Elderly who decide to make Iowa their home will find the state to be reasonably tax-friendly. Those with a social security income do not have to pay state taxes. Additionally, any public and private pension income are only partially taxed and prescription drugs are exempt from sales tax.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Iowa

When beginning the hunt to locate a quality assisted living facility in Iowa, it’s essential to think about the services they provide and what programs are available to help pay for those care services. The registry below can aid you in your search by providing details and information on more than 150 facilities in the state of Iowa.

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Paying For Assisted Living in Iowa

The Cost of Assisted Living in Iowa

The monthly median cost of assisted living in Iowa is $3,847, which is cheaper than the national average of $4,000. According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Iowa is also less expensive than the median in all but three neighboring states, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.



While the cost of Assisted Living is fairly consistent throughout the state, Sioux City is the one exception coming in at $797 below the state average. The Philadelphia Area is the most expensive region in the state at $175 above the national average of $4,000.



While nursing home care is relatively cheap in Iowa when compared to the rest of the nation, it’s still considerably more expensive than assisted living. Other than independent living, which doesn’t provide assistance with activities of daily living, assisted living communities are the cheapest solution for long-term care in the state.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Iowa

Iowa Elderly Waiver Program

Medicaid does not cover assisted living in Iowa, however, they offer waiver programs, referred to as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). Not all facilities in Iowa accept the waivers, so keep this in mind as you search for an assisted living facility for you or your elderly loved one.

The Elderly Waiver covers nursing and skilled levels of care based on a resident’s needs. An interdisciplinary team (IDT) consisting of the resident, case manager, Managed Care Organization, community-based case manager, service providers, and other persons the resident chooses will determine what services are appropriate. During this time, a service plan will be developed. Service plans may include attendant care from an assisted living provider or anyone else the resident chooses, nursing care, nutritional counseling, or other tasks.

Since this waiver isn’t an entitlement program, even if you do qualify, you may not be accepted if the enrollment cap is reached. Instead, you will likely be placed on a waiting list. If you are eligible and accepted into the program, there are also service cost limits:

  • Nursing level of care services cannot exceed $1,339 per month.
  • Skilled level of care services cannot exceed $2,765 per month.

Who Is Eligible?

Residents interested in applying for the Elderly Waiver need to qualify for Medicaid as well as meet certain income, asset limits, and functionality requirements. If you’re 65 years of age or older, the qualifications for Medicaid include:

  • You must need nursing or skilled level of care, which is determined annually by the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and Medical Services Unit.
  • You must be a legal U.S. citizen (or a person with legal entry) who lives in Iowa.
  • The monthly income for a single resident must not exceed $2,250 (in 2018), and assets must be $2,000 or less.
  • The monthly income for married residents must not exceed $4,500 (in 2018), and assets must be $3,000 or less.

How to Apply

To get more details about eligibility requirements and to start an application, contact your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office. You may also call (800) 338-8366 or (515) 256-4606 (Des Moines Area) and let them know you’d like to apply for the Elderly Waiver.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on benefits.va.gov.
  • Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at longtermcare.acl.gov.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit longtermcare.acl.gov.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Iowa

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The federal Older Americans Act requires all states to have an Ombudsman Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. In Iowa, the Ombudsman Program focuses on ensuring the elderly receive proper care. Their services include:

  • Educating elderly residents, their families, long-term care facility staff, and the community about residents’ rights
  • Advocating for residents’ rights as well as their need to receive proper care and treatment in long-term care facilities
  • Investigating and resolving complaints about legal issues, discharge concerns, elderly abuse, or other matters against facilities
  • Encouraging Iowa citizens to get involved with the Ombudsman Program by offering volunteer opportunities

To contact the Iowa Ombudsman Program, call (515) 281-3592.

Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a network of hundreds of nonprofit organizations across America that provide federally funded services to adults over 60 in their local areas.

Iowa has many Area Agencies on Aging that offer comprehensive information on various kinds of programs and community supports for seniors.

