Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2019This guide has information on the cost of senior care in Ocala, including financial assistance programs available in the area and other resources for low-income seniors. Our guide to paying for senior care in Florida has broader information about senior care costs and financial assistance available in the state.
The average cost of assisted living in Ocala is $3,275 a month, which is $225 less than the state average. It is also much less than nearby communities. Assisted living in Gainesville costs $500 more a month than in Ocala, and in The Villages, assisted living facility costs triple, averaging over $1700 more per month.
Major cities in the state average between $3,250 and $4,425 a month with Orlando and Tampa on the low end while Jacksonville and Tallahassee are among the most expensive major cities. Some coastal cities are especially more expensive than Ocala, with Naples averaging $5,448 each month.
Home care in Ocala averages $3,813 a month, assuming 44 hours of care a week, which equals just under $20 an hour. That's just $9 more expensive than the state average.
This is equal to the rate in nearby Gainesville, but almost $300 more expensive than The Villages. Major cities, including Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa, have more affordable home care, while some of the most expensive home care in the state is in Naples, where the average cost is $4,195 a month.
Long-term care in Florida is provided through the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care (SMMC-LTC) program. Created in 2011, the program divides the state into 11 regions which are served by different Managed Healthcare Organizations.
Ocala, part of Region 3, has access to Florida Community Care, Humana Medical Plan, Lighthouse Health Plan, Staywell, Sunshine Health and United Healthcare. The plan provides seniors on the program with a range of services, including adult day care, assistance in the home, medication management and meal delivery. Medical treatments, such as physical therapy, and medical equipment are included.
The SMCC-LTC is an entitlement program. Eligible seniors are aged 65 and over and eligible for Medicaid. They must also undertake a Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services (CARES) and show they need a nursing home level of care. Seniors living in nursing homes are automatically enrolled in the program; however, there is a waiting list for people still living in their homes or in an assisted living community. Applicants are put on the waiting list based on the amount of care they need.
More information on these health care plans and how to apply can be found on the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care website or by calling 1-877-711-3662.
There are a number of programs available in Ocala that provide additional support to the elderly.
Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (ADI)
The ADI provides support to people living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Respite services are available, including in-home, facility-based, emergency and extended care. The ADI also includes services offered by Memory Disorder Clinics (MDCs).
Respite care is available to all people over 18 years of age who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder. The caregivers of eligible seniors can also access training and other support services. Anyone who is suspected of having a memory disorder can request an assessment through an MDC. Read more about the ADI.
Community Care for the Elderly (CCE)
This program provides community-based services to older adults who are functionally impaired. This can include adult day care, help in the home, medical therapy and companionship. To be considered for the program, an individual must be aged 60 or over, and be assessed as functionally impaired. There may be a waiting list for services and priority is given to people who have been referred to Department of Children and Families’ Adult Protective Services (APS) and assessed as being in need of immediate services to prevent harm. Learn more about the benefits and eligibility requirements.
Home Care for the Elderly (HCE)
The HCE is designed to provide an alternative to institutional or nursing home care by supporting care in private homes. A subsidy is provided to help care for the program participant and special subsidies may be provided for services or supplies.
To be eligible for the program seniors must be aged 60 or older, be at risk of entering a nursing home and have an adult caregiver living with them who is willing to arrange or provide care. Seniors must also have income and assets below a certain limit. Learn more about eligibility.
Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families (RELIEF)
The RELIEF program offers in-home respite care, allowing families and caregivers to take time for themselves. This, in turn, allows them to care for their elderly loved one without becoming ill themselves. The program serves all frail and homebound elders age 60 and over who have a full-time caregiver who would benefit from respite services. Read more about the program.
Optional State Supplement (OSS)The Florida Optional State Supplement offers financial assistance to help eligible individuals pay for room and board. The OSS is available to seniors aged 65 and older whose assets and income are below certain limits. Learn more about the benefits and eligibility requirements.
The OHA provides housing to low and moderate income households, including seniors, in Marion County through public housing and the Housing Choice Voucher. There are waiting lists for the programs. Applications can be made online.
This program arranges volunteers to transport seniors to and from medical appointments, shopping and errands, to help with meal preparation and to provide companionship, all of which helps seniors age in place. The program may also provide respite to caregivers of elderly people.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can help low-income seniors pay for heating and cooling their home. Eligibility is income-based and adjusted based on how many people are living in the home.
Seniors aged 65 and older who are paying property tax in Marion County are eligible for an additional Homestead Exemption. This is available for permanent residents whose income is under a certain limit.