Assisted Living in Florida

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Families looking for assisted living in Florida (FL) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 1,776 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 20.1 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Florida will pay $3,500 per month on average.

Average Monthly Costs

States near Florida

$4,000.00 US
$3,824.00 Florida
$3,574.00 Alabama
$3,387.00 Georgia
Genworth lists the average cost of a private, one bedroom unit in an assisted living community in Florida as $3,824. This places Florida on the lower end of the scale at about $200 under the national average, and about $100 higher than the median cost of assisted living in nearby states.

Compare Monthly Care Costs

When it comes to care options, assisted living is just one of several choices available to seniors. Some care options, like part-time in-home care or independent living, may cost less, while others like memory care or skilled nursing are likely to cost significantly more. Seniors can speak with their medical practitioners to receive guidance on what level of care will best suit their needs and abilities.

Nursing Home Care


In-Home Care


Assisted Living

Average Monthly Costs

Cities in Florida

$5,953.00 Naples, Immokalee, Marco Island
$5,497.00 The Villages
$4,835.00 Jacksonville
$4,741.00 Tallahassee
$4,589.00 Panama City
$4,583.00 Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Destin
$4,507.00 Homosassa Springs
$4,475.00 Pensacola, Ferry Pass Brent
$4,370.00 Cape Coral, Fort Myers
$4,233.00 North Port, Sarasota, Bradenton
$4,207.00 Deltona, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach
$4,125.00 Gainesville
$4,097.00 Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville
$3,955.00 Port St. Lucie
$3,850.00 Sebastian, Vero Beach
$3,715.00 Punta Gorda
$3,660.00 Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach
$3,578.00 Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford
$3,578.00 Ocala
$3,551.00 Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater
$3,319.00 Sebring
$3,278.00 Rest Of State
$3,068.00 Lakeland, Winter Haven
When estimating the cost of assisted living, it's important to know that average prices can differ significantly between various parts of Florida. For example, assisted living rates in areas such as Tallahassee are at least $900 more than the state average of $3,824, but in areas like Sebring, you're saving on average $500. The most affordable region in Florida for assisted living is Lakeland, Winter Haven at $3,068.

What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Florida

Florida assisted living communities are referred to as "Assisted Living Facilities," or ALFs, and they require a state license to provide care. In addition to the general ALF license, Florida also offers three specialty licenses that allow ALFs to increase the scope of care they are eligible to provide:

  • Extended congregate care (ECC) qualifies ALFs to provide additional nursing services and complete personal care assistance.
  • Limited nursing services (LNS) qualifies ALFs to provide additional care by licensed nurses within the scope of their profession.
  • Limited mental health (LMH) qualifies ALFs to provide limited mental health services according to a community support plan created with the resident and his or her case manager.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Florida

If the cost for assisted living communities seems out of reach, Florida offers two different subsidy programs to help low-income seniors get the care they need.

Florida Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program (SMMC LTC)

Low-income seniors can apply for Florida Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program (SMMC LTC) to offset the costs of assisted living care. The state-run program was specifically designed for seniors at risk of being placed in a nursing home and offers a variety of plans to meet individual care needs. The program offers six Managed Health Care Organizations that cover Florida's 11 regions, though not every provider is available in every region.

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for the SMMC LTC program, individuals must:

  • Be a legal Florida resident
  • Be at least 65 years old, or over the age of 18 with a SSA-approved disability
  • Require a 'nursing facility level of care' based on an in-person exam
  • Meet Florida Medicaid financial eligibility requirements

When determining financial eligibility, Florida considers both income and assets. In 2018, individuals were limited to $2,250 in monthly income and no more than $2000 in qualifying assets. It's important to note that Florida senior couples, when only one individual requires care, may allocate joint income to the healthy spouse to help the other qualify for Medicaid.

How to Apply

To apply for the SMMC LTC, seniors or their family members will need to contact their local Area Agency on Aging, or call the Elder Helpline at 800-262-2243. Representatives will schedule a screening for home and community-based services and a prioritization decision will be mailed to determine when services can take effect. The next step is to apply for Medicaid approval through the Department of Children and Family Services.

More Ways to Finance 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. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Florida

Florida is home to a number of nonprofit organizations and government programs that offer free aid to seniors in need of long-term care.

Florida Area Agencies on Aging

There are 11 Area Agencies on Aging in Florida that operate as Aging and Disability Resource Centers. The Department of Elder Affairs maintains a list of each resource center with current contact information. These centers have information about long-term care and access to any services available to Florida seniors.

Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc.

5090 Commerce Park Circle, Pensacola, FL 32505
(850) 494-7107

Area Agency on Aging for North Florida, Inc.

2414 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 488-0055

Elder Options

100 SW 75th Street, #301, Gainesville, FL 32607
(352) 378-6649

ElderSource, The Area Agency on Aging of Northeast Florida

10688 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 391-6600

Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

9549 Koger Boulevard, Gadsden Building, Suite 100, St. Petersburg, FL 33702
(727) 570-9696

Senior Connection Center, Inc.

