Page Reviewed / Updated - September 15, 2020
Ocala is a popular tourism destination in central Florida. Once home to an advanced pre-Columbian civilization, Ocala is the site of several important locations from the First Seminole War, such as Fort King National Historic Park. Home to nearly 61,000 people, almost 19% of Ocala's residents are seniors aged 65 and over.
Ocala welcomes seniors with a variety of indoor and outdoor amenities. With average temperatures that, even in the depth of winter, rarely dip below 70 degrees, Ocala invites active seniors to play at any of 20 expertly designed golf courses, including many tribute courses that mirror classic challenges from Saint Andrews and other world-famous links. Florida has no state income tax, which means that seniors pay no state-level tax on Social Security or other pension incomes. The state has no taxes for estates or inheritance, and seniors may qualify for reduced property taxes.
Seniors in Ocala pay an average of $3,925 a month for assisted living, according to Genworth Financial's 2019 Cost of Care Survey. This is a few hundred dollars more than the $3,500 a month seniors pay, on average, in the rest of Florida. Nationwide, seniors pay an average of $4,051 a month for similar assisted living board and care.
Look over our list of the top 10 assisted living communities in Ocala, to see if one is right for you. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Ocala and what financial assistance programs are available.
9589 SW State Rd 200
Ocala, FL 34481
Canterfield of Ocala residents share three meals a day in the elegantly decorated restaurant-style dining room. Meals are prepared by a staff chef, with menus designed with advice from a registered dietitian. Special meals are available for residents with medical and cultural needs. Grooming services are provided for Canterfield residents at the on-site beauty shop, and office machines are open to all in the community's business center. Members of the Thoroughbred Health Club get personal training assistance in the community's state-of-the-art wellness center. Movie nights are scheduled for the Canterbury Theater, and residents can share drinks and stories with each other in the relaxing atmosphere of the Starting Gate lounge. Charter Club members have their entrance fee waived and get priority selection of the facility's apartments and villas.
1810 SE 16th Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
Hampton Manor at Deerwood residents are protected by high-tech security with 24-hour monitoring, sturdy access control systems and a dedicated 24-hour staff that's on call to assist residents seven days a week. Staff certified caregivers at Hampton Manor assist residents with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and personal care, as well as medication management and assistance. Community staff and volunteers keep up a lively social schedule that includes educational lectures and classes, arts and crafts workshops and social outings for meals and shopping. Residents are encouraged to invite friends over to share a guest suite, and pets are welcome within breed and weight limits. Weekly housekeeping, linen and laundry service are provided at no additional cost.
1601 SE 24th Rd
Ocala, FL 34471
Brookdale Paddock Hills maintains a safe, welcoming environment for seniors in the middle of a tree-lined residential neighborhood filled with multiple medical providers and outpatient clinics. Residents' safety is looked after with 24-hour security and emergency medical response through the in-room alert system. Residents get three meals a day, including special dietary menus, in either the community dining hall or a private dining room. Residents at Brookdale Paddock Hills can spend their downtime in the library, bistro or lobby, where a baby grand piano is available for those who can play. Outside, residents can enjoy the fine Ocala spring weather on the covered porch. Wi-Fi access is available throughout the facility, and the on-site salon offers low-cost beauty services.
9280 SW 81st Ct
Ocala, FL 34481
Bridgewater Park offers one- and two-bedroom apartment homes in a cozy, homelike environment. Each unit has a well-appointed kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator and microwave. Rooms have private bathrooms with walk-in showers and grab bars for enhanced safety. Each unit has its own individually controlled thermostat for climate control. Meals at Bridgewater Park are prepared by the staff chef with a mix of nutritionally balanced offerings, including special menus for medical and cultural dietary needs. Residents have the option to join any of several clubs, including book clubs, bible study groups and card game societies. Several fun social outings are scheduled each month for residents to get out and shop together, enjoy local attractions and share meals at local restaurants.
9070 SW 80th Ave
Ocala, FL 34481
Brookdale Canopy Oaks has a range of living options for assisted living residents, including single occupant studio apartments, 575-square foot one-bedroom apartments and a two-bath suite option. Each unit and resident is protected by an emergency alert system that includes call buttons and wearable pendants. Security remotely monitors the community and responds with rapid deployment 24 hours a day. Wi-Fi access is available throughout the facility, and residents have their choice between communal meals in the restaurant-style dining room or private dinners in reserved spaces. Meals and snacks are available in the on-site bistro, and beauty services are provided at nominal charge in the barber shop. Residents and their guests can relax in the evening in the community's fireside living room.
