Page Reviewed / Updated - Apr. 2019
This guide is intended to provide information for seniors and their families about expenses associated with the different levels of senior care in Atlanta, Georgia, including assisted living, adult day care, home care and nursing home services. It also contains information to help seniors and their families understand the financial assistance programs that are available to help make care more affordable and to provide other useful resources. For more information about the cost of senior care and the financial options available to seniors throughout the state, please read our guide about paying for senior care in Georgia.
According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care study, the average monthly cost of senior care in Atlanta is somewhat higher than the rest of the state. The most significant difference between Atlanta and the statewide costs is adult day care with costs in Atlanta of $1,712 per month, approximately $412 more than the state average of $1,300 and $152 more than the national average of $1,560.
Nursing home care is a close second with monthly costs in Atlanta of $6,753, $411 more than the statewide average of $6,342, but $688 less than the U.S. average of $7,441. Although home care costs in the region average about $190 more than the state median, they are $231 less than the national average. Assisted living and home care expenses in Atlanta are roughly $290 and $190 more per month than the Georgia average, respectively.
Assisted living costs in Atlanta are slightly higher than most other locations in Georgia. In Atlanta, monthly assisted living expenses are $3,390, approximately $290 more expensive than the Georgia average of $3,100. More expensive assisted living costs can be found in Dalton, Gainesville and Macon, where monthly assisted living costs are $4,035, $3,500 and $3,484, respectively. Less expensive assisted living services are found in Athens, Rome and Columbus where assisted living expenses are around $3,350, $3,200 and $2,750
Home care costs in Atlanta are more expensive than most of the cities surveyed. The average monthly cost for home care in Atlanta is $3,813, which is approximately $190 more expensive than the averages for Georgia, Athens and Rome of $3,623 per month.
More expensive home care services are reported in Gainesville, where home care averages $4,044 per month. Less expensive home healthcare services can be found in Dalton where home care expenses are $3,241 per month. Columbus and Macon both also have less expensive monthly home care service costs at $3,337.
Although Atlanta home care costs are higher than other regions in the state, the price differences are minimal, according to the Genworth Survey.
Adult day care in Atlanta is more expensive than most other regions in Georgia, according to the survey. The average monthly cost of adult day care in Atlanta is $1,712, approximately $412 less than the Georgia average, Athens and Macon where monthly costs average $1,300. Adult day care in Dalton averages about $1463, more expensive than the state average but less expensive than the monthly costs in Atlanta.
More affordable adult day care services can be found in Columbus and Gainesville where monthly costs average $1,327 and $1,257, respectively, between $400 and $500 dollars less than in Atlanta. Although Atlanta’s adult day care costs are similar to other cities in Georgia, more affordable adult day care may be found in other areas of the state.
The monthly costs of nursing home care in Atlanta is among the highest in the state at $6,753, approximately $411 more expensive that the Georgia state median. Of the cities surveyed, the most expensive nursing home care is in Dalton, where monthly costs are $7,270, about $517 more expensive than in Atlanta. Nursing home care is also more expensive in Macon where monthly costs are $6,874, approximately $121 more expensive than in Atlanta.
More affordable nursing home care can be found in Athens, Columbus, Gainesville and Rome, where monthly costs average $6,083, $6038, $6,220 and $6,000, respectively.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost healthcare to seniors residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Medicaid will provide assistance for long-term care and also covers the cost of living in a nursing facility and personal care assistance. Applicants should note that there are two Medicaid programs available to seniors in Atlanta with different criteria based on whether a senior is single, married and the lone applicant, or married and applying with their spouse.
Institutional/Nursing Home Medicaid is only provided to those seniors residing in nursing facilities. This is an entitlement program meaning that all qualifying recipients will receive benefits. To qualify for this benefit, single applicants must have an income of $2,313 per month and no more than $2,000. They must also be in need of a nursing home level of care as determined by a medical professional.
If a senior is married and both applicants are applying, they must have a combined income not exceeding $4626 per month, with each applicant earning no more than $2,313 per month, and assets of $3,000 or less. In the case of married applicants where only one spouse is applying, the applicant must have an income that doesn’t exceed $2,313 per month and assets not exceeding $2,000 for the applicant, and $126,420 for the non-applicant spouse.
Regular Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled is also an entitlement program, so all applicants who qualify will receive benefits. In order to qualify for this program, single applicants must have an income that doesn’t exceed $771 monthly, and assets of no more than $2,000.
Married seniors with both spouses applying cannot have a combined income of more than $1,157 per month or assets exceeding $3,000. In the case of married seniors where only one spouse is applying, that spouse can’t have an income of more than $771 per month and must not have assets worth more than $2,000.
