The state of Georgia, sometimes known as the Peach State, ranks 47th on the 2022 Senior Living Report. It ranks 22nd in the Senior Living and Housing category, which may make the state attractive to families who need long-term care. As of the 2020 census, adults aged 65 and older make up 14.3% of the population in Georgia, with an estimated 20% of people expected to be 60 and older by 2030.

Due to the growing senior population, the demand for assisted living and healthcare in Georgia is expected to increase in the coming years. Thankfully, the state has numerous public and private organizations to address these needs, including Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and other nationally ranked care providers. Many high-quality assisted living communities are available in the state, costing an average of $3,535 per month. Both assisted living and the overall cost of living in Georgia are below the national average. 

The Cost of Assisted Living in Georgia

According to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey for 2021, the median price of assisted living in Georgia is $3,535 per month. This means many seniors and families in the Peach State pay about $1,000 less for assisted living than the average American family. Georgia is even affordable compared to nearby states in the Southeast, including South Carolina, which has a median price of $3,612 per month. The only less expensive nearby state is Alabama, but only by $32 per month. The most expensive nearby state for assisted living is Tennessee with a monthly average of $4,105. North Carolina and Florida are only about $100 less expensive than Tennessee. 

$3535

Georgia

$4500

The United States

$4000

Florida

$3503

Alabama

$4105

Tennessee

$4010

North Carolina

$3612

South Carolina

Cities in Georgia have a wide range of sizes and demographic makeups, so the range of assisted living prices is wide. Athens, which is a college town, has the highest rates with a monthly average of $4,184. With an average price of $3,845 per month, Atlanta has the second-highest rate. The median price for assisted living in Macon is just $2,860 per month, a difference of about $1,300 per month. In Augusta, home to The Masters golf tournament, the average rate is $3,606 per month. Savannah is closest to the state average with a monthly rate of $3,513. Valdosta, which is closer to Tallahassee than most big cities in Georgia, has a median price of $3,179 per month for assisted living. 

$3845

Atlanta

$2860

Macon

$3513

Savannah

$3606

Augusta

$3179

Valdosta

$3400

Dalton

$4184

Athens

Assisted living is one of the most affordable types of care available to seniors in Georgia. Nursing homes, which cost an average of $7,011 per month for a semiprivate room, are the most expensive form of care but are not necessary for older adults who need limited supervision and medical attention. Adult day health care is the least expensive care option, but it does not provide housing. Seniors aging in place may need to hire in-home care or home health care, which cost $4,290 per month and $4,385 per month respectively.

$3535

Assisted Living

$4290

Home Care

$4385

Home Health Care

$1300

Adult Day Health Care

$7011

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate)

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Georgia?

While Medicaid does not directly cover the cost of room and board in assisted living communities in Georgia, it may pay for supportive services received within long-term care for eligible seniors. The CCSP waiver offers financial assistance for medical and non-medical supports that promote independence, and the SOURCE Program provides skilled nursing and 24-hour medical access to prevent nursing home placement.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Georgia?

Community Care Services Program (CCSP)

CCSP funds services that enable seniors at home or in assisted living to stay where they are instead of being placed in a nursing home. Services include adult day health care, personal support services and alternative living services. You must be eligible for Medicaid and have a functional impairment to participate. To apply, contact your local AAA or call (866) 552-4464. If approved, you may be put on a wait list.

SOURCE Program

SOURCE, which stands for Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment, funds medical care for seniors at home or in assisted living. The program can also fund many of the services offered by CCSP. Eligibility for this program is determined by a comprehensive assessment that includes interviews with family and caregivers. To apply, call the Home and Community-Based Services office at (866) 552-4464.

How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Georgia

If you are aged 65 or older, you may qualify for Medicaid if you meet certain financial requirements. Limits apply to both your monthly income and your total assets. These limits vary based on whether you are single or married and whether or not both spouses are applying for benefits. Other eligibility requirements for Medicaid can include:

  • Citizenship status
  • Disabilities or cognitive impairments
  • Responsibility for dependents

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Georgia

.

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$2,382

$2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Person Applying)

$2,382

$2,000 for applicant

$137,400 for non-applicant

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$5,046

$3,000

*per month

How To Apply for Medicaid in Georgia

Print and fill out Form 94A to apply for Medicaid in Georgia. The application tells you where to mail your completed form. You can also use the state’s self-service application options, which include:

  • Online: Georgia Gateway is available for applications 24/7
  • Telephone: Call (877) 423-4746 to complete your application with an agent

Below you may find other means of completing an application for Georgia Medicaid.

Information You Will Need 

When you apply for Medicaid, you need to provide personal information, including proof of citizenship, Social Security number and proof of residency. You also need to provide proof of income and assets, such as bank account numbers and statements and any other holdings you might have.

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you or someone you know is unable to fill out their own Medicaid application or use the self-service options provided by Georgia Medicaid, the following organizations may be able to help.

Resource

Contact

Description

(844) 842-3678

This is a nonprofit organization that can coordinate care for seniors in need. This includes helping individuals and couples sign up for Medicaid if they are eligible. The hotline is open 24/7.

(404) 656-2070

The Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner provides assistance to seniors who are having trouble with their Medicaid benefits. Representatives can answer your questions and guide you in the right direction.



Seniors can access a free toolkit online, published by the nonprofit Georgians for a Health Future, that guides them through the Medicaid enrollment process. 

