can include anything from the treatment of a resident to a dispute involving an involuntary discharge. Ombudsman representatives are also available to inform seniors about their rights as residents at assisted living facilities throughout Des Moines and the rest of the state. 
Aging Resources of Central Iowa(515) 255-1310The primary goal of Aging Resources of Central Iowa is to give seniors and families in Des Moines and the surrounding areas the information they need to find assisted living and other services that enhance dignity and independence. Their nutrition and aging well programs may even improve the quality of life within assisted living facilities. They also strive to protect seniors from neglect and abuse.
Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)(800) 351-4664Seniors in Des Moines may be eligible for various programs that can help pay for assisted living. The mission at SHIIP is to help seniors access these programs so that their financial burden is reduced. Medicare benefits are SHIIP’s primary focus, but they can also help seniors with long-term care insurance, VA benefits and marketplace plans. Counselors are available at nine locations throughout Polk County. 
Iowa Legal Aid(800) 992-8161 Des Moines residents aged 60 and over can contact Iowa Legal Aid for free legal services. Their expert advice covers a wide range of topics related to assisted living, including benefits eligibility, long-term care agreements and rights as a resident. Seniors can apply online at any time. The Legal Hotline for Older Iowans is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Des Moines

Des Moines-area assisted living communities must adhere to the comprehensive set of state laws and regulations that all assisted living communities in Iowa are required to follow. Visit our Assisted Living in Iowa page for more information about these laws.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Des Moines