Page Reviewed / Updated - June 10, 2019
This guide is for seniors and their loved ones who are looking for affordable senior living in the Fair Oaks area. It is meant to explain the various levels of care that are open to seniors in the greater Sacramento area, where Fair Oaks is located, and to point the way toward possible methods of paying for senior living at all levels. Finally, this guide is intended to locate and explain some of the resources available in the Fair Oaks region that seniors can use to make independent living at home more affordable and to improve their overall quality of life.
For more information about senior living options in Fair Oaks, please read through our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in California.
In two areas, assisted living and home care, senior living is less expensive in Fair Oaks than the average for the rest of California, according to the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Both adult day care and nursing home care cost more in Fair Oaks versus the state average. Even so, the differences for all four types of care are within $30 - $200 of the state average, indicating that fees in the city are comparable to state averages.
Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Fair Oaks, so the data for the closest city, Sacramento, was used.
Assisted living in Fair Oaks costs an average of $4,473 a month, which is just $27 a month less than the state average of $4,500. Most surveyed cities in the state are close to the California average, such as Los Angeles and San Diego, which both report an average monthly cost in line with the state, at $4,500.
San Francisco is a major outlier on the high end of costs, at $5,500 a month, while Bakersfield reports some of the lowest costs in the state, at $3,150 a month.
Home care in Fair Oaks costs seniors an average of $4,767 a month. Costs inLos Angeles and San Diego exactly match Fair Oaks. Seniors in these cities pay almost $200 a month less than the California state average, which runs to $4,957, which is also the price Stockton, CA, reports.
San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the state for home care, with average monthly costs of $5,625. Chico and Bakersfield have home care costs close to the low end of the spectrum, with monthly costs of $4,433 and $4,385, respectively.
Adult day care in Fair Oaks averages $1,733 a month, a price point shared by San Francisco and San Diego. This is slightly more than the California average monthly cost of $1,679, which is also the cost in the city of Stockton. Chico reports some of the most expensive adult day care in the state, at $2,134, while costs are at their lowest in Los Angeles, at $1,565 a month.
Nursing home care in Fair Oaks costs an average of $8,517 a month, which is somewhat more expensive than the state average cost of $8,365. These prices are close to the median for most of the state's major cities, though some communities show significant deviation from the average. San Francisco, for example, reports average monthly costs of $9,148 for seniors in residential nursing care, while some of the lowest costs in the state are in Bakersfield, where seniors pay $7,513.
Seniors in Fair Oaks can get low-cost or free health insurance through the state Medicaid program, known locally as Medi-Cal. All Medi-Cal plans in California cover preventive and emergency care, specialist visits and monthly costs related to residential care in a facility. Medi-Cal operates as an entitlement program that admits all qualified applicants who meet intake criteria, with no waiting periods or annual enrollment caps.
Medi-Cal requires applicants to meet certain eligibility requirements before approving coverage. To qualify, seniors in Fair Oaks must be citizens of the United States and residents of the state of California, though proof of residence may be temporarily waived in some cases.
Income requirements for the program are based on federal poverty guidelines, which are adjusted upward every two years. Medi-Cal imposes an income limit of 138% of the federal poverty line for seniors applying alone, which in 2018 limits single applicants to $16,395 a year from all income sources combined. Married couples may earn more, up to $22,108 a year. Having additional adults in the home raises the allowable maximum income by $5,741 a year per adult, whether the additional household members apply for Medi-Cal or not.
Many seniors are able to fast-track the Medi-Cal application process by showing prior acceptance into one of California's other low-income programs. These programs use many of the same eligibility criteria as Medi-Cal, and so participation in any of these programs is accepted as proof of eligibility for healthcare coverage. Compatible programs include:
Seniors who need health insurance can apply for Medi-Cal coverage in person or by mail through a Sacramento County Human Services office, such as the office on Arden Way, not far from Fair Oaks. Seniors can also apply for Medi-Cal coverage online through the Covered California website.
Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP)
Seniors in Fair Oaks can pay for many of the costs associated with assisted living through the state's Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP). This waiver encourages seniors who have Medi-Cal coverage and medical clearance to move into nursing home care opt into assisted living instead. This waiver is only available to participating assisted living communities in 15 California counties, including Sacramento County. Interested seniors can apply for the ALWP waiver through the admissions or benefits coordinator at a participating assisted living facility.
Multipurpose Senior Services Waiver
Seniors who prefer to remain at home can opt out of residential care and pay many of the costs of aging in place through the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) waiver. This waiver helps seniors access several benefits, which cover many of the unmet needs seniors who live at home may struggle with. Benefits the MSSP waiver covers include:
Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) Waiver
Seniors in Fair Oaks can use the Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) waiver to pick up some of the likely costs of moving out of residential care and back into their own homes, or into the home of loved ones. This waiver replaces several older waiver programs that focused on specific types of residential care, and it may be used to pay almost any reasonable move-related expense. Participation is approved by a Medi-Cal caseworker assigned to the senior.
Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS)
Fair Oaks seniors who live on their own, or who live with relatives or other loved ones, may struggle with various miscellaneous costs and some unmet needs other waiver programs don't cover. The Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) waiver program addresses many of these needs with a comprehensive set of benefits for program participants, including:
Paid Family Leave
Immediate family members may be able to take up to six weeks off from their regular employment to care for a senior loved one through California's Paid Family Leave Act. This law provides funding for workers whose family members develop a pressing medical need for temporary in-home care, such as after a fall or a stay in the hospital.
To qualify, workers must be continuously employed over a three-year look-back period and have sufficient funds accrued from payroll withholding deductions to the program. Proof of both medical need and the closeness of their relationship to the senior may be required before approval is granted.
Applications may be made online or by phone to the state Employment Development Department, which may also conduct a telephone interview. Funds are paid out every two weeks and may be spent like any other pay, without restriction.
|Housing Choice Voucher Program||(916) 440-1390||Seniors in Fair Oaks can use the Housing Choice Voucher Program to help cover some of the high cost of rent in the Sacramento area. Admission is based on need, though seniors get priority status, and there is a waiting list that opens up based on program funding levels. Seniors can apply to join the waitlist online or by phone.|
|RAD||(916) 449-6302||Sacramento's Rental Assistance Demonstration & Asset Repositioning Strategy (RAD) program administers thousands of low-income rental properties in the region, including several hundred in Fair Oaks. Seniors can apply for help finding low-income housing directly through the state's Housing and Urban Development website.|
|Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||(916) 784-3382||Seniors in Fair Oaks can get help paying some of the cost of their home energy bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Both local utilities, SMUD and PG&E, can mail application packets out to seniors, who if approved may see a 50% reduction in their monthly gas and electric bills. Emergency applications can be handled by any area Salvation Army depot.|