Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2019
This guide provides information on the cost of senior care in Los Angeles, what financial assistance programs are available in the area, and more resources including low-income senior apartments. For broader information about costs and financial assistance available in the rest of the state, read our guide to paying for senior care in California.
In Los Angeles, senior care is relatively affordable compared to other major cities in California. According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of nursing home care is especially affordable, having one of the lowest averages in the state.
Assisted living in Los Angeles costs an average of $4,500 a month, which is the same as the median cost for California as a whole. Nearby, Riverside averages $1,000 less a month, while more rural areas such as Bakersfield can be even cheaper, coming in at only $3,150 a month.
Other major cities in the state average between $4,500 and $5,500 a month – San Francisco and San Jose are both on the high end, while Sacramento and San Diego are similar to Los Angeles in monthly average costs.
The cost of home care in Los Angeles averages $4,767 a month, assuming 44 hours of care per week at an average cost per hour of $25. That’s about $200 cheaper than the state average of $4,957.
Compared to other major cities in the state, Los Angeles is relatively affordable for home care – San Francisco and San Jose average about $1,000 more a month, while Sacramento and San Diego are similar Los Angeles. Some of the least expensive average costs for home care in the state are in Bakersfield at $4,385 a month.
Adult day health care costs an average of $1,565 a month, which is about $100 cheaper than the state average of $1,679. This is the least expensive monthly average among the larger cities in the state. San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose all average between $1,733 and $1,993 a month.
The Medi-Cal program for seniors helps to cover the cost of senior care for eligible older adults. Various home care services and nursing home care is directly covered. Medi-Cal is an entitlement program, so everyone who meets the requirements will be able to receive needed services. However, some of the waiver programs listed below are not an entitlement, so participant caps and waiting lists may be a barrier for some seniors to receive payment assistance.
Free assistance is available to single applicants with income below $1,012 in 2018, or $1,372 for a married couple. Applicants with income above those limits will have to pay a share of cost (SOC) fee depending on their income. There is also an asset limit, which is $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.
You can apply for Medi-Cal in person, online or over the phone by calling (866) 613-3777 or (626) 569-1399.
Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Medi-Cal Waiver
The Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver provides payment to eligible providers for long-term care services received while living at home or in an assisted living facility. In the city of Los Angeles, Medi-Cal participants will receive HCBS through Partners In Care or Access TLC. To apply for the HCBS waiver in Los Angeles, call (213) 897-6774.
Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP)
The Assisted Living Waiver Program is available in the city of Los Angeles to eligible seniors, and it covers services received while living in an assisted living facility. Applications for this program are received by the area care coordination agency. Read more about what’s covered, who’s eligible, and how to apply.
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Participants in this program choose their own care providers, using someone they have already selected such as a spouse or family member, or they can pick a provider from the program’s HomeCare Registry. To apply for IHSS, call 888-944-4477 or 213-744-4477.
For more information about services provided, eligibility, and enrollment, read our guide to IHSS.
The PACE program is a provider group that provides payment for long-term care services received while living either at home or in a residential care facility. To qualify, an applicant needs to be at least 55 years old and need help with activities of daily living (ADL). Participants pay nothing for services if they qualify for Medi-cal without a share of cost (SOC), but people with higher incomes may have to share the price of assisted living services. This program doesn’t pay for room and board.
PACE is a Medi-Cal program, and participants will be automatically eligible for Medi-Cal. Medicare recipients may not receive PACE services and will be automatically disenrolled from Medicare when applying for PACE services. The Brandman Centers for Senior Care Los Angeles and AltaMed provide services through the PACE program for the city of Los Angeles, depending on your zip code. To apply for service through the PACE program, reach out to the providing agency in your area.
Multi-Purpose Senior Services (MPSS) Program
The MPSS program provides free in-home care and case management for people eligible for Medi-cal with no share of cost (SOC). Participants must be at least 65 years old and need help with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs) or two life activities such as chores. Depending on your service location, you can receive services from the MPSS through Independence At Home or Jewish Family Services. This program is not available to elders using the SCAN healthcare network. Go here for more information and to learn how to apply.
Supportive Services Program
For residents of Los Angeles who do not yet meet age requirements for the MPSS program, there is the Supportive Services program. Participants in this program may not be receiving care services through any government-funded agency, and they must need help with at least one ADL. Elders who are using the SCAN healthcare network are not eligible for this program. To apply for the Supportive Services program, call 1-866-563-7380.
Senior Care Action Network
The Senior Care Action Network (SCAN) program provides medical fee assistance to elders in the city of Los Angeles who are eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal without a SOC. Services paid for include long-term care services received at home as well as in a skilled nursing facility. To apply for SCAN services, call (877) 452-5898.
The Menorah Housing Foundation develops and manages affordable senior apartments for older adults who are 62 years and older with an income below 50% of the area’s median. The foundation manages 1,221 apartments in 18 buildings throughout the region.
The city of Los Angeles provides low-income seniors (people over age 62 with an income of $54,250 or less for one person in 2018) with up to $5,000 in minor home repairs and improvements.
The Hollywood Community Housing Corporation develops and manages 25 residential complexes for a variety of low-income populations, including adults aged 62 and older. There are two complexes for seniors: the Palomar and the Werner Illing House, with a combined 48 apartments.
Human Good is a non-profit organization that develops and manages properties to low-income residents in California. They have 159 apartments in LA for low-income seniors in two properties: the Castle Argyle and the George McDonald Court.
Project New Hope operates Laguna Senior Apartments, which provides 64 affordable apartments to seniors over age 55.
The RHF develops and manages low-income properties, including nine affordable senior apartment buildings in Los Angeles.
For LGBT+ adults aged 50 and older, Triangle Square is an affordable housing option. There are 104 low-income apartments available for seniors.
ALA provides social services and operates three senior housing complexes to low-income residents of Los Angeles, with 94 low-income senior apartments.