Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2019
This guide contains detailed information about state and local organizations dedicated to providing assistance with paying for the cost of aging. We have also written a guide to paying for senior care in Washington with extensive coverage of local aging agencies and social service organizations that provide financial assistance.
According to the 2018 Genworth Cost of Long Term Care Study, the average cost of assisted living in Seattle at $5,750 a month is significantly more expensive than the state monthly average, by over $600. Nursing home care is also over $600 more costly a month on average, as well as in-home homemaker services. Adult day health services, however, are nearly $100 less expensive than the state average.
Assisted living in Seattle costs much more than the national average, at an average of $5,750 a month. It is also the most costly city for average assisted living costs in the state. Nearby cities Bellingham and Olympia are much more affordable, and among the least expensive options in the state, at $4,250 on average. Central areas like Wenatchee are drastically more affordable, at $4,125 a month, and Spokane in the eastern part of the state is the most affordable area, meeting the national average at only $4,000 a month on average.
In Seattle, senior home care costs are the most expensive in the state, at $6,092 a month on average. Nearby Bremerton is more affordable, at $5,339. Central Yakima is among the most affordable cities for home care, at $4,767 on average. Longview to the south and Spokane to the far east both come in at around $5,100 a month.
Adult day health care costs an average of $1,317 a month in Seattle, $100 less than the state average. The cost can vary widely in the area – in Olympia, costs can reach $2,730 a month or higher, while Bremerton averages at $1,400. Longview, to the south, averages at over $3,400 a month. The least expensive city in the state for adult day health care is Yakima, at only $867 a month on average.
Washington’s Medicaid, called Apple Health, provides medical and essential services to qualifying elders and adults with disabilities through the Long-Term Services and Supports program. Services funded by this program include:
Assisted living facilities in Seattle provide three service packages based on different levels of care- Adult Residential Care (ARC) for those that only need help with activities of daily living (ADLs) and some medication assistance, Enhanced ARCs (EARCs) for those that need ADL help and are unable to take medication independently, and EARCs with Specialized Dementia Services that include 24-hour monitoring from dementia-trained staff.
The person living in an assisted living facility is responsible for the cost of room and board. There is also long-term care (LTC) partnership insurance available through the state to help elders save up for senior care expenses and protect their estates from being diminished in order to qualify for Medicaid with spend-down rules. To be eligible for this program, elders are subject to income and asset limitations:
Visit the Washington Connection website to find out if you’re eligible for services and to apply, or call the DSHS at 1-877-501-2233.
Medicaid Personal Care (MPC)
The Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) program helps elders that are determined eligible through income and functionality requirements, which are determined at an in-home assessment. People can live at home or in an assisted living facility and receive services from the MPC program. This is an entitlement program, which means there is not a waiting list to receive care.
To be determined categorically needy (CN) to qualify for this program, a person must need help with at least three activities of daily living (ADLs) and have an income of less than $750 a month in 2018. Participants in this program must pay their own room and board fees.
Community First Choice (CFC)
The Community First Choice (CFC) voucher provides payment assistance for personal care services received while living at home, for those that would need nursing home care if not for the CFC voucher, by requiring help with at least three activities of daily living (ADLs).
The CFC program pays for services such as:
Applicants must be eligible for Medicaid under the Special Income Benefit Limit, which is 300% of the standard. In 2018, this comes out to be $3,122. Participants of this program are responsible to pay for their rent and food, as well as part of their cost-of-care depending on income.
To find and apply for CFC services in Seattle, contact King County Home and Community Services at (206) 341-7600.
Community Options Program Entry System (COPES)
The Community Options Program Entry System (COPES) program helps pays for care received while living at home, in an Adult Residential Care (ARC) facility, or an Enhanced Adult Residential Care (ARC) facility. Some services can be received in any setting, such as skilled nursing, personal care assistance, and case management. Only in-home residents, and not residents of care facilities, are qualified for a home health aide, delivered meals, and environmental modifications. There may be gaps in care coverage between the different assistance programs, and services received through COPE can be received at the same time as Community First Choice (CFC) services.
Eligibility for this program is similar to Medicaid requirements. Reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging to apply for this program. The AAA in Seattle, the King County DHS, can be reached at (206) 341-7600.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, provides elder care for residents of Seattle, although some areas are not covered. Services include medical care, personal care services, and socialization opportunities including meals. Visit the Providence ElderCare website to find out if you are in their service area for the PACE program and to apply for services, or call (206) 320-5325.
Tailored Support for Older Adults (TSOA)
This program provides supportive services to adults over the age of 55 who do not qualify for Medicaid (Apple Health) and are in need of help with activities of daily living (ADLs), as well as the unpaid caregivers of those elders. Tailored Support for Older Adults, or TSOA, provides up to $550 a month per individual for caregiver assistance and help with personal care, supplies, and training.
In order to qualify for this program, elders can earn no more than $2,205 a month, and have resources less than $53,100 for an individual ($108,647 for couples). To apply for this program, call the King County DSHS (206) 341-7750 and request a long-term care consultation.
Seattle Senior Housing Program
The Seattle Senior Housing Program allocates some units in subsidized apartments around Seattle to rent to eligible low-income seniors. Most units available are one bedroom, and there is a lengthy waitlist for all properties. See their website for a searchable list of all properties and their respective contact information.
There are many states, non-profit, and subsidized apartments available in and around Seattle. See our list below of groups that provide housing for seniors. Most properties come with a lengthy waitlist so it is advisable to apply as soon as possible. Please call for eligibility and waitlist details.
11215 5th Ave. S.W., Seattle, WA 98146
This multi-generational complex features a building for seniors aged 55 and up.
910 Marion St, Seattle, WA 98104
There are 84 apartments available through Catholic Charities for rent to seniors aged 62 and older and have an income that is 50% of the area median.
40 studio apartments are being rented to low-income persons, 55 years of age or older, with incomes 50% below area median income (called AMI).
3610 33rd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144
There are one- and two-bedroom apartments available for low-income seniors in this building.
3621 33rd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144
This SEED sponsored building provides one- and two-bedroom apartments to low-income seniors.
5033 37th Ave S.,
Seattle, WA 98118
This building provides one-bedroom to low-income seniors.
909 Boren Ave.,
Seattle, WA 98104
There are 50 apartments for low-income adults aged over 62 at this building.
803 S Lane St, Seattle, WA 98104
This Chinatown neighborhood building has 75 low-income apartments available, many with assisted living services available. Most residents here are first-generation Asian immigrants.
9543 Greenwood Ave N., Seattle
This residence provides low-income subsidized apartments to seniors through the Salvation Army.
10345 Meridian Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98133
This is a low-income property for adults over the age of 62 who have an income that is 80% or less than the area median. Lower income elders are prioritized on the waitlist.
232 25th Ave. S, Seattle WA 98144
This SHA-subsidized building provides 45 one- and two-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors.
1715 NW 59th St., Seattle WA 98107
In this four-story building, there are 44 apartments for low-income seniors.