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Page Reviewed / Updated – September 29, 2020
The 10 Best Assisted Living Facilities in Atlanta, GA
Atlanta is one of the most popular destinations for Americans who are relocating for a variety of reasons. The city’s population is growing roughly 200% faster than the state and 300% faster than the nation, and there are more than 55,000 people aged 65 and over in the area. Seniors can watch a game at one of Atlanta’s relatively new stadiums and arenas, which includes NFL, MLS and more. History and culture are also important pieces of the city’s character, and it has many museums to showcase it.
Georgia is widely considered to be very tax-friendly for seniors as they enter retirement or a long-term care facility. Although the overall cost of living in Atlanta is higher than the national average, some of these factors have little impact on seniors in assisted living specifically, and the cost of health care is 9% lower than the U.S. average. Atlanta’s relatively affordable health care is due in part to the abundance of providers in the area; there are approximately 75% more physicians per capita compared to the U.S. overall.
Read on to see our top 10 list of the assisted living communities around Atlanta. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Atlanta and what financial assistance programs are available.
The Cost of Senior Living and Care in Atlanta
According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care study, the average monthly cost of senior care in Atlanta is somewhat higher than the rest of the state. The most significant difference between Atlanta and the statewide costs is adult day care with costs in Atlanta of $1,712 per month, approximately $412 more than the state average of $1,300 and $152 more than the national average of $1,560.
Nursing home care is a close second with monthly costs in Atlanta of $6,753, $411 more than the statewide average of $6,342, but $688 less than the U.S. average of $7,441. Although home care costs in the region average about $190 more than the state median, they are $231 less than the national average. Assisted living and home care expenses in Atlanta are roughly $290 and $190 more per month than the Georgia average, respectively.
How much does Assisted Living Cost in Atlanta?
Assisted living costs in Atlanta are slightly higher than most other locations in Georgia. In Atlanta, monthly assisted living expenses are $3,390, approximately $290 more expensive than the Georgia average of $3,100. More expensive assisted living costs can be found in Dalton, Gainesville and Macon, where monthly assisted living costs are $4,035, $3,500 and $3,484, respectively. Less expensive assisted living services are found in Athens, Rome and Columbus where assisted living expenses are around $3,350, $3,200 and $2,750
How much does Home Care Cost in Atlanta?
Home care costs in Atlanta are more expensive than most of the cities surveyed. The average monthly cost for home care in Atlanta is $3,813, which is approximately $190 more expensive than the averages for Georgia, Athens and Rome of $3,623 per month.
More expensive home care services are reported in Gainesville, where home care averages $4,044 per month. Less expensive home healthcare services can be found in Dalton where home care expenses are $3,241 per month. Columbus and Macon both also have less expensive monthly home care service costs at $3,337.
Although Atlanta home care costs are higher than other regions in the state, the price differences are minimal, according to the Genworth Survey.
How much does Adult Day Care Cost in Atlanta?
Adult day care in Atlanta is more expensive than most other regions in Georgia, according to the survey. The average monthly cost of adult day care in Atlanta is $1,712, approximately $412 less than the Georgia average, Athens and Macon where monthly costs average $1,300. Adult day care in Dalton averages about $1463, more expensive than the state average but less expensive than the monthly costs in Atlanta.
More affordable adult day care services can be found in Columbus and Gainesville where monthly costs average $1,327 and $1,257, respectively, between $400 and $500 dollars less than in Atlanta. Although Atlanta’s adult day care costs are similar to other cities in Georgia, more affordable adult day care may be found in other areas of the state.
How much does Nursing Home Costs in Atlanta?
The monthly costs of nursing home care in Atlanta is among the highest in the state at $6,753, approximately $411 more expensive that the Georgia state median. Of the cities surveyed, the most expensive nursing home care is in Dalton, where monthly costs are $7,270, about $517 more expensive than in Atlanta. Nursing home care is also more expensive in Macon where monthly costs are $6,874, approximately $121 more expensive than in Atlanta.
