Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2019
This guide is intended for seniors and their loved ones who need help understanding the cost of senior care in Texas, and who would like to learn more about the financial resources available to help them in Fort Worth. It is also meant to help seniors and their families find and connect with the resources that are available for low-income housing and other senior living possibilities. For more information about affordable senior living in Fort Worth, you can visit our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Texas.
Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Fort Worth, so the data for the closest city, Dallas, was used.
The cost of living for seniors in Fort Worth is high compared to the other communities surveyed in the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Costs in Fort Worth also tend to be higher than the overall state average. In Fort Worth, assisted living averages $4,350 a month, while the Texas average is somewhat lower, at $3,795. In-home care for Fort Worth seniors is close in price to the rest of the state of Texas. Adult day care in the rest of Texas is $758 a month, while the equivalent care in Fort Worth is almost twice that price, or $1,408. Nursing home care in Fort Worth costs $5,064 a month, which is $266 higher than the Texas average monthly cost of $4,798.
Fort Worth is one of the most expensive cities in the state for assisted living costs, with an average monthly expense of $4,350. Of the surveyed communities in the state, there are two cities where the average cost of AL is higher: San Angelo, where the monthly cost is $4,450, and Austin, which tops the list at $5,190 a month.
Other communities in Texas are significantly more affordable than Fort Worth. Abilene and Houston, for example, have average AL costs of $3,868 and $3,863, respectively. In the least expensive surveyed cities, El Paso and Texarkana, assisted living care costs $2,000 less per month than in Fort Worth. Lubbock comes in close to the middle for Texas cities, with an average cost of $3,200 a month for assisted living while the average cost for the state is $3,795 a month. Both of these are still less expensive than AL in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth has the second-highest costs in the state for home care. Seniors in Fort Worth pay an average cost of $4,004 a month for this service, which brings a care attendant to the senior's own home as needed. Among the surveyed cities, only Austin has higher prices, at an average of $4,099 a month.
Among the other cities surveyed, El Paso and Texarkana are the least expensive. El Paso's average cost for home care is $3,041 a month, while Texarkana costs average $3,022 a month, nearly $1,000 less than Fort Worth. Middling cost cities range in price from $3,432 a month in San Angelo to $3,909 a month in Houston. Lubbock and Abilene cost, on average, $3,600 and $3,504, respectively. The average cost of home care in Texas is in this range, at $3,813 a month. Home care in Fort Worth costs more monthly than all of these cities.
Adult day care costs in Fort Worth are the same as in Texas' other most-expensive city, Austin at $1,408 a month. This is not far ahead of the third most expensive city surveyed, Houston, where the average monthly cost of adult day care is $1,300.
All of the other cities surveyed fell below the $1,000 mark for adult day care costs, indicating adult day care is cheaper in many other cities than it is in Fort Worth. Texarkana, for example, has an average cost of $888, while Lubbock costs an average of $704 a month. Abilene and El Paso are close in price, at $618 and $628 a month. Adult day care costs in Texas overall costs an average of $758 a month, much less than in Fort Worth.
Nursing home costs in Fort Worth average $5,064 a month for a semi-private room. This is slightly less expensive than similar care in Houston, which averages $5,095 a month, and a even less than Austin, where a semi-private room costs an average of $5,323 a month.
Lubbock is next on the Texas nursing care price scale, with an average monthly cost of $4,958, while El Paso care costs are below that at $4,867 a month. The average cost of residential nursing care in Abilene is $4,639 a month, and care at this level cost $4,410 in Texarkana.
The lowest prices on the surveyed list were in San Angelo, where a semi-private room costs an average of $4,365 a month. This is nearly $1,000 less than Austin's price, and it's almost exactly $700 a month less than the cost of nursing home care in Fort Worth. For comparison, the average cost of nursing home care in Texas is $4,798 a month.
Most types of residential care, such as skilled nursing, post-acute rehab, memory care or dementia care and hospice services, delivered in the home or at a residential facility, are potentially covered by the Texas Medicaid program.
Texas delivers these services through one of several managed care plans it maintains. Seniors in Fort Worth who meet the basic eligibility standards for Medicaid can generally enroll in one of these care plans to pay for treatment. To be eligible for Medicaid, Fort Worth seniors must be:
Medicaid is an entitlement program that has no set limit on the number of applicants who can join. That means that any Fort Worth seniors who meet the admission criteria can join the program with no waitlist. Income and asset limits apply to all Medicaid applicants. Those who earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line may qualify for no-cost medical coverage. Applicants who earn more than that may be asked to pay a certain fraction of their cost of care. The 2018 income caps for single seniors in Fort Worth were:
For each additional person living in the applicants' household, another $8,554 may be added to the allowable total pre-tax income. It is not necessary for other members of the household to apply for Medicaid coverage for their income to be examined as part of the covered individual's application process. Applications for Medicaid in Texas can be filled out online at the Texas Health and Human Services website.
