Page Reviewed / Updated - August 20, 2020
Located in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama, Huntsville offers a unique blend of southern charm and vibrant culture. In fact, the city is ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States.
While it's widely known for technology, Hunstville also boasts a thriving arts scene. Seniors can enjoy an afternoon excursion to the Huntsville Museum of Art or Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment center. Its geographic location and warm, year-round climate provide countless opportunities for active seniors to enjoy the outdoors. Retirees can take advantage of the area's many parks, walking trails and golf courses. Hunstville also has a low overall cost of living and is tax-friendly towards retirees.
Here's a look at the top 10 assisted living facilities in Huntsville. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Huntsville and what financial assistance programs are available.
10801 County Line Road
Madison, AL 35758
Madison at the Range is located in a quiet residential neighborhood that's just minutes from shops, popular restaurants and several local parks. We included it in this list for its full calendar of social activities, unique sensory skill stations and signature programs, including The Academy's educational endeavors and SPIRIT memory care programming. The expansive campus is set on 14 sprawling acres dotted with courtyards, greenhouses and gardening areas, and features spacious lounge areas and state-of-the-art amenities. Staff members are on-site 24 hours a day to assist with personal care, including managing and administering medications. Residents have the option of studio, one- and two-bedroom layouts, each equipped with a private bath and kitchenette.
2815 Carl T Jones Drive SE
Huntsville, AL 35802
A private gated retirement community, Brookdale Jones Farm offers a safe and comfortable environment where seniors can enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives. The facility is best known for its high-end decor and resort-style amenities, which include an arts and crafts studio, a beauty salon and a billiards room. An on-site concierge is available to assist with questions and personal requests. Seniors can take a stroll through the landscaped grounds, enjoy a picnic in one of the surrounding local parks or stop by one of the nearby golf courses for a friendly round. The monthly calendar is filled with fun group activities that encompass six key dimensions of personal wellness, special events and exciting themed experiences as part of its Celebrations program.
8020 Benaroya Lane SW
Huntsville, AL 35802
For 20 years, Elmcroft of Byrd Springs has been providing personalized care and attention to seniors in the community of Huntsville. Just off Memorial Parkway, residents are close to Main Street South Shopping Village and several local coffee shops. The facility's single-story layout makes it easy for seniors to get from room to room. Farm-to-table meals are served daily in the restaurant-style dining room where residents can catch up with friends. It's considered one of the area's top facilities because of its dedicated staff, close-knit community atmosphere and signature programs. Its Vitality Club, Walking Tall and Second Wind Dreams life enrichment programs are designed to meet seniors' unique health and wellness needs.
4670 Bellewood Drive SE
Huntsville, AL 35802
Residents of Fleming Farms can enjoy a comfortable, carefree lifestyle with the convenience of a supermarket, restaurants and medical clinic located just up the street. The facility offers spacious, open-concept floor plans that feature large, private bathrooms with walk-in showers, kitchenettes and individual heating controls. Residents have access to state-of-the-art amenities such as an on-site fitness center with aerobic exercise pool, salon and barbershop, movie theater and library. Fleming Farms is included in this top 10 list for its innovative lifestyle programming, which includes a range of daily activities that promote physical health, education, socialization and spiritual enrichment, as well as special events and regular outings to local hot spots.
2238 Cecil Ashburn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35802
Thrive at Jones Farm is a welcoming senior community that offers both assisted living and memory care services. Located in Huntsville's Jones Valley neighborhood, residents not only enjoy beautiful mountain views, but have easy access to stores and restaurants. Residents are encouraged to live purpose-filled lives and have a full calendar of daily activities to choose from, including exercise classes, painting lessons and weekly happy hours. The facility's rooftop terrace offers a relaxing spot to socialize with friends and residents can enjoy some fresh air with a stroll along the fully-secured, scenic trail. The facility is known for its highly trained staff members and their efforts to build meaningful relationships with each resident.
4200 Chris Drive
Huntsville, AL 35802
Nestled in South Huntsville, Country Cottage Assisted Living offers a comfortable environment where seniors can enjoy a high quality of life. Located just off Martin Road, residents have easy access to restaurants and daily conveniences, and there are many hotels nearby for when family members come to visit. The facility is highly regarded for its warm, homelike atmosphere and highly personalized care. Through its CareSteps service program, residents receive customized care plans that are revisited every three months to ensure each individual's needs are met. Residents enjoy a monthly calendar packed with activities catered to their hobbies and interests that support the mind, body and spirit, including chair exercises, bingo and holiday parties.
