Originally established along the Cedar River in 1845 near two Meskwaki tribal camps, the city of Waterloo is now home to more than 67,000 people. Nearly one out of every six residents in the area is aged 65 and over, and they benefit from low living costs, friendly tax policies, good air quality and affordable public transportation. 

Seniors in Waterloo who require some help with daily activities may choose to live in an assisted living community. These communities help older adults who exercise some level of independence but need help with meals, housekeeping, medications, grooming or other activities of daily living. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey for 2020, the average monthly cost for assisted living in Waterloo is $5,060.

Families can learn more about the costs of assisted living and other senior care options in this guide. Links to resources that can help seniors in or looking for assisted living are also available. 

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Waterloo, IA


Friendship Village – Lakeview Lodge

312 Southbrooke Dr., Waterloo, IA, 50702

Friendship Village Lakeview Lodge is located in Waterloo, Iowa, just a few minutes away from Gates Park Golf Course, Hope Martin Memorial Park and Crossroads Mall. Residents are impressed by the numbe … (read more)
Friendship Village Lakeview Lodge is located in Waterloo, Iowa, just a few minutes away from Gates Park Golf Course, Hope Martin Memorial Park and Crossroads Mall. Residents are impressed by the numbe … (read more)

The Rose of Waterloo

421 Oak Ave., Waterloo, IA, 50703


Bickford of Cedar Falls

5101 University Ave., Cedar Falls, IA, 50613

Bickford of Cedar Falls is nestled in Cedar Falls, Iowa, not far from College Square Mall, Walgreens and George Wyth State Park. Relatives of residents are impressed by the facility’s pet-friendly apa … (read more)
Bickford of Cedar Falls is nestled in Cedar Falls, Iowa, not far from College Square Mall, Walgreens and George Wyth State Park. Relatives of residents are impressed by the facility’s pet-friendly apa … (read more)

CedarStone Senior Living

4715 Algonquin Drive, Cedar Falls, IA, 50613


Windhaven Assisted Living

5500 South Main Street, Cedar Falls, IA, 50613

I’m staying at Windhaven Assisted Living and it’s a nice place. There are many different buildings out here and right now, ours is being renovated and it’s not done yet. It’ll be nicer when it’s done. … (read more)
I’m staying at Windhaven Assisted Living and it’s a nice place. There are many different buildings out here and right now, ours is being renovated and it’s not done yet. It’ll be nicer when it’s done. … (read more)

2013

Western Home Communities

420 E 11th St., Cedar Falls, IA, 50613

Western Home Communities is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, just minutes from Washington Park and South Riverside Trail. Visitors say the facility’s rooms are beautiful and clean and that residents can … (read more)
Western Home Communities is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, just minutes from Washington Park and South Riverside Trail. Visitors say the facility’s rooms are beautiful and clean and that residents can … (read more)

Windermere

5018 S. Main Street, Cedar Falls, IA, 50613


Cedar Falls Health Care Center

1728 W 8th St, Cedar Falls, IA, 50613

Staff is rude and unfriendly, management seemed to be extremely unprofessional
Staff is rude and unfriendly, management seemed to be extremely unprofessional

What to Consider About Assisted Living in Waterloo

Assisted living facilities, officially known as Assisted living programs (ALPs), are licensed and regulated by Iowa’s Department of Inspections & Appeals. ALPs are required to follow the rules and policies outlined in Iowa Code Chapter 231C. The state government encourages ALP residents to participate in decision-making. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Assisted Living in Waterloo

