Page Reviewed / Updated - September 22, 2020
Florida has long been a favored retirement destination among seniors seeking freedom from snow and easy access to golf, fishing, boating and other outdoor activities. Lakeland, located just east of Plant City near Florida's Gulf coast, is home to 112,136 residents. About one in five people in this city are aged 65 and older, which is similar to the statewide demographics.
Seniors who enjoy long, hot summers and short, mild winters will find that living in Lakeland is ideal, since the average summertime highs are over 86 degrees, while winter temperatures rarely dip below 50 degrees. World-class parks and museums mean there's always something to do in Lakeland, and there are a number of top-ranked hospitals in the area including the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and the Winter Haven Hospital.
This guide highlights the 10 best assisted living facilities in Lakeland, FL, and the surrounding area. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Lakeland and what financial assistance programs are available.
6150 Lakeland Highlands Road
Lakeland, FL 33813
Conveniently located just steps from churches, pharmacies and the Highlands Shopping Center, Hawthorne Inn Lakeland is a nonprofit assisted living community. All services and accommodations are on one level, and the bathrooms and bedrooms are equipped with emergency call systems that connect with on-site caregivers, 24 hours a day. Common areas are bright and inviting, with plenty of plants and comfortable seating. The cozy family-style dining room is beautifully decorated with floor to ceiling wallpaper and luxurious wooden furniture, and there's a covered porch complete with ceiling fans and rocking chairs.
400 South Florida Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801
Lake Morton Plaza is a vibrant senior living community that offers residents plenty of social and recreational opportunities in a safe, supportive environment. Located just steps from scenic Lake Morton, seniors living here enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing staff is available around the clock, and the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center is less than 2 miles away. The spacious, pet-friendly suites range in size from 707 to 812 square feet, and many offer stunning water or city views. The full-time Life Enrichment Coordinator organizes a variety of daily, weekly and monthly activities to promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellness, and families are encouraged to join in holiday meals and special events.
747 Bon Air Street
Lakeland, FL 33805
Lakeland Manor is a small, 60-resident senior living community offering assisted living and memory care services. Situated on a landscaped campus just steps from Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and the shores of Lake Parker, seniors living here enjoy personalized, dignified support from the mature staff team. On-site services include physical, occupational and speech therapy, and in-house Xray and lab services are also offered.
2111 Lakeland Hills Boulevard
Lakeland, FL 33805
Grand Villa of Lakeland is a modern, well-appointed senior living community that offers assisted living and memory care services. The resort-style amenities include a movie theater, library and crafts room, and the landscaped courtyard features level walking paths and plenty of shady seating areas. Healthy meals are served in the restaurant-style dining room, and snacks are always available. There's a large enclosed courtyard and a number of spacious lounges where seniors can visit with friends and family.
771 Carpenters Way
Lakeland, FL 33809
Bright, modern and inviting, Lake Gibson Village is a full-service independent and assisted living community that looks and feels like a luxury resort. Located just steps from Lake Gibson, seniors here can spend their days boating and fishing, relaxing on the covered verandas, swimming in the heated pool or enjoying the wine bar. Pets are welcome, and there's a furry friends dog park on-site and plenty of level walking paths to explore. We featured Lake Gibson Village on this top 10 list because of its upscale amenities and central location close to shops, services and medical facilities.
4620 North Sorcrum Loop Road
Lakeland, FL 33809
Locally owned and operated, Grace Manor Suites is a warm, affordable senior living community where staff takes the time to get to know each resident. Accommodations range in size from cozy one-bedroom suites to large one-bedroom apartments and double suites, and each is equipped with individual air conditioning, walk-in shower and emergency pull cord. Exterior doors are secured to keep residents safe, and the community is fully equipped with video surveillance and a sprinkler system.
1225 Havendale Boulevard Northwest
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Spring Haven Retirement is a senior living community in Winter Haven that offers independent and assisted living services along with a dedicated memory care program. Located just 2 miles from the Winter Haven Hospital near Lake Hartridge, this community features large private suites with private patios, full kitchens and walk-in closets. There's a generous-sized swimming pool along with an outdoor hot tub, and plenty of walking trails that are perfect for pet owners. Residents can enjoy their meals in the restaurant-style dining room, or choose the in-room dining option.
