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Cost of Assisted Living in Santa Monica, California

Page Reviewed / Updated - August 01, 2019

This page is a guide to the cost of senior care in Santa Monica. It has information about senior care costs including financial assistance programs in the area and other resources available for low-income seniors. Broader information about senior care costs and financial assistance available in the state can be found in our guide to paying for senior care in California.

The Cost of Senior Living and Care in Santa Monica

The cost of senior care in Santa Monica is generally lower than the state median. The exception is for assisted living, where the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey shows that the city's average monthly cost of $4,500 is equal to the state average. In the other categories, seniors in Santa Monica can save between $114 and $750 compared to the state average.

Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Santa Monica, so the data for the closest city, Los Angeles, was used.

How much does Assisted Living Cost in Santa Monica?

The cost of assisted living in Santa Monica is $4,500 a month, equal to the state average. Some larger cities, including San Francisco and San Jose, are significantly more expensive. The cost in those cities is $5,500 a month, $1,000 a month more than Santa Monica. Nearby cities such as San Diego and Oxnard have similar costs to Santa Monica, with the cost in Oxnard just $75 higher. Bakersfield has the most affordable assisted living in the state, with seniors in the city paying just $3,150 a month, $1,350 lower than in Santa Monica.

How much does Home Care Cost in Santa Monica?

In Santa Monica, home care costs an average of $4,767 a month based on 44 hours of care each week. This is $190 less each month than the state median.

The cost in Santa Monica is equal to other large metropolitan areas including San Diego and Sacramento, but some big cities such as San Francisco and San Jose are up to $953 more expensive. The most expensive home care in the state is in Napa, where seniors pay $5,911 a month. The cost in Visalia is the most affordable at $4,290 a month.

How much does Adult Day Care Cost in Santa Monica?

In Santa Monica, the cost of adult day care is $1,565 a month. This is $168 lower than the cost in large cities including Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. The cost in Santa Monica is also more affordable than costs in nearby Oxnard, where seniors pay $1,712 a month, $147 more than seniors in Santa Monica.

The most affordable adult day care in the state is in Hanford. Seniors in the area pay just $867 a month, $698 less than those in Santa Monica. Costs in Santa Rosa are the highest in the state; the cost of $2,362 a month is $797 higher than in Santa Monica.

How much does Nursing Home Costs in Santa Monica?

The average cost of nursing home care in Santa Monica is $7,604 per month, $761 less than the California average of $8,365. This is more affordable than the state's large cities, where costs range from $8,517 in Sacramento and San Diego to $9,148 in San Francisco.

Financial Assistance Programs in Santa Monica

Medicaid Program in Santa Monica

Medicaid in California is known as Medi-Cal. It provides free or low-cost medical coverage to eligible Californians. In addition to medical costs, Medi-Cal covers nursing home care for eligible seniors. This is an entitlement, meaning everyone who is eligible receives coverage.

To be eligible for regular Medi-Cal, which covers health care costs, applicants must meet financial eligibility requirements. For singles and married couples where one person is applying, the income limit is $1,242 a month and there is an asset limit of $2,000. For married couples where both people are applying, the income limit is $1,682 a month and the asset limit is $3,000. Not all assets are included when determining an applicant's assets. Personal belongings, household furnishings, an automobile, irrevocable burial trusts, and the primary home are among the assets not counted.

People applying for nursing home care must require a nursing home level of care. There is no income limit for people in nursing home care, however, the resident must pay a "share of cost" towards their care. Those with higher incomes pay more towards their cost of care. The asset limits for nursing home care are the same as those for regular Medi-Cal. The only exception is for married couples where only one person is applying. In this case, the applicant has an asset limit of $2,000, but the non-applicant spouse can retain $126,420 of the couple's joint assets, known as the Community Spouse Resource Allowance. 

People who do not meet the financial criteria for Medi-Cal may still be eligible through a number of pathways. The Medically Needy Pathway is for people with high medical costs. Like the nursing home program, it is a "share of cost" program where recipients use their excess income to pay for medical costs and Medi-Cal kicks in once the recipient has paid their share. Medicaid planning can also help seniors qualify for Medi-Cal.Seniors can apply for Medi-Cal online, by mail or in person at their local Department of Public Social Services office.