10155 SE 110th Street Rd
Belleview, FL 34420
Certified staff caregivers at Higher Ground of Belleview provide residents with 24-hour assistance, supervision and care, including help with activities of daily living such as grooming and personal needs. Daily housekeeping and laundry service are available, as is free local transportation within a 10-mile radius. The warm family atmosphere Higher Ground strives to create includes home-style meals prepared with the advice of a registered dietitian, snacks and beverages available all day long and outdoor barbecues that take advantage of the mild climate and warm evenings Ocala enjoys. Gardening and bible study groups welcome all interested residents, and periodic trips are scheduled up to nearby Orlando for fun visits to theme parks and other attractions.
2650 SE 18th Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
The Windsor of Ocala offers three chef-prepared meals a day served in its exclusive Gold Leaf dining room, a restaurant-style eatery where special meals are prepared for those with medical and cultural needs. Meal attendant service is provided for residents who have a limited ability to feed themselves. Staff at The Windsor schedule regular cultural and community events that include educational seminars, senior legal and financial planning workshops and religious services in the on-site chapel. Each room in The Windsor at Ocala is protected by an individual alarm and sprinkler system, and all have their own kitchenettes with refrigerators and microwaves. Housekeeping services are provided free of additional charge.
1801 SE 24th Rd
Ocala, FL 34471
Brookdale Chambrel Pinecastle works to keep residents safe with 24-hour security and emergency response teams, in-room alert systems and entry control points that restrict visitors to authorized parties only. The luxurious front lobby area has front desk services, including a complimentary concierge, for residents who plan a trip off site. Amenities in the downstairs common areas include a well-stocked library, arts and crafts studio and state-of-the-art fitness center. Personal training and health classes are provided in the wellness center for all residents. Outdoors, residents and guests may enjoy a stroll around the landscaped grounds on winding walking paths that pass through several spacious courtyards and past the gardens and the outdoor pool. Guest suites are available for overnight guests on request.
11311 SW 95th Cir
Ocala, FL 34481
Pacifica Senior Living Ocala offers a wealth of individual and community amenities for competitive and all-inclusive monthly rates. Aging-in-place programs are available for residents transitioning from assisted living to other levels of care, as well as lifetime continuous care that retains old friends even if resources have run out. Sheltered courtyards surround the spacious facility, which sits at the end of its own cul-de-sac screened by a ring of dense greenery for enhanced privacy. Indoors, Pacifica Senior Living Ocala offers residents unrestricted access to its on-site arts and crafts center, beauty salon and movie theater. Outside, residents can pass the time in the community's charming hummingbird and butterfly gardens. Chauffeured transportation is available for all residents, as are weekly housekeeping, laundry and linen services.
4511 SW 48th Ave
Ocala, FL 34474
Brentwood at Fore Ranch offers assisted living residents a range of apartment choices, including studio and one-bedroom floor plans. Weekly housekeeping and linen service is available, as are three nutritious meals a day prepared by the staff chef. Special menus are available for medical and cultural needs. Staff at Brentwood Ranch are on call 24 hours a day, and include certified senior caregivers and licensed nurses who can assist with medication and care plan adherence. Health and wellness monitoring, including medication logs, are maintained by care providers who meet with family and medical professionals on behalf of residents. Scheduled transportation is provided, along with attendant service to and from medical appointments if needed.
The cost of senior care in Ocala is generally close to the state average in all categories except the cost of nursing home care. The Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey shows that the average monthly cost of nursing home care in the Ocala is one of the lowest in Florida. Seniors here save almost 9 percent per month on nursing home care compared to the rest of the state.
The average cost of assisted living in Ocala is $3,275 a month, which is $225 less than the state average. It is also much less than nearby communities. Assisted living in Gainesville costs $500 more a month than in Ocala, and in The Villages, assisted living facility costs triple, averaging over $1700 more per month.
Major cities in the state average between $3,250 and $4,425 a month with Orlando and Tampa on the low end while Jacksonville and Tallahassee are among the most expensive major cities. Some coastal cities are especially more expensive than Ocala, with Naples averaging $5,448 each month.
Home care in Ocala averages $3,813 a month, assuming 44 hours of care a week, which equals just under $20 an hour. That's just $9 more expensive than the state average.