4141 Lakeland Hills Boulevard
Lakeland, FL 33805
Located on a large, tree-filled lot just east of I-4, Arbor Oaks at Lakeland Hills provides seniors with a safe, homelike place to spend their retirement years. Assisted living and memory care services are available, and the caring staff team works hard to created a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. The comprehensive wellness program includes daily exercise classes and activities to promote cognitive health, and all indoor common areas and apartments are smoke-free. Apartments are available furnished or unfurnished, and the suites include kitchenettes, spacious bathrooms and window coverings.
6550 North Socrum Loop Road
Lakeland, FL 33809
Located close to the Links of Sandpiper Golf and Country Club, Savannah Court of Lakeland is a cozy, single-story community that provides seniors with compassion, respect and around-the-clock support. Daily activities include card games, fitness classes and crafting workshops, and special events and holidays are celebrated with plenty of great food, entertainment and laughter. Each private suite includes a spacious bath, and some feature patios that connect with the enclosed courtyard.
650 North Lake Howard Drive
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Offering stunning views of Lake Howard in downtown Winter Haven, Lake Howard Heights is an upscale senior living community where residents are treated like family. The signature HEARTS welcome program helps seniors enjoy a smooth transition to assisted living, while daily ZESTFUL activities make it easy for new residents to make friends. There's an on-site beauty shop, coffee shop and multiple common areas, and well-behaved pets are welcome. We featured Lake Howard Heights on this list because it offers a great location close to the Winter Haven Hospital combined with a variety of programs designed to keep seniors active.
The cost of senior care in Lakeland is very near the average for the state of Florida, with especially budget-friendly costs for assisted living. The Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey suggests that the average cost of assisted living in Lakeland is one of the lowest in the state.
On average, assisted living in Lakeland costs $2,808 per month, less than all the major metropolitan areas in Florida reported in the Genworth study and around $700 cheaper than the average monthly cost of assisted living across the state.
The monthly cost of assisted living in Lakeland is nearly half the price of monthly assisted living in Naples, and roughly $1,500 less per month than cities such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Miami and nearby Tampa are closer to the statewide average monthly costs of $3,500.
The cost of homemaker services in Lakeland is approximately $500 less than the statewide average cost. Areas throughout the state, such as Punta Gorda and Naples, have average monthly homemaker services that are approximately $1,000 more expensive than median costs in Lakeland.
Lakeland's monthly homemaker service costs are much more affordable than nearby Tampa and Orlando and are equal to the Miami metropolitan area.
Adult day care in Lakeland costs an average of $1,365, just under the Florida average of $1,463. Though a relatively low figure for senior care, Lakeland's average monthly adult day care costs are slightly higher than nearby Orlando's.
Some of the more expensive monthly adult day care costs in Florida can be found in the Jacksonville and Tampa areas, whereas Tallahassee boasts some of the least costly senior care in state.
At $8,304 for a semi-private room, Lakeland's average monthly nursing home costs are just over the Florida state average of $8,152. Many areas such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee are relatively cheaper with monthly costs falling in the $7,000s.
Though monthly nursing home costs can get as high as $10,319 in Naples, most nursing home costs hover right around the Florida average, such as in Miami, Tampa and Orlando.
In Lakeland and throughout the state of Florida, seniors seeking care can utilize the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program (SMMC). Within this program, there are three various plans from which a qualifying senior can choose one or all three: Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Program, Long-term Care (LTC) Program and Dental Program.
The MMA program offers seniors Medicaid-covered services, such as hospital care, doctor visits with transportation, prescribed drugs and mental health care. The LTC program offers assisted living, nursing home care or home care. Last, the Dental Program provides all Medicaid dental services to seniors.
To be eligible for these Medicaid services, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
Throughout Lakeland and the rest of the state, all seniors living in a nursing home who apply and are eligible to receive Medicaid assistance, an entitlement, but may be placed on a waitlist for Medicaid benefits when living in an assisted living facility or at home.
Seniors can apply for the SMMC program when not living in a nursing home by calling the local Area Agency on Aging. For those living in Lakeland, this agency is the Senior Connection Center.
Those seeking Medicaid benefits can also call the Elder Helpline at (800) 262-2243 and request a screening for home and community-based services, an interview which covers the basic demographic information, income and assets of the applicant.
Optional State Supplementation (OSS)
Residents of Lakeland who are aged 65 or older, meet the functional and financial eligibility guidelines of the program and have been assessed as needing residential care qualify for the OSS program. This program supplements the income of applicants to help pay for room and board. The OSS payment amount is based on the individual’s income and the current OSS standard cost of care in each facility, with payments being made directly to the individual. Monthly income requirements include the following limits:
Additional limits may apply for assets and other resources. Seniors who are interested in this program can fill out an application at the local Department of Children and Families office, Adult Protective Services office or online. Applications must be filled out in the month seniors wish to obtain the payment and cannot be used retroactively. Refer to our OSS guide for more information.
Community Care for the Elderly (CCE)
The Florida CCE program enables qualified seniors who require medical or personal care to continue living in their own home or community by offering a varied range of services. These services include but are not limited to the following resources:
This program allows seniors who are not eligible to receive services from Medicaid to access much-needed help. Applicants must be at least 60 years old and require assistance with Activities of Daily Living. No income limit is set for CCE, but participants are required to pay a co-pay for services. Contact the Senior Connection Center to apply.
Read our CCE guide for more detailed information regarding eligibility, services and other information.
Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families (R.E.L.I.E.F.)
The R.E.L.I.E.F. program offers free in-home elderly care through volunteer caregivers. Volunteers of all ages and demographics are carefully selected, screened and specifically matched with seniors in need of care to ensure a good relationship and fit.
Because this program is managed by the local Area Agency on Aging, requirements may vary. Contact Lakeland's local office, Senior Connection Center, to learn more about the application process.
Our R.E.L.I.E.F. guide contains more detailed information about this program.
Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (ADI)
Seniors who are legal Florida residents and have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, dementia or any other related memory disorder are eligible for the ADI program. This program not only provides a variety of support services for Alzheimer’s patients, but it also uses its funds to further research, experimentation and policy regarding memory disorders.
ADI respite includes four types of respite care for caregivers who serve patients with memory disorders:
For seniors with memory disorders, ADI also provides services through Memory Disorder Clinics (MDCs), such as treatment, referrals, diagnostic testing and screenings.
There are no income requirements for this program, though income does factor into where an applicant falls on the waitlist. ADI services are provided through the MDCs in Florida. For more information regarding application and eligibility, visit our ADI guide.
Home Care for the Elderly (HCE)
The HCE program offers support for family-type living arrangements inside private homes for Florida citizens aged 60 or older as an alternative to nursing home or facility care. The program does this by providing a basic subsidy to help care for the senior's clothing, housing, food and some medical costs. A special subsidy is also available for necessary medical items or services.
Qualifications for HCE include being at risk for nursing home placement and financial eligibility, in addition to being at least 60 years old. Applicants must also have a live-in adult caretaker who can both provide for the senior and make care arrangements.
The HCE program is regulated by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs through individual Area Agencies on Aging. Applications are processed through Lakeland's Senior Connection Center. Because funding is limited for this program, qualified applicants are placed on a waitlist until a vacancy arises.
For more information regarding benefits, services, and how much funding is available, see our HCE guide.
The Housing Authority of the City of Lakeland offers housing to low- and moderate-income seniors through Section 8 and various public housing programs.
Florida Rural Legal Services in Lakewood provide free legal assistance to seniors who might have been victims of domestic abuse, housing discrimination or are looking for public housing.
The Polk Transit Authority's PT Connect program allows seniors to call ahead and reserve door-to-door service for transportation to and from medical appointments or the grocery store for discounted rates.
The VISTE program is a non-profit organization that exists to enable elderly persons in Lakeland and the surrounding area to continue living independently and safely in their own homes. Volunteers drive seniors to and from medical appointments, grocery stores and other errands. They provide food, companionship and care packages filled with household items and toiletries — all at no charge to seniors aged 70 and older living in Lakeland.
The ElderPoint Ministries is a non-profit organization that provides two services to seniors at low cost: fresh produce and transportation. Fresh produce is available through a mobile produce market that makes weekly stops at nine locations in the community and through produce kiosks stationed at five popular gathering spots for seniors. The cost is $1 per portion of produce. ElderPoint Ministries’ low-cost transportation services brings seniors to and from appointments, errands and family member's homes.
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Florida.