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Independent Living in Michigan

Michigan is an inviting destination for retirees and independent living residents. The state has 14 metropolitan areas and more miles of freshwater coastline than any other state. This gives residents access to a wealth of attractions from scenic Mackinac Island at the junction between the Upper and Lower Peninsula to downtown Detroit. Residents can view works from the great masters at the Detroit Institute of Arts and learn more about the area’s role in the automotive industry at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

Michigan ranks well for its affordability. The cost of living is about 10% lower than the national average. Independent living is also more affordable than other parts of the country. Seniors can expect to pay roughly $2,730 per month depending on the community and type of apartment or cottage they select. Independent living facilities provide social and recreational activities rather than personal care and medical support. However, they’re typically part of larger continuing care retirement communities that allow seniors to add additional services as their needs change.

If you’re considering independent living, this guide explores average costs in Michigan and popular financing options. You’ll also find information about state agencies that can help with advance planning, long-term care insurance and government benefits.

The Cost of Independent Living in Michigan

When trying to decide how to pay for independent living, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of independent living in Michigan and its 48 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in Michigan's Top Cities

While independent living care costs an average of $2,515 a month in Michigan, individual cities within the state show more variety in their local care costs. Detroit averages $3,471 a month, for example, while Flint's care costs average $2,381. Seniors pay an average of $2,229 a month for independent living in Saginaw, while Dearborn has some of the lowest prices in the state at $1,939 a month for similar care.











Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Independent Living in Michigan

Independent living costs are expected to rise in Michigan by around 18%, from $2,270 a month to $2,678, during the period 2022 - 2024. This is more than the projected national increase over the same period of 13%, but it's less than the 22% increase in Illinois, from $2,535 in 2022 to a projected $3,102 in 2024. Wisconsin anticipates a more modest 3% overall hike, from $3,130 to $3,217, while Missouri and Kentucky both actually project small drops in their average cost of care, by $80 and $68 a month, respectively.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

While some seniors thrive with independent living at $2,515 a month, it's not their only option. Depending on a senior's need for supervision and therapy, costs can vary by several thousand dollars a month. Assisted living in Michigan costs an average of $4,111, while memory care runs to $5,452.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Can You Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Independent Living in Michigan?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Medicaid and Medicare to help pay the monthly fee for residing in an Independent Living community. For seniors who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), there may be financial assistance programs available to help cover the cost of care in Independent Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need a higher level of care, read our guide to Assisted Living in Michigan.

Read on for more information about using alternative means to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc.

Paying for Independent Living in Michigan

Independent living is relatively affordable because most facilities only charge residents for housing and upkeep. Unfortunately, this means that seniors must pay for these services privately using retirement income, government pensions or personal investments. Additionally, some communities charge buy-in fees. If you’re selling your home, this may not be a problem. Otherwise, you might want to consider a reverse mortgage or short-term bridge loan. Long-term care insurance typically won’t cover room and board, but it may pay for personal assistance, such as help with errands and meal preparation, if the community offers these services to independent living residents. You can find more information about payment options in our guide.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Michigan

There are many resources in Michigan that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.


Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Area Agencies on AgingIn Michigan, Area Agencies on Aging offers services to seniors that help them maintain a high quality of life. Seniors can get connected to local services, including nutritional programs, transportation services, support groups and health and wellness activities. The Agency advocates for older adults through committees and councils that fight for legislation protecting seniors from elder abuse and fraud. Seniors and caregivers can also learn more about health and wellness through classes and events run by AAAs.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Michigan provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.
Michigan State Emergency Relief Program517-241-3740The State Emergency Relief Program may provide emergency assistance for low-income households who experience sudden and unexpected temporary hardship. Help may be through direct service provision or financial aid to assist with a variety of emergency needs, such as heating or utility bills and vital home maintenance.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Michigan seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Health Link Program517-241-3740The Michigan Health Link Program is a managed care program for qualifying seniors who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Services may be provided at home or in an assisted living facility and may include medical care, help with daily activities, accessibility adaptations, medical equipment and supplies, meal delivery, adult day care and transportation.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Michigan seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Meals on WheelsMichigan Meals on Wheels is a food assistance program that's part of a 5,000+ member nationwide network. Eligibility is open to seniors ages 60 and over, with meals served locally in a congregate setting or delivered daily to the resident's home if they're immobile. Those who get their meals delivered also receive friendly visits with safety checks to monitor their risk for falls, emergencies or other accidents. Meals are served on a sliding-fee scale based on income.
Michigan Senior Project FRESHMichigan's Senior Project FRESH is a food-assistance program that strives to help eligible Michigan residents age 60 and older eat healthier. This income-based program offers free nutrition education for recipients, along with coupons that seniors can exchange for program-specific fresh, healthy foods at local roadside stands and farmers' markets. Senior Project FRESH runs from May 1 through October 31 each year, with coupon-distribution sites located in each of the state's counties.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Michigan seniors who meet certain income criteria can apply to local resources to help them pay for prescription drugs. Eligible residents can also receive assistance through health insurance and other programs to access free or discounted medical services.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan RX CardThe Michigan RX Card is the state's prescription assistance program. Available to all residents and free to obtain, the card entitles holders to significant discounts on prescription medications at participating pharmacies.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Michigan have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Section 504 Home Repair ProgramThe Section 504 Home Repair Program may provide grants to low-income seniors to remove health and safety risks from the home. The maximum grant is $10,000, and seniors must live in an area covered by the program.
Michigan Weatherization Assistance ProgramThe Weatherization Assistance Program helps low income homeowners and renters save money on utility bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. Free services are provided by Community Action Agencies and nonprofit organizations and may include home insulation and ventilation.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Michigan seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Elder Law of Michigan866-400-9164Elder Law of Michigan is a nonprofit organization that provides seniors with legal help. Its services include pension counseling, benefits counseling, financial legal advice and help in elder abuse cases.
Michigan Elder Abuse Hotline800-996-6228Available through the Department of the Attorney General, the Elder Abuse Hotline offers an easy and convenient way to report signs of elder abuse, whether it occurred in a private residence or a residential care facility. An enforcement officer or other employee of the office works to resolve the complaint and provides safe housing for the senior while the complaint is being investigated.
Michigan Lakeshore Legal AidMichigan Lakeshore Legal Aid supports senior state residents with free law advice. Areas covered include probate law, guardianships, public benefits — such as Medicaid and Social Security, consumer scams and financial elder abuse. The organization has 12 locations in the Southeast Michigan area, all of which are open for walk-in service Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Seniors can also call MLLA's legal helpline between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on most weekdays.
Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program866-485-9393The Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for the rights and welfare of seniors living in licensed nursing homes and other senior living communities. Funded by the federal and state governments, the program provides ombudsman services to seniors, including concerns with care, residents' rights and quality of life. Services are free, and ombudsmen act on cases with confidentiality. The program also supports the passage of laws beneficial to the state's long-term care residents.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Michigan help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Alzheimer's Association — Greater Michigan Chapter800-272-3900In addition to the 24-hour helpline, the Greater Michigan Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has a wide range of services and programs for seniors and their caregivers, including social engagement programs and professional training curriculums. Care counselors can create a person-centered long-term care plan for individuals with memory loss and other cognitive issues. Support groups are available via Zoom for seniors with early-stage or young-onset symptoms along with support groups for Spanish speakers.
Alzheimer's Association Michigan Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer's Association works with seniors who are living with dementia, helping them access local resources and services that can provide them with memory support and cognitive therapy. Additionally, this organization offers caregiver training and support groups for both seniors and caregivers.
Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center734-936-8803Part of a University of Michigan initiative, the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center conducts memory research and education, as well as wellness and clinical care. Support groups for those experiencing mild cognitive impairment are provided, as are ongoing research studies that include memory training studies, medication trials, lifestyle intervention studies and more.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Michigan resources help older adults by providing advice on Medicaid options, waiver programs and eligibility criteria to help seniors receive the right health care benefits.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Medicaid MI Choice Waiver ProgramMichigan's MI Choice Waiver Program allows qualifying seniors to receive care at home or in an assisted living community rather than a nursing home. The program aims to delay or prevent admission into an institutional care setting.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Michigan help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Michigan resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Summer Tax Deferment248-524-3333Michigan's Summer Tax Deferment allows seniors to push back the due date of summer taxes to February 14, providing additional time to streamline their budgets. Seniors are eligible for the deferment if they're aged 62 or older and their household income doesn't exceed $40,000 a year. To qualify, seniors must complete an application and submit their previous year's Homestead Property Tax Credit Form to the City Treasurer's Office by September 15.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Michigan retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan Energy Assistance Program and Home Heating CreditThe program's purpose is to provide assistance to low-income households in Michigan who may be struggling to cover the costs of their energy supply, such as electricity, gas and other fuels. In addition to developing an affordable payment plan to prevent energy suppliers from cutting off access to their services, the program also educates applicants about managing their energy sources more efficiently and cost-effectively. Home Heating Credit is a program aimed at helping low-income families pay some of their winter heating bills. Those who want to apply must do so before September 30.

Veteran's Services

Michigan retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Michigan VA Benefits and Health CareMichigan VA Benefits and Health Care services are specially designed to help senior veterans in the state access the services for which they are eligible. The department has offices throughout the state, including VA Medical Centers in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit, Iron Mountain, and Saginaw, as well as a regional benefits office in Detroit. The office offers regular events to inform and celebrate veterans. Additional benefits include life insurance, home loans, and compensation for in-home health and wellness services.

Directory of Independent Living Facilities in Michigan

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Independent Living in Michigan

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The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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