Assisted Living in Georgia
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Families looking for assisted living in Georgia (GA) 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 679 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 13.5 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Georgia will pay $3,100 per month on average.
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What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Georgia
Assisted living communities are referred to as "personal care homes" in Georgia. These homes are required to offer space dedicated to memory care if assisting clients experiencing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. The state of Georgia offers assisted living homes that can provide private or shared rooms as long as there's a minimum of 80 square feet of space in the room per resident.Georgia's assisted living communities must have 25 or more residents and are often run by private individuals or large corporations. These properties require that a manager or administrator who is at least 21 years old must be present 24 hours per day. One staff member per 15 residents must be onsite during the day and one per 25 residents in the evening. CPR and first aid training are required for all staff members.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Georgia
The Federal SSI benefit is not supplemented by the state of Georgia as it is in some other states. Fortunately, Georgia offers other subsidy programs to low-income seniors to offset the cost of care.
The Georgia Medicaid program offers waivers to elderly residents who need assistance. The number of waivers that can be granted is limited so it's possible that individuals will need to spend time on a waiting list before they gain access to services. The two waivers offered by Georgia Medicaid are:
- Community Care Services Program (CCSP): This waiver provides support services to encourage independent living such as meal preparation, personal emergency response systems, and adult day care.
- Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE): This waiver focuses less on independent living services and more on medical needs. The program offers 24-hour medical access and skilled nursing services.
Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for Georgia Medicaid is determined by an individual's income level. A single applicant must bring in no more than $2,250 per month in income. Financial assets must be below $2,000. Eligibility for Medicaid waivers differs from general eligibility requirements. For both waivers, applicants must demonstrate a need for nursing home care and be a Georgia resident. The CCSP waiver requires Medicaid qualification, and the SOURCE waiver requires the applicant be 65 years or older.
How to ApplyArea Agency on Aging must complete an assessment to determine eligibility for the CCSP waiver.To apply for the SOURCE waiver, call 866-552-4464 or contact your local Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children county offices.
The HCBS is administered through the Area Agencies on Aging offices. Although HCBS doesn't directly contribute to the cost of room and board, the program offers other services to assist seniors such as homemaker services, meal delivery, and respite care.
Who is Eligible?
All Georgia residents over the age of 60 are eligible with no financial restrictions. Those who demonstrate the greatest need are given priority.
How to Apply
The local Area Agencies on Aging handles all applications. A list of Georgia AAA offices is available by county.
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 Georgia
Georgia seniors also have a number of free resources available to help you search for long-term care. These organizations can provide information about care options and assistance programs.
Georgia Area Agencies on Aging
The Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) offices are located throughout Georgia and offer assistance to seniors in need of care. In many cases, these federally funded offices are the gateway for assistance programs such as the CCSP waiver mentioned above.
229 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30303
181 Coastal Dr., SW, Darien, GA 31305
3626 Walton Way Extension, Suite 300, Augusta, GA 30909
331 West Parker Street, Baxley, GA 31513
4080 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA 30566
175-C Emery Highway, Macon, GA 31217
305 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30610
1 Jackson Hill Drive, Rome, GA 30161
710 Front Ave., Suite A, Columbus, GA 31901
1725 South Georgia Parkway, West, Waycross, GA 31503
(912) 285-6097; Toll-Free: (888) 732-4464
335 West Society Avenue, Albany, GA 31701
13273 Highway 34 East, Franklin, GA 30217
Local VA Centers are available to veteran seniors and their families. Offered services include federal and state program information and residence placement assistance. Medical care can also be provided in one of the state VA hospitals.
1800 Phoenix Boulevard, Building 400, Suite 404, Box 55, Atlanta, GA 30349
2050 Walton Way, Suite 100, Augusta, GA 30904
2601 Cross Country Drive, Condominium B-2, Suite 900, Columbus, GA 31906
930 River Centre Place, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
750 Riverside Drive, Macon, GA 31201
(478) 477-3813; (877) 927-8387
40 Dodd Street, Suite 700, Marietta, GA 30060
321 Commercial Drive, Savannah, GA 31406
Seniors and their families who are looking for an explanation of Social Security benefits and eligibility requirements can contact their local Social Security office.
