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Assisted Living in Georgia

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

When trying to decide how to pay for assisted living, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, Caring.com has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of assisted living in California and its 201 cities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Georgia's Top Cities

In general, assisted living costs remain consistent across Georgia’s major cities. Seniors in Savannah pay on average $3,420 per month, one of the lowest fees in the state. Rates in Augusta increase to $3,572, and costs in Atlanta — despite being the largest city in Georgia — stay relatively low at $3,717. To the south, however, those living in Columbus can expect a much higher monthly average of around $4,487.

Georgia

$3,952

Atlanta

$3,717

Columbus

$4,487

Augusta

$3,572

Savannah

$3,420

Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Assisted Living in Georgia

Inflation, which has sent consumer prices soaring across much of the United States, has also affected assisted living costs. The monthly fee a Georgia resident could expect to pay for this service increased from $3,730 in 2022 to $3,952 a year later, a 6% change. In contrast, average U.S. costs grew at a faster rate of 9.6%.

Most neighboring states also saw higher price hikes. In Florida, the average rose by 9.1%, and to the west, in Alabama, by 14.5%. On the high end, North Carolina and South Carolina saw increases of 18.1% and 17.4%, respectively.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
Georgia$3,730$3,952$3,895
U.S. Average$4,070$4,459$4,802
Florida$3,727$4,067$4,438
Alabama$3,316$3,798$4,045
North Carolina$4,088$4,828$4,803
South Carolina$3,545$4,161$4,526

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

While assisted living is one of the most popular senior care options, it is far from being the only one. For example, those who don’t require 24/7 assistance might see independent living as a better fit due to its affordable rates, which average $3,030 in Georgia; in comparison, assisted living residents pay around $3,952. Memory care, on the other hand, offers tailored care services for seniors with cognitive disabilities and stands at a higher price point of $4,196.

Assisted Living

$3,952

Memory Care

$4,196

Independent Living

$3,030

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?

The services offered by Elderly & Disabled Waiver Programs through Georgia Medicaid include emergency response systems, personal support services, respite care, home-delivered meals and long-term health services. These are considered Home and Community-Based Services designed to keep seniors out of nursing facilities. Only one waiver can be used at a time.

Assisted Living Waiver Programs 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

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per YearAsset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$2,000
Two Person1$32,904$2,000*$148,620
Two Person2$65,808$3,000**

*Income limit is for applicant only.
**Income is limited to $2,742 per month per spouse.

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.

ProgramContactServices provided
Georgia Cares(844) 842-3678This 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.
Georgia Consumer Assistance(404) 656-2070The 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.
Georgians for a Healthy Future

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.

NameHow To ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn 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 MortgagesLearn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.govIf 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) InsuranceLearn 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

There are many resources in Georgia that assist seniors in their retirement. Caring.com has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.

Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Area Agencies on AgingGeorgia's Area Agencies on Aging provide various services to support the state's older adults. They offer assistance in accessing health care, including medical screenings and prescription drug programs. The agencies also offer nutrition programs as well as transportation services to help seniors with essential travel. Additionally, they provide resources for caregiver support, legal assistance and information on housing options to enable a higher quality of life for seniors in Georgia.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Georgia provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Georgia seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia New Options Waiver/Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program800-436-7442The New Options Waiver (NOW) and the Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) are available to Georgia residents living with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These waiver programs may help seniors pay for a variety of health care costs, including adult day care, nursing care, in-home care and assisted living. They may also cover the cost of specialized medical equipment, respite care, transportation and home modifications, as needed.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Georgia seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Emergency Food Assistance Program404-657-5244The Emergency Food Assistance Program is a federally sponsored program that provides monthly emergency food packages to low-income people and seniors at no charge. Offered in all 159 Georgia counties, this food assistance program helps supplement the diets of older adults with shelf-stable foods such as canned meat, pasta, peanut butter and bottled juices. When available, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as frozen meats, are distributed as well.
Georgia Food Bank Association404-419-1738The Georgia Food Bank Association is a nonprofit organization serving low-income seniors through food distributions throughout the state. The program's goal is to enable seniors with fixed incomes to have access to nutritious meals without having to choose between paying for food, medicine or utilities. Residents can access over 700 locations throughout the state, such as community kitchens, food pantries, senior centers and shelters.
Georgia Meals on WheelsThe Georgia Meals on Wheels program enables homebound seniors and residents with mobility issues to receive regular home delivery of nutritious, hot meals. Qualified individuals must be 60 or older with a disability or mobility issues that make it difficult to shop or prepare healthy meals. Seniors can benefit from various meal delivery options, social interactions and safety checks. Additionally, if transportation is available, community centers can offer seniors meal options and an opportunity to socialize with others.
Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)877-423-4746Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP, is a federally funded program that provides monthly benefits to eligible seniors to help cover the cost of food. Senior SNAP is available for Georgia seniors ages 60 or older who do not work and whose household is under the income limits established by the program. Seniors must apply for these benefits and participate in a phone interview before they are deemed eligible.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Georgia have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Section 504 Home Repair Program706-546-2162The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides seniors in rural areas with grants of up to $10,000 to ensure the homes they live in are safe and sanitary.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Georgia seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program866-552-4464The state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has trained volunteers who help seniors research assisted living options in Covington and identify options for paying for their care. The ombudsman also ensures residents understand their rights and advocates on their behalf to ensure they receive the services they're entitled to.
Georgia Senior Legal Aid404-389-9992Georgia Senior Legal Aid works with Atlanta Legal Aid to provide a helpline for Georgians aged 60 and older who need free legal advice, putting a special focus on low-income seniors who live independently and lack traditional social supports. GSLA's volunteer attorneys can provide guidance and referrals regarding legal topics that include eviction and foreclosure, consumer fraud, difficulty claiming public benefits and the like. All services are over the phone.
Georgia Elderly Legal Assistance Program866-552-4464Through Georgia's Elderly Legal Assistance Program (ELAP), seniors aged 60 and older can access free legal support for noncriminal cases. The program's team of lawyers and paralegals can offer information, counseling and representation on issues of interest to seniors, including consumer protection, elder abuse and exploitation, health care benefits and long-term care. The program also hosts community education sessions. ELAP services are available in all counties across Georgia and can be accessed by contacting the local Area Agency on Aging.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Georgia help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Alzheimer's Association Georgia Chapter800-272-3900The state Alzheimer's Association works to seek a cure for dementia and other memory issues through global research, community outreach and government initiatives. Programs include a 24/7 helpline, support and education programs, early-stage social engagement programs and online tools.
Georgia Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)404-657-5332The Senior Community Service Employment Program assists people aged 55 and older who are unemployed and attempting to re-enter the workforce. The program is run by the U.S. Department of Labor specifically to assist low-income individuals with poor prospects for employment. Participating seniors receive part-time community service assignments and receive pay for those hours.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Georgia resources help older adults by providing advice on Medicaid options, waiver programs and eligibility criteria to help seniors receive the right health care benefits.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Medicaid Home and Community Based Services877-423-4746Georgia Medicaid may be able to assist seniors aged 65 and over with some or all of the costs of living in their memory care communities. Pre-admission screening and a review of the resident's assets and income are required before the senior can be accepted into the program. The screening's purpose is to determine if the senior is best served by being admitted to a memory care community.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Georgia help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Georgia resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Property Tax Homestead ExemptionsThis program allows seniors aged 65 and older to claim a $4,000 exemption from county property taxes, provided they meet the requirements of the program.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Georgia retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)877-423-4746Seniors in Georgia who struggle to pay their utility bills can apply for the Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Through LIHEAP, seniors who meet income requirements can apply for energy bill payment assistance, help with repairs of their energy systems and weatherization assistance to make their homes more energy-friendly.
Georgia Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIWAP)877-423-4746The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) ensures that all Georgia residents have access to clean, safe water by providing funds to pay for household water for eligible, low-income households.

Veteran's Services

Georgia retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia VA Benefits and Health CareThrough the Georgia VA Benefits and Health Care program, qualified veterans, including many seniors, can receive health care and financial benefits. The VA has medical centers in August, Decatur and Dublin, and it also operates outpatient clinics in many other cities. The Veterans Benefits Administration has a regional benefits office in Decatur as well as intake sites in other cities, giving seniors multiple locations to access their benefits.

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.

TopicRule
Assisted Living Service Plan RequirementsWithin 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 RequirementsTo 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 CareGeorgia 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 PolicyAssisted 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 RequirementsAