Page Reviewed / Updated - September 24, 2020
Fort Myers has long been a popular retirement destination thanks to its prime location along the Gulf Coast and Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida. This vibrant community stands out for its picturesque palm-lined avenues, waterfront neighborhoods and mild winters, which attract retirees from far and wide. A true midsize city, Fort Myers has 87,103 residents, and senior citizens represent more than 20% of the total population.
The area's reasonable cost of living, which is slightly lower than the state and national averages, is also a boon, but the city has much more to offer. Fort Myers is a haven for golfers and baseball fans who flock to the area for spring training, and the city is home to a number of nature preserves that protect the area's iconic cypress groves and indigenous species. Residents also have access to a large selection of medical professionals and several high-performing hospitals.
Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Fort Myers and what financial assistance programs are available.
7460 Lake Breeze Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33907
Brookdale Fort Myers Cypress Lake is centrally located near shops and restaurants along Cypress Lake Drive and South Tamiami Trail. This well-equipped assisted living and memory care facility offers an extensive selection of amenities, including a theater, spacious library and game room offering billiards and poker. Comfortably appointed common areas are used for a wide array of daily and weekly activities, including coffee socials, crafting workshops, movies and fitness classes. The community also features an outdoor pool for swimming laps or soaking in the Florida sunshine.
2117 Earl Road
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Stellar reviews and consistently excellent service have earned The Rose Garden of Fort Myers a top spot on our list of the area's best senior living communities. This locally owned facility offers assisted living and memory care in a compassionate, family-oriented setting. Individual choice is at the heart of the community's approach. Residents enjoy three daily meals, including made-to-order breakfasts, anytime menu items and tasty desserts. A varied calendar of events that includes themed parties, lunch outings, ice cream socials, music, canasta and religious activities ensures there's something for everyone.
10200 Cypress Cove Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
The Inn at Cypress Cove is a continuing care retirement community offering a complete array of long-term care services on a stunning waterfront campus. Prospective residents can choose from a broad selection of accommodations ranging from low-maintenance studios to multibedroom villas. Entry fees and monthly rentals give residents access to an impressive variety of amenities, including a theater, woodworking shop, yacht club pavilion and cocktail lounge. A heated indoor pool, certified personal trainer and well-equipped gym make it easy for residents to maintain or improve their fitness. For added convenience, the community offers a range of specialty services, including on-site medical care and skilled nursing.
9461 Health Park Circle
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Residents at Pacifica Senior Living Fort Myers enjoy a convenient location minutes from shopping areas, physicians' offices and the HealthPark Medical Center. This unique cottage-style community offers secure accommodations designed especially for adults who need daily assistance or memory care. Residents enjoy a social living environment with private spaces, shared common areas and family-style dining rooms serving chef-prepared meals. Courtyards and shaded outdoor living areas link each certified green building. Residents even have access to a putting green for outdoor fun.
1416 Country Club Boulevard
Cape Coral, FL 33990
This Brookdale community is located in a suburban area minutes from the Cape Coral hospital, Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve and shopping centers on Del Prado Boulevard. Seniors receive attentive 24-hour care in a homelike setting designed especially for those in assisted living. Abundant amenities, including a whirlpool spa, craft studio, wellness center and piano room, make each day enjoyable. Additionally, residents are invited to participate in a wide selection of group activities ranging from morning walks and manicures to live music and trivia.
3501 Hancock Bridge Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33903
Gladwell Fort Myers offers independent and assisted living as well as innovative memory care services in a prime location on the Caloosahatchee River. This pet-friendly community incorporates a wide selection of upscale amenities designed to make life more enjoyable. Residents can work out in the fitness center, enjoy a classic movie in the theater or savor a quiet moment in the library. Plentiful daily activities offer something for everyone, from discussion groups to ice cream socials. The Gladwell lifestyle encourages seniors to enhance their fitness, discover new interests and forge social connections, which is why we've featured it on this guide to the area's best assisted living facilities.
