Page Reviewed / Updated - October 08, 2020
Salem, Oregon, may appeal to retirees who love nature, the arts and the advantages of a friendly state capital. In addition to the tree-lined streets throughout downtown and other neighborhoods, the city’s attractive parks offer scenic tranquility. Seniors can go fishing at Minto-Brown Island Park, enjoy community events at Riverfront Park and take a Sunday brunch cruise aboard the Willamette Queen. The annual Salem Art Fair and Festival is held at Bush’s Pasture Park, while the Hallie Ford Museum of Art hosts traveling exhibits. For enjoyment of plays, concerts and classic films, the historic Elsinore Theatre offers wheelchair-accessible seating. Salem is also conveniently situated about an hour from Portland, Eugene and several beach towns.
Although Salem is the Beaver State’s capital and second largest city, its agricultural heritage as the Cherry City helps it retain a small-town charm. The city is home to the annual Oregon State Fair, and its location at the center of the Willamette Valley gives seniors numerous wineries to explore. The city’s Center 50+ offers enriching programs and comprehensive services for older adults, while the award-winning Salem Health hospital and clinics further support their well-being.
Look through our top 10 list of assisted living facilities in Salem to find the right home for you. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Salem and what financial assistance programs are available.
3411 Boone Road SE
Salem, OR 97317
Bonaventure of Salem's made our top 10 list due to its abundance of lifestyle amenities. This independent, assisted living and memory care apartment community is conveniently situated off Interstate 5 in the Southeast Mill Creek neighborhood. Its main recreation area has a piano lounge, lighted puzzle tables, poker tables, a bar and bistro with pool and chess tables, and an activity room with a jukebox and community kitchen. The movie theater accommodates up to 58 people, and there’s a gardening and hobby room with direct garden access. Other inviting amenities include a fitness center, cafe, salon and fireside library.
960 Boone Road SE
Salem, OR 97306
Consisting of single-level cottages that create a neighborhood-style setting, Farmington Square Salem is our top pick for seniors who prefer an accessible, homelike environment. This pet-friendly assisted living and memory care community has a quiet residential location in the Faye Wright neighborhood and is conveniently close to local shops on Commercial Street. Each cottage has its own courtyard or backyard, dining room and well-appointed common areas. Residents are accommodated in studio, one-bedroom and companion suites. In addition to three nutritious home-style meals served daily, snacks and beverages are available 24/7.
4710 Sunnyside Road SE
Salem, OR 97302
We recommend Regency Woodland to seniors who prefer an accessible single-level home and a smaller community. This 40-bed independent and assisted living facility in Faye Wright is steps away from Woodmansee Park and adjacent to Cherry City Center’s shops and restaurants. It has a large front lawn, plenty of mature trees and a landscaped rear garden for outdoor relaxation. The dining area features a grand piano for live entertainment, while the activity area has a community kitchen and sizable puzzle and board game collection. Other activities include pet therapy, outings, volunteer programs and religious services.
3988 12th Street Cutoff SE
Salem, OR 97302
Meadow Creek Village Assisted Living is nestled in wooded surroundings in the Morningside neighborhood. We recommend this 52-bed single-level facility to seniors who want an accessible homelike environment with a peaceful atmosphere. Its lush grounds offer tranquil spaces for strolling, gardening, wildlife watching and barbecue parties. Residents have easy access to a fitness room, activity room, salon and fireside lounges. The facility’s EverWell program of personalized care services includes fall prevention, medication assistance, rehabilitative therapy, pain management and on-site physician consultations. Loved ones may also benefit from family meetings, support groups and education programs.
4398 Glencoe Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Located on a cul-de-sac in the East Lancaster neighborhood, The Springs at Willowcreek keeps residents conveniently near Willamette Town Center. This 85-bed assisted living and memory care community consists of five single-level homes, and it’s one of our top choices for its smoke-free, pet-friendly environment and true homelike setting. Each house has its own patio area and living and dining spaces, as well as its own calendar of activities. Residents are accommodated in spacious private and companion studio suites with kitchenettes, and they have access to around-the-clock support, whirlpool baths and on-site salon services.
