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Page Reviewed / Updated – October 16, 2020
The 10 Best Assisted Living Facilities in Baltimore, MD
Affectionately nicknamed Charm City, Baltimore is known for the postcard-perfect Inner Harbor. While it is the largest city in Maryland and the 30th most populous city in the U.S., it offers a low cost of living that is 11.8% lower than the U.S. average. This makes it a smart choice for seniors on a budget who yearn for the big city life at a price tag they can afford.
Seniors who enjoy the outdoors will find comfort in the expansive park system which features 4,600 acres of parkland, 262 parks and more than 25 miles of hiking trails. Many of these parks feature historic structures and visitor’s centers. In fact, the historic nature of Baltimore is part of its charm and despite massive attempts at modernization, the city has worked diligently to emphasize its history, making it attractive for history buffs. Around 14.5% of Baltimore’s population is over the age of 65, and the Division of Aging has worked hard to address their needs by creating over 20 Maryland Access Points across the city to help seniors understand local resources.
Take a look at our list of the top 10 assisted living facilities in Baltimore, MD. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Baltimore and what financial assistance programs are available.
The Cost of Senior Living and Care in Baltimore
The Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey shows that the cost of home care and adult day care in Baltimore is close to the state average, with home care costs slightly lower and adult day care costs slightly higher. Assisted living is significantly lower than the state average. By contrast, nursing home care costs in Baltimore are $502 more each month than the state average. Baltimore exceeds the national averages for most care types, including assisted living, where Charm City is $250 higher than the U.S. average of $4,000.
How much does Assisted Living Cost in Baltimore?
In Baltimore, the average cost of assisted living is $4,250 each month. This is among the cheapest in the area, with only Cumberland cheaper at $3,650 a month. Harrisburg is also an affordable area at $4,418 a month, $168 more expensive than the Baltimore area.
Other cities in Maryland and the surrounding states have more expensive assisted living. Costs range from $5,000 in Washington, D.C. to $5,900 in the California area, which is $1,650 more each month than the price in Baltimore.
How much does Home Care Cost in Baltimore?
The cost of home health care in most Maryland cities and nearby cities in the surrounding states range from $3,813 to $4,290 a month, with only $477 between the lowest and highest. Baltimore is somewhere in the middle with a cost of $4,004 a month. This is based on a person needing 44 hours of care each week and comes out to $21 an hour. The most expensive home health care, in Washington, D.C., is $22.50 an hour.
The single outlier is Cumberland, where home health care costs $3,432 a month. This is $572 less each month than the cost in Baltimore and works out to just $18 an hour.
How much does Adult Day Care Cost in Baltimore?
The cost of adult day care in Baltimore is $1,880 a month, $147 less than the Maryland average. This is the most expensive adult day care in Maryland, although seniors in Washington, D.C., pay $1,972 a month, $92 more than those in Baltimore.
Most cities in Maryland have similar costs for adult day care. Salisbury has the most affordable adult day care, with a cost of $1,681, $199 less than Baltimore. The cost in Richmond and Harrisburg are even lower, with seniors in Harrisburg paying just $1,235 a month, $645 less than seniors in Baltimore.
How much does Nursing Home Costs in Baltimore?
Baltimore and Salisbury have the most expensive nursing home care in Maryland, with a cost of $9,733 each month for a semi-private room. This is $502 more than the Maryland average and $380 more than the Hagerstown area, which has the next highest cost in Maryland. Despite this, Baltimore is more affordable than nearby Washington, D.C., where seniors pay $10,539 more each month, $806 more than in Baltimore.
Other towns in Maryland, including Cumberland and the California area, offer less expensive options. The California area has the least expensive nursing home care in the area, with a cost of $7,756 a month, $1,977 less than the Baltimore average.
Financial Assistance Programs in Baltimore
Medicaid Program in Baltimore
Medicaid is also called Medical Assistance, or MA, in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. It’s administered by the Maryland Department of Health and provides healthcare coverage to people who meet certain eligibility requirements.
For singles, the income limit is $350 a month, with an asset limit of $2,500. For married couples, the income limit is $392 a month, with an asset limit of $3,000. This is an entitlement, with all eligible residents able to access the payment. Applications for the program can be made online, by mail or in person at a local Department of Social Services.
Nursing home care is covered by the Long Term Services and Support Program. This program is an entitlement. To be eligible for the program, applicants must require care under the full-time supervision of a licensed nurse. Additionally, the applicant’s income cannot exceed the cost of nursing home care. Singles have an asset limit of $2,000 and married couples can have $3,000 in assets. Applications can be made by mail or in person at a local Department of Social Services.
Not all assets are included when determining Medicaid eligibility. Exemptions include burial trusts, an automobile, household furnishings and personal belongings. An applicant’s home is also exempt, providing it is the primary place of residence for the applicant or their spouse and is valued under $585,000. In addition, if an applicant is married and their spouse is not applying, their spouse is allowed a Community Spouse Resource Allowance of $126,420 of the couple’s joint assets.
Maryland also has pathways to Medicaid for people who don’t meet the eligibility requirements. People whose healthcare costs are high in relation to their income may qualify through the Medically Needy Pathway. Working with a Medicaid Planning professional may also help Baltimore seniors become eligible for Medicaid.
Medicaid Waivers in Baltimore
Home and Community-Based Options Waiver
The Home and Community-Based Options waiver provides assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, dressing and getting around. To be eligible, applicants must need nursing home level care and have a monthly income that is less than 300 % of SSI benefits. Participants in this program are also eligible for other Medicaid services. This is available to people in the community and in nursing home care. It is not an entitlement and eligible applicants may be put on a waiting list. Interested applicants can call Maryland Access Point on 1-844-627-5465 for more information.