Medicaid Waivers in Santa Monica

Medi-Cal Assisted Living Waiver

Seniors in Santa Monica may be eligible for the Assisted Living Waiver. The ALW aims to help Medi-Cal recipients remain in the community rather than moving into nursing home care. The program reimburses for the services provided to the resident, but recipients are responsible for the cost of room and board.

The program is available in a limited number of counties, including Los Angeles County. To be eligible, applicants must be over the age of 21, require a nursing home level of care and be enrolled in Medi-Cal. However, people who receive Medi-Cal with a share of cost are not eligible for the program. Applications are processed through Care Coordinator Agencies.

Community Based Adult Services Program

Community Based Adult Services offers a range of support to seniors to help them restore or maintain the capacity for self-care and delay or prevent moving to a nursing home. Services can include nursing services, occupational or physical therapy, personal care, meals and therapeutic activities.

Applicants must be eligible for Medi-Cal. In addition, there are functional criteria and applicants must require help with at least two activities of daily living and require a nursing home level of care or have a cognitive impairment. The local Area Agency on Aging can assist with applications.

Multipurpose Senior Services Program Waiver

The Multipurpose Senior Services Program is intended to help individuals remain in their home. To be eligible, applicants must be aged 65 or older. They must be eligible for Medi-Cal and require a nursing facility level of care. The services provided depend on the care the participant needs, but can include adult day care, assistive technology, meals and medication management. The program is not an entitlement and waiting lists may apply. Applications can be made through the California Department of Aging.

Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver

The Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver is designed to help people stay in their homes or return to their homes after a temporary nursing home stay. Applicants must meet the income requirements for Medi-Cal. They must require a nursing home level of care and be able to safely receive care in their home. There may be a waiting list for services and people already residing in residential care facilities receive priority on the list. Santa Monica residents can apply through local HCBA waiver agencies. The list of agencies and the zip codes they cover can be found on the Department of Health Care Services website.

Other Financial Assistance Programs in Santa Monica

In-Home Supportive Services

The In-Home Supportive Services program offers non-medical services to eligible Californians. It is designed to help people remain in their homes, so is not available to people in nursing homes, assisted living residents or adult foster care homes. Participants are assessed to determine the level of care they need and are responsible for directing that care. The program can allow some family members, including adult children, to be paid to care for the participant.

Applicants must be Californian residents aged 65 or older. The program is also available to those younger than 65 if they have a disability. It is open to people who don't receive Medi-Cal, but all applicants must have applied for Medi-Cal and had their eligibility assessed. The program is administered by each county and Santa Monica residents can apply through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.

California Paid Family Leave

The California Paid Family Leave Act provides wage replacement to caregivers for up to six weeks in a 12 month period. The caregiver must be a California resident who has State Disability Insurance through their employer. It allows them to take paid time off to care for a seriously ill family member, including a parent, parent-in-law or grandparent. Detailed medical information must be supplied about the care recipient's condition and the care they need. Applications can be made through the California State Disability Insurance website.

More Senior Living Resources in Santa Monica


Phone Number


Support Services Program (800) 510 2020 This program provides services to people aged 60 and over to help them maintain their independence. It can include homemaker services, respite care and personal care. Priority is given to those with the greatest economic or social need.
Family Caregiver Support Program (800) 510 2020 The Family Caregiver Support Program provides a range of services to support people caring for elderly loved ones. This can include respite care, training, assistive devices and home adaptation.
Los Angeles County Development Authority (626) 262 4511 The LA County Development Authority provides housing assistance to low-income residents through public housing and the Section 8 Program. There are a number of senior-only sites. Waiting lists for the services apply.
Santa Monica Housing Division (310) 458 8411

The Santa Monica Housing Division administers a number of programs to help low-income residents find affordable housing, including the Housing Choice Voucher Program. In particular, the Preserving Our Diversity Program provides financial assistance to low-income people aged 65 and older to help them stay in their homes.
California Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (866) 675 6623 This program provides financial assistance to help low-income residents pay their energy bills. Applicants must meet financial criteria which differ based on the number of people living in the household.