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Area Agency on AgingAddressPhone Number

Aging Resources of Central Iowa

5835 Grand Avenue Ste. 106
Des Moines, IA 50312

(515) 255-1310 or
(800) 747-5352

Connections Area Agency on Aging

300 West Broadway Ste. 240
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

(712) 328-2540 or
(800) 432-9209

Elderbridge Agency on Aging

22 North Georgia Ste. 216
Mason City, IA 50401-3435

(641) 424-0678 or
(800) 243-0678

Milestone Area Agency on Aging

623 Pennsylvania Ave.
Ottumwa, IA 52501

(641) 682-2270 or
(855) 410-6222

Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging

2101 Kimball Ave. Ste. 320
Waterloo, IA 50702

(319) 874-6840 or
(800) 779-8707

The Heritage Area Agency on Aging

6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406

(319) 398-5559 or
(800) 332-5934

Veterans Affairs

Veterans and their spouses can get assistance from their local VA offices with transportation, financing, and various other services. Visit or contact a center near you for guidance on the best support options and eligibility for you or your elderly loved one.

VA OfficeAddressPhone Number

Adair County

180 Public Square
Greenfield, Iowa 50849

(641) 743-2656

Adams County

500 Ninth Street
Corning, IA 50841

(641) 322-4455

Allamakee County

110 Allamakee St.
Waukon, Iowa 52172

(563) 568-2451

Appanoose County

19999 St. Joseph Drive
Centerville, IA 52544

(641) 856-6597

Audubon County

318 Leroy St. #4
Audubon, IA 50025

(712) 563-3508

Benton County

303 1st Avenue
Vinton, IA 52349

(319) 472-3150

Black Hawk County

1407 Independence Avenue 1st Floor
Waterloo, IA 50703

(319) 291-2512

Boone County

201 State St.
Boone, IA 50036

(515) 433-4904 or
(800) 753-2136 (ext. 234)

Bremer County

203 1st Ave NE
Waverly, IA 50677

(319) 352-4209

Buchanan County

210 5th Ave NE
Independence, IA 50644

(319) 334-7450

Buena Vista County

1709 E Richland St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588

(712) 749-2562 or
(866) 844-8150

Butler County

428 Sixth St.
Allison, IA 50602

(319) 267-9967

Calhoun County

515 Court St.
Rockwell City, IA 50579

(712) 297-8632 (ext. 227)