More affordable nursing home care can be found in Athens, Columbus, Gainesville and Rome, where monthly costs average $6,083, $6038, $6,220 and $6,000, respectively.
Financial Assistance Programs in Atlanta
Medicaid Program in Atlanta
Medicaid provides free or low-cost healthcare to seniors residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Medicaid will provide assistance for long-term care and also covers the cost of living in a nursing facility and personal care assistance. Applicants should note that there are two Medicaid programs available to seniors in Atlanta with different criteria based on whether a senior is single, married and the lone applicant, or married and applying with their spouse.
Institutional/Nursing Home Medicaid is only provided to those seniors residing in nursing facilities. This is an entitlement program meaning that all qualifying recipients will receive benefits. To qualify for this benefit, single applicants must have an income of $2,313 per month and no more than $2,000. They must also be in need of a nursing home level of care as determined by a medical professional.
If a senior is married and both applicants are applying, they must have a combined income not exceeding $4626 per month, with each applicant earning no more than $2,313 per month, and assets of $3,000 or less. In the case of married applicants where only one spouse is applying, the applicant must have an income that doesn’t exceed $2,313 per month and assets not exceeding $2,000 for the applicant, and $126,420 for the non-applicant spouse.
Regular Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled is also an entitlement program, so all applicants who qualify will receive benefits. In order to qualify for this program, single applicants must have an income that doesn’t exceed $771 monthly, and assets of no more than $2,000.
Married seniors with both spouses applying cannot have a combined income of more than $1,157 per month or assets exceeding $3,000. In the case of married seniors where only one spouse is applying, that spouse can’t have an income of more than $771 per month and must not have assets worth more than $2,000.
Applicants of either program must have proof of residency in Atlanta, along with proof of citizenship and be at least 65 years old.
Georgia seniors who wish to apply for Medicaid in Atlanta can do so by applying online at the Georgia Gateway website or by calling (404) 656-8681.
Medicaid Waivers in Atlanta
Community Care Services Program (CCSP)
The Community Care Services Program is designed to assist Georgia seniors who are living at home, in an assisted living facility, or participating in adult day care. The program, run under the Elderly and Disabled Waiver is designed to help seniors remain in their own homes or communities. Seniors who receive this waiver are allowed to direct their services, which means they can choose some of their own caregivers.
Although Georgia seniors can select some of their own caregivers, it’s rare that family members are allowed to act as caregivers. The only situation in which a senior can elect a family member as a caregiver is when the senior lives in a rural area or if the senior applicant has a health condition where it’s difficult to find qualified workers to provide care. If a senior is allowed to elect a family member to become their caregiver, it’s important to note that spouses cannot be appointed as caregivers under any circumstances. Some of the services offered by this program include:
- Nursing and therapy
- Emergency response systems
- Meals delivery
- Personal care assistance
In order to qualify for this program seniors must:
- Qualify for Medicaid benefits
- Be residents of the state of Georgia
- Have physical or cognitive limitations requiring a nursing home level of care as documented by a qualified physician
- Have an income of $2,313 per month or less for single applicants and assets that do not exceed $2,000
- In the case of married applicants where both seniors are applying, each senior must earn no more than $2,313 per month and assets worth no more than $3,000
- For married applicants where only one spouse is applying, applicants may qualify for an exemption where part of an applicant’s income is shifted to the non-applying spouse up to $3,160.50 with assets not exceeding $2,000.
It’s important to note that these asset limits do not include vehicles and home values. Both of these assets must be primary assets, meaning the senior or their spouse lives in the home and the vehicle is their primary vehicle. Home assets must not be worth more than $585,000. Seniors who have burial accounts can also qualify for an exclusion provided that the money in the burial account does not exceed $10,000.
Atlanta seniors wishing to apply for the CCSP waiver can do so by contacting their local Area Agency on Aging at (404) 463-3333.
Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE)
The SOURCE waiver program also operates under the Elderly and Disabled Waiver and is designed to help seniors who require nursing assistance remain in their own homes or in the community. For those seniors with low incomes, this program can provide assistance with both medical and personal care services. In order to qualify for this program, seniors must:
- Be 65 or older
- If not yet 65, they must be physically disabled
- Require a nursing home level of care as determined by a medical assessment
- Single seniors must have an income of $2,313 per month or less and assets of no more than $2,000
- Married seniors where only one applicant is applying only the applying spouse’s income is taken into consideration and cannot be in excess of $2,313 and assets of not more than $2,000, although applicant’s with higher incomes can transfer some of their income to their non-applicant spouse, not exceeding $3,160.50 per month.
- Married seniors where both seniors are applying must have incomes of no more than $2,313 each and assets not exceeding $3,000
Seniors should keep in mind that these asset limits do not include burial accounts of $10,000 or less, primary vehicles, life insurance policies worth no more than $1,500 and homes worth less than $585,000.
Some of the benefits provided by this waiver include:
- Medical and personal care assistance
- Assisted living or adult day health care
- Emergency response systems
- Meal and health service deliveries
- Respite care
Seniors wishing to apply for the SOURCE waiver can do so by calling (866) 552-4464.
Other Financial Assistance Programs in Atlanta
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
The AAA offers programs known as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), which in Georgia is a non-Medicaid assistance program for low-income seniors who wish to remain in their own homes. Some of the services available to qualifying individuals include:
- Home delivered meals
- Congregate meals
- Respite care
- Homemaker services
- Personal care
- Personal emergency response services
- Adult day care
- Caregiver training
- Home visits
- Safety check phone calls
- Home repairs
- Nutritional counseling
The funding for this program can depend on where the applicant lives in the state, as can the available services. In order to qualify for this program, applicants must:
- Be at least 60 years of age
- Have an assessment of financial and functional need completed by the AAA
This is not an entitlement program, so qualifying seniors may be placed on a waiting list. However, seniors with incomes of $1,041 or less per month are given priority.
Seniors wishing to apply for this program can do so by calling their local AAA at (404) 463-3333.
The GeorgiaCares program is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and is governed by the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Aging Services (DAS). This program is designed to help Atlanta seniors with low incomes reduce the cost of their prescriptions and assists them in understanding their Medicaid benefits.
Some of the services provided under this program include:
- Assistance with enrolling in Medicare programs
- Explanations of benefits and summary notices
- Assistance with filing claims and appeals
- Assistance with applying for financial assistance programs
Seniors should keep in mind that this is not an entitlement program; qualifying seniors could wind up on a waitlist.
Seniors interested in applying for this program can do so by contacting the AAA at (404) 463-3333.
More Senior Living Resources in Atlanta
|Marta Mobility||(404) 848-5112||Marta Mobility provides paratransit transportation in the Atlanta area. Seniors are eligible for discounted services. In order to qualify for a Reduced Fare Breeze Car, seniors must provide a valid photo idea, proof of mediCare, proof of age, and complete and submit the reduced fare form.|
|Atlanta Housing (AH)||(404) 215-6600||Atlanta Housing helps low-income seniors find affordable housing through either community-based assistance. Applicants are pulled from the waiting list on a first come, first served basis, so it could take a while to get assistance depending on how many people are on the list.|
|Atlanta Housing (AH) Housing Choice Voucher Program||(404) 215-6600||This program, also known as tenant-based assistance, assists seniors find housing anywhere in Atlanta without having to pay more than 30 percent of their income toward their rent. Seniors can also use the voucher to move outside of Atlanta after spending one year on the program. The waiting list is only open periodically, so seniors will need to watch for the first opening, which should be announced on the AH website as well as in newspapers and on the radio. Seniors should keep in mind that the waiting list for this program has not been opened since 2017, so they may need to wait for longer than anticipated for a chance to sign up.|
|Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||(877) 423-4746||The LIHEAP program is designed to assist low-income seniors with the energy costs associated with heating and cooling their homes. Although no benefits are received by the applicants, utility companies are paid directly by the program. Seniors may qualify for regular or emergency benefits under this program,and there are financial requirements. This is not an entitlement program. Although priority is given to those who are 60 years of age or older.|
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Georgia.