Page Reviewed / Updated - June 01, 2020
Located in northwestern Wisconsin, Eau Claire is becoming an increasingly popular destination for retirees. In fact, the city earned a spot on Livability.com's list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America for its affordability, strong community spirit and vibrant arts and culture scene.
Compared to both state and national averages, the overall cost of living is significantly lower in Eau Claire, and the state doesn't tax Social Security income, so living here offers multiple savings opportunities for retirees. The city's low crime rates offer peace of mind, and retirees have easy access to senior care services. Not only does Eau Claire have the seventh greatest concentration of nursing care facilities across U.S. metropolitan areas, but it's also home to the nation's second greatest concentration of assisted living facilities. The city offers many opportunities for seniors to reconnect with nature, including an extensive network of hiking, biking and cross-country skiing trails. Eau Claire is also known as a cultural hub where seniors can visit art galleries, museums and live music venues.
Check out this list of the top 10 facilities in Eau Claire offering assisted living services.
Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Eau Claire and what financial assistance programs are available.
2512 Spooner Avenue
Altoona, WI 54720
Grace Edgewood is considered one of the area's top assisted living facilities for its dedication to enhancing seniors' overall well-being through a robust offering of amenities and services. Each resident undergoes a careful assessment to determine their need, and staff members are available to provide the appropriate level of daily assistance with personal care, health monitoring and medication management. Residents can relax in the comfort of their private studio apartment, which they're welcome to decorate with their own furnishings. The facility's extensive activity program offers daily opportunities for seniors to stay active, and family involvement is warmly encouraged.
3706 Damon Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701
The minute seniors enter Heritage at Oakwood Hills, they're welcomed into a friendly, homelike atmosphere. We included it on this list for its unique amenities and robust offering of coordinated events, social activities, entertainment and outings. Its small size allows for personalized care and services to be tailored to each resident's needs, with a focus on the principles of independence, individuality, privacy, choice and dignity. The single-level facility features a simple layout that's easy for seniors to navigate independently, with open-concept dining rooms, a sunroom activity space, outdoor sitting area and spa room.
4510 Gateway Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54701
HeatherWood Assisted Living & Memory Care is highly regarded for its active, social and engaged lifestyle that empowers residents to maximize their abilities and independence. Seniors can relax with daily meals, housekeeping and laundry taken care of and spend their time participating in fun activities, interacting with fellow residents and enjoying the facility's many amenities. The campus features a fireside living room, study, media room and chapel, and it's just a short ride away from Oakwood Mall and the Eau Claire Golf and Country Club. Residents receive assistance with daily living tasks, as well as personalized growth and wellness plans.
4868 Otteson Lane
Eau Claire, WI 54701
With its convenient location just minutes from shopping and medical centers, residents at Grace Willowbrook receive the care and support to live their lives to the fullest. Weekly housekeeping, linen and laundry services alleviate the burden of household chores for a worry-free retirement experience. Seniors enjoy the privacy of one-bedroom apartments, each equipped with a kitchen, personal bath with walk-in shower and individual climate controls, and are served chef-prepared meals in a scenic dining room setting. Caregivers are available 24 hours per day to offer assistance with personal tasks, health monitoring and medication management.
3515 E. Hamilton Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
At Heritage Court, seniors are cared for in a safe and supportive environment. This close-knit community is considered one of the area's top facilities for its homelike amenities, experienced staff and engaging programs. It's designed to be easy for seniors to navigate safely on their own, and its secure courtyard provides a comfortable place to relax and catch up with friends. Residents can feel at home in their studio or one-bedroom suites, which feature private baths, spacious closets and cozy wall-to-wall carpeting. The facility offers a coordinated calendar of activities, events and outings to enrich seniors' daily lives and help them feel a sense of connection with the community.
1403 Truax Boulevard
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Since 1999, Orchard Hills Assisted Living has delivered high-quality care to enhance the lives of local seniors. Set on the city's west side, the facility is in close proximity to medical clinics and hospitals, including Dove Healthcare. With just 39 beds, Orchard Hills is small enough for staff to develop close relationships with each resident and foster a sense of community. The team of 24-hour caregivers works to create an individualized comprehensive plan of care for each senior, including assistance with medication administration, diabetes care and nutrition. Residents can enjoy a wide variety of outings and social activities, such as exercise classes, crafts, bingo and weekly church services.
