Kingman ranks second in nation in senior living

Affordable costs, low crime rate make the city an attractive locale

Pat Kaminski reacts with delight to winning Blackout Bingo Saturday at White Cliffs Senior Living Saturday morning. Kingman is a top-rated city for senior living standards.

Photo by JC Amberlyn.

Pat Kaminski reacts with delight to winning Blackout Bingo Saturday at White Cliffs Senior Living Saturday morning. Kingman is a top-rated city for senior living standards.


Beverly Prader walks her dog, Turbo, a Yorkshire terrier, at White Cliffs Senior Living Friday afternoon.

It’s always a tough decision to displace old folks from the home where they’ve lived comfortably for so many years, where they know where everything is and how everything works, who’s their neighbor, where’s the nearest grocery store.

But when it comes time to put them into senior housing, you want to make sure it’s affordable and in a safe location.

Those are two reasons why Kingman is ranked No. 2 in the nation for senior living by A Place for Mom, a Seattle-based senior living referral service that analyzed 380 cities for its study.

The study was conducted in conjunction with FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data to compute percentile ranks for violent crime rate, property crime rate and median senior housing costs.

Kingman is No. 2 for both safety and affordability, which are important factors when seniors and their families are making their decisions, said Ben Hanowell, data scientist and lead researcher for the report. Lake Havasu City is No. 9, giving Mohave County two of the top 10.

“Looking at housing and care, crime rate is not at the top,” Hanowell said Friday in a telephone interview from Seattle. “It’s important, but there are many other factors that come in. Usually, the main thing is quality of care, and that the senior and family are budget-conscious. They’re on a fixed income.”

Kingman falls into the lower 25 percentile for crime, meaning that three-fourths of the cities analyzed in the study had higher crime rates, Hanowell explained.

On a monthly basis, it costs $1,947 for independent living, $3,012 for assisted living and $3,823 for memory care in Kingman.

“It’s the quality of care and then cost, and after those two things, you’re in a good community. You don’t want to sacrifice living in a lower quality neighborhood for that quality of care,” Hanowell said.

On a national level, the data revealed that the most affordable cities among those with low crime rates are in the South and Midwest, and are typically cities with a low population density, the analyst noted.

Among the most balanced between safety and affordability are the twin cities of Bristol, Tennessee, and Bristol, Virginia, both small, sparsely populated cities in the South.

Jean Motis, 77, a resident at The Gardens Rehab Center in Kingman since May, had a choice of living in Las Vegas or Kingman after having her left foot amputated.

“Kingman is my home and I have people who help me,” Motis said as she wheeled her way back to her room after lunch. “When I lived in Las Vegas, crime was terrible. I went to the bank and some guy ripped me off. Here, I feel safer. Life is much nicer. I overlook the mountains and desert. I’ve been a desert rat all my life.”

She said living at The Gardens is “very affordable” considering all the services she receives.

Kingman Police Chief Robert DeVries said he was pleased to hear about the No. 2 ranking.

“We take pride in our profession and all of us call Kingman home,” he said. “It’s where our children and in some cases our grandchildren reside. I’m often asked about Kingman and I never hesitate to recommend it as a place to live.

“We have our challenges, just like any other community, but it’s what we do as a community that sets us apart. I think many in the community would agree that the (senior living) report is flawed. We all know we should have been ranked No. 1.”

Hanowell separated violent crimes from property crimes. Many seniors are concerned about motor vehicle theft and petty theft, and the crime rate in Kingman is very low for property crime as a whole, he said.

It’s not like Hammond, Indiana, he added.

“It’s all locally relative. When someone says there’s a high crime rate, I’m not a criminologist, but what I know about crime rates is it’s heavily influenced by media coverage. People focus on that,” Hanowell said.

“There’s a major perception in the United States that crime rates are on the rise. That’s at odds with reality. We looked at over 300 cities and from 2009 to 2015, there’s either no clear trend or they’ve fallen in the vast majority of cities.”

Hanowell said the purpose of the report is to help families meet the needs of their loved ones within their budget, but not have them living in an undesirable neighborhood, and still get the quality of care they need.