Community First Choice
Community First Choice provides assistance to people who wish to stay in the community and would otherwise require nursing home care. It provides a wide range of services, including personal assistance services, assistive technology, nurse monitoring and accessibility adaptations. Applicants must qualify for Medicaid, require nursing home level care and live in the community in order to be eligible. Participants are encouraged to take an active role in determining the care required, and the waiver does pay for family members to provide care. There are no waiting lists for the program; all eligible applicants can access services. To apply, seniors can contact Maryland Access Point on 1-844-627-5465.
Community Personal Assistant Services
Community Personal Assistant Services (CPAS) provide a range of services to people who need help to stay in their own home. Services are provided by self-employed or agency-employed providers. Within the program, self-employed means participants choose their providers, while agency-employed providers are arranged by the program’s administration. In both cases, providers must be an approved personal care provider and care is paid for by the program.
Applicants for the program must require hands-on help with at least one activity of daily living. In addition, they must be eligible to receive Medicaid. Maryland Access Point on 1-844-627-5465 managed applications.
Medical Day Care Services
Baltimore seniors who are enrolled in another home and community-based waiver program may be able to access the Medical Day Care Services program. It pays for daytime supervision in a licensed daycare center. As well as being enrolled in another waiver program, applicants must require nursing home level care and be eligible for Medicaid. The program offers a wide range of services, including social interaction, meals, medication monitoring and skilled nursing and nursing assessments. The program also offers respite to primary caregivers. Interested seniors can contact Maryland Access Point on 1-844-627-5465 to apply.
Increased Community Services Waiver
The Increased Community Services program aims to help people in nursing homes to return to living in the community. It provides a wide range of environmental services, including transition services, assistive technology, home adaptations and environmental assessments. In addition, personal services are available, including nurse monitoring, personal assistance, meals and family training.
To be eligible, applicants must be in a nursing home for at least three months, not eligible for an existing waiver and their care in the community must cost less than the equivalent care in a nursing home. In addition, they cannot be eligible for an existing Medicaid waiver, they must require nursing home level care and must contribute any income that’s more than 300 % of SSI benefits to their own care. Applications are managed by Maryland Access Point on 1-844-627-5465.
Other Financial Assistance Programs in Baltimore
Maryland Senior Care Services Program
The Maryland Senior Care Services program is designed to help low-income seniors who don’t qualify for Medicaid but require help in their homes. To qualify, they must be at least 65 and at risk for nursing home placement. The income limit for singles is $2,904 a month and $3,797 for married couples. The program provides a range of services in the home, including chore services, medication and personal assistance. To apply, seniors can contact the Baltimore MAP office on (410) 887-2594.
Senior Assisted Living Group Home Subsidy Program
Also called the Assisted Living Subsidy, this program is available to residents of participating assisted living facilities. Participants must be at least 62 years of age and require help with activities of daily living. In addition, applicants must meet the financial criteria, including income and asset limits. The benefit is paid directly to the assisted living facility for the participant’s care. Seniors can apply to the Baltimore City MAP on (410) 396-2273.
Congregate Housing Services Program
The Congregate Housing Services Program pays money directly to specially certified congregate or group homes to subsidize the cost for program participants. These homes typically provide residents with meals, housekeeping, laundry, medication reminders and some personal assistance. Participants must be 62 or older, permanently or temporarily disabled and require assistance with at least one activity of daily living. In addition, there are financial criteria, with asset limits and an income limit based on 60 % of the state’s median income. The Maryland Department of Aging administers the program and applications can be made through them.
In-Home Aide Services
In-Home Aide Services are available to all Maryland residents aged 18 and over who require assistance to remain in their home. It provides help with activities of daily living, including self-care and common chores. In addition, the program provides case management and self-training. There are no financial criteria for the program, but seniors who are enrolled in a Medicaid program must get services through Medicaid rather than IHAS. There are waiting lists for the service and enrollment is based on priority. Applications are made through county departments of social services.
Project Home is an adult foster care program designed to help people who cannot live alone but can stay in a foster care environment. The program provides meals and accommodation and may also offer social activities, medication monitoring, transport and some help with daily activities. Participants cannot have more than $2,000 in assets. In addition, they must have a documented disability and if they require medication, they must be able to self-medicate. Although there are no income limits for the program, participants are asked to pay program fees. There is financial assistance available to people who cannot afford the program fees. There may be a waitlist for the program and seniors can apply through their county’s department of social services.
More Senior Living Resources in Baltimore
|Housing Authority of Baltimore City||(410) 396-3232||The Housing Authority of Baltimore City offers housing help to low-income residents, including older adults. Public housing, rent assistance and the Housing Choice Voucher Program are available, although there may be waiting lists for some programs.|
|Family Caregiver Support Program||(410) 396-1337||This program provides support to people who are caring for older relatives. Services provided include respite care and supplemental services such as chores, medical supplies and housing improvement.|
|Office of Home Energy Programs||(800) 332-6347||The Office of Home Energy Programs has a number of grants to help pay heating and electricity costs, overdue bills and avoid turnoffs. They can also help with weatherization and energy efficiency. Eligibility is based on income and the number of residents in the household.|
|Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc.||(410) 500-5300||Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. offers home repairs to seniors in Baltimore, helping them age in place in the homes they love. They also operate a number of senior living communities for low-income seniors.|
|Accessible Homes for Seniors||(301) 429-7821||This program provides grants and zero-interest loans to seniors who need to adapt their homes. Adaptations can include the installation of railings, grab bars and ramps and the widening of doorways. The program is intended to help older adults remain independent in their homes.|
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Maryland.