7600 SW Vlahos Drive
Wilsonville, OR 97070
Situated in a tranquil setting by a forested area of a residential neighborhood, yet conveniently close to Wilsonville Town Center, The Springs at Wilsonville keeps seniors close to nature and local commercial amenities. This assisted living and memory care community is among our top recommendations for its suburban location that’s only a short drive from Portland and Salem. Its four neighborhood wings have their own calendar of activities. Central amenities include a recreational room, movie theater, library, salon and ice cream parlor. Residents can enjoy Sit & Fit exercises, karaoke, gardening, happy hours and scenic drives.
4452 Lancaster Drive NE
Salem, OR 97305
The active, engaging lifestyle at Cedar Village makes this senior community one of our top 10 choices for assisted living. This Frontier Management facility is located in Hayesville, a community just northwest of Salem. The two-story building consists of studio and one-bedroom apartments. The large restaurant-style dining room has a grand piano and serves as the primary venue for most activities. Inviting amenities include a game area, fireside library, vintage-style cafe and full-service salon. Residents can enjoy regular activities, such as seated exercises, cooking, gardening, sing-alongs and pet visits.
4795 Skyline Road S
Salem, OR 97306
Prestige Senior Living Southern Hills is one of our top picks for its vibrant community atmosphere that promotes healthy, fulfilled lifestyles. Located in the Sunnyslope neighborhood, this 72-bed assisted living facility is situated next to Skyline Baptist Church and conveniently near Kaiser Permanente Skyline Medical Office and Sunnyslope Center’s shops. The landscaped grounds feature vegetable and flower gardens, and the large upper-floor patios provide comfortable spaces for outdoor relaxation. Residents can join exercise classes held in the wellness room, spend some quiet time at the well-stocked library and play games, watch movies and do crafting projects in the activity room.
4138 Market St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Lancaster Village is an independent and assisted living community consisting of duplexes, cottages and tri-level apartment buildings, and it’s on our top 10 list for its friendly atmosphere and familiar homelike environment. Its location in the East Lancaster neighborhood provides proximity to Willamette Town Center. The landscaped grounds have a putting green, raised gardening beds and sitting areas for outdoor leisure. Lifestyle activities include exercise classes, Wii games, themed parties and scenic drives. Residents are encouraged to join special interest groups, such as the choir, book club, quilting group and poker club.
695 Orchard Heights Road NW
Salem, OR 97304
Ideally situated in the West Salem neighborhood, Prestige Senior Living Orchard Heights is less than 2 miles from downtown Salem. It’s also conveniently close to Wallace Marine Park and shopping centers on Wallace Road. We added this assisted living and memory care community in our list for its convenient residential location and warm, engaging ambiance. Its secured parklike courtyard has raised flower beds and evergreen landscaping. Residents can socialize in the restaurant-style dining hall, fireside lounge, activity room and TV nook. Celebrations wellness activities include gardening, baking, pet therapy, happy hours and outings.
The Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018 shows that the cost of senior care in Salem is close to the average cost across the state. The only exception is the cost of adult day care, which is the cheapest in the state. Compared to seniors in other parts of the state, Salem seniors in adult day care save more than $1,000 a month.
Most major cities in Oregon have an average assisted living cost between $4,025 and $4,882. In Salem, the average cost is $4,360, which is on the lower end of the scale and $233 cheaper than the state average. Nearby Albany is slightly less expensive than Salem, while seniors in the next closest city of Corvallis pay around $522 per month more than those in Salem.
The single cost outlier in the state is Grants Pass, where the average monthly price of assisted living is $5,390, $1,000 more expensive than Salem.
Average home care costs in Salem are among the more expensive in Oregon. The cost comes to $26.90 an hour, or $5,129 a month for someone receiving 44 hours of care each week. This is more expensive than the state average of $4,862, or $25.50 an hour.
The most expensive city for home care in Oregon is Portland, where seniors pay around $28 an hour. Seniors looking for affordable home care can find it in Grants Pass. Home care in the city is just $3,813 a month, or less than $20 an hour, $1,316 cheaper than home care in Salem.
Seniors in Salem interested in adult day care will pay less for this type of care compared to the rest of the state. Adult day care costs aren't available for all cities in the state, but Salem is by far the cheapest of the cities where prices are available. Salem's average monthly cost is $975, over $1,000 less than the Oregon average and $1,625 less than the most expensive city of Eugene.
