Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2019
This guide will include information regarding the cost of senior care in Lakeland, the various financial assistance programs available in the region and additional help for seniors, including public housing options, free volunteer help with meals and cleaning and other resources for independent living. For more extensive information concerning senior care costs or financial assistance throughout the rest of the state, please refer to our guide to paying for senior care in the state of Florida.
The cost of senior care in Lakeland is very near the average for the state of Florida, with especially budget-friendly costs for assisted living. The Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey suggests that the average cost of assisted living in Lakeland is one of the lowest in the state.
On average, assisted living in Lakeland costs $2,808 per month, less than all the major metropolitan areas in Florida reported in the Genworth study and around $700 cheaper than the average monthly cost of assisted living across the state.
The monthly cost of assisted living in Lakeland is nearly half the price of monthly assisted living in Naples, and roughly $1,500 less per month than cities such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Miami and nearby Tampa are closer to the statewide average monthly costs of $3,500.
The cost of homemaker services in Lakeland is approximately $500 less than the statewide average cost. Areas throughout the state, such as Punta Gorda and Naples, have average monthly homemaker services that are approximately $1,000 more expensive than median costs in Lakeland.
Lakeland's monthly homemaker service costs are much more affordable than nearby Tampa and Orlando and are equal to the Miami metropolitan area.
Adult day care in Lakeland costs an average of $1,365, just under the Florida average of $1,463. Though a relatively low figure for senior care, Lakeland's average monthly adult day care costs are slightly higher than nearby Orlando's.
Some of the more expensive monthly adult day care costs in Florida can be found in the Jacksonville and Tampa areas, whereas Tallahassee boasts some of the least costly senior care in state.
At $8,304 for a semi-private room, Lakeland's average monthly nursing home costs are just over the Florida state average of $8,152. Many areas such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee are relatively cheaper with monthly costs falling in the $7,000s.
Though monthly nursing home costs can get as high as $10,319 in Naples, most nursing home costs hover right around the Florida average, such as in Miami, Tampa and Orlando.
In Lakeland and throughout the state of Florida, seniors seeking care can utilize the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program (SMMC). Within this program, there are three various plans from which a qualifying senior can choose one or all three: Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Program, Long-term Care (LTC) Program and Dental Program.
The MMA program offers seniors Medicaid-covered services, such as hospital care, doctor visits with transportation, prescribed drugs and mental health care. The LTC program offers assisted living, nursing home care or home care. Last, the Dental Program provides all Medicaid dental services to seniors.
To be eligible for these Medicaid services, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
Throughout Lakeland and the rest of the state, all seniors living in a nursing home who apply and are eligible to receive Medicaid assistance, an entitlement, but may be placed on a waitlist for Medicaid benefits when living in an assisted living facility or at home.
Seniors can apply for the SMMC program when not living in a nursing home by calling the local Area Agency on Aging. For those living in Lakeland, this agency is the Senior Connection Center.
Those seeking Medicaid benefits can also call the Elder Helpline at (800) 262-2243 and request a screening for home and community-based services, an interview which covers the basic demographic information, income and assets of the applicant.
Optional State Supplementation (OSS)
Residents of Lakeland who are aged 65 or older, meet the functional and financial eligibility guidelines of the program and have been assessed as needing residential care qualify for the OSS program. This program supplements the income of applicants to help pay for room and board. The OSS payment amount is based on the individual’s income and the current OSS standard cost of care in each facility, with payments being made directly to the individual. Monthly income requirements include the following limits:
Additional limits may apply for assets and other resources. Seniors who are interested in this program can fill out an application at the local Department of Children and Families office, Adult Protective Services office or online. Applications must be filled out in the month seniors wish to obtain the payment and cannot be used retroactively. Refer to our OSS guide for more information.
Community Care for the Elderly (CCE)
The Florida CCE program enables qualified seniors who require medical or personal care to continue living in their own home or community by offering a varied range of services. These services include but are not limited to the following resources:
This program allows seniors who are not eligible to receive services from Medicaid to access much-needed help. Applicants must be at least 60 years old and require assistance with Activities of Daily Living. No income limit is set for CCE, but participants are required to pay a co-pay for services. Contact the Senior Connection Center to apply.
Read our CCE guide for more detailed information regarding eligibility, services and other information.
Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families (R.E.L.I.E.F.)
The R.E.L.I.E.F. program offers free in-home elderly care through volunteer caregivers. Volunteers of all ages and demographics are carefully selected, screened and specifically matched with seniors in need of care to ensure a good relationship and fit.
Because this program is managed by the local Area Agency on Aging, requirements may vary. Contact Lakeland's local office, Senior Connection Center, to learn more about the application process.
Our R.E.L.I.E.F. guide contains more detailed information about this program.
Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (ADI)
Seniors who are legal Florida residents and have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, dementia or any other related memory disorder are eligible for the ADI program. This program not only provides a variety of support services for Alzheimer’s patients, but it also uses its funds to further research, experimentation and policy regarding memory disorders.
ADI respite includes four types of respite care for caregivers who serve patients with memory disorders:
For seniors with memory disorders, ADI also provides services through Memory Disorder Clinics (MDCs), such as treatment, referrals, diagnostic testing and screenings.
There are no income requirements for this program, though income does factor into where an applicant falls on the waitlist. ADI services are provided through the MDCs in Florida. For more information regarding application and eligibility, visit our ADI guide.
Home Care for the Elderly (HCE)
The HCE program offers support for family-type living arrangements inside private homes for Florida citizens aged 60 or older as an alternative to nursing home or facility care. The program does this by providing a basic subsidy to help care for the senior's clothing, housing, food and some medical costs. A special subsidy is also available for necessary medical items or services.
Qualifications for HCE include being at risk for nursing home placement and financial eligibility, in addition to being at least 60 years old. Applicants must also have a live-in adult caretaker who can both provide for the senior and make care arrangements.
The HCE program is regulated by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs through individual Area Agencies on Aging. Applications are processed through Lakeland's Senior Connection Center. Because funding is limited for this program, qualified applicants are placed on a waitlist until a vacancy arises.
For more information regarding benefits, services, and how much funding is available, see our HCE guide.
The Housing Authority of the City of Lakeland offers housing to low- and moderate-income seniors through Section 8 and various public housing programs.
Florida Rural Legal Services in Lakewood provide free legal assistance to seniors who might have been victims of domestic abuse, housing discrimination or are looking for public housing.
The Polk Transit Authority's PT Connect program allows seniors to call ahead and reserve door-to-door service for transportation to and from medical appointments or the grocery store for discounted rates.
The VISTE program is a non-profit organization that exists to enable elderly persons in Lakeland and the surrounding area to continue living independently and safely in their own homes. Volunteers drive seniors to and from medical appointments, grocery stores and other errands. They provide food, companionship and care packages filled with household items and toiletries — all at no charge to seniors aged 70 and older living in Lakeland.
The ElderPoint Ministries is a non-profit organization that provides two services to seniors at low cost: fresh produce and transportation. Fresh produce is available through a mobile produce market that makes weekly stops at nine locations in the community and through produce kiosks stationed at five popular gathering spots for seniors. The cost is $1 per portion of produce. ElderPoint Ministries’ low-cost transportation services brings seniors to and from appointments, errands and family member's homes.