Page Reviewed / Updated - May 29, 2020
Located just 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, Whittier offers retirees all the charm of a small town, while remaining close to big-city amenities. The city is central to all of Southern California and there are a host of entertainment options nearby for when family come to visit.
Whittier’s weather is perfect for people looking for a warm retirement location. There are around 278 sunny days annually, and the temperature stays comfortable year-round. This may tempt seniors to explore parks like the award-winning Greenway Trail. Arts enthusiasts are also catered to, with art galleries and festivals just some of the cultural experiences in the area.
Note: Information for Whittier was not available, so data from the nearest city, Los Angeles, was used.
Check out our list of Whittier's top 10 assisted living facilities to find the right community for you.
13250 Philadelphia Street
Whittier, CA 90601
Brookdale Uptown Whittier offers assisted living in an historic neighborhood, just one block from Uptown Park. Accommodation is provided in studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, which all feature a working kitchen. Residents can also choose an apartment with a balcony or view of Turnbull Hills. Home-style meals are served in the dining room, and room service is available for residents who prefer to eat in their apartments. The activities calendar includes yoga, book clubs, gardening and games, and encourages seniors to stay active and engaged. Common areas, including the library, theater and coffee shop, also give residents lots of opportunities to interact with neighbors.
13617 Whittier Boulevard
Whittier, CA 90605
Oakmont of Whittier provides luxury living to seniors looking for assisted living and memory care services. The community has a range of amenities that offers residents a pampered lifestyle, including a lush campus, full-time concierge and day spa. World-class chefs design daily menus that reflect the fresh, local ingredients available and meals are served in the restaurant or outside surrounded by greenery. A chauffeur service takes residents to appointments, errands and local shops, entertainment and fine-dining establishments. Individualized support is available that encourages independence, and health care providers see seniors on-site through the concierge medicine program.
8101 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90602
Seniors can experience safe, comprehensive care with resort-style amenities at Brookdale Central Whittier. The facility offers a diverse range of programs to help residents stay active, including hallway bowling, watercolor painting and bingo. Social events such as movie nights and happy hours featuring live music give seniors opportunities to mingle with friends. Nutritious meals that tempt the taste buds are served in the restaurant-style dining room, and a community kitchen is available for those who want to practice their baking skills. Landscaped gardens and a sprawling patio allow residents to enjoy the outdoors, and keen gardeners can grow plants in the garden or greenhouse.
10615 Jordan Road
Whittier, CA 90603
Whittier Glen Assisted Living provides seniors with personalized services in beautifully appointed surroundings. Team members are available around the clock and focus on each resident’s wellness and continuing independence. The landscaped grounds include a rose garden, walking path and areas for seniors to tend. Meals are made to order with fresh ingredients, and seniors can discuss upcoming menus with the chef. Social events include parties, ice cream socials and live performances by local artists, while daily activities, such as exercise classes and arts and crafts groups, give residents opportunities to follow their passions.
12315 Burgess Avenue
Whittier, CA 90604
Whittier Place is located just off Imperial Highway, close to shopping, dining, hospitals and recreational venues. The facility offers customized care for seniors seeking an assisted living or memory care community. The restaurant-style dining features seasonal dishes made from fresh ingredients, and the Gourmet Bites program offers meals served as bite-sized hors d'oeuvres, allowing residents with physical or cognitive challenges to continue to feed themselves and maintain their independence. Watermark University provides seniors with access to a wide range of classes designed to keep the mind and body fit. Residents can learn or teach something new, including pet therapy, woodworking and yoga.
200 North Dale Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92801
Residents of Brookdale Anaheim can enjoy living in a community that offers assistance while respecting independence. The facility features beautifully appointed common areas where seniors can gather to socialize, including a billiards room, library and fireside living room. Outside, there are landscaped grounds, a patio and walking paths that invite residents and their pets to enjoy the sunshine. Daily activities, such as tai chi, trivia and art classes, are designed to keep the mind, body and spirit active. The elegant dining room features tableside service at all meals, and tasty menus are based on feedback and requests from residents.
12045 Lakewood Park Boulevard
Downey, CA 90242
Lakewood Park Manor is a family-owned and -operated business that offers seniors independent and assisted living in a supportive community. Located in Downey, the facility is just minutes from shopping centers, restaurants and hospitals. Rooms come with an emergency call system, and staff conduct regular check-ins. Dentist, podiatrist and optician services are available on-site, and resident transportation services can take seniors to other appointments. Friends and family are invited to join in the fun of holiday parties, and the daily calendar keeps residents busy with activities such as gardening, pet therapy and bowling or billiards tournaments.
