Page Reviewed / Updated - Apr. 2019
This guide provides an in-depth look at the cost of senior care in Fresno, including an overview of the various costs and financial assistance programs available. More resources for seniors and their families, including details about congregate meals and public housing help, are located at the bottom of this article. For more information regarding senior care topics in the rest of the state, please refer to our guide to paying for senior care in California.
According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, senior care costs in Fresno are relatively average compared to other major metropolitan areas in California, even though the city's monthly assisted living, home care and adult day care costs are all below the state median. Assisted living costs are especially reasonable, with prices that are $500 below the national median.
Fresno's monthly assisted living costs are relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the state at $1,000 less than the state median. Nearby Merced and Visalia are near Fresno's costs for assisted living, whereas areas such as San Francisco are $2,000 more per month.
According to the Genworth study, some of the least expensive monthly assisted living costs in California are in Bakersfield, though these prices are only 11 percent less than in Fresno.
Home care costs in Fresno are $4,528 per month, just under the California median of $4,957. Two of the most affordable cities surveyed for home care costs outside of Fresno include Bakersfield and Visalia, while some of the most expensive monthly prices in the area are in San Francisco where costs are approximately 25 percent more than in Fresno.
At $1,653 per month, Fresno's adult day care costs fall exactly in line with averages across the state. Nearby Merced, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and the state median all fluctuate within $100 of this price point. The most costly adult day care services near Fresno are in Santa Maria, with monthly fees accumulating to more than $2,000.
Fresno's nursing home care costs are not the most economical in the state, with monthly prices averaging around $8,638. Many cities in the region, such as Merced, Bakersfield and Los Angeles all have more budget-friendly nursing home costs, with care in neighboring Visalia costing more than $2,000 less each month.
Despite this, there are still areas near Fresno with much higher nursing home costs. San Francisco averages $9,148 per month and Santa Maria has costs that break the $10,000 mark, equating to 23 percent more each month than Fresno.
Throughout California and in Fresno, the Medicaid program is referred to as Medi-Cal. This program offers either free or low-cost health care coverage to seniors aged 65 and older (or otherwise legally blind or disabled) who do not live in an acute or skilled facility. Services provided by this program include the following:
Though these benefits can be provided to seniors with other health insurance, there is an income limit for free services. These income caps are listed below:
Because Medi-Cal is an entitlement program, all Fresno seniors who meet the requirements will receive these services. Fresno seniors can complete the application for Medi-Cal by visiting the local Fresno County Department of Human Services, calling (855) 832-8082 or visiting the Covered California Website.
Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) Program
The Assisted Living Waiver program exists to do two things for Fresno seniors:
Qualifying seniors who use the ALW Program have access to three types of services:
To be eligible, applicants must be at least 21 years old and meet the financial requirements. Seniors who want to find out more about the requirements or find more information about the application process can do so by visiting our ALW page.
Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) Waiver
The Community Based Adult Services waiver helps reduce the number of seniors who are placed in a nursing home by offering daytime care services in Fresno. These health care services include, but are not limited to, the following benefits:
To qualify for these services, a senior must require a nursing facility level of care or have a severe cognitive impairment. In addition to these functional requirements, the financial requirements for this program are based on a senior's monthly income and assets. These numbers change based on whether a senior is married and can be found by reading our guide on the CBAS waiver. If residents don't meet financial requirements, the Share of Cost or Spend Down programs can be utilized. Fresno residents can visit the Fresno-Madera Area Agency on Aging for more information about the application process.
Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) Waiver
The Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) waiver assists physically-disabled seniors in Fresno who will need long term nursing home care within one month. The program's services, which are listed below, are intended to help eligible participants live at home or in an assisted living facility:
Requirements for this program are similar to other Medicaid waivers. To qualify, seniors must require a nursing home level of care and meet financial requirements. The monthly income limits are $1,242 for a single senior and $1,682 for a married couple. Interested applicants might wish to note that this waiver also requires full Medi-Cal eligibility.
Fresno seniors can apply for this program through the state's appointed agency for the area, Libertana Home Health, by completing an online application. This program is not an entitlement program, so seniors who are eligible might be placed on a waitlist.
Multi-Purpose Senior Services (MPSS) Waiver Program
The Multi-Purpose Senior Services waiver program, similar to the other waivers listed above, is intended to delay nursing home placement. Services are like those offered by other waivers:
Eligibility for this program includes the same functional and financial requirements as other waivers, as well as limits on assets. Fresno seniors who receive benefits from this program can also receive services from the In-Home Supportive Services program (discussed below). Those who are interested and qualify for Medi-Cal can learn how to apply by visiting our MPSS guide. There is an enrollment cap so applicants might be placed on a waitlist.
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
Through the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, seniors in Fresno can select their own caregiver including their spouse or other family members to assist them as they remain in their own homes. Qualifying applicants are approved for a variety of services for a specific number of hours per month, and the chosen caregiver is then paid an hourly rate set by Medi-Cal.
Fresno residents can apply for this program by contacting the Fresno County Department of Social Services at (855) 832-8082. More information about this program, its benefits and eligibility requirements can be found by reading our IHSS guide.
Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Program
In Fresno and throughout the state of California, the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program is a comprehensive system of health and social care offered to seniors living at home. Many services are offered at the local PACE center, including hot meals, medical check-ups, physical therapy and recreational activities. PACE workers also help seniors by creating individualized health care plans which include making appointments, filling prescriptions and providing transportation.
Seniors need to be at least 55 years old, be deemed in need of a nursing facility level of care and need help with activities of daily living (ADL) to qualify.
If a participant is eligible for Medi-Cal without a share of cost, the PACE program benefits are free. The program may be completely funded for seniors who are eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare, however, seniors who are not eligible for either have to pay the self-pay rate. Those in a nursing home might be required to pay a co-pay. Contact the local PACE center, listed below, for more information.
Senior residents of Fresno apply through the local PACE center, Innovative Integrated Health, by calling (559) 400-6420 or online.
|Housing Authority – Fresno County||(559) 443-8400||The Housing Authority of Fresno County offers the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) which provides assistance to low-income seniors seeking to obtain affordable housing throughout Fresno County. This program does have limited enrollment, however, and cannot always accept new applicants.|
|Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||(559) 263-1135||The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program provides financial aid to seniors in Fresno County to help pay for energy bills. To qualify, seniors must meet income requirements and provide proof of current energy bills or 48-hour shut off notices.|
|Fresno County Home-Delivered Meals and Congregate Lunch Programs||(559) 600-4405||Fresno County offers free congregate meals to seniors aged 60 and older at various locations throughout the county. Seniors must call the day before to reserve a spot. The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission provides free transportation to four of these congregate lunch sites. Additionally, home-delivered meals can be arranged for seniors who are homebound and/or alone.|