Home and Living Options

In recent years, a wide range of long term care services have been developed to keep you independent for as long as possible. These services range from help with household tasks and personal care, to comprehensive and intensive home health services, to nursing home care. In this section, we will tell you more about your options.

If you would like help going through your options, contact the staff of the Montana Senior and Long Term Care Division, or your Area Agency on Aging.

Questions and Answers

Home and Community Based Services

These programs provide services to help keep you in your home.  The services range from help with personal care to most medical care.


Adult Day Care

Adult Day Care is a service for frail, physically or cognitively impaired, seniors and adults with disabilities. This service helps seniors/disabled adults to live with their families by providing a daily program of activities, social interaction with peers, and physical or speech therapy in a non-medical environment. This service also enables care givers to retain employment outside their homes, by helping to caring for a loved one. Day care can also be used for respite from this 24 hour a day responsibility.

If you are shopping for adult day care, here are just a few things you should consider. Does the facility provide round trip transportation, facilities for bathing and washing hair, qualified staff, a license to dispense medications and/or medical procedures, and tasty, nutritional meals which meet client needs?

View a list of all of the Adult Day Care facilities licensed by the State of Montana


Meals On Wheels

Meals on Wheels provides homebound seniors and adults with disabilities a hot lunch to meet their nutritional needs. The meal is delivered to their home through the Area Agencies on Aging and your local Senior Center.

Meals are prepared under direction of a registered dietician. Special diets, such as diabetic, low salt and individual preferences, are usually accommodated.

Participants receiving Meals on Wheels may make a voluntary contribution to help cover the cost of the program.

Adult Foster Care

An option of care whose hallmark is a small "family" setting for up to four residents. Personal care services, such as assistance with eating, bathing, dressing and grooming are provided to residents. There is medication management as well as general supervision.

Although the vast majority of residents living in Adult Foster Care are private pay, you may be able to get help if you have or can get Medicaid. Contact the Home and Community Based Services program to see if you meet the program rules.

Shared Housing

Another long-term living setup where two people choose to share a house, apartment, condo, or mobile home. If you are a senior citizen or disabled adult who lives alone, shared housing may be the choice for you. Each person would have a private bedroom, but share common areas like the living room, kitchen, family room, and laundry room. The house mates make decisions together about things like chores, cooking, privacy issues, and guests.

Just a few of the reasons to consider sharing your home include financial advantages, continued independence, increased security, and one of the best reasons...companionship.

Retirement Home

Retirement homes are multi-residence housing facility intended for senior citizens. Typically each person or couple in the home has an apartment-style room or suite of rooms. Additional facilities are provided within the building. This can include facilities for meals, gatherings, recreation activities, and some form of health or hospice care. A place in a retirement home can be paid for on a rental basis, like an apartment, or can be bought in perpetuity on the same basis as a condominium.

The biggest difference from a nursing home is the level of medical care given. Retirement villages and retirement communities, unlike retirement homes, offer separate and autonomous homes for residents.

Assisted Living Homes

You may have heard them called Personal Care Homes.  There is a wide range of options from help with personal care to almost nursing home care.  Assisted Living Homes are licensed as a Personal Care Home in the State of Montana. They can vary widely on services offered. Some homes specialize in providing services to people with physical impairments, while others may target services to the elderly or the cognitively impaired.

Facilities can be as small as five residents or have over one hundred residents. The majority of Montana Assisted Living/Personal Care Homes are licensed for less than 20 residents. A facility may be owned by a family and operated from a modified personal home or can be part of a large Corporation with modern hotel feel. The choices vary with the goals and values of each provider.

Services center around your daily living needs such as eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, taking medications and someone to watch out for you. Because the services and feel of each home can vary, it's a good idea to "shop" and "visit" before you choose. Before moving in, you will make a service plan with the staff at your new home. This will give you an idea of the range of services and the layout of your new home.  The plan will include your preferences, requirements, and "move-in" and "move-out" rules.

Veterans’ Homes

For those who have served their country, and the spouses of veterans, Montana operates and manages the Montana Veterans' Home in Columbia Falls and oversees a contract for the operation of  the Eastern Montana Veterans' Nursing Home in Glendive.  Montana is also working on the construction of a third veterans home, Southwest Montana Veterans Home in Butte. These links will take you to the webpages for each of these sites. The contact information for each home is listed below.

Montana Veterans' Home, Columbia Falls

Contact: Joren Underdahl
(Fax) (406) 892-0256 or junderdahl@mt.gov

Eastern Montana Veterans' Home, Glendive

Contact: Christy Kemp
(406) 377-8117
(Fax) (406) 345-8121 or Christy.Kemp@mt.gov

Southwest Montana State Veterans' Home, Butte

Contact: Ashley Baird
(406) 465-3908

Nursing Homes

Nursing facilities provide:

  • skilled nursing care and related services for residents who require medical or nursing care;
  • rehabilitation services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled or sick persons; or
  • on a regular basis, health-related care and services to individuals who because of their mental or physical condition require care and services, above the level of room and board, which can be made available to them only through institutional facilities.

With so many choices, it is best to have a look at a few of your options and choose the one that fits you the best. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) maintains a database titled "Nursing Home Compare". This database contains information on every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country. You can locate nursing homes in your community and find information about how well the facility meets Medicare and Medicaid regulations.


Veterans’ Homes

For those who have served their country, and the spouses of veterans, Montana operates and manages the Montana Veterans' Nursing Home in Columbia Falls and oversees a contract for the operation of Eastern Montana Veterans' Nursing Home in Glendive and Southwest Montana Veterans' Home in Butte.

Montana Veterans' Home, Columbia Falls
Contact Joren Underdahl
(406) 892-3256
(Fax) (406) 892-0256 or junderdahl@mt.gov

Eastern Montana Veterans' Home, Glendive
Contact Janna McCormick
(406) 377-8117
(Fax) (406) 345-8121 or janna.mccormick@mt.gov

Southwest Montana Veterans' Home, Butte
Contact Shannon Kadrmas
(406) 377-8117

Are you eligible for Medicaid, Health Coverage Assistance or other public assistance?

If you are not sure if you can be covered by Medicaid or other assistance programs, go to   apply.mt.gov  and find out.  If you are insured by Medicaid, find the person to call in your area for the services you want.

Are you eligible for Medicare?

If you are not sure if you can be covered by Medicare go to  medicare.gov  and find out.  Apply for Medicare, find a Health and drug plan or get started with Medicare. If you would like help making Medicare work best for you, contact the Montana   State Health and Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP),

Do you have or need private insurance? 

The link above is to the national HealthCare.gov website. This site is designed to answer most questions you will have regarding health coverage. If you have a private policy but are not sure if certain services are covered, contact your insurance agent.

Do you need a Medicare supplemental policy?

Because the Healthcare Marketplace cannot be used to buy Medicare supplemental policies, this link takes you to the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.  This site can provide Montana specific information on Health Care Reform.

Do you have a disability?

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) works with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in administering two disability programs. They use the same medical/vocational criteria for both programs for determining eligibility for benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible individuals who cannot work due to serious physical or mental disability. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program that provides coverage for adults and children whose income and resources are below a specified level.

Reverse Annuity Mortgages

The program helps Montana lower income homeowners over 67 years old borrow the equity in their homes.  The funds are often used to pay for services that help the person stay in their home.