The cost of nursing home care in Oregon cities ranges from $9,186 to $9,551 for a semi-private room. The cost in Salem is $9,399. Although this is $122 more expensive than the state average, costs in Salem are in the middle of the range. Seniors looking for savings may like to explore facilities in Corvallis, where nursing care costs $213 less than Salem, or Portland, which has the least expensive nursing care in the state at $9,125 a month, $274 less than in Salem.
In Salem, Medicaid is known as the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). It covers the costs of many services, including nursing home care for the elderly, frail and disabled. To be eligible for long-term Medicaid in Oregon, seniors must have a need for the services provided. There are also income and residency requirements. Seniors over the financial limits may still qualify for the program through Income Cap Trusts or by "spending down" assets. Apply online.
The K Plan is a Medicaid option offered to seniors and people with disabilities. Individuals on the K Plan must be eligible for Medicaid and meet level of care criteria. The program provides support to people who qualify for nursing home level of care who wish to remain in their home or the community. Funds can be used to access assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, house cleaning and grocery shopping. It can also be used by people living in assisted living facilities, adult group homes and adult foster care. Services in the program are self-directed, allowing seniors to hire their choice of help, including certain family members.
The Independent Choices Program is another state plan option for seniors who require assistance with activities of daily living. It pays money directly to seniors who manage their own care by hiring service providers and paying them directly. To be eligible for the program, seniors must be eligible for long-term Medicaid and must also be able to show they have had a stable living situation, including managing their own money, for three months. Seniors in Salem can apply for the program through the Salem Area Agency on Aging office.
Aged and Physically Disabled (APD) Medicaid Waiver
The Aged and Physically Disabled (APD) Medicaid Waiver is designed to help seniors transition from institutional settings such as nursing homes back to the community. This includes moving costs, security deposits and the purchase of household items including furniture, bedding and kitchenware. Services that provide in-home care are now covered by Oregon's K Plan. Seniors can receive assistance from both the K Plan and the APD Waiver at the same time. To be eligible for the waiver, applicants have to meet age, functional ability, income and asset criteria.
Client-Employed Provider (CEP) Program
The Client-Employed Provider (CEP) Program allows seniors to take control of their care. The program is available for people who are financially eligible for Medicaid, who require assistance with activities of daily living and who are able to manage their care providers, either independently or with the help of a family member. Participants work with a case manager to define the services required and are then responsible for hiring care workers. The program allows seniors to hire family members, including adult children, as paid caregivers.
Oregon Spousal Pay Program
The Spousal Pay Program allows a person's spouse to be paid to provide the care the participant needs. To be eligible for the program both the caregiver and their spouse must both be residents of Oregon, legally married and living at home. Participants in the program generally have extensive care requirements and must need help with at least four activities of daily living. Participants must also be diagnosed with a debilitating, progressive disease. The caregiving spouse must meet requirements for providing care in Oregon, including passing a criminal history check.
Oregon Project Independence
The Oregon Project Independence (OPI) provides a range of services to help people remain living in their own homes. To be eligible for the program, participants must be living at home, require a level of care typically provided in a nursing home and they cannot be eligible for Medicaid programs. Some of the services provided include bathing, dressing, running errands and managing medication. Respite care is also available allowing primary caregivers to enjoy a break.
Participants in the program pay for the services they receive, but the prices are on a sliding scale based on monthly household income minus monthly household medical costs. In Salem the program is administered by the local Area Agency on Aging, NorthWest Senior and Disability Services.
|Salem Housing Authority||(503) 588-6368||The Salem Housing Authority owns and manages four sites that provide housing to low-income seniors aged 62 and over. Seniors may also access the Housing Choice Voucher program.|
|Family Caregiver Support Program||(503) 304-3420||The Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) offers support to unpaid caregivers who are looking after a member of the family. Although most of the services offered are aimed at carers, the program does provide free access to respite services.|
|Senior Citizen's Tax Deferral||(503) 588-5144||Taxpayers aged 62 and over are able to defer their property taxes in the year they apply and any subsequent years that they qualify. The unpaid must be paid back when the property is sold or on the death of the taxpayer.|
|Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program||(503) 588-9016||The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offers financial assistance to help pay the heating bills of low-income residents of Salem. Eligibility for the program is based on income.|
|Wastewater Rate Assistance||(503) 588-6099||The City of Salem offers discounts on the wastewater portion of utility bills for residents aged 62 and over. Seniors need to meet income requirements to be eligible for this assistance.|
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Oregon.