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Georgia?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Georgia. Assisted living facilities are considered to be a “residential setting” and not a “clinical setting,” (think nursing homes). While Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of care received in an assisted living community, it does still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for senior living in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Georgia.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Georgia

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Assisted Living affordable.

How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at va.gov.

Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Assisted Living.

Reverse Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Assisted Living. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Assisted Living. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Assisted Living will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Georgia

The following public and private organizations give aid to seniors and families in Georgia who need help with topics related to long-term care, including benefits assistance and legal aid. 

Resource

Contact

Service

(866) 552-4464

Georgia's Ombudsman Program is responsible for addressing complaints made by residents or other concerned parties regarding assisted living and other forms of long-term care. It inspects facilities, consults with families, coordinates care between agencies and advocates for the interest of seniors at the government level. Programs are operated by coordinators in six regions: North, South, East, West, Capital and Middle. Many of the services provided by the Ombudsman Program are delivered by volunteers. The agency's blog and newsletter are valuable sources of up-to-date information.

(404) 657-9915

In addition to wills, trusts and estate planning, the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline helps residents with senior issues, including assistance with Medicare, Medicaid and other government benefits. The hotline can also assist seniors with debt relief, credit, financial fraud, bankruptcy and other issues that affect the ability to pay for assisted living.

(866) 295-7281

Affordable membership in the AARP offers Georgia seniors rewards and discounts at local establishments. In addition, the AARP hosts support groups and classes that can help families navigate their long-term care options. This includes Medicare seminars that ensure seniors get the most out of their government benefits. 

(404) 656-2300

Georgia's Department of Veterans Services does not directly give financial aid to veterans in the state who need help paying for assisted living, but representatives can help you get your pension or sign up for Aid & Attendance benefits. The department can also provide information about nursing homes and other end-of-life services available to veterans and their surviving spouses. 

(866) 552-4464

The Aging and Disability Resource Center for Georgia connects seniors who need long-term care with the services and funding they require to continue living a healthy life and independent life, including assisted living settings. Its resources include respite care, wellness programs, assistive technology and nursing home transitions. Counselors work directly with seniors to help them reach their goals.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Georgia

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including The Georgia Department of Community Health. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 3/8/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?

Yes

Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?

No

Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?

Yes

Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

Yes

Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?

Yes

Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?

Yes

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?

Yes

Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Georgia

Assisted living facilities are regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health’s Healthcare Facility Regulation Division. Laws affecting these communities are located in Chapter 111-8-63 of the state rules.

GEORGIA LAWS AND REGULATIONS 

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

Within 14 days of admission, assisted living facilities must create a written care plan that serves as a guide for the delivery of care and services. These plans must include input from the residents themselves as well as family and anyone invested in the well-being of the resident, including physicians, therapists and medical professionals. Each care plan must be reviewed annually and amended whenever the needs of a resident change. 

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

To ensure that your needs are adequately met inside an assisted living facility, the staff must evaluate your history and care requirements. This includes a physical evaluation, interview with family and/or caregivers and criminal background check. Residents must also:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Not have tuberculosis
  • Not have behavioral problems that endanger staff or other residents
  • Be able to participate in social and leisure activities

Any information gathered during the admission process should be recorded and documented.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Georgia law mandates that assisted living communities provide protective care and watchful oversight. In addition to helping with everyday, basic needs, the facility must provide daily mental, physical, and social activities that promote the well-being of residents. 

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Assisted living facilities can accept Medicaid payment for certain support services and medical care, including skilled nursing care. Medicaid does not pay for room or board. These funds are available through waiver programs and in some cases need to be directed by the residents themselves. 

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

All licensed assisted living facilities must incorporate a design that accounts for the health, safety, dignity, independence and privacy of residents. Facilities must include common areas, including eating areas, which are accessible to all residents and can be used without crowding. Common areas and private quarters need to adhere to all local fire, water and sewage regulations. Outdoor spaces must be conveniently located and accessible. 

Medication Management Regulations

Trained assisted living staff can help with the self-administration of medication for residents with impairments. When a resident is unable to self-administer, certified medication aides administer medication according to a physician's orders. These aides must be in good standing with the Georgia Certified Medication Aide Registry and pass regular competency checks, reviews and observations.

Staffing Requirements

The minimum staffing requirements for assisted living facilities in Georgia are one direct caregiver for every 15 residents during waking hours and one direct caregiver for every 20 residents during non-waking hours. A registered nurse must be available for a minimum of 8 hours per week or more depending on the number of residents. There must also be an on-site manager who is at least 21 years of age.

Staff Training Requirements

Any staff who directly interact with residents in an assisted living facility must be trained in the following areas within the first 60 days of their employment:

  • Certified emergency first aid and CPR
  • Medical and social needs of seniors, including those with dementia if applicable
  • Residents' rights
  • Hygiene and resident safety

Staff must also be trained in any special duties to which they're assigned. All staff must participate in 24 hours of continuing education for each year they're employed.

Background Checks for Assisted Living

All assisted living facility owners, directors, administrators, managers and direct caregivers must pass a criminal background check.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Staff must report missing persons, abuse, neglect, exploitation, accidents, injuries, disasters or other incidents affecting the safety of residents within 30 minutes to the appropriate authorities.

Assisted Living Facilities in Georgia (118)