“At this point, the most important thing is knowing where to live and with a low cost and in a safe neighborhood, rather than where the crime rates are headed,” he said.

The report is available at


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kdmineruser1 1 week, 2 days ago

I've said before; Kingman city fathers should quit trying to make an industrial and retail metropolis out of Kingman and build on the natural thing that Kingman has to offer. Quiet, relatively crime free, affordable living with good medical services. Perfect for older retired people.

Additionally, the great climate with relatively small possibility of natural disasters, such as wild fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados and best of can sit out at night and NO MOSQUITOS!!

You've got two kinds of young workers here in Kingman. Those that want to make something good of their life, so they move away to get educated and to live in the big cities where the job opportunities are plentiful. Then the other type are those that don't care about education and making a comfortable living and they stay here flipping burgers and (partying) after work!

So quit banging your heads against a steel wall, Kingman and use what Kingman has best to offer....retirement living for "not so rich" seniors.


Gunguy45 1 week, 2 days ago

User1, The problem you don't understand in the article is that they are talking about assisted living or senior living, not retiree communities like you see in some areas. The retirees that can help the economy by buying/building homes, buying new cars, shopping, eating out, etc, look more to places like Sun City AZ, Boca Raton and Dell Ray FL, etc. As a rule those people want a lot of amenities that Kingman doesn't have. Multiple golf courses, good shopping, ocean breezes, no real extremes of weather. Low cost of living is about all we have going for us. If the City doesn't do something that's going to have to taxation most likely. Raising the sales tax keeps people from buying here. The only logical path is to get more buyers in the area by offering better choices or taxing property or income of those already here. Personally, a couple of hundred a year in property tax would be the preferred method IMO.


danniesjoy 1 week, 2 days ago

A place for Mom is a excellent database. I wish I would of known about it 7 years ago when I was searching for Assisted Living in Cheyenne, WY for my Mother in law. I did an independent study of all the AL facilities in Cheyenne and called, did personal interviews with facility directors (with Mother in law in tow), and compared amenities, prices, state complaints, etc. We finally decided on a place. It was a one bedroom. At that time in that location, it was almost $3,500 a month. I'd definitely say just comparing prices, Kingman is a bargain!


RR 1 week, 2 days ago

City limits yes, unincorporated county no. That would be the best place for senile living.


Gunguy45 1 week, 2 days ago

So which area do you occupy RR? Sounds like you are well on your way to that lifestyle yourself.


lynn22 1 week, 1 day ago

Senile? Meant as an insult?


Wildrose 1 week, 2 days ago

The saddest part of this story is when Mr. Smith wrote "when it comes time to put them in senior housing", as if it is expected that when you get older, you must be put in senior housing.

When did families quit taking care of their elderly parents? When I grew up, the elderly either stayed in their own homes with family checking on them or they were provided a bedroom in one of their childrens' homes. Not always the case of course, but usually.


LVaron 1 week, 2 days ago

Even if you are not in a senior facility, Kingman truly is affordable for those of us on a limited income from social security. Most of our older family members came to Kingman for that reason, as well as many other perks. I just bet if they kept track of those who leave our city after relocating here, the numbers are quite low.


Gunguy45 1 week, 2 days ago

TY! TY! TY! LVaron. You used the correct term of "limited income". Not "fixed income" that most people aren't truly on at all. Sure, some people who can't do anything (even knit, crochet, answer phones or clean yards) and have to completely live off Gov't programs are on incomes that vary little. Most people can find some source of extra money somehow, even if it's just a few dollars.


bikerrandy 1 week ago

We moved here 7.5 years ago from norCal to retire and have no regrets. We bought a comparable priced house, paid it off in a year after selling ours in Calif. and our property taxes are less than 1/2 of what they were in Calif. Gasoline is at lest 30 cents a gal. cheaper and now we have next to no yard maintenance. I'm 73 yo now and if our local hospital can't take care of me I go to Las Vegas for a specialist. Being a motorcycle rider the only thing I miss is curvy roads but can ride to norCal for that every summer. Besides cost of living being cheaper here this state is politically more in tune with us too than Calif. We have no regrets moving here. Most our neighbors are retirees from other parts of the nation too.