What is the Cost of Assisted Living in California?

California is renowned for its sunny climate and lack of taxes on food and prescription drugs, making it a popular destination for seniors looking to retire. With the elderly population in the state expected to grow substantially, many seniors are in need of counseling to find affordable housing. Choosing the right assisted living facility is an important decision for older adults, so it's essential to conduct a thorough investigation of potential centers. To help with this process, we've compiled a comprehensive directory of assisted living centers in California.

Medi-Cal is California's combined federal and state program designed to help pay for health care for public assistance recipients and other low-income people. Medi-Cal doesn't directly cover the full cost of assisted living, but the program does offer an exemption to cover long-term care services for older people who qualify for a nursing home but who could meet their personal and health needs in an assisted living facility. Seniors must also meet certain financial requirements to be eligible for the assisted living exemption. The cost part is essentially a settlement for seniors whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits, but too low to pay their health care expenses.

To apply for Medi-Cal coverage and discuss the assisted living exemption, you'll need to contact your local county office. In addition, area agencies on aging are a great place to start the application process. Government and non-profit organizations in California can offer free assistance to older people and their loved ones in the process of finding information about long-term care options. These organizations are a great starting point for understanding your rights and options.

Social Security offices in California are another great resource for seniors seeking help. By contacting or visiting a Social Security office, you and your loved one can get a better idea of your social security benefits and what you can spend on assisted living expenses. It should be noted that Social Security income is not taxable in this state. Service plans should be updated every time the resident experiences a significant change in their health status to ensure that the services provided continue to meet their needs.

Residents must be able to direct their own care and can be admitted if they have an authorized third party to help them with certain health conditions, such as oxygen administration, catheter care, complications of diabetes, dementia, or incontinence. Assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and other personal hygiene needs, assistance to self-administer medications and control food intake or adherence to a specialized diet may also be available. California assisted living communities must define in writing the scope of the services they provide to residents. For any assisted living community you're considering, it's important to review the scope of care and services you or your loved one need to ensure that they can meet your needs.

Residents can find help with cost coverage through an assisted living exemption available in California's Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. The Medicaid exemption may cover medical and care-related services for California seniors who live in an assisted living community, but it does not cover room costs (26%) for food. Assisted living communities in California are not required to provide private apartments for seniors. Arizona may offer apartment type residences or rooms with single or double occupancy.

Each unit must have one bathroom for every 6 residents with a shower or bathtub for every 10 residents. For seniors who have the exemption from assisted living facilities, the requirements include private occupancy, and shared occupancy only at the residents' choice, and units must have a refrigerator and kitchen appliance. Residents can administer their own medications as long as the doctor deems them mentally and physically capable of doing so. Staff who help self-administer medications must complete courses, pass an exam, and complete hours of training, depending on the number of residents living in the center.

A nurse, pharmacist, or doctor must oversee the training and exam.