This is equal to the rate in nearby Gainesville, but almost $300 more expensive than The Villages. Major cities, including Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa, have more affordable home care, while some of the most expensive home care in the state is in Naples, where the average cost is $4,195 a month.
Adult day care in Ocala costs an average of $1,408 a month. This is in line with the state average, though there are cities where the cost is lower. Adult day care in Tallahassee averages $1,246 a month and Orlando is $1,300 per month. On the other end of the range is Jacksonville, one of the more expensive areas, with a monthly average of $2,080. When compared to nearby communities, Ocala is around $20 more expensive than Gainesville and almost $225 less expensive than The Villages.
The cost of nursing home care in Ocala is relatively inexpensive. A semi-private room costs $7,452 a month, which is $700 cheaper than the state average. Of major cities, only Jacksonville is cheaper at $7,118. Nearby Gainesville and The Villages have average monthly costs of just over $8,000, and coastal Naples costs an average of $10,319 a month.
Long-term care in Florida is provided through the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care (SMMC-LTC) program. Created in 2011, the program divides the state into 11 regions which are served by different Managed Healthcare Organizations.
Ocala, part of Region 3, has access to Florida Community Care, Humana Medical Plan, Lighthouse Health Plan, Staywell, Sunshine Health and United Healthcare. The plan provides seniors on the program with a range of services, including adult day care, assistance in the home, medication management and meal delivery. Medical treatments, such as physical therapy, and medical equipment are included.
The SMCC-LTC is an entitlement program. Eligible seniors are aged 65 and over and eligible for Medicaid. They must also undertake a Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services (CARES) and show they need a nursing home level of care. Seniors living in nursing homes are automatically enrolled in the program; however, there is a waiting list for people still living in their homes or in an assisted living community. Applicants are put on the waiting list based on the amount of care they need.
More information on these health care plans and how to apply can be found on the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care website or by calling 1-877-711-3662.
There are a number of programs available in Ocala that provide additional support to the elderly.
Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (ADI)
The ADI provides support to people living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Respite services are available, including in-home, facility-based, emergency and extended care. The ADI also includes services offered by Memory Disorder Clinics (MDCs).
Respite care is available to all people over 18 years of age who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder. The caregivers of eligible seniors can also access training and other support services. Anyone who is suspected of having a memory disorder can request an assessment through an MDC. Read more about the ADI.
Community Care for the Elderly (CCE)
This program provides community-based services to older adults who are functionally impaired. This can include adult day care, help in the home, medical therapy and companionship. To be considered for the program, an individual must be aged 60 or over, and be assessed as functionally impaired. There may be a waiting list for services and priority is given to people who have been referred to Department of Children and Families’ Adult Protective Services (APS) and assessed as being in need of immediate services to prevent harm. Learn more about the benefits and eligibility requirements.
Home Care for the Elderly (HCE)
The HCE is designed to provide an alternative to institutional or nursing home care by supporting care in private homes. A subsidy is provided to help care for the program participant and special subsidies may be provided for services or supplies.
To be eligible for the program seniors must be aged 60 or older, be at risk of entering a nursing home and have an adult caregiver living with them who is willing to arrange or provide care. Seniors must also have income and assets below a certain limit. Learn more about eligibility.
Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families (RELIEF)
The RELIEF program offers in-home respite care, allowing families and caregivers to take time for themselves. This, in turn, allows them to care for their elderly loved one without becoming ill themselves. The program serves all frail and homebound elders age 60 and over who have a full-time caregiver who would benefit from respite services. Read more about the program.
Optional State Supplement (OSS)
The Florida Optional State Supplement offers financial assistance to help eligible individuals pay for room and board. The OSS is available to seniors aged 65 and older whose assets and income are below certain limits. Learn more about the benefits and eligibility requirements.
The OHA provides housing to low and moderate income households, including seniors, in Marion County through public housing and the Housing Choice Voucher. There are waiting lists for the programs. Applications can be made online.
This program arranges volunteers to transport seniors to and from medical appointments, shopping and errands, to help with meal preparation and to provide companionship, all of which helps seniors age in place. The program may also provide respite to caregivers of elderly people.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can help low-income seniors pay for heating and cooling their home. Eligibility is income-based and adjusted based on how many people are living in the home.
Seniors aged 65 and older who are paying property tax in Marion County are eligible for an additional Homestead Exemption. This is available for permanent residents whose income is under a certain limit.
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Florida.