285 West Central Avenue
Brea, CA 92821
Brookdale Brea aims to give its residents a sense of belonging, while they pursue the activities and relationships they’re passionate about. Individuals receive a personalized care plan that can be adjusted as needed, and services are available to help new residents move. The pet-friendly facility has outdoor areas that tempt seniors into the sunshine, including a putting green, walking paths and a place to garden. A full activity calendar gives people ample opportunities to meet like-minded neighbors and includes activities such as fitness classes, poker tournaments and Bible studies.
19850 East Colima Road
Walnut, CA 91789
Brookdale Walnut offers assisted living and memory care in a residential neighborhood, next to a golf course and country club. The community’s landscaped grounds feature raised gardening beds, a putting green and fishing pond. Inside, seniors can enjoy favorite hobbies or pursue a new interest, such as dancing, game nights and the Wine & Watercolors group. Each meal is like eating at a restaurant with friends, and menus often feature delicious dishes requested by residents. Staff are on-site around the clock, and each room has an emergency response system so residents can call for help if needed.
1731 W. Medical Center Drive
Anaheim, CA 92801
Residents of Emerald Court can enjoy independent or assisted living in the center of North Orange County, close to shops, restaurants and hospitals. The facility features six courtyards that allow seniors to relax and socialize in the California sun, and a concierge service that provides friendly assistance whenever it’s required. Health-conscious, creative menus are designed by an executive chef, and served in multiple dining venues that bring people together and promote conversation. The award-winning wellness program offers a range of activities that encourage mental, physical and spiritual fitness, such as cultural excursions, fitness classes and volunteer opportunities.
The cost of senior living in Whittier is close to or somewhat below the average cost of care in California, according to the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Assisted living in Whittier, for example, costs an average of $4,500, which is the exact amount seniors pay across California, on average. Seniors in Whittier pay significantly less for other levels of care, such as adult day care and nursing home care.
Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Whittier, so the data for the closest city, Los Angeles, was used.
Assisted living costs Whittier seniors $4,500 a month, on average. This is the same price seniors pay on average in the rest of California. Seniors in San Diego also pay this amount, while seniors in Sacramento pay $4,473 a month for assisted living.
Some communities in California are outliers for assisted living prices. San Francisco, for example, reports average monthly costs of $5,500 for assisted living, while the same level of care in Bakersfield costs seniors just $3,150 a month, or $1,350 less than in Whittier.
Home care in Whittier costs an average of $4,767 a month. This is nearly $200 a month less than the $4,957 average cost seniors pay in California. Sacramento and San Diego seniors also pay $4,767 a month, while seniors in Bakersfield pay just $4,385, the lowest reported cost among surveyed cities and nearly $400 less per month than in Whittier.
The state's highest cost for home care is in San Francisco, where seniors pay an average of $5,625 a month for care or $858 a month more than the typical cost in Whittier.
Adult day care in Whittier is low, compared with other surveyed areas in the state. Monthly costs to seniors in Whittier are just $1,565 a month for adult day care, which is significantly less than the California average price of $1,679 for similar care. Among surveyed cities, only Vallejo has monthly costs lower than Whittier, at $1,354, while the highest reported cost in the state is $2,134 in Chico.
Nursing home care in Whittier costs seniors an average of $7,604 a month. This is well below the average for the rest of the state of California, at $8,365 for a semi-private room. San Francisco again has the highest monthly rates for nursing home care among surveyed cities, at $9,148 a month for a semi-private room. Among California cities, only Bakersfield reports lower rates for care than Whittier, at just $7,513 a month for similar nursing home care.
Seniors in Whittier can get help paying for their medical and residential care costs through Medicaid, which in California is known as Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal pays for basic and emergency care, some prescriptions and much of the cost of residential senior living. The program also picks up many of the expenses seniors face when getting durable and disposable medical equipment and various assistive devices, such as walkers.
The program is structured as an entitlement, which means all eligible seniors may sign up to receive care without any waiting periods or enrollment caps. Medi-Cal delivers its coverage through a network of private sector providers located in the state who offer Medi-Cal compatible HMO and PPO options. Interested seniors can choose a plan at the time they sign up, or by browsing the Covered California website during the annual open enrollment period at the end of the year.
To qualify for Medi-Cal benefits, seniors in Whittier must be citizens or legal residents of the United States and residents of the state of California. Applicants' income from all sources combined is capped at 138% of the federal poverty line, which in 2019 put a maximum income threshold at $16,395 a year for single adults applying for themselves. Married couples may earn up to $22,108 without penalty, and each additional adult in the household raises the permitted income cap by an extra $5,741 a year. These limits apply whether the other adults in the household apply for benefits or not. Seniors who earn more than 138% of the poverty rate, but who still make less than 300% from all income combined, can still qualify for Medi-Cal, though they may be required to pay an annual share of the cost before accessing benefits.
