As families consider senior living options, Idaho should be at the top of the list for those looking for a unique geographic blend of dry, desert-like conditions and rugged, snowy wilderness — along with a relatively low cost of living.
Sandwiched between the lush, temperate Pacific Northwest and the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the aptly nicknamed “Gem State” is truly a hidden gem of the United States. Idaho’s landscape consists of scenic wonders and untamed natural features such as Craters of the Moon National Monument, City of Rocks National Reserve, and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area. Even part of Yellowstone — the country’s first and most well-known national park — spills over from neighboring Wyoming into Idaho’s northeast corner, just below the state’s jagged, mountainous border with Montana. Rivers and waterfalls are also distinguishing features of Idaho, and the Snake River Plain through the state’s central region is home to its most populous cities, like Boise.
Currently, A Place for Mom partners with more than 30 independent living communities, sometimes simply called retirement communities, in Idaho. Our Senior Living Advisors can provide you with a list of communities in Idaho to help you find one that fits your needs and budget.
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 Idaho.
In Idaho, independent living 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.
Overall, the cost of living in Idaho is considered to be more affordable than the national average. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.
About 16% of Idaho’s population are seniors. In the 2016 presidential election, Idaho leaned conservative.
As both a Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain state, Idaho has many different climate types. There’s a somewhat-neutralizing oceanic effect in the western and central regions of the state, which creates a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with four distinct seasons, and milder temperatures than elevations would suggest. Much of south-central Idaho has a cold semi-arid climate with desert-like conditions, with extreme temperature swings, cold winters, hot summers, and not much precipitation. Along Idaho’s mountainous eastern border with Montana, higher elevations lead to a range of colder climates including warm-summer humid continental, subarctic, dry-summer subarctic, and tundra.
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.