STAR+PLUS is one of three Medicaid waiver programs seniors in Fort Worth can use to pay for the cost of assisted living. To qualify for coverage, seniors must be eligible for Medicaid coverage through their income and assets, have a medical need that could be met with residential care in a nursing home. STAR+PLUS pays for the less expensive option of assisted living or in-home care for seniors in Fort Worth who are willing to opt out of placement in skilled nursing care.
To qualify for the STAR+PLUS waiver, seniors age 65 and over must earn less than $2,250 a month, or $27,000 a year. Applicants must have countable assets of less than $2,000, going back at least 5 years from the date of application. Single vehicles are not counted as assets, though additional vehicles count toward the total value of an applicant's assets. Applicants are also allowed up to the first $572,000 in home equity if they live at home.
Senior living expenses the STAR+PLUS waiver can help cover include:
For information, including application information for STAR+PLUS, call 1-877-782-6440. Those with a hearing or speech impairment can call 7-1-1 or 1-800-735-2989.
Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
The Texas HCBS program helps Fort Worth seniors with intellectual disabilities find necessary care that meets their needs while living at home or with family. Supportive services offered under HCBS are paid for by vouchers, which allows seniors to hire and manage their own caregivers as if they were employers themselves. This is intended to encourage flexibility and freedom in finding the caregiver seniors are most comfortable with. Services covered include:
HCBS applicants must meet Medicaid eligibility guidelines and have a diagnosis of mild to severe cognitive health conditions. Some listed conditions are specifically authorized for coverage, such as Alzheimer's disease and other recognized forms of dementia. For other seniors with less-specific conditions, the program specifies an IQ of less than 69, or less than 75 for recipients with certain conditions.
Interested applicants can call 1-877-782-6440.
Texas Home Living (TxHmL)
The TxHmL program is a state Medicaid waiver that covers the cost of essential services for seniors in Fort Worth who have an intellectual disability or related condition. This waiver is for community-based support (CBS), which is the state term for policies that maximize recipients' control over how their assistive services are managed and delivered.
The program is funded by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and delivered through a network of contractors and nonprofits in the Fort Worth area. Seniors in Fort Worth must meet Medicaid eligibility standards to sign up for TxHmL, and they must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's chorea or another related condition. Some of the benefits TxHmL provides include:
To apply, contact your local intellectual and developmental disability authorities (LIDDAs) at www.dads.state.tx.us/contact/search.cfm.
Texas Support Services
Support Services is a state-level program that helps seniors live at home or in their chosen communities in a safe and healthy home environment. The program covers the cost of hiring a caregiver of the recipient's choice who can help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as personal care and hygiene, meal preparation, regular shopping trips for groceries and laundry service. Seniors getting this voucher can use it to pay the caregiver of their choice. Friends and family members are eligible to work as care providers at the request of the recipient.
Support Services vouchers are intended for seniors and disabled adults who meet the program's eligibility criteria. Adults with mental disabilities, as well as drug or alcohol dependency may also qualify for Support Services vouchers. Fort Worth seniors or their loved ones can visit YourTexasBenefits.com, or call a local Area Agency on Aging to apply for the program.
Community Care for the Aged/Disabled (CCAD)
Community Care for Aged/Disabled (CCAD) pays all or some of the cost to investigate, detect and report adult neglect, abuse and exploitation. The main purpose of the program is to help Fort Worth seniors maintain their independence by also covering the cost of home-based care. Income and asset eligibility requirements apply. Your Local Aging and Disability Resource Center will help you apply.
Community Attendant Services (CAS)
Community Attendant Services (CAS) subsidizes the hiring of non-medical personal care attendants and other caregivers to visit Fort Worth seniors at home or in a residential care facility. Caregivers can be hired at the discretion of the senior and paid entirely through the CAS system. Caregivers may be friends, family or spouses of the senior who qualifies for the program. Click here for application information.
Mid-Cities Care Corps connects Fort Worth seniors with free transportation for routine medical appointments and private outings that can be scheduled in advance. Care Corps also helps pay for some disability-related minor home repairs, such as the installation of donated wheelchair ramps, performing lawn maintenance and some other projects. Seniors age 65 and over are eligible for the program, as are disabled adults over age 60.
This nonprofit organization is based in the Fort Worth suburb of Arlington and provides access to cost-free dental care for low-income residents, including seniors, of Tarrant County. Services provided include emergency pain relief and some preventative care.
SPAN helps Dallas-Fort Worth seniors age 67 and over cover the cost of basic veterinary care and pet food. SPAN refers seniors to services, provides annual shots, preventive heartworm and flea medication and extra veterinary services on a case-by-case basis. Services offered at any time are contingent on available funds. Enrollment is via website only, with no public phone number.
Helping Restore Ability (HRA) is a home caregiver program funded by the state that helps Fort Worth seniors get needed attendant care in their homes, at work or in a residential care facility. All local seniors qualify for HRA, as do adults with disabilities. Seniors can apply through the HRA website or by calling them directly.