A growing community of older adults live in Iowa’s state capital of Des Moines. Over 12% of the city’s estimated 215,000 residents are seniors aged 65 and over. Des Moines is home to many medical facilities that may benefit its older population, including the UnityPoint Health and Mercy One hospitals. According to data from Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly price for a semiprivate nursing home room in Des Moines is $7,148, which is $608 per month lower than the U.S. average.

Skilled nursing facilities provide both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care for seniors who need 24/7 supervision, medical services and help with daily living tasks. Because of the around-the-clock medical care provided, nursing homes cost a lot more than other types of senior care. Depending on circumstances and specific needs, older adults may delay transitioning to a nursing home by first looking at more affordable options, such as home care services and assisted living communities. 

In this guide, we discuss the cost of nursing home care in Des Moines and compare it with prices in nearby cities and other types of care. We’ve also included a list of helpful programs available to seniors in the city.

Directory of Nursing Homes in Des Moines, IA

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)

Valley View Village

2571 GUTHRIE AVENUE, Des Moines, IA, 50317

My mom was a resident in the memory care unit at Valley View for 5 years She received excellent care and we were always able to see her day or night before Covid. Her private room was lovely. The a … (read more)
My mom was a resident in the memory care unit at Valley View for 5 years She received excellent care and we were always able to see her day or night before Covid. Her private room was lovely. The a … (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)

Trinity Center at Luther Park

1555 HULL AVENUE, Des Moines, IA, 50316

I have two friends in this facility now. Little assistance by staff to feed someone unable to feed themself. Pressure ulcers ( bedsores) not uncommon. Residents in wheelchairs herded into groups in … (read more)
I have two friends in this facility now. Little assistance by staff to feed someone unable to feed themself. Pressure ulcers ( bedsores) not uncommon. Residents in wheelchairs herded into groups in … (read more)

Union Park Health Services

2401 East 8th Street, Des Moines, IA, 50316

My mother-in-law is at Union Park Health Services. We live out of state, but they are wonderful with calling us at anytime if there are any slight issues, like weight loss or a doctor’s recommendati … (read more)
My mother-in-law is at Union Park Health Services. We live out of state, but they are wonderful with calling us at anytime if there are any slight issues, like weight loss or a doctor’s recommendati … (read more)

University Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

233 UNIVERSITY AVENUE, Des Moines, IA, 50314

Food is not good not well prepared and if any dietary restrictions…. cant handle that
Food is not good not well prepared and if any dietary restrictions…. cant handle that

Genesis Senior Living Center

5608 SW NINTH STREET, Des Moines, IA, 50315

your family or loved one is our family !!! it takes a team to run a village and ours is awesome!!!
your family or loved one is our family !!! it takes a team to run a village and ours is awesome!!!

Fleur Heights Center For Wellness and Rehab

4911 SW 19TH STREET, Des Moines, IA, 50315

My Aunt was placed here for skilled nursing after a hip replacement and it is a nightmare. The place is filthy, the food is beyond inedible, the poor patients are parked in wheelchairs in the halls si … (read more)
My Aunt was placed here for skilled nursing after a hip replacement and it is a nightmare. The place is filthy, the food is beyond inedible, the poor patients are parked in wheelchairs in the halls si … (read more)

Iowa Lutheran Hospital

700 East University, Des Moines, IA, 50316


Mercy Subacute Care

603 EAST 12TH STREET, 4TH FLOOR, Des Moines, IA, 50309


Prime Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

600 EAST FIFTH STREET, Des Moines, IA, 50309


Scottish Rite Park Inc

2909 Woodland Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50312


Riverview Care Center

701 RIVERVIEW, Des Moines, IA, 50316


Urbandale Health Care Center

4614 Nw 84Th Street, Urbandale, IA, 50322

My friend will be moving into Urbandale Health Care Center. It’s got the highest ratings for a care center. They’ve got nice people, it’s clean, and nice, and because she is tight on money, she’s on M … (read more)
My friend will be moving into Urbandale Health Care Center. It’s got the highest ratings for a care center. They’ve got nice people, it’s clean, and nice, and because she is tight on money, she’s on M … (read more)

Parkridge Nursing & Rehab Cent

4755 PARKRIDGE AVENUE, Pleasant Hill, IA, 50327

My mother had to go to Parkridge Specialty Care. She’s only been there since Friday; so far, so good. The staff and cleanliness are very good.
My mother had to go to Parkridge Specialty Care. She’s only been there since Friday; so far, so good. The staff and cleanliness are very good.