8928 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619
(813) 740-3888

Senior Resource Alliance

988 Woodcock Road, Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 514-1800

Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida

15201 North Cleveland Avenue, Suite 1100, North Fort Myers, FL 33903
(239) 652-6900

Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach / Treasure Coast

4400 North Congress Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407
(561) 684-5885

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County, Inc.

5300 Hiatus Road, Sunrise, FL 33351
(954) 745-9567

Alliance for Aging, Inc.

760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 214, 2nd Floor, Miami, FL 33172
(305) 670-6500

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Florida

Assisted living residences in Florida are governed by a comprehensive set of laws and regulations. Some important laws and regulations to keep in mind are as follows:

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

A resident of an ALF must undergo a medical examination prior to the development of their service plan. The examination can be done up to 60 days before admission and up to 30 days after admission into an ALF. A service plan is designed by a team made up of the resident, his or her representatives, his or her physician or nurse and the ALF administrator. The goal of the service plan is to meet the resident’s needs and to improve the resident’s quality of life.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

An ALF will admit adults who are able to perform daily tasks, such as eating, dressing, grooming, walking and transfers with some assistance or supervision. They should be able to participate in social activities and not be a danger to others or themselves. They should not need 24 -hour nursing or medical care.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Different levels of care are provided depending on the type of license an ALF has. A standard ALF is required to provide housing, meals, and one or more personal care services, such as help with daily activities and help with self-administration of medication (like reading labels, opening bottles, storing medication). Three meals per day and snacks, including special or therapeutic diets, must meet the physical and nutritional needs of residents as determined by their health care provider and must meet the current U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 and the current summary of Dietary Reference Intakes established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Medicaid is accepted in many ALFs in Florida either to supplement the cost or to cover certain services that residents may need.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Each assisted living residence location must be licensed with the state individually. Licenses will specify the type of care the facility is eligible to provide. Extended licenses can be granted in the event a current resident requires care beyond the scope of the current license to prevent the need to move to a new community.

Medication Management Regulations

Only licensed nurses and residents of ALFs can administer medication, but residents who are taking it themselves may receive help from a non-licensed staff member in tasks that relate to taking medication such as retrieving and storing medication, reading labels and opening bottles.

Staffing Requirements

Every ALF must have an administrator, direct care staff (certified nursing assistants or home health aides) and a staff member who is certified in first-aid and CPR. The administrator supervises staff, operations, maintenance and care of residents. Direct care staff assist residents with personal care activities. Licensed nurses are only required in ALFs licensed for special care, such as in an LNS and ECC. Florida does require a minimum number of staff based on the number of residents in the ALF and also mandates adequate staffing to supervise residents and to fulfill their service plans.

Staff Training Requirements

The Department of Elder Affairs requires administrators to take 26 hours of core training and a competency test. In addition, administrators must complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years. Direct care staff have to complete 1 hour of in-service training per year covering infection control and sanitation procedures as well as 3 hours of training per year in assisting residents in daily tasks and meeting their personal care needs.

Background Checks for Assisted Living

Anyone employed in a Florida assisted living community must submit to a Level 2 background screening as a condition of their employment, and every five years once employed. This screening includes fingerprint submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Some of the disqualifying criminal charges include:

  • Felonies
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Domestic violence
  • Identity theft
  • Forgery

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Florida defines adverse incidents as any incident within the facility's control which results in the resident's death or injury, failure to honor advance directives, a criminal event or resident elopement if it places a resident in harm's way. In the event of an adverse incident, Florida law requires assisted living communities submit a preliminary report within one business day and a full report within 15 days to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. The department also has an abuse hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

Assisted Living Facilities in Florida



Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Florida’s Caring Stars award program recognizes the best assisted living facilities across the U.S. based on reviews from family caregivers and older adults. This award is meant to help older adults and their loved ones find the best assisted living or in-home care option in their area. The list below shows up to 10 listings that have won the most Caring Stars annual awards in their state, sorted by their current overall average rating. For a complete list of Caring Stars winners for each year, please visit our Caring Stars info center.


Atria Windsor Woods

Hudson, FL $

42 reviews


Meridian at Westwood

Fort Walton Beach, FL $

18 reviews


Pacifica Senior Living Forest Trace

Lauderhill, FL $$$

30 reviews


Sun Towers Retirement

Sun City Center, FL Cost Levels

30 reviews


Sterling Aventura

Aventura, FL Cost Levels

29 reviews


CountrySide Lakes

Port Orange, FL $$

25 reviews


Pacifica Senior Living Ocala

Ocala, FL $$$

35 reviews


Cabot Cove of Largo

Largo, FL $$

24 reviews


Atria Park of Baypoint Village

Hudson, FL $

42 reviews


Atria Evergreen Woods

Spring Hill, FL $

51 reviews