14521 Lakewood Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33919
Dedicated to serving assisted living residents, this well-appointed community features nearly two dozen amenities, including a wellness center, art studio, greenhouse and outdoor living areas. Seniors can stroll through the grounds on paved walking paths, enjoy a cold drink on the lanai or join a lively tournament in the game room. Brookdale Fort Myers Lakes Park organizes a diverse calendar of events to keep residents active and socially engaged, including live music, beauty treatments, bingo and Facetime chats with friends and family. Prospective residents can choose from five pet-friendly floor plans with spacious closets, kitchenettes and up to 440 square feet of private living space.
2525 First Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Located on the water near the city's premier cultural attractions, Calusa Harbour is a gated senior living center offering a full continuum of long- and short-term care with an emphasis on assisted living. Residents at this community enjoy an active, enriching lifestyle thanks to premium amenities and diverse activities that include volunteer opportunities and intergenerational events. Calusa Harbour ranks as one of Fort Myers' best assisted living facilities based on its exceptional campus and full-service care team, which features in-house physicians and physical therapists. Other perks include a pool, fitness center, garden and on-site chapel.
9731 Commerce Center Court
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Ideal for seniors interested in assisted living or memory support, Barrington Terrace of Fort Myers offers personalized care in an attractive area bordered by golf courses and coastal nature preserves. The community receives exceptional reviews for its staff, amenities and life-enriching activities, which is why we've featured it on this guide to the top assisted living facilities in Fort Myers. Residents at this lively community enjoy an active lifestyle with a host of luxurious touches. The property features resort-style common rooms, cozy conversation nooks and comfortable outdoor living areas. Additionally, an on-site concierge is available to arrange local transportation and handle signups for off-site excursions.
12780 Kenwood Lane
Fort Myers, FL 33907
Catering to assisted living residents exclusively, Springwood Court features 90 suites and one-bedroom apartments with access to 24-hour staffing. At this Five Star Senior Living community, no detail has been overlooked. The property's restaurant-style dining room serves chef-created selections that put fresh ingredients in the spotlight. Residents have access to landscaped grounds with walking paths and a shuffleboard court, and the community even has a party space that's used for seasonal events and celebrations.
According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, while the affordability of senior care in Fort Myers is dependent on the type of care needed, the region's senior care costs are consistently higher than the statewide average. Assisted living services account for the most significant difference between regional and statewide costs, with services in Fort Myers costing about $500 more than the statewide median. Home healthcare with homemaker services and adult day health care both average about $100 more than the state median, and nursing home care with semi-private room accommodations costs about $150 more than the Florida average.
Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Fort Myers, so the data for the closest city, Cape Coral, was used.
Assisted living in Fort Myers averages approximately $4,000 per month, $500 higher than the Florida median of $3,500. Of the cities surveyed, three cities had higher assisted living costs. These include the state capital city of Tallahassee, where assisted living services average $339 more per month than in Fort Myers, Pensacola and Jacksonville. More affordable assisted living services are found in Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Sebring.
The cost of home care in Fort Myers is among the highest of the cities surveyed. Here, homemaker services average $3,909 per month, assuming 44 hours per week at approximately $22 per hour. This is about $100 higher than the statewide median of $3,804 per month. More expensive home healthcare services are found in Tallahassee and Orlando, both averaging about $100 higher per month over the Fort Myers median. The cities of Tampa, Pensacola, Miami, Sebring and Jacksonville, all have more affordable home care costs than Fort Myers. Costs range between $190 and $858 less per month.
In Fort Myers, adult day healthcare averages $1,571 per month, more than $100 over the state average of $1,463 per month. More affordable care can be found in Pensacola, Miami and Sebring, all averaging about $1,408 monthly. The most affordable care is found in Tallahassee, where families pay just under $1,250 per month, and the most costly care is in Jacksonville, where the cost of this type of care is a little over $2,000 per month.
Compared to the cost of nursing home care in other surveyed Florida cities, Fort Myers is among the most expensive regions for this level of care. Semi-private room accommodations average about $150 higher here than in the state as a whole. Of the surveyed cities, the most costly care is found in Miami, where seniors and families spend nearly $8,700 per month. The most modestly priced nursing home services are in Jacksonville, where the monthly cost of care is a little less than $7,120.
Qualifying seniors in Fort Myers may receive financial assistance for senior care services through the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Program. This program, also known as a nursing home diversion program, provides an array of care options for seniors.
SMMC is comprised of two parts, including Managed Medical Assistance and Long-Term Care. An applicant who requires long-term care services, including nursing home care, must apply for the LTC plan. This plan pays for services provided in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, as well as in-home care.
To be eligible for SMMC, an applicant must be a legal Florida resident and eligible for Florida Medicaid. Applicants must be at least 65 years of age or at least 18 and eligible for Medicaid by reason of a disability. Additionally, seniors must require nursing facility level of care. To learn more about SMMC, refer to our guide.
Optional State Supplementation
The OSS program, managed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, provides financial assistance for room and board in a residential care facility for Fort Myers seniors aged 65 and over. To be eligible for OSS, seniors must reside in an assisted living facility, adult family care home or a mental health residential treatment facility and meet monthly income guidelines. As of 2019, individuals may have a monthly income of no more than $849.40 and have up to $2,000 in resources. For couples who both reside in a facility, the monthly income limit is $1,698.80 and the resource limit is $3,000.
Community Care for the Elderly
The Community Care for the Elderly Program, administered through the Department of Elder Affairs via contracts with Area Agencies on Aging, provides community-based services for Fort Myers seniors who are at risk of being placed in a nursing home. Some services covered by this program include adult day care, case management, consumable medical supplies, home health aide care and other community-based services.
Eligible residents are those who are at least 60 years old and whose income makes them ineligible for Medicaid. More information regarding the CCE program can be found on our guide.
Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families
The Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families program is a free in-home respite program available to Fort Myers residents who are caring for an individual who has dementia or is otherwise unable to care for themselves. RELIEF provides up to four hours of respite care with the goal of reducing the placement of seniors in Medicaid-funded nursing homes.
For families to be eligible for RELIEF, they must be Florida residents who are unable to afford respite care. The individual in need of care must be at least 60 years of age and in need of assistance with the activities of daily living. Additionally, they must not be receiving other long-term care services.
Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative
Fort Myers residents who have Alzheimer's disease or dementia may receive free services through the Alzheimer's Disease Initiative. Some services provided through this entitlement program include in-home and facility-based caregiver respite and support services, specialized medical equipment, caregiver counseling and case management.
In addition to being a Florida resident, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or a related memory disorder. While there are no income restrictions, an applicant's income may affect their placement on the waitlist for services. Those who receive Medicaid services are not eligible for this program.
Home Care for the Elderly
Home Care for the Elderly provides basic financial assistance to families who care for frail older adults who are at least 60 years of age and live either in their own home or the caregiver's home. This financial assistance is given to the caregiver and can be used for the senior's living expenses, including food, housing, medical services and clothing. As of 2019, this basic subsidy averaged $106 per month.
To be eligible for HCE, Fort Myers residents must have income and assets less than the ICP standard, be at risk of nursing home placement and have an approved adult caregiver who is willing and able to provide or arrange care.
The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers provides affordable housing options for low-income seniors aged 62 and over. The city maintains two apartment complexes with one- and two-bedroom units, and rent is determined based on income.
Palm City Garden Apartments are a HUD-funded apartment complex for seniors aged 62 and over. The community features wheelchair-accessible efficiency and one-bedroom units, as well as an on-site laundry room and a community room.
The Friendship Centers of Lee County provide an array of services for seniors who are uninsured or on limited incomes. Some of the services provided by this organization include nutrition programs, in-home care, case management and RELIEF volunteer programs.
The Serving Health Insurance Needs of Seniors program, or SHINE, serves seniors by providing health insurance information and counseling assistance at no cost to Medicare beneficiaries, their families and their caregivers. Counseling in Fort Myers is provided at the Area Agency on Aging for SWFL and at HealthPark Medical Center.
This program provides emergency evacuation services to seniors with medical needs that require electricity, including oxygen dependence, ventilators and dialysis.
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Florida.