Page Reviewed / Updated - September 2019
This guide provides detailed information on senior living costs in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, as well as available financial assistance programs and local resources. For more information on senior care costs and resources in the state as a whole, visit our Wisconsin guide.
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.|