3214 Gala Street
Eau Claire, WI
Designed to look and feel like home, Grace Woodlands is included on this list for its carefree lifestyle, relaxed atmosphere and comfortable amenities. Staff members provide support based on individual needs and preferences, including personal assistance, medication management and incontinence care, with emergency call systems to offer added peace of mind. Residents are treated to three nutritionally balanced meals per day, plus snacks, which can be customized to accommodate dietary restrictions. The central great room and open kitchen area offer spaces for residents to socialize and connect. Fun daily activities, including baking, gardening, games and crafts, help provide stimulation and create a social atmosphere.
3325 Birch Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Care Partners Assisted Living offers a secure, homelike environment that welcomes every resident with kindness, respect and compassion. It's conveniently located near shopping, dining and recreational facilities, as well as top medical centers. The facility is considered a premium destination for senior care because of its focus on delivering comprehensive care services while encouraging residents' independence and giving them the freedom to express their personal preferences. Seniors can choose to participate in a variety of daily recreational activities, including art projects, card games, exercise classes, music and pet therapy. The facility also hosts frequent outings to visit local attractions and community events.
342 Twin Oak Drive
Altoona, WI 54720
Seniors at Oak Gardens Place have access to city amenities with a number of restaurants, shops and medical facilities nearby. We included it on this list for its full range of social events and activities, individual care plans and communication with residents' families. Each day, seniors can participate in exercise classes, bingo, happy hours and movie nights. Staff members are on-site to offer supportive services, such as bathing, meal preparation and home maintenance. Resident apartments are outfitted with modern conveniences for comfort and safety, including carpeting, kitchenettes, individual thermostats and illuminated entryways. Guest accommodations are also available for visiting relatives.
5512 Renee Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Quality care services and state-of-the-art amenities come together at Milestone Senior Living's Eau Claire campus. The community is thoughtfully designed with seniors in mind, with interior fixtures such as handrails in the hallways throughout. One of the facility's most innovative features is its Snoezelen room, which provides a stimulating multisensory environment for memory care residents. Seniors have a choice of one- and two-bedroom floor plans, and each unit has a private bath, individual climate control and a balcony or patio. The facility's 24-hour awake staff offers assistance with medication management, bathing, dressing and toileting, while respecting residents' autonomy, privacy and dignity.
According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, nearly every type of senior care is more costly in Eau Claire than in the nation as a whole. Assisted living in this city costs $475 more per month than the national average of $4,000, home care costs $572 more per month than the national average of $4,004 and adult day care costs an average of $325 more per month than the national average of $1,560. Nursing home care is slightly more affordable in Eau Claire, with monthly costs coming in at $7,422 versus the national average of $7,441.
Similarly, senior care in Eau Claire is high compared to statewide averages. Assisted living is typically about $175 more per month and home care is about $95 more per month in this city than in the state as a whole. Adult day care in Eau Claire is about $477 higher than the statewide average. The only type of senior care that is more affordable in Eau Claire than in the state as a whole is nursing home care, where seniors pay $912 less per month.
Eau Claire is among the most expensive major metropolitan regions surveyed for assisted living, with average costs coming is about $175 higher than the statewide median. Assisted living costs in this city are surpassed by Wausau, where they are an average of $4,644 per month, and the Oshkosh area, where seniors pay $5,000 per month on average. The most affordable city for assisted living is La Crosse, which is about 85 miles away from Eau Claire and has AL costs that average $2,638 per month.
Of the major cities surveyed, Eau Claire is the second most expensive for home care at $4,576 per month. This is $95 more than the statewide median and $572 more than the average cost in Madison, which is the state capital and the most affordable city surveyed for home care. While Eau Claire is relatively pricey for this level of care, it is a more economical option than the La Crosse area and the Milwaukee area, where care costs $4,767 per month on average.
Eau Claire is the second most expensive city surveyed for adult day care, with average monthly costs exceeding the statewide median by $477. The only city with higher monthly costs is Green Bay, where seniors pay $2,427 on average. The most affordable city for adult day care is Wausau, where care is $1,127 less per month than in Eau Claire.
Eau Claire is an affordable city for nursing home care, with monthly costs coming in $912 below the statewide median and $2,133 below the average monthly cost in Milwaukee, the most expensive city surveyed for nursing home care. This type of care is similarly priced in the La Crosse area at $7,498 per month.
Eau Claire seniors who meet income and asset limits may be eligible to receive health coverage at little to no cost through Wisconsin Medicaid. This program, which is funded by the federal and state government, provides coverage for routine medical visits, hospital expenses, in-home care and nursing home care.
In Eau Claire, Medicaid covers services provided in assisted living through the Medical Assistance Personal Care Program. MAPC is part of the Medicaid State Program and covers assistance with activities of daily living, laundry and housekeeping services and grocery shopping.
