Independent Living in Delaware

Families considering senior living in Delaware will find themselves in a unique position. Of all its neighboring Northeastern U.S. states, Delaware is one of the smallest in area but also one of the most densely populated, and its residents are never too far from a coastline. Beyond the variety of outdoor recreation provided by the Atlantic shores or Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, Delaware’s largest metropolitan area, Wilmington, is well-connected to other major cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Of course, historic sites are plentiful throughout the state, as Delaware took the lead among colonies signing the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and therefore is known as “The First State.” Retirement in Delaware may mean fewer options for senior living, but opportunities are always nearby.

The median monthly cost of independent living in Delaware is about $2,500.

A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors can provide you with a list of independent living communities in Delaware to help you find one that fits your needs and budget.

Top cities in Delaware

Independent Living in Delaware

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Delaware Independent Living Regulations

Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because independent living is often provided by assisted living communities, states may regulate independent living within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to community records in Delaware.

In Delaware, independent living communities — also known simply as retirement communities — are geared towards seniors who are able to live on their own, without daily assistance, and prefer to live among people their age. This usually means residents are self-sufficient and do not require hands-on care. Think of independent living communities as age-restricted (typically 55+) complexes, which provide organized activities, meal services, and transportation.

Cost of Living

Overall, the cost of living in Delaware is considered to be slightly less affordable than the national average. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.

Price Indexes

  • Cost of Living: 106
  • Groceries: 113
  • Housing: 98
  • Utilities: 97
  • Transportation: 107


About 19% of Delaware’s population are seniors. In the 2016 presidential election, Delaware leaned liberal.

2016 Presidential Election

  • 53% voted Democratic
  • 42% voted Republican
  • 5% voted third party


  • Median age: 41
  • Over the age of 55: 33%
  • 2018 population: 967,171
  • 2020 population: 987,677
  • Estimated 2025 population: 1,040,866


  • 34% regularly attend a religious service
  • 339% consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer
  • 3The state has a total of 831 congregations
  • 3There are 45 Masonic lodges in the state

Climate and Weather

Delaware has a humid subtropical climate. Overall the state has four distinct seasons, including warm, humid summers and mild to cold winters, and even though the state only covers an area of about 100 miles from north to south, temperatures and precipitation amounts vary depending on location. Delaware lies almost entirely on the Delmarva Peninsula, meaning it’s surrounded by bodies of water on three sides: the Chesapeake Bay to the west, the Delaware Bay to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Because Delaware’s northernmost section is the farthest from the moderating effects of the nearby bodies of water, its temperatures are lower and it receives more snowfall than the state’s southern counties, which tend to have milder temperatures and less snow during winter.

Humidity and Precipitation

  • Average humidity level: 71%
  • Average monthly precipitation: 4”
  • Average maximum monthly precipitation: 6” (August)

Air Quality

  • Average air quality index rating: 43 (Good)
  • Average maximum air quality rating: 52 in June (Moderate)

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.

Seasonal Temperatures

  • Average temperature: 56°F
  • Average summer temperature: 75°F
  • Typical summer high: 88°F (July)
  • Typical summer low: 60°F (June)
  • Average winter temperature: 36°F
  • Typical winter high: 49°F (December)
  • Typical winter low: 24°F (January)

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Cities in Delaware
and surrounding area