  • Waterloo has a very low cost of living, 25.5% lower than the national average and 8.2% lower than the Iowa state average. Groceries, utilities, transportation and miscellaneous expenses, such as clothing, restaurants and entertainment, all fall below the national and state averages, which will benefit seniors on a budget.
  • Moderately friendly tax policies complement Waterloo’s low cost of living. Seniors are exempt from all state tax on their social security income, which may be helpful for those paying for assisted living. Other forms of retirement income, such as pensions and investments, are taxed, but there is an exemption of up to $6,000 for low-income seniors. 
  • Based on measurements from the EPA, Waterloo has above average air quality and water quality. Seniors can feel safe drinking water in their assisted living community and breathing the air when they go outdoors. Some communities may warn residents not to venture outdoors on days with high particle pollution or ozone.
  • Waterloo has a robust public transportation system with special services and discounts for seniors. Seniors unable to travel on fixed routes may be eligible for paratransit services that can take them to medical appointments and other errands from their assisted living community. Fares are just $0.75 for people aged 60 and older.
  • The rates of violent and property crime in Waterloo are high compared to the state and national averages. These rates, however, fell significantly between the years 2015 and 2020. Many assisted living facilities implement security features to give residents and families peace of mind. 
  • Waterloo has an average climate for the United States. It gets 36 inches of rain and 28 inches of snow per year. In the summer, average high temperatures are around 83 degrees, which is very pleasant for seniors who enjoy outdoor activities. 

Paying for Assisted Living in Waterloo

The average cost for assisted living in Waterloo is $5,060 per month. Seniors pay about $1,000 more per month for assisted living in Waterloo than in Iowa as a whole, and they pay about $760 more than the United States average.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Nearby Cities

Waterloo is the most expensive city for assisted living in Iowa. The only city with similar costs is the state capital of Des Moines, with a monthly average of $5,005. To the southwest of Waterloo in Ames, assisted living is significantly cheaper at $3,723 per month. Cedar Rapids and Dubuque to the east are about $500 less expensive per month at $4,450 and $4,568, respectively.

$5060

Waterloo

$4073

Iowa

$4300

The United States

$3723

Ames

$4450

Cedar Rapids

$4568

Dubuque

$5005

Des Moines

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care

Assisted living, which includes room and board, is neither the least nor most expensive form of senior care in Waterloo. Homemaker services and home health aides have an estimated cost of $4,767 per month. Nursing homes provide room and board but are more expensive due to the higher level of medical services provided. Nursing homes have an estimated cost of $7,118 per month for a semiprivate room and $7,452 for a private room. The cheapest form of senior care in Waterloo is adult day health care, which costs an average of $1,300 per month.

$4767

Homemaker Services

$4767

Home Health Aide

$1300

Adult Day Health Care

$5060

Assisted Living Facility

$7118

Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)

$7452

Nursing Home Facility (private room)

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Waterloo

Seniors in the Waterloo 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 Iowa

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 Waterloo

Waterloo seniors have access to several free resources to help them find assisted living facilities or improve their living situation within an existing community. These resources range from government agencies that address facility complaints to nonprofit organizations that offer companionship.  

Resource

Contact

Service

(319) 296-4274

This senior program in Waterloo provides volunteering opportunities for older adults as well as companionship for isolated residents in assisted living programs. Volunteers help seniors in need with everything from local transportation and meal preparation to simple companionship. These services are designed to supplement the support seniors already receive in their existing ALP. To qualify for the program, seniors must earn 200% or less of the federal poverty line and pass state and federal background checks.

(800) 779-8707

The Area Agency on Aging that serves Waterloo and other cities in Northeast Iowa offers a wealth of services that enhance the lives of seniors living in assisted living programs. These include case management, local transportation, health and fitness programs and dementia services. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) helps families locate benefits and insurance to pay for long-term care. NEI3A also advocates for the rights of older adults living in assisted living communities.

(866) 236-1430

Representatives from Iowa's Long-Term Care Ombudsman office are responsible for protecting the rights and interests of seniors residing in assisted living programs throughout Waterloo and the state. Anyone who witnesses or suspects abuse, neglect or other harmful issues at a facility can contact the ombudsman office for help. The program can also give seniors and families important information about their rights.

(319) 291-2512

Waterloo residents eligible for VA benefits can contact the Commission of Veteran Affairs to apply for a program or resolve issues with their payments. The VA pension can help pay for assisted living, and Aid & Attendance benefits are available to low-income veterans who need additional funds for services they can't afford. The Commission of Veterans Affairs serves veterans and their surviving spouses in Waterloo and the rest of Black Hawk County. 

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Waterloo

Waterloo-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 Iowa