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Independent Living in South Dakota

Also known as the Rushmore State, South Dakota is an agricultural stronghold and popular tourist destination that’s home to 884,659 residents. Seniors aged 65 and older account for 17.2% of the population, which is slightly more than the national average, and by 2030, it’s estimated that nearly 30% of the population will be aged 60 or older. Retirees in South Dakota benefit from a low cost of living that’s 12% below the national average.

Long-term care costs are also more affordable than in other parts of the country. In fact, South Dakota seniors pay just $2,365 per month for independent living, which is 15% lower than the national average. Independent living is an attractive option for seniors who are healthy and active but don’t want to deal with all of the responsibilities of homeownership. These communities offer maintenance-free accommodations, on-site amenities and diverse recreational activities, and seniors can even sign up for restaurant-style meals. Since independent living is typically offered within assisted living facilities or continuing care retirement communities, seniors can stay in the same location, even if their needs change.

This guide provides information about independent living costs in South Dakota and neighboring states. It also touches on possible payment options and provides a directory of helpful programs and services.

The Cost of Independent Living in South Dakota

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 South Dakota and its 2 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in South Dakota's Top Cities

Costs vary across any state, and South Dakota's figure of $2,652 a month for independent living is just an average. In Sioux Falls, seniors can expect to pay $2,117 a month, while similar care services average $2,403 in Rapid City. Over the state line, independent living in Fargo, ND, averages $2,873 a month, while in Nebraska, Omaha seniors can expect to pay around $3,800 a month for independent living care.

South Dakota


Sioux Falls


Rapid City


Fargo, ND


Omaha, NE


Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Independent Living in South Dakota

Inflation has driven up costs everywhere, though the cost of independent living in South Dakota has performed oddly. From 2022–24, costs dipped 9% from $2,890 to $2,652 a month, before rising again to a projected $2,825. During the same period, national costs only went up from $2,810 to $3,162, a 13% rise. Wyoming has also seen a price drop, from $2,723 to $2,200 a month, while other states' increases have varied. Colorado, for example, rose 8% from $2,769 to $2,984, while Alaska and Nevada both saw 5% increases overall.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
South Dakota$2,890$2,652$2,825
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

At $2,652 a month, independent living may be an affordable option, but seniors have more living arrangements to choose from depending on the amenities featured and comprehensiveness of care. Assisted living in South Dakota averages $4,443 a month, while the more intensive supervision involved in memory care runs to $5,350.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


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

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 South Dakota.

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 South Dakota

Seniors who transition to independent living facilities can control their monthly expenses by paying a fixed rate for housing, utilities, maintenance and other value-added services. Because these communities don’t offer medically necessary personal care, there are fewer financial assistance programs, and most seniors pay for room and board out-of-pocket using Social Security benefits, investments or other forms of retirement income. Seniors who own their current home may consider selling it or applying for a bridge loan to cover buy-in fees. A reverse mortgage can also be a valuable source of funding, as long as one owner stays in the property. Our guide to independent living includes more information about expected costs and possible financing options.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in South Dakota

There are many resources in South Dakota 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
South Dakota Area Agencies on AgingSouth Dakota's Area Agencies on Aging offer vital programs to help older adults live quality lives at home. Services include adult day care, hot, nutritious meals delivered or available at day programs and homemaker services that provide help with daily activities, such as light housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping and meal preparation. AAA services in South Dakota also include coordinated medical and nonmedical transportation.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in South Dakota 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
South Dakota 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.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, South Dakota 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
South Dakota Home & Community-Based Options and Person Centered Excellence (HOPE) Waiver605-773-3656The Home & Community-Based Options and Person Centered Excellence Waiver aims to help seniors delay or avoid moving into a nursing home. Eligible seniors can receive a variety of services and supports at home or in the community, from personal care to nutritional supplements to specialized medical equipment.

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 South Dakota seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
South Dakota Adult Nutrition ProgramFunded by government funds and private donations, the South Dakota Adult Nutrition Program aims to provide food security for seniors while encouraging socialization. The program helps promote the health and well-being of residents aged 60 years and older by providing access to proper nutrition. Hot meals are served on weekdays in various adult nutrition locations throughout the state. The congregate setting also serves as a daily fellowship opportunity for seniors. Home-delivered meals are also available.
South Dakota Meals on WheelsSouth Dakota Meals on Wheels serves seniors statewide through independently run food assistance programs and support services. Most programs, whose eligibility criteria may vary, are open to seniors aged 60 and over, offering services for free or at a low cost based on a sliding-fee scale. These include home-delivered meals for immobile seniors and nutritious congregate meals served in a social environment. Additional services vary by location, but may include pet meal delivery, transportation assistance for medical appointments and errands, and emergency meal delivery during rough weather conditions.
South Dakota Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)605-773-3413The South Dakota Commodity Supplemental Food Program assists low-income seniors 60 and older to access healthy foods. Using federal funding, state agencies distribute USDA foods to public and nonprofit private local agencies, where eligible seniors can receive them. This program isn't designed to provide a complete diet, and local agencies can provide referrals to other nutrition and welfare programs to bridge the gap.
South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)South Dakota's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps seniors and low-income state residents purchase healthy food. Program participants receive debit cards they can use to buy SNAP-eligible foods at grocery and convenience stores, though funds aren't intended to replace an entire food budget. To qualify, seniors must demonstrate a net monthly income at or below the state's poverty line, which as of 2023 is $1,133 for a single-member household.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in South Dakota collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
South Dakota AT4ALL866-274-2594This program provides gently used durable medical equipment to South Dakotans in need. Available equipment may vary, but typically includes devices such as wheelchairs, scooters and patient lifts. All equipment is sanitized and refurbished before being distributed to seniors.
South Dakota iCanConnect Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program800-825-4595Through the National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program, Relay South Dakota distributes free communications equipment and software. Eligible seniors may receive braille devices, screen readers, specialized keyboards and other assistive devices they need to stay in touch with loved ones.

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 South Dakota have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
South Dakota Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)Low-income households in South Dakota may qualify for free energy-efficiency upgrades. This program may pay for home weatherization projects such as sealing cracks, installing insulation and repairing heating systems. Funds are limited, so there may be a waiting list for seniors seeking services.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in South Dakota 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
South Dakota 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 South Dakota 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
South Dakota Sales & Property Tax Refund for Senior & Disabled Citizens800-829-9188The South Dakota Department of Revenue offers sales and property tax refunds to eligible residents. This refund is calculated based on an applicant's income.

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. South Dakota retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
South Dakota Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)605-773-3165The South Dakota Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program distributes financial support for energy bills during the winter months. To qualify, seniors must submit documentation proving their household's income falls under maximum requirements and they're responsible for paying their home's heating costs. As of 2023, a single-person household is eligible for LIHEAP with a $6,795 maximum income. LIHEAP payments go directly to the heating company. The associated Energy Crisis Intervention Program provides immediate assistance for seniors facing disconnection notices.

Veteran's Services

South Dakota 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
South Dakota VA Benefits and Health CareSouth Dakota VA Benefits and Health Care provides senior veterans with VA claims assistance and benefits. Health care is available at multiple veteran's medical facilities throughout the state. Vet centers are also located in multiple South Dakota cities to offer counseling and referral services. For an immediate crisis, veterans can reach help by dialing 988 and pressing 1. South Dakota is also home to three national cemeteries.

Independent Living Facilities in South Dakota

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