235 W Roosevelt Avenue, Albany, GA 31701
1650 Prince Avenue, Athens, GA 30606
401 W Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308
3800 N Camp Creek Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30331
115 Robt C Daniel Parkway, Augusta, GA 30909
134 Juniper Court, Brunswick, GA 31520
7263 North Lake Drive, Columbus, GA 31909
510 E 15th Avenue, Cordele, GA 31015
9180 Covington Bypass, Covington, GA 30014
301 Point North Place, Dalton, GA 30720
2853 Candler Road, Decatur, GA 30034
919 Hillcrest Pkwy, Dublin, GA 31021
2565 Thompson Brdg Road, Gainesville, GA 30501
1548 Flynt St, Griffin, GA 30223
1300 Lafayette Pkwy, Lagrange, GA 30241
3530 Riverside Drive, Macon, GA 31210
1415 Franklin Road SE, Marietta, GA 300671-800-772-1213
109 Cypress Corners, Milledgeville, GA 310611-866-348-5817
6670 Merchants Way, Morrow, GA 302601-800-772-1213
246 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan, GA 302631-800-772-1213
4365 Shackleford Road, Norcross, GA 300931-800-772-1213
480 Riverside Parkway NE, Rome, GA 301611-866-964-1006
430 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 314061-866-366-4923
1050 Brannen St, Statesboro, GA 304611-866-748-2088
1916 Smith Avenue, Thomasville, GA 317921-888-491-1886
732 2nd St W, Tifton, GA 317941-877-635-3542
155 Big A Road N, Toccoa, GA 305771-877-405-7655
3149 Perimeter Park Lane, Valdosta, GA 316021-866-829-2617
104 W Third Street, Vidalia, GA 304741-866-931-2518
908 S Carroll Road, Villa Rica, GA 301801-866-331-2318
220 Carl Vinson Parkway, Warner Robins, GA 310881-866-931-7084
303 Isabella Street, Waycross, GA 315011-877-405-3578
389 E Broad Street, Winder, GA 306801-866-331-9071
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Georgia
Assisted Living Individualized Care Plan
Seniors in an ALC in Georgia will have a written care plan that includes the resident’s level of independence in activities of daily living (ADL) which are also referred to as personal care activities, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, eating and coordination of social activities. The plan also states the resident’s personal preferences, family supports and medical needs. It is updated annually and staff are expected to know and follow each resident’s individual care plan.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Prospective residents must be able to fully transfer themselves and participate in the assisted living community’s social activities - as determined by a licensed doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistant within 30 days of admission. Adults who require continuous medical or nursing care are not admitted to an ALC.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Residents of an ALC will receive the degree of assistance specified in their written care plan. Typically, staff assist residents daily with personal care, medication and social activities. If care is needed beyond that scope, whether periodically or temporarily, a resident may hire a licensed, third-party provider who not affiliated with the ALC.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
There are two Medicaid Waiver programs in Georgia that pay for services in an ALC with up to 24 beds:
- 1. Community Care Services
- 2. Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE)
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Georgia’s Department of Community Health conducts both scheduled and unannounced inspections of ALCs. Facilities that are found to violate any laws or regulations may be fined. ALCs have many requirements. Among them are the following:
- Single-occupancy or double-occupancy units must have at least one toilet and sink for four residents and at least one bathing/showering room for eight residents. Bathrooms must be fully accessible for wheelchairs and walkers. Apartment-style units are not required.
- Assisted living communities are required to provide three regularly scheduled meals to residents that meet general requirements for nutrition. Food must be wholesome and one snack must also be provided each day.
- ALCs must respect residents’ personal dignity and respect their human rights as defined by GA HCF Rule 111-8-63-.25.
- Every assisted living community is required to have an infection prevention program that includes staff training, response plans, and sanitation supplies.
Medication Management Regulations
In Georgia, seniors who are able to and want to store and self-administer their medications must be allowed to do so. If a senior wants or needs help with medication, the ALC staff is required to help, but the scope of help they provide is limited by licensing rules. A certified medication aid can administer medication whereas unlicensed staff cannot. They can, however, help with opening prepacked dosages, storing medications, placing medication in resident’s hand, applying topical medications, and helping with an Epi-pen. Quarterly drug regimen reviews are performed by a licensed pharmacist to ensure drug safety and drug policy compliance.
ALCs must have an administrator, direct care staff and certified medication aids. The administrator oversees daily operations and compliance issues. Direct care staff assists residents with personal care activities while certified medication aids may administer medication if requested by residents. The state requires at least one administrator, or designated house manager if the administrator is absent, or responsible staff person on premises 24 hours a day. The staff-to-resident ratio during waking hours is 1:15 and during non-waking hours is 1:25. ALCs must exceed these minimum ratios if needed to meet residents’ needs.
Staff Training Requirements
Within 60 days of employment, all staff must be trained on various topics:
- residents' rights
- identifying and reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation
- infection control and hygiene
- job training specific to their role
- emergency preparedness
- needs and characteristics of the resident population
- residents' individualized care plans
- CPR and emergency first-aid24 hours of continuing education during the first year of employment and 16 hours per year in successive years is required for all staff delivering personal care.
Background Checks for Assisted Living
All staff – including owners, administrators, managers, certified staff, and non-certified staff must submit to a criminal history background and fingerprint check. Any criminal records acquired during employment must be reported to the State Department of Community Health.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Elder abuse is instances of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, caregiver neglect or financial abuse. If anyone in the assisted living community suspects or knows of elder abuse it should be reported to the State Department of Community Health within 24 hours after the incident has occurred in accordance with the Long-Term Care Resident Abuse Reporting Act O.C.G.A. § 31-8-80.
Assisted Living Facilities in Georgia
Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Georgia
Caring.com’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.
Historic Roswell Place
Roswell, GA Cost Levels
The Palms of Lake Spivey
Jonesboro, GA Cost Levels
Fite Living Centre - Cartersville, GA
Cartersville, GA Cost Levels
The Social at Savannah
Savannah, GA $$$
The Heritage of Marietta
Marietta, GA $$$
Lawrenceville, GA $$
Sterling Estates of East Cobb
Marietta, GA $$$
Ashbrook Village Independent and Assisted Living
Villa Rica, GA Cost Levels
Azalea Estates of Fayetteville
Fayetteville, GA $$
Morningside of Gainesville
Gainesville, GA Cost Levels