Carroll County

608 North Court St., Ste. A
Carroll, IA 51401

(712) 792-4845

Cass County

5 West 7th St.
Atlantic, IA 50022

(712) 243-6662

Cedar County

400 Cedar St.
Tipton, IA 52772

(563) 886-2170

Cerro Gordo County

220 North Washington Ave.
Mason City, IA 50401

(641) 421-3085

Cherokee County

520 W. Main St.
Cherokee, IA 51012

(712) 225-6319

Chickasaw County

910 East Main St.
New Hampton, IA 50659

(641) 394-3232

Clarke County

100 Main St.
Osceola, IA 50213

(641) 342-2933

Clay County

337 Tenth St., SW
Spencer IA 51301

(712) 262-5547

Clayton County

600 NE Gunder Road Suite 6
Elkader, IA 52043

(563) 245-1865

Clinton County

1900 N 3rd St.
Clinton IA 52733

(563) 242-1151

Crawford County

1202 Broadway
Dension, IA 51442

(712) 263-2720

Dallas County

902 Court St.
Adel, IA 50003

(515) 993-5809

Davis County

203 South Madison St.
Bloomfield, IA 52537

(641) 664-2170

Decatur County

207 North Main St. 1st Floor
Leon, IA 50144

(641) 446-7494

Delaware County

601 Grant St.
Manchester, IA 52057

(563) 927-5116

Des Moines

910 Cottonwood, Ste. 1001
Burlington, IA 52601

(319) 752-7171

Dickinson

1802 Hill Ave Ste. 1508
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

(712) 336-0883

Dubuque

36 East 8th St.
Dubuque, IA 52001

(563) 589-7840

Emmet County

609 1st Avenue North Suite #5
Estherville, IA 51334

(712) 362-7431

Fayette County

102 South Frederick Ave #1
Oelwein IA 50662

(319) 283-3329

Floyd County

101 South Main St. #109
Charles City, IA 50616

(641) 228-1850

Franklin County

12 – 1st Ave. NW
Hampton, IA 50441

(641) 456-5670

Fremont County

414 Clay St.
Sidney, IA 51652

(712) 374-2275

Greene County

114 N. Chestnut St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

(515) 386-5673

Grundy County

706 H Ave
Grundy Center, IA 50638

(319) 825-4952

Guthrie County

200 North 5th St.
Guthrie Center, IA 50115

(641) 747-2546

Hamilton County

500 Fairmeadow Drive
Webster City, IA 50595

(515) 832-9595

Hancock County

545 State St.
Garner, IA 50438

(641) 923-4427

Hardin County

1201 14th Ave.
Eldora, IA 50627

(641) 373-0349

Harrison County

207 E 7th St.
Logan, IA 51546

(712) 644-2760

Henry County

106 N. Jackson St., Ste. 1
Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641

(319) 385-0792

Howard County

137 North Elm St.
Cresco IA 52136

(563) 547-9212

Humboldt County

P.O. Box 331
Humboldt, IA 50548

(515) 604-6256

Ida County

401 Moorehead St.
Ida Grove, IA 51445

(712) 364-4176

Iowa County

970 Court Ave
Marengo, IA 52301

(319) 642-3925

Jackson County

201 West Platt St.
Maquoketa, IA 52060

(563) 652-0070

Jasper County

115 North 2nd Avenue E 1st Floor
Newton, IA 50208

(641) 792-7993

Jefferson County

51 West Briggs Avenue # 3
Fairfield, IA 52556

(641) 472-3013

Johnson County

855 South Dubuque St, Ste. 109
Iowa City, IA 52240

(319) 356-6049

Jones County

105 Broadway Place, Ste. 13
Anamosa, IA 52205

(319) 462-5311

Keokuk County

101 South Main
Sigourney, Iowa 52591

(641) 622-2761

Kossuth County

109 West State St.
Algona, IA 50511

(515) 295-9036

Lee County

701 Avenue F
Fort Madison, IA 52627

(319) 372-5853

Linn County

1240 26th Avenue Court SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

(319) 892-5160

Louisa County

503 Franklin Street Ste. 2
Wapello, IA 52653

(319) 527-6513

Lucas County

123 S. Grand St.
Chariton, IA 50049

(641) 774-4611

Lyon County

300 South 4th Avenue, Ste. 100
Rock Rapids, IA 51246

(712) 472-3405

Madison County

112 North John Wayne Dr.
Winterset, IA 50273

(515) 462-4680

Mahaska County

301 1st Avenue East
Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577

(641) 673-7727

Marion County

214 East Main St.
Knoxville Iowa 50138

(641) 828-2201

Marshall County County

1301 Veterans Blvd, Iowa Veterans Home, Heinz Hall, Room 45,

Marshalltown, IA 50158

(641) 754-6335

Mills County

602 S Locust St.
Glenwood, IA 51534

(712) 527-5621

Mitchell County

212 South 5th St.
Osage, IA 50461

(641) 832-2920

Monona County

610 Iowa Avenue 3rd Floor
Onawa, IA 51040

(712) 433-3710

Monroe County

1801 South B St.