4801 Whitesport Circle
Huntsville, AL 35801
Offering beautiful views of Walton’s Mountain, HarborChase of Huntsville is conveniently located just minutes from the city's top attractions, museums and historic landmarks. It's considered one of the area's premier senior living destinations because of its person-centered approach. Everything from personal service plans to programming and rooms is customized to meet the unique needs of each resident. The facility is designed with a number of community spaces, including a well-appointed dining room where three chef-prepared meals are served daily. Its life enrichment program offers 21 experiences for seniors to choose from every day, such as stimulating classes and special events. Cleaning, laundry and housekeeping services allow seniors to enjoy a carefree lifestyle.
11682 County Line Road
Madison, AL 35756
Heritage Assisted Living & Memory Care is set in a quiet, upscale neighborhood in the community of Madison, AL. It's owned and operated by local physicians, and we've included it in this list for its experienced staff, upscale amenities and dedication to providing quality care. The facility is elegantly furnished and features a salon, whirlpool spa, library and recreation room with a 70-inch HD TV. Everything is located on one level, so it's fully accessible for residents with mobility issues. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and dotted with walking paths. There is also a large outdoor patio for relaxation. Residents enjoy the privacy of their own personal suites, which are outfitted with top-of-the-line finishes.
12000 Turnmeyer Drive SE
Huntsville, AL 35803
Huntsville's only locally owned and operated continuing care retirement community, Redstone Village allows seniors to age comfortably, even as their needs change. It's tucked away in a peaceful neighborhood while still offering easy access to golf courses, cultural attractions and medical facilities. The outdoor patio area provides a perfect spot to take in breathtaking views of the Tennessee River and Appalachian mountains, and residents have full access to an on-site indoor fitness and aquatic center, library and games room. With its holistic wellness programming, exceptional dining experience and full social calendar, Redstone Village has earned itself a reputation as one of the area's top senior living facilities.
49 Hughes Road
Madison, AL 35758
Located right in the heart of the historic city, residents of Morningside of Madison are within walking distance of shopping, restaurants and churches and just a short drive from attractions such as the Huntsville Botanical Garden. It's considered one of the area's top facilities for its active lifestyle and top-notch amenities. Personal laundry and housekeeping services allow seniors to live worry-free, and regular wellness checks offer peace of mind. Residents enjoy restaurant-style meals, with snacks and beverages available throughout the day. A full range of social and educational activities keeps seniors engaged and having fun, including exercise classes, movie nights and special interest groups. One- and two-bedroom floor plans are available, featuring kitchenettes and private baths.
All senior care options in Huntsville are more expensive than average for Alabama. According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, adult day care is particularly expensive – 72% higher than the state overall – while the increased cost at other levels of care is not as dramatic.
Assisted living in Huntsville is more expensive than the state average, with a cost of $3,495 per month compared to Alabama at $3,271, and most northern areas of the state are similarly priced. Decatur is roughly $90 cheaper than Huntsville, and Florence is about $240 cheaper.
Birmingham is relatively affordable at $2,958 per month, and Gadsden has the lowest cost with an average of $2,075. Montgomery is the most expensive area for assisted living at an average monthly cost of $3,992.
In-home care services in Huntsville have the highest cost in Alabama at $3,623 per month, compared to the state average of $3,241. In nearby Decatur, the cost is reduced considerably to $3,051 per month, and in Florence, seniors pay an average of $3,146 a month for home care.
Montgomery is the most affordable area in Alabama for home care at an average of $2,860 per month, followed by Anniston at $2,955.
Huntsville is one of the most expensive areas in the state for adult day care, with an average cost of $1,300 per month. Daphne is the only area with a higher cost, averaging $1,517 monthly. Alabama's average is $758 per month – half that of Daphne.
Mobile is the most affordable city in Alabama for this level of care, with a monthly average of $390 – almost half that of the state average. Montgomery is also relatively affordable at $433 per month, followed by Dothan at $542.
The cost of nursing home care is fairly consistent across Alabama, although Huntsville is on the higher end of the price scale with an average cost of $6,600 per month, roughly $320 more than the state average. Florence is slightly more expensive than Huntsville at $6,631. The highest cost of nursing home care in Alabama is reported in nearby Decatur at $6,996 per month.
Auburn has the lowest average cost in the state at $5,749 per month, followed by Birmingham with a monthly average of $6,159. In these cities, the cost of nursing home care is $851 - $441 less per month than in Huntsville.
Alabama Medicaid is the state-run arm of the federal health coverage program for low-income seniors, people with disabilities and other at-risk groups. People who are eligible for this basic level of Medicaid may also be eligible for other related waivers and programs detailed below.
