San Rafael lies in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, just across the Golden Gate Bridge and less than 20 miles from Downtown San Francisco. It’s the seat of Marin County and home to more than 58,400 residents, including over 11,270 seniors aged 65 or older. Seniors flock to San Rafael for its ambiance, welcoming communities, pleasant year-round weather and many activities and amenities. The beautiful suburb also boasts spectacular mountain landscapes opposite the captivating views of the Bay.

Assisted living facilities offer active seniors the independence they desire combined with the personalized supportive care they need in a comfortable residential setting. Because San Rafael is one of the more expensive areas to live in California, seniors can expect to pay an average of $6,100 per month for assisted living care. While this is higher than both the state and national averages, the location comes with numerous perks.

This guide covers various aspects of assisted living in San Rafael, including the average cost of assisted living compared to other senior care options and other California cities. It also lists some benefits and drawbacks of retiring in San Rafael and several free resources for seniors.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in San Rafael, CA

Drake Terrace

275 Los Ranchitos Road, San Rafael, CA, 94903

The facility is pretty and clean and the staff is kind. My mother, with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, has lived there for 4 1/2 years, first in assisted-living and now a few months in the memory-care unit … (read more)
The facility is pretty and clean and the staff is kind. My mother, with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, has lived there for 4 1/2 years, first in assisted-living and now a few months in the memory-care unit … (read more)

Greenwood Assisted Living

233 West End Avenue, San Rafael, CA, 94901

My brother is in Greenwood Assisted Living. It’s very nice. It’s perfect. I like the people a lot. They’ve been very proactive and I like them a lot. The staff is great. He has a sizable room. He’s go … (read more)
My brother is in Greenwood Assisted Living. It’s very nice. It’s perfect. I like the people a lot. They’ve been very proactive and I like them a lot. The staff is great. He has a sizable room. He’s go … (read more)

Oakmont of San Rafael – Now Open!

1 Las Gallinas Avenue, San Rafael, CA, 94903

<p>Oakmont of San Rafael is a premier senior community situated on a beautifully landscaped campus. Developed by Oakmont Senior Living, Oakmont of San Rafael provides exceptional quality, comfort and … (read more)
<p>Oakmont of San Rafael is a premier senior community situated on a beautifully landscaped campus. Developed by Oakmont Senior Living, Oakmont of San Rafael provides exceptional quality, comfort and … (read more)

Villa Marin

100 THORNDALE DRIVE, San Rafael, CA, 94903

Villa Marin is located near the Manuel T. Freitas Parkway in San Rafael, California, near the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and the Century Northgate&nbsp;theater. The community offers studio apart … (read more)
Villa Marin is located near the Manuel T. Freitas Parkway in San Rafael, California, near the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and the Century Northgate&nbsp;theater. The community offers studio apart … (read more)

AlmaVia of San Rafael

515 Northgate Drive, San Rafael, CA, 94903

AlmaVia of San Rafael was very nice. There were lots of residents about, so it seemed very social. The facilities were very well kept and up-to-date. The residents were very happy. The staff was very … (read more)
AlmaVia of San Rafael was very nice. There were lots of residents about, so it seemed very social. The facilities were very well kept and up-to-date. The residents were very happy. The staff was very … (read more)

Comforting Hands Forever,Llc

73 Golden Hinde Blvd, San Rafael, CA, 94903

My husband’s aunt has moved into Comforting Hands Forever, Llc. That’s a six-person board and care. They provide a lot of care. It’s very loving and very kind. They’re very nice to all the clients. It … (read more)
My husband’s aunt has moved into Comforting Hands Forever, Llc. That’s a six-person board and care. They provide a lot of care. It’s very loving and very kind. They’re very nice to all the clients. It … (read more)

Nazareth House

245 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael, CA, 94903

Nazareth House is an assisted living facility in San Rafael, California. It’s located on Nova Albion Way and is a few miles from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and Freitas Park. Visitors prais … (read more)
Nazareth House is an assisted living facility in San Rafael, California. It’s located on Nova Albion Way and is a few miles from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and Freitas Park. Visitors prais … (read more)

St. Michael’s Extended Care

416 4th Street, San Rafael, CA, 94901

St. Michael’s Extended Care is an assisted living facility conveniently located near Redwood Highway in San Rafael, California, just a few blocks from San Rafael Creek and within walking distance of s … (read more)
St. Michael’s Extended Care is an assisted living facility conveniently located near Redwood Highway in San Rafael, California, just a few blocks from San Rafael Creek and within walking distance of s … (read more)