Prairie Vista Village

2785 1 St Avenue S, Altoona, IA, 50009


Fountain West Health Center

1501 Office Park Road, West Des Moines, IA, 50265

Out Mom lived at Fountain West for over 2 years. She did not want to go there but then she loved it there. The staff was wonderful! They fixed her hair, manicured her nails, and treated her with great … (read more)
Out Mom lived at Fountain West for over 2 years. She did not want to go there but then she loved it there. The staff was wonderful! They fixed her hair, manicured her nails, and treated her with great … (read more)

Bishop Drumm Skilled Nursing

5837 Winwood Drive, Johnston, IA, 50131

After my life altering accident, the cnas, nurses and staff were caring and have put me on a great road to recovery. They created a comfortable, healing environment & helped me set up my room and … (read more)
After my life altering accident, the cnas, nurses and staff were caring and have put me on a great road to recovery. They created a comfortable, healing environment & helped me set up my room and … (read more)

Altoona Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

200 SEVENTH AVENUE SW, Altoona, IA, 50009

A good friend of mine was admitted there recently. She has since passed away. If you or a loved one is looking for a nursing facility i would NOT recommend this one. I dont know if they’re short staff … (read more)
A good friend of mine was admitted there recently. She has since passed away. If you or a loved one is looking for a nursing facility i would NOT recommend this one. I dont know if they’re short staff … (read more)

Nursing Home Costs in Des Moines, IA

A semiprivate room in a Des Moines nursing home costs $7,148, per month, while the equivalent price for a private room is $7,604.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Nearby Cities

The monthly price for a semiprivate room in a Des Moines nursing home is $578 more expensive than the state median, but it’s significantly under the U.S. average of $7,756. 

Compared to other cities in Iowa, the monthly cost for skilled nursing facilities in Des Moines is on the higher end of the spectrum. The most affordable median prices are in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, where skilled nursing facilities cost $6,540 and $6,722, respectively. In Iowa City ($6,859) and Ames ($7,080), the average pricing is closer to Des Moines but still less expensive. 

$7148

Des Moines

$6570

Iowa

$7756

The United States

$7080

Ames

$6859

Iowa City

$6540

Cedar Rapids

$6722

Dubuque:

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care

While the price in Des Moines for a semiprivate room in a nursing home is $456 cheaper than a private room in the same type of facility, there are other less expensive care options for seniors. The most affordable is adult day health care at $1,517 per month. Another option is residential care in an assisted living community, which costs $5,005 on average. Seniors who prefer to remain in their own home may opt for home care or home health care services at the median cost of $5,148 per month. 

$5148

Home care

$5148

Home health care

$1517

Adult day health care

$5005

Assisted living

$7148

Nursing home (semiprivate room)

$7604

Nursing home (private room)

Financial Assistance for Nursing Home Care in Des Moines, IA

Many seniors and their families use some form of financial assistance to help them pay for nursing care. The main options available are Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans benefits. These programs can be complicated, especially when it comes to benefit terms. Below, we give a brief overview of how these programs may be used towards paying for skilled nursing care.

  • Medicare: Medicare will typically cover all skilled nursing costs for the first 20 days of one’s stay in a nursing home and a portion of the costs until day 100. After 100 days in a skilled nursing facility, Medicare will not cover any part of the cost of the stay. While this is adequate when short-term care is needed, those in need of long-term care will need to either pay out-of-pocket or use another source of financial assistance.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid covers most of the costs of living in a skilled nursing facility for those who qualify. Care, room, and board are covered with no time limit, but residents may be charged for extras like specially prepared food or cosmetic services. Medicaid eligibility standards are strict and complex, so not all seniors are eligible for Medicaid benefits.
  • Veterans Benefits: Veterans receiving a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit administered by the VA. Aid and Attendance is a monthly allowance that beneficiaries may use to pay for their long-term care, including skilled nursing care.

If these options aren’t available to you, check if your loved one has long-term care insurance or contact your Area Agency on Aging to ask about any local financial assistance programs for seniors.

Free Resources for Seniors in Des Moines, IA

We’ve put together this list of free or low-cost resources available to seniors in De Moines. They may be useful in helping older adults remain in their homes for as long as possible, and provide seniors and their caregivers with a better understanding of the support available when they need to transition into nursing home care. 

ResourceContact Service
Aging Resources of Central Iowa(515) 255-1310The Aging Resources of Central Iowa acts as the first point of contact for seniors who are trying to navigate the array of aging resources in Des Moines. Services include options counseling, referrals to other agencies and case management with ongoing support.  
Senior Health Insurance Information Program(800) 351-4664This program can help older adults and their family members understand and make informed decisions about Medicare coverage. SHIIP counselors offer unbiased advice and help seniors compare Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap and prescription drug coverage and provide options to help reduce their costs. 
The Polk County Commodity Supplemental Food Program(515) 286-3655Offered by Polk County and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this program provides food and nutrition counseling to adults who are at least 60 years old. Homebound seniors may receive regular deliveries of food items such as milk, pasta and canned goods along with dietary advice. 
The Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services Elderly Waiver(515) 256-4606This program helps Medicaid-eligible seniors who want to delay moving into a nursing facility receive the care they need at home. The waiver provides financial aid to cover the cost of homemaker, skilled nursing, respite and a number of other services.  
Long-Term Care Ombudsman(515) 725-3308The Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an independent state-funded agency that makes sure facilities such as nursing homes comply with care quality standards. Ombudsmen also investigate complaints filed by seniors and their loved ones and act as advocates on their behalf to get the issues resolved.