Huntsville residents can receive Medicaid coverage for nursing homes and limited in-home care. Members are also covered for a wide range of medical goods and services, such as doctor visits, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, eye care, lab fees, prescription drugs and transportation.
These goods and services are covered under the Medicaid State Plan, which is an entitlement program, so there is no waiting period or participation cap.
Eligibility requirements for seniors:
Higher income and asset limits apply when one spouse lives in a nursing home while the other remains in the family home or elsewhere in the community.
If applying for Medicaid based on SSI, the monthly income limit is $791 for an individual or $1,177 for a married couple. Anyone who meets the Social Security Administration's definition of disability should contact the SSA directly for Medicaid coverage.Apply for coverage online at the official Alabama Medicaid website by submitting the appropriate forms, or call (800) 362-1504 for help. Huntsville residents can also mail paper applications to the District Office on University Drive, or call the local staff on (855) 733-3160.
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers
HCBS waivers offer alternatives for seniors and people with disabilities deemed to be at risk of being institutionalized, which includes being placed in a nursing home or hospital. Waiver services are provided in a private home or elsewhere in the community in an attempt to prolong their independence and delay the need for nursing home care.
Waivers can be applied for online through Alabama Medicaid, and there are no additional income requirements other than those set for the Medicaid State Plan. However, all waivers and programs require applicants to be assessed for nursing facility care. Call (800) 362-1504 for help with Medicaid waivers.
None of the services provided under these waivers are entitlements, and there are limited positions available. Medicaid members are free to apply for as many waivers as they're eligible for; however, they can't receive coverage from more than one at a time.
As of 2019, Alabama has three Medicaid HCBS waivers relevant to seniors, and the Personal Choices program, which are detailed below.
Elderly and Disabled (E&D) Waiver
This is an HCBS waiver for seniors and people with disabilities. The Elderly and Disabled waiver provides eligible residents with case management, respite care and companionship, as well as ongoing services such as meal delivery, personal care and homemakers.
A case manager is assigned to work with seniors and caregivers to develop a plan and determine which services are provided. This process is managed by the Alabama Department of Senior Services.
Read more about the services provided in our Alabama Elderly and Disabled waiver guide.
State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) Waiver
The SAIL waiver is for anyone aged over 18 with specific medical diagnoses which put them at risk of being placed in a nursing home.
Eligible diagnoses include, but are not limited to:
Services available through this waiver include personal care and assistance, emergency response system, assistive technology and medical supplies. Case management is also provided if needed.
There are only 660 waiver slots statewide for SAIL as of 2019. It's managed by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Read more details about this waiver in our State of Alabama Independent Living guide.
Alabama Community Transition (ACT) Waiver
The ACT waiver is for current residents of nursing facilities who wish to return to their own home, or that of a caregiver, with additional care and support provided there. This waiver provides the most comprehensive set of services but it's very limited in the number of participants, with only 200 slots statewide.
Available services include:
Case management is also covered if the recipient doesn't already have it, and if it doesn't interfere with any other programs they're a member of.
Read more about the ACT waiver in our Alabama Community Transition guide.
Personal Choices Medicaid Program
Alabama Medicaid recipients who are enrolled in one of the HCBS waivers can also benefit from the Personal Choices program. This gives members more options related to how they receive Medicaid-funded care, and who ultimately provides the services.
Recipients can hire caregivers to help around the house, or they can use the monthly allowance from Personal Choices to buy medical equipment or other supplies. Seniors can talk to financial counselors throughout the process to make sure their budget works.
Once approved for this program and a budget has been set, the individual won't receive care directly from Medicaid, and will instead receive all state-funded care through caregivers of their own choosing. This is what's known as self-directed care.Read more about the options available in our Alabama Personal Choices guide.
|Huntsville Housing Authority||(256) 539-0774||The HSVHA administers federal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher, also known as Section 8, which helps residents pay for their rent. This agency is also responsible for public housing in the area which is set aside for low-income residents.|
|Patterson Place Apartments||(256) 852-0056||This is a low-income senior apartment community on Blue Spring Road in Huntsville. It has units with up to three bedrooms. At least one tenant must be aged 55 or older and income restrictions apply.|
|Clarkston Square Apartments||(256) 542-0241||This apartment community has 56 units with up to three bedrooms for low-income seniors in Huntsville. ADA accessible units are available. Contact the office for income restrictions and other information.|
|Community Action Partnership – Utility Assistance||(256) 851-9800||The local Community Action Partnership offers assistance to Huntsville residents who are on a low income and need help paying utility deposits and bills for heating or cooling. Funds are provided through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.|
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Alabama.