Rose’S Quality Care Home

One Roosevelt Avenue, San Rafael, CA, 94903

Rose’s Residential Care Facility was just a house and was very cheap behind the civic center. They were all Spanish, and I couldn’t understand anything anybody said. Most of them are Filipinos and g … (read more)
Rose’s Residential Care Facility was just a house and was very cheap behind the civic center. They were all Spanish, and I couldn’t understand anything anybody said. Most of them are Filipinos and g … (read more)

Schon Hyme Rest Home

25 Villa Avenue, San Rafael, CA, 94901


Stephanie Draper House

51 San Pablo Avenue, San Rafael, CA, 94903


Bretano House 1

665 Rosal Way, San Rafael, CA, 94903


Atria Tamalpais Creek

853 Tamalpais Avenue, Novato, CA, 94947

I’ve toured Atria Tamalpais Creek twice. The salesperson was wonderful. He was a good listener. He showed me what I was interested in and didn’t show me any extra kinds of things. The people there wer … (read more)
I’ve toured Atria Tamalpais Creek twice. The salesperson was wonderful. He was a good listener. He showed me what I was interested in and didn’t show me any extra kinds of things. The people there wer … (read more)

Oakmont of Novato

1465 S Novato Blvd, Novato, CA, 94947

I went to Oakmont of Novato. It was nice and clean. It’s brand new. It’s four-year-old, so the facility would be in a good position and the people were kind. The staff who showed me around did a great … (read more)
I went to Oakmont of Novato. It was nice and clean. It’s brand new. It’s four-year-old, so the facility would be in a good position and the people were kind. The staff who showed me around did a great … (read more)

Marin Terrace

297 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA, 94941

My mom hasn’t been at Marin Terrace that long. The atmosphere is pretty nice and it looks appealing. I like their executive director, who is very outgoing and personable. They have a nurse on staff; I … (read more)
My mom hasn’t been at Marin Terrace that long. The atmosphere is pretty nice and it looks appealing. I like their executive director, who is very outgoing and personable. They have a nurse on staff; I … (read more)

Elegance Hamilton Hill

One Hamilton Pkwy, Novato, CA, 94949


The Redwoods – Retirement, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing

40 40 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA, 94941

The Redwoods, located in Mill Valley, California, is close to Bothin Marsh Preserve, Pickleweed Inlet and shopping centers. Visitors compliment the scenic surroundings of flowers, woods and the bay. G … (read more)
The Redwoods, located in Mill Valley, California, is close to Bothin Marsh Preserve, Pickleweed Inlet and shopping centers. Visitors compliment the scenic surroundings of flowers, woods and the bay. G … (read more)

Aegis of Corte Madera

5555 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera, CA, 94925

Aegis of Corte Madera is nestled between Route 101 and San Clemente Park in Corte Madera, California. Residents and visitors appreciate the resort-like interior and lush, well-maintained exterior as w … (read more)
Aegis of Corte Madera is nestled between Route 101 and San Clemente Park in Corte Madera, California. Residents and visitors appreciate the resort-like interior and lush, well-maintained exterior as w … (read more)

Creekwood Senior Home

830 Tamalpais Avenue, Novato, CA, 94947


Wild Flowers RCFE

256 Sunset Parkway, Novato, CA, 94945


What to Consider About Assisted Living in San Rafael

The California Department of Social Services, Senior Care Licensing Program monitors and licenses assisted living facilities in San Rafael and across the state. The Adult and Senior Care Program sends field staff to perform regulatory inspections at residential care facilities for the elderly throughout the state, including assisted living residences.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Assisted Living in San Rafael

  • Residents in San Rafael are well-tended by the local hospital, Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, a general medical and surgical facility. It was ranked high performing in the treatment of heart failure and pneumonia. Residents also have access to Marin General Hospital, less than three miles away in Greenbrae. It has an on-site emergency department and was ranked high performing in the treatment of heart failure and stroke.
  • Retirees in San Rafael benefits from the state’s tax exemption on Social Security income, but most other retirement benefits are taxed. Like much of the state, San Rafael has a high sales tax rate, but groceries and prescription drugs are tax exempt.
  • The cost of living in San Rafael is high. It’s more than double the national average and more than 50% higher than California’s statewide average. However, the significant difference is primarily due to the high cost of housing, which is less of a concern in assisted living. For important items like health care, costs are only 2% higher than the national average, and utilities are nearly 3% lower than the national average and 5% lower than the state average.
  • Though San Rafael is one of the more expensive places to live in California, it’s also one of the safer areas. Violent crime in San Rafael is ranked at 17.1 on a scale of one to 100, with one being the best. This rank is lower than the national average of 22.7 and even lower than California’s statewide average of 25.2.
  • Average rainfall in San Rafael is slightly higher than the national average at 41 inches per year compared to 38. Seniors who dislike winter weather particularly like that San Rafael doesn’t get any snow, and nighttime lows rarely dip below freezing with an average low of 42 in January, the coldest month. Residents enjoy six comfortable months with high temperatures ranging between 70-degrees and 85-degrees Fahrenheit.