To be eligible for Wisconsin Medicaid, an applicant must be at least 65 years old or blind or disabled. They must also be a permanent Wisconsin resident and a legal U.S. citizen or qualifying immigrant. Single applicants can have a monthly income of up to $597.78 plus an “actual shelter” allowance, which includes mortgage or rent, utilities and property tax, of up to $257 per month. Married couples who are both applying for Medicaid can have a monthly income of up to $903.38 and an “actual shelter” allowance of up to $385.67. Single applicants may have up to $2,000 in countable assets, and married applicants are allowed up to $3,000 in countable assets.
Wisconsin Medicaid, including MAPC, is an entitlement, meaning that seniors who meet eligibility requirements are guaranteed to receive coverage. Seniors may apply Medicaid by visiting the Wisconsin.gov Access online portal or by mailing in a completed Wisconsin Medicaid Application Packet (F-10101). Applications can also be submitted over the phone by contacting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Great Rivers Consortium at (888) 283-0012. More information about Wisconsin Medicaid may be found here.
Family Care Programs
Family Care programs provide in-home personal, non-medical care for frail seniors with the goal of avoiding or delaying nursing home placement. Some services provided by these programs include adult day health care and respite care, home and vehicle modifications, meal delivery and transportation services.
Eligible seniors must meet Medicaid’s long-term care income requirements, which are $2,313 for a single applicant and $4,626 for married applicants. This program has an enrollment cap, meaning that eligible seniors may be placed on a waiting list for services.
To learn more about Family Care programs, seniors can visit our guide or call their local Aging and Disabilities Resource Center at (715) 839-4735 to begin the application process.
IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) Program
The Include, Respect, I Self Direct program provides services and supports to frail or disabled seniors outside of a nursing home setting. A qualified participant works with a case manager to determine the desired outcome for this program and then what services, supports and goods are needed to achieve that outcome. Program participants are free to choose their own caregivers, including qualified friends and family members. Some covered services include nursing services, meal delivery services, adult day health care, supportive in-home care, personal care services and non-emergency transportation services.
Services are available to seniors who reside in their own homes, adult family homes, group homes and some assisted living facilities. To be eligible for IRIS, seniors must meet Medicaid’s income and asset limits. This program has an enrollment cap, and eligible seniors may be placed on a waiting list until services are available. To begin the application process for IRIS, seniors may contact their local Aging and Disabilities Resource Center at (715) 839-4735. More information on this program can be found here.
Wisconsin Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Exceptional Expense Supplement
Seniors who are eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income may be eligible to receive additional money through the Exceptional Expense Supplement. This monthly subsidy is for seniors who require at least 40 hours of supportive services or in-home care per month and is paid out in addition to the federal benefit and the optional state supplement. Benefits are available to seniors who live in their own home, in adult foster care or in an assisted living facility.
To qualify for the Exceptional Expense Supplement, single applicants must have a monthly income of $771 or less and no more than $2,000 in countable assets. Married applicants can have a monthly income of up to $1,157 and $3,000 in countable assets. There are no enrollment caps, meaning that qualifying seniors are guaranteed to receive benefits.
To apply for the Exceptional Expense Supplement, seniors should contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Great Rivers Consortium at (888) 283-0012. More information on this program is available on our guide.
Alzheimer’s Family & Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP)
AFCSP provides support and respite care for low- and middle-income individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Services covered by this program include personal care, meal delivery, transportation assistance and adult day health care.
To qualify, the household’s annual income must not exceed $48,000, but care costs related to caring for the individual with dementia are not counted. Enrollment in this program is capped, and eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list. Families may call the Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources at (608) 266-2536 to be connected to their local resource center to begin the application process. More information on this program is available on our guide.
|Eau Claire Housing Authority||(715) 839-4902||The Eau Claire Housing Authority maintains 145 housing units for low-income seniors. Park Tower Apartments, located on Farwell Street, is comprised of 122 units, and Owen Rust Apartments, located on William Street, offers 23 units.|
|Good Shepherd Senior Apartments||(715) 834-3587||Good Shepherd Senior Apartments consists of 56 comfortable, affordable housing units for seniors, including 20 one-bedroom apartments and 36 two-bedroom apartments. This secured, pet-friendly complex features a salon, a library, on-site laundry facilities and craft and exercise rooms.|
|Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority||(800) 755-7835||WHEDA provides property tax deferral loans for elderly residents of Eau Claire. Through this program, seniors and veterans may convert home equity into income to pay their property tax.|
|Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program||(715) 836-7511||WHEAP provides low-income households in Eau Claire with assistance for their home’s heating and cooling costs.|
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in California.