Iowa is often referred to as the “Land of the Rolling Prairie” due to the immense fertile plains that cover the region. The state is famous for its farms, growing crops such as corn and soybeans. Iowa is more than just farmland, however – it’s home to many quaint, rural towns as well as larger cities such as Sioux City and Des Moines. Its varied landscape, relatively low cost of living, and proximity to major Midwestern cities like Chicago and Minneapolis make Iowa a convenient location to call home and a great place to retire.
Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because care homes operate similarly to assisted living communities, states may regulate care homes within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to facility records in Iowa.
In Iowa, care homes — sometimes called residential care homes, board and care homes, group homes, or personal care homes — are often houses in residential neighborhoods that are adapted, equipped, and staffed to care for a small number of residents, usually 10 or less. Similar to assisted living but in a smaller, more residential setting, these homes provide supervision, organized events, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). This means care homes can help with everyday routines but typically do not provide 24-hour skilled nursing assistance.
Overall, the cost of living in Iowa is considered to be more affordable than the national average. Iowa has an extremely low housing cost with its index rated 20 points below the national average. Iowa’s economy is dependent on farming, and much of the state is rural farmland. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.
About 15% of Iowa’s population are seniors. Iowa is considered a political swing state, and in the 2016 presidential election, Iowa leaned conservative. Over one-third of the state's population live in rural areas, and Iowa’s farmers raise nearly 20% of the country’s corn and soybean crop.
Iowa has a humid continental type of climate, with seasonal temperatures varying widely. The summers in Iowa tend to be hot and muggy, while the winters often drop below freezing with heavy snowfall. The average humidity level is around 70% peaking in the summer at about 85%. A vast majority of the state is farmland which contributes greatly to Iowa’s high relative humidity levels.
Moderate air quality means that those who are sensitive to particulates in the air should limit the amount of time they spend on outdoor exertion.