Some seniors are able to fast-track their acceptance into Medi-Cal by showing an intake worker evidence of their previous acceptance into a parallel low-income entitlement program. These programs use the same or similar income standards, and so participation in any of them is taken as evidence of Medi-Cal eligibility. Eligible programs Medi-Cal accepts include:
Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP)
Seniors in Whittier can get help paying for the monthly cost of residence in an assisted living community through the Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP). This program offers a payment voucher to participating assisted living facilities in 15 California counties to accept seniors who meet the program requirements.
To qualify, seniors in Whittier must receive Medi-Cal benefits and have a medical authorization for placement in a nursing care home. Recipients must waive placement in a nursing home and opt instead for the less expensive care provided at a local assisted living facility.
Seniors can apply for an ALWP voucher directly, through their Medi-Cal caseworker, or they can authorize the assisted living facility to apply on their behalf through the benefits coordinator's office.
Multipurpose Senior Services Waiver
The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) pays for many of the services seniors could get in assisted living, or in another residential care arrangement, such as memory care or a nursing home, but for seniors who wish to remain at home in their own community. MSSP is approved through Medi-Cal, and applications can go through the senior, their family or the discharge planner at their last residential care facility. Benefits offered by the MSSP waiver include:
PAS is an entitlement program, and any eligible senior may receive services through this program. Part of the program is the ability to self-direct care. This means that seniors may choose a primary caregiver and pay them using PAS funds for the service. Even some family members may qualify as a paid assistant. Seniors must choose a family member who is not their legal guardian and who is not a minor.
Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) Waiver
Seniors who discharge from residential care to home, or to the home of relatives or other loved ones, may be able to get help paying many of the costs through California's Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) waiver program. Seniors in Whittier can ask for information and an application to the HCBA program from a Medi-Cal caseworker or through the discharge planning desk at their residential care facility.
Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS)
Seniors in Whittier can get help paying some of the miscellaneous costs of independent living by applying for the Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) waiver program through their caseworker. This program offers some cash aid for seniors living on their own in Whittier, though it also provides structured events and services to help seniors stay independent. Program services include:
In-Home Support Services (IHSS)
Seniors who live in Whittier can stay independent in their own homes with help from the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program. IHSS pays caregivers to help seniors with normal activities and some reasonable chores outside of the home. After applying for IHSS through the local program office, or in advance of discharge from a residential care facility, seniors receive a home visit from an IHSS worker to evaluate their health needs. IHSS assigns seniors a set number of hours per month that the program can pay for a caregiver, with hiring and management decisions left to the senior's discretion.
Caregivers can be anyone the senior designates, including a spouse, family member or friend of the senior enrolled in the program. Prospective caregivers must have a valid CPR certification and pass a background check. They must also attend a one-day training and orientation session at the IHSS office. To get paid, caregivers must have their worked hours signed off on by the senior they're helping, which are then deducted from the senior's monthly allowance of hours. Payment is sent through the mail every two weeks.
Paid Family Leave
Seniors in Whittier can get in-home assistance during transitional periods, or during a serious illness, from relatives under California's Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA). PFLA makes it possible for the immediate family members of seniors to take up to six weeks off from their work with pay to care for a medically needy relative. This is especially helpful for seniors who are transitioning out of residential care or who have recently had surgery and need temporary assistance in their homes.
PFLA benefits are deducted over time from workers' paychecks, with funds deposited in a benefits account they can access when necessary. Bi-monthly benefit amounts are calculated from the worker's average pay over the preceding three years, though benefits are capped at a certain amount that changes from year to year.
Workers can apply for PFLA up to one month before the leave is needed by calling the state's Employment Development Department (EDD). EDD may conduct a telephone interview and request proof of both medical need and family relationship before approving the claim. Funds arrive by mail and can be spent like any other paycheck, without restriction. Employers are required by law to hold open the vacant position for up to six weeks until the employee returns to work.
The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) administers both the federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and the local public housing units seniors in Whittier can choose for affordable independent living.
Both programs are separate from each other, though seniors can apply for either online or by phone. Section 8 often has a waiting list, so seniors may only qualify as slots become available.
Los Angeles County operates the Emergency Assistance to Prevent Eviction (EAPE) program for low-income seniors facing a loss of housing. EAPE can help Whittier seniors pay up to $3,000 in a lifetime toward rent, mortgage and utilities to avoid eviction or disconnect. Seniors can apply for EAPE on an emergency basis through CalWORKS.
Seniors in Whittier who are aged 60 and over, or who have a disability, may be able to get up to $6,500 in home weatherization done to make their homes more energy efficient through the California Weatherization Assistance Program (CWAP).
Applications and an appointment for a home inspection can be made by phone through the California Department of Community Services and Development in Sacramento.
The Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services helps Whittier seniors sign up for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program reduces the cost of home utilities by up to 30%. Applications can be requested by phone.
For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in California.