Applicants of either program must have proof of residency in Atlanta, along with proof of citizenship and be at least 65 years old.
Georgia seniors who wish to apply for Medicaid in Atlanta can do so by applying online at the Georgia Gateway website or by calling (404) 656-8681.
Community Care Services Program (CCSP)
The Community Care Services Program is designed to assist Georgia seniors who are living at home, in an assisted living facility, or participating in adult day care. The program, run under the Elderly and Disabled Waiver is designed to help seniors remain in their own homes or communities. Seniors who receive this waiver are allowed to direct their services, which means they can choose some of their own caregivers.
Although Georgia seniors can select some of their own caregivers, it’s rare that family members are allowed to act as caregivers. The only situation in which a senior can elect a family member as a caregiver is when the senior lives in a rural area or if the senior applicant has a health condition where it’s difficult to find qualified workers to provide care. If a senior is allowed to elect a family member to become their caregiver, it’s important to note that spouses cannot be appointed as caregivers under any circumstances. Some of the services offered by this program include:
In order to qualify for this program seniors must:
It’s important to note that these asset limits do not include vehicles and home values. Both of these assets must be primary assets, meaning the senior or their spouse lives in the home and the vehicle is their primary vehicle. Home assets must not be worth more than $585,000. Seniors who have burial accounts can also qualify for an exclusion provided that the money in the burial account does not exceed $10,000.
Atlanta seniors wishing to apply for the CCSP waiver can do so by contacting their local Area Agency on Aging at (404) 463-3333.
Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE)
The SOURCE waiver program also operates under the Elderly and Disabled Waiver and is designed to help seniors who require nursing assistance remain in their own homes or in the community. For those seniors with low incomes, this program can provide assistance with both medical and personal care services. In order to qualify for this program, seniors must:
Seniors should keep in mind that these asset limits do not include burial accounts of $10,000 or less, primary vehicles, life insurance policies worth no more than $1,500 and homes worth less than $585,000.
Some of the benefits provided by this waiver include:
Seniors wishing to apply for the SOURCE waiver can do so by calling (866) 552-4464.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
The AAA offers programs known as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), which in Georgia is a non-Medicaid assistance program for low-income seniors who wish to remain in their own homes. Some of the services available to qualifying individuals include:
The funding for this program can depend on where the applicant lives in the state, as can the available services. In order to qualify for this program, applicants must:
This is not an entitlement program, so qualifying seniors may be placed on a waiting list. However, seniors with incomes of $1,041 or less per month are given priority.
Seniors wishing to apply for this program can do so by calling their local AAA at (404) 463-3333.
The GeorgiaCares program is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and is governed by the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Aging Services (DAS). This program is designed to help Atlanta seniors with low incomes reduce the cost of their prescriptions and assists them in understanding their Medicaid benefits.
Some of the services provided under this program include:
Seniors should keep in mind that this is not an entitlement program; qualifying seniors could wind up on a waitlist.
Seniors interested in applying for this program can do so by contacting the AAA at (404) 463-3333.
|Marta Mobility||(404) 848-5112||Marta Mobility provides paratransit transportation in the Atlanta area. Seniors are eligible for discounted services. In order to qualify for a Reduced Fare Breeze Car, seniors must provide a valid photo idea, proof of mediCare, proof of age, and complete and submit the reduced fare form.|
|Atlanta Housing (AH)||(404) 215-6600||Atlanta Housing helps low-income seniors find affordable housing through either community-based assistance. Applicants are pulled from the waiting list on a first come, first served basis, so it could take a while to get assistance depending on how many people are on the list.|
|Atlanta Housing (AH) Housing Choice Voucher Program||(404) 215-6600||This program, also known as tenant-based assistance, assists seniors find housing anywhere in Atlanta without having to pay more than 30 percent of their income toward their rent. Seniors can also use the voucher to move outside of Atlanta after spending one year on the program. The waiting list is only open periodically, so seniors will need to watch for the first opening, which should be announced on the AH website as well as in newspapers and on the radio. Seniors should keep in mind that the waiting list for this program has not been opened since 2017, so they may need to wait for longer than anticipated for a chance to sign up.|
|Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||(877) 423-4746||The LIHEAP program is designed to assist low-income seniors with the energy costs associated with heating and cooling their homes. Although no benefits are received by the applicants, utility companies are paid directly by the program. Seniors may qualify for regular or emergency benefits under this program,and there are financial requirements. This is not an entitlement program. Although priority is given to those who are 60 years of age or older.|