Located in the Upper Midwest with coastlines on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, Wisconsin is a vibrant state with outstanding outdoor recreational amenities, world-class museums and recreated international villages. It has nearly 6 million residents and a large 65+ community that makes up about 18% of the population. It’s one of the cheapest states in the nation to live in, which may enable older adults to maintain their standard of living throughout their retirement years. While some large cities have high crime rates, in general, crime occurs at a comparatively low rate statewide.   

Independent living is an ideal option for active older adults who no longer want the stress and time commitments of maintaining a home. These communities offer a low-maintenance lifestyle, freeing up residents to pursue hobbies and interests. Monthly fees are very affordable compared to other residential options for seniors, with rates in Wisconsin coming in at $2,860 per month. This guide provides more information on the cost of independent living in Wisconsin, including how fees compare to costs in nearby states and common options for paying community fees. It also provides a list of resources in the state that can help older adults access social and recreational opportunities, services and options counseling.   

The Cost of Independent Living in Wisconsin

Note: There are no authoritative data sources that list Independent Living rates in cities and states throughout the nation. However, because this type of care costs 30%-40% less on average than Assisted Living, we estimated local care costs by subtracting 35% from Assisted Living rates in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey. 

Nationally, Independent Living communities charge $2,925 for monthly care, and in Wisconsin, rates are consistent with this median at $2,990. Care costs are relatively consistent across bordering states, although seniors may save money by living in Michigan, where monthly fees average $2,763, or in Iowa, where residents pay $2,839. Illinois seniors pay $2,917, and in Minnesota, care costs are slightly higher at $2,930. 

$2990

Wisconsin

$2925

The United States

$2930

Minnesota

$2839

Iowa

$2917

Illinois

$2763

Michigan

Wausau is the most economical city in Wisconsin to obtain Independent Living services, with residents paying $2,681 per month. In Fond du Lac, communities charge $2,714 for monthly services, and in La Crosse, fees are comparable at $2,771. The Green Bay region is a slightly costlier option for care at $2,893, and seniors in the Janesville region pay the state average of $2,990. In the state’s capital city of Madison, fees exceed state and national medians at $3,120, and in Racine, rates are the highest in the state at $3,543. 

$2681

Wausau Area

$2771

La Crosse Area

$2990

Janesville Area

$2893

Green Bay

$3543

Racine

$2714

Fond du Lac

$3120

Madison

Independent Living is the second-most-affordable senior care option in Wisconsin, with residents paying $2,990 per month on average for services. Adult Day Health Care is even more affordable at $1,723, but unlike Independent Living, it doesn’t include living expenses such as housing and utilities. Assisted Living is similar to Independent Living but includes personal care services for $4,600 monthly. In-Home Care costs $5,529 and includes personal care and housekeeping in the individual’s own home. Home Health Care is a little costlier at $5,720 and includes specialized skilled nursing services. Nursing Home care is the most expensive option, with those in shared rooms paying $9,022.  

$2990

Independent Living

$5529

In-Home Care

$5720

Home Health Care

$1723

Adult Day Health Care

$4600

Assisted Living

$9022

Nursing Home Care

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

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 Wisconsin.

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 Wisconsin

While medical insurance plans such as Medicare don’t pay for independent living, older adults in Wisconsin have several options for covering their living expenses. For many, selling their home provides enough money for independent living community expenses. Others opt to retain ownership of their property and generate passive income by renting it out or taking out a reverse mortgage. Some types of insurance, including Medicaid, long-term care insurance and veterans’ benefits, cover specific services provided in independent living communities, bringing down the individual’s monthly fees to a manageable amount.  

Independent Living Resources in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a variety of programs and organizations that serve seniors. The following table features agencies that operate statewide to provide options counseling, social and recreational activities, advocacy and outreach.  

Resource 
Contact 
Service 
(608) 266-1865 
Wisconsin is home to a network of Area Agencies on Aging that provide a range of services to state residents aged 60 and over. Milwaukee and Dane Counties each have their own agencies, and the state’s other 70 counties and 11 Indian Tribes are served by the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources in partnership with local aging agencies. Services vary across the state but typically include information and referrals for community programs, congregate and home-delivered meals, transportation and legal assistance. Some agencies also operate local senior centers where older adults participate in social and recreational programs. 
(800) 947-8387 
The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs works on behalf of veterans and their families and survivors through advocacy, information and assistance. It oversees the state’s veterans’ homes, Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemeteries, the regional claims office, The Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the Veterans Assistance Program. It also administers a range of programs to complement or supplement VA federal benefits, including licensing for hunting and fishing, park admission, tax benefits and health care assistance. 
(800) 242-1060 
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services administers several programs to help Medicare beneficiaries make educated decisions regarding their health insurance. The toll-free Medigap Helpline provides one-on-one counseling for all Wisconsin residents on Medicare, Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, employer-subsidized health insurance and long-term care insurance. The state has a Medicare Part D Helpline, which is reached at (855) 677-2783, and a Disability Rights Wisconsin Medicare Part D Helpline at (800) 926-4862, to help seniors find the right prescription drug coverage for their needs and budget. The department also works with local aging agencies to provide in-person options counseling.
(866) 448-3611 
AARP is a nationwide nonprofit organization that serves those aged 60 and over through community events, grants for local projects, education and information services and advocacy. Through AARP Wisconsin, older adults can participate in local volunteer opportunities, access exclusive discounts for restaurants and arts and entertainment venues and connect with local recreational activities.
(855) 947-2529 
Legal Action of Wisconsin is a nonprofit agency that provides free civil legal services to eligible residents. It specializes in benefit and health programs, Social Security issues and SeniorLAW and can help older adults obtain public benefits, understand independent living community contracts or resolve issues such as Social Security overpayment and denied health insurance claims. 
(608) 266-2536 
Wisconsin seniors have access to a range of volunteer opportunities through four programs, including the Foster Grandparent Program, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Senior Companion Program and Medicare Counseling for Wisconsin Residents. Older adults work one-on-one with trained counselors who help them find the opportunities to fit their interests, schedules and experience. Benefits such as stipends, supplemental liability insurance and transportation reimbursement may be available.
2-1-1 
211 Wisconsin connects residents with services and programs in the community such as health and wellness services, transportation, social and recreational programming and congregate meals. Services are available by calling, texting the individual’s ZIP code to 898211, using the online live chat feature or accessing the guided search on the website. 