Paying for Assisted Living in San Rafael

San Rafael’s average cost of assisted living is $6,100 monthly, per Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, making it one of the costliest locations in California. Compared to the state average, assisted living is $1,100 higher in San Rafael and $1,800 higher than the national average.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Nearby Cities

While the average cost of assisted living in San Rafael is higher than the state average, there are other cities where costs are higher. San Rafael costs more than San Jose by $225 per month, but it’s only $100 higher than Santa Rosa. Alternately, it’s less expensive than Napa by $150 and Santa Cruz by $700. 

$6100

San Rafael

$5000

California

$4300

The United States

$5875

San Jose

$6000

Santa Rosa

$6250

Napa

$6800

Santa Cruz

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care

Seniors who aren’t sure of their care needs may explore other options to compare to assisted living. The lowest cost option is adult day health care, which is called community-based adult services in California. In San Rafael, the average cost per month is $1,950. For in-home care, homemaker services and home health aides both cost an average of $6,101 per month. For those needing extensive care, nursing homes run the highest at an average of $12,471 for semiprivate rooms or $15,208 for private rooms. 

$6101

Homemaker Services

$6101

Home Health Aide

$1950

Adult Day Health Care

$6100

Assisted Living Facility

$12471

Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)

$15208

Nursing Home Facility (private room)

Note: Data for San Rafael was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, San Francisco, was used instead.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in San Rafael

Low-income seniors residing in San Rafael may be eligible to apply for government funding to help pay for assisted living. There are currently two programs available: the 1915(c) Assisted Living Waiver program through Medi-Cal and Supplemental Security Income – Category G.

Learn more about these programs, plus who’s eligible, on our Assisted Living in California page.

Paying for Assisted Living Facilities in California

More Ways to Pay for Assisted Living

While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Reverse Mortgage

For more information about different ways to finance assisted living, visit our Assisted Living in California page.

Free Assisted Living Resources in San Rafael

San Rafael provides several free senior resources through county agencies and nonprofit organizations. These resources provide various services to ensure seniors in assisted living and other living situations have the assistance they need to live as independently as possible.

Resource


Contact


Services


Marin County Aging and Adult Services


(415) 473-4636


Marin County AAS in San Rafael serves seniors and disabled persons through a multidisciplinary system of support and services. It strives to enhance the quality of life and promote independence by administering a range of programs, including adult protective services, information and assistance, in-home supportive care, the long-term care ombudsman and food assistance.


Area Agency on Aging for Marin County


(415) 473-4636


AAA is the primary funder and administrator of services for adults aged 60 or older throughout the county. It provides services either directly or through contracts with private and nonprofit agencies, including assisted transportation, home-delivered meals, legal services, long-term care ombudsman, disease prevention and health promotion and senior center activities, among others.


Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program


(415) 473-7446


The Marin County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program uses state-certified staff and volunteers to help resolve problems for residents of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. The ombudsman provides free, confidential services, advocates for the rights of LTC residents and investigates allegations of suspected abuse.


STAR and TRIP Volunteer Driver Program


(415) 454-0902


The STAR and TRIP Volunteer Driver Program helps older adults remain independent by providing mileage reimbursement to individuals who drive them to medical appointments, family visits, shopping excursions, classes, social events or other desired trips. Marin County residents aged 65 or older who are enrolled in Marin Access qualify for the program. If a participant doesn’t have their own volunteer driver, Travel Navigators can help them consider their options.


LITA (Love is the Answer) of Marin


(415) 472-5482


LITA is a nonprofit organization that improves the quality of life for socially isolated residents of any long-term care facility in Marin County by scheduling regular visits with volunteers. There’s no fee for any of the five programs offered, including weekly one-on-one visits with two more members of a family or with pets, elementary class visits throughout the school year and regular visits by musicians for the entire facility.


Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in San Rafael

San Rafael-area assisted living communities must adhere to the comprehensive set of state laws and regulations that all assisted living communities in California are required to follow. Visit our Assisted Living in California page for more information about these laws.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in California