Albia, IA 52531

(641) 932-5622

Montgomery County

105 East Coolbaugh St.
Red Oak, IA 51566

(712) 623-3180

Muscatine County

315 Iowa Ave. Ste. 1
Muscatine, Iowa 52761

(563) 262-4162

O’Brien County

155 South Hayes Ave
Primghar, IA 51245

(712) 957-0031

Osceola County

300 7th St.
Sibley, IA 51249

(712) 754-2514

Page County

615 NW Road
Shenandoah, IA 51601

(712) 246-4254 or
(712) 215-9030

Palo Alto County

1010 Broadway
Emmetsburg, IA

(712) 852-2066

Plymouth County

215 4th AVE SE
Le Mars, IA 51031

(712) 546-7090

Pocahontas County

23 3rd Ave NE
Pocahontas, IA 50574

(712) 335-3270

Polk County

2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310

(5115) 286-3670

Pottawattamie County

623 6th Avenue
Council Bluffs, IA 51501

(712) 328-5797

Poweshiek County

200 4th Avenue West (Lower Level)
Grinnell, IA 50112

(641) 236-5722

Ringgold County

109 West Madison
Mount Ayr, IA 50854

(641) 464-2397

Sac County

100 NW State St. Box 5
Sac City, IA 50583

(712) 662-4552

Scott County

600 West 4th St.
Davenport, Iowa 52801

(563) 326-8723

Shelby County

612 Court St.
Harlan, IA 51537

(712) 755-3907

Sioux County

P.O. Box 233
Orange City, IA 51041

(712) 737-2999

Story County

126 S. Kellogg Avenue Ste. 001
Ames, IA 50010

(515) 956-2626

Tama County

219 West High St.
Toledo, IA 52342

(641) 484-3160

Taylor County

305 Main St.
Bedford, IA 50833

(712) 523-2766

Union County

300 North Pine Street Suite #180 (Lower Level)
Creston, Iowa 50801

(641) 782-1723

Van Buren County

406 Dodge St.
Keosauqua, IA 52565

(319) 293-3793

Wapello County

114 E. Main St.
Ottumwa, IA 52501

(641) 683-2654

Warren County

105 West 1st Ave.
Indianola, IA 50125

(515) 961-1045

Washington County

2175 Lexington Blvd.
Washington, IA 52353

(319) 653-7768

Wayne County

100 N. Lafayette Courthouse – Room #103
Corydon, IA 5006

(641) 223-2121

Webster County

723 1st Ave S
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

(515) 573-1479

Winnebago County

216 South 4th St.
Forest City, IA 50436

(641) 585-5736

Winneshiek County

201 W. Main St.
Decorah, IA 52101

(563) 382-5786

Woodbury County

1211 Tri View Ave
Sioux City, IA 51103

(712) 279-6605 or 6606

Worth County

99B 9th ST. N
Northwood, IA 50459

641-324-0480

Wright County

120 1st Ave NW Ste. 3
Clarion, IA 50525

(515) 602-6208

Social Security Offices

By reaching out or visiting a Social Security office, you or your elderly loved one can gain a better understanding of social security benefits as well as other types of assistance that can help with assisted living costs.

Social Security OfficeAddressPhone Number

Ames Office

2615 University Blvd.
Ames IA 50010

(866) 899-1928

Burlington Office

3920 Division St.
Burlington IA 52601

(800) 772-1213

Carroll Office

818 North Bella Vista Dr.
Carroll IA 51401

(866) 572-8381

Cedar Rapids Office

3165 Williams Blvd Sw
Cedar Rapids IA 52404

(866) 495-0088

Davenport Office

4319 North Brady St.
Davenport IA 52806

(855) 420-8556

Council Bluffs Office

20 Arena Way Ste. 1
Council Bluffs IA 51501

(866) 331-9094

Creston Office

906 East Taylor St.
Creston IA 50801

(866) 613-2827

Des Moines Office

455 Sw 5th St. Ste. F
Des Moines IA 50309

(800) 772-1213

Dubuque Office

1635 Associates Dr.
Dubuque IA 52002

(877) 405-3650

Fort Dodge Office

2315 2nd Ave North
Fort Dodge IA 50501

(866) 839-6193

Coralville Office

1100 6th St.
Coralville IA 52241

(866) 964-2039

Marshalltown Office

2502 South 2nd St.
Marshalltown IA 50158

(877) 819-2595

Mason City Office

625 Village Grn Dr. Sw
Mason City IA 50401

(866) 365-6708

Ottumwa Office

2429 Northgate St.
Ottumwa IA 52501

(866) 964-7394

Sioux City Office

3555 Southern Hills Dr.
Sioux City IA 51106

(866) 338-2859

Spencer Office

1610 12th Ave Sw
Spencer IA 51301

(866) 273-6050

Waterloo Office

3121 Greyhound Dr.
Waterloo IA 50701

(888) 456-9554

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Iowa

Assisted Living Occupancy Agreement

When accepted into an assisted living facility, a written occupancy agreement is required. Make sure the agreement includes:

  • All of the facilities’ fees, charges, and rates for rent and services
  • The services the resident will receive and a description of those services
  • Any third party payments they will accept from the resident (e.g. Medicaid)
  • Their policy on what they do if the resident’s financial assistance runs out
  • How long the occupancy agreement is in effect and instructions on how it can be terminated
  • Procedures for involuntary transfer in regards to the resident’s health or for other reasons
  • How the resident can file an appeal or grievance if the need to do so arises
  • The assisted living facilities rules in regards to billing and payment, as well as their refund policy

The facility must give the resident or the resident’s legal representative a copy of the occupancy and all the documents and attachments. If changes are made in the agreement, the assisted living facility (ALF) is required to provide the resident or his or her representative with a written copy of the changes within 30 days before the changes, unless the following occurs:

  • The resident’s health or behavior causes him or her to become a health or safety threat to self or others.
  • An emergency or significant change in the resident’s condition results in the need for services not already in the resident’s occupancy agreement.
  • The assisted living facility is unable to provide the necessary services.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

In order to determine if an assisted living facility in Iowa can provide the level of care you or your elderly loved one needs, he or she must receive an evaluation of their functional, cognitive, and health status.

If the resident is terminally ill, he or she is allowed to receive hospice services from a Medicaid-certified hospice program.

Assisted living facilities in Iowa are not allowed to admit a resident who:

  • Is in need of more than part-time or intermittent health-related services
  • Is bed-bound
  • Requires more than two people to assist with standing, transferring or evacuating
  • Regularly has uncontrollable incontinence
  • Is a danger to self or others
  • Has an acute stage of alcoholism, drug addiction, or uncontrolled mental illness
  • Is medically unstable or needs maximum assistance with activities of daily living

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities must include the services they provide to each resident in the occupancy agreement. Services offered in Iowa include activities that support the resident’s service plan, health-related care, personal care, and assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (e.g. chores, cooking, housekeeping, shopping, and traveling in the community).

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

As in most states, Iowa Medicaid covers the cost of nursing home care but not assisted living. They do, however, offer the Elderly Waiver, which helps Iowa seniors with the cost of home and support services provided by assisted living facilities who accept the waiver.

The Elderly Waiver does not cover the cost of room and board. Additionally, even if you or your loved one qualifies for the Elderly Waiver, receiving care is not guaranteed as there is also waiting list. As of November 2018, there are no applicants on the list, but that can change at any time.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals certifies assisted living facilities in Iowa. They are also responsible for making sure the facilities follow all the rules and regulations. Some of the rules and regulations for Iowa facilities include:

  • There must always be at least one qualified employee at the facility and awake to assist and monitor residents.
  • Private units must have single-action locks on the entrance doors unless it endangers the resident’s health or safety.
  • Units are required to have bathrooms with a working toilet, sink, and other bathing facilities unless the assisted living facility houses dementia residents.

Medication Management Regulations

A resident can administer their own medication or request a qualified employee at the facility to give him or her the medicine. Only a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or medication aide who has received instructions from a licensed professional nurse is allowed to administer medication to residents who need an assistance.

Staffing Requirements

Assisted living facilities in Iowa must always have at least one qualified employee at the facility. All employees must be awake to assist and monitor residents.

Staff Training Requirements

Licensed professional nurses are required to complete six or more hours of assisted living or nursing class related to Iowa assisted living rules and laws.

Anyone who works in an assisted living facility in Iowa that provides care to residents with dementia must have a minimum of eight hours of education and training related to dementia. In addition, the staff is required to continue receiving at least two hours of dementia-related education each year.

Contracted staff who do not have contact with residents are exempt from the dementia-related education and training requirement.

Background Checks for Assisted Living

Prior to employment, the assisted living facility is required to request a criminal history check by the Department of Public Safety and a child and dependent adult abuse record check by the Department of Human Services. If it’s determined that the applicant has a record, the decision to hire the applicant will be left up to the Department of Human Services.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

If you suspect an assisted living facility or any of its employees abusing your elderly loved and/or not following the rules and regulations, or if you are the one being abused or neglected, contact the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals at (877) 686-0027 or Ombudsman at (866) 236-1430.

If you or your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused physically, sexually, or through exploitation by anyone, the Dependent Adult Protective Services (APS) handles these reports. You can contact APS toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (800) 362-2178.