COVID-19 Rules for Independent Living in Wisconsin

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/15/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Wisconsin Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Wisconsin Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Not Available*

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

Not Available*

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

Yes

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

No

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

No

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Wisconsin Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Find Independent Living Communities in Wisconsin

Use the tool below to find Independent Living Communities near you – if you’d like to search in a specific city in Wisconsin, simply put that in the search bar below.

Oak Park Place Madison

718 Jupiter Drive, Madison, WI, 53718

Oak Park Place Madison is a popular senior community off I-90 near Lake Monona. Family members appreciate that their loved ones can participate in a variety of activities like choirs, daily exercise g … (read more)
Oak Park Place Madison is a popular senior community off I-90 near Lake Monona. Family members appreciate that their loved ones can participate in a variety of activities like choirs, daily exercise g … (read more)

The Arbors at Oak Park Place

618 Jupiter Drive, Madison, WI, 53718

The Arbors at Oak Park Place is a very nice facility. They have a lot of activities, and the people in charge are very responsive to everybody’s needs. They have a variety of rooms, and my mother is i … (read more)
The Arbors at Oak Park Place is a very nice facility. They have a lot of activities, and the people in charge are very responsive to everybody’s needs. They have a variety of rooms, and my mother is i … (read more)

Coventry Village

7707 N Brookline Dr, Madison, WI, 53719

We were very happy with the tour at Coventry Village. We’ll probably bring my parents there at some point to see the place. Our tour guide was very friendly, knowledgeable and gave us a lot of written … (read more)
We were very happy with the tour at Coventry Village. We’ll probably bring my parents there at some point to see the place. Our tour guide was very friendly, knowledgeable and gave us a lot of written … (read more)


Holiday The Jefferson

9401 Old Sauk Rd, Middleton, WI, 53562

I toured The Jefferson in Middleton independent living. It’s not continuing care, and that’s kind of what I’m looking for. I liked that the people were very nice, so that was good. The staff was very, … (read more)
I toured The Jefferson in Middleton independent living. It’s not continuing care, and that’s kind of what I’m looking for. I liked that the people were very nice, so that was good. The staff was very, … (read more)

The Waterford at Fitchburg

5440 Caddis Bend, Fitchburg, WI, 53711

We toured The Waterford at Fitchburg, and it was fine. They were also having a class in the dining room. I think it was current events. The rooms were very adequate. Inside the room was a small kitche … (read more)
We toured The Waterford at Fitchburg, and it was fine. They were also having a class in the dining room. I think it was current events. The rooms were very adequate. Inside the room was a small kitche … (read more)

2015

Avalon Assisted Living & Memory Care Community

2879 Fish Hatchery Road, Fitchburg, WI, 53713

My brother moved into Avalon Assisted Living Community. The experience is very good. I like, especially with everything that’s going on right now, I like the care he’s getting, the nurses have been ve … (read more)
My brother moved into Avalon Assisted Living Community. The experience is very good. I like, especially with everything that’s going on right now, I like the care he’s getting, the nurses have been ve … (read more)

McFarland Villa

5206 Paulson Ct, Mc Farland, WI, 53558



Heritage Monona

111 Owen Road, Monona, WI, 53716

Heritage Monona is a fun community where people are allowed to do bingo, cards, and activities for different physical abilities. They offer lunches in the dining room, and the care is very great from … (read more)
Heritage Monona is a fun community where people are allowed to do bingo, cards, and activities for different physical abilities. They offer lunches in the dining room, and the care is very great from … (read more)

Home Again Living Waunakee

1120 Connery Cove, Waunakee, WI, 53597


Attic Angel Community

8301 Old Sauk Rd, Middleton, WI, 53562

My father was very unhappy with his stay in Attic Angel Community. Many who sign Attic Angel’s life leases do not understand that they are giving up any chance to earn a return on their investment; th … (read more)
My father was very unhappy with his stay in Attic Angel Community. Many who sign Attic Angel’s life leases do not understand that they are giving up any chance to earn a return on their investment; th … (read more)

NOEL MANOR RETIREMENT LIVING

471 Prairie Way Blvd, Verona, WI, 53593

We toured Noel Manor Retirement Living for my friend, and we didn’t have anything that we didn’t like. Comparing the other ones, I would say they’re maybe a four. The layout was kind of long, and th … (read more)
We toured Noel Manor Retirement Living for my friend, and we didn’t have anything that we didn’t like. Comparing the other ones, I would say they’re maybe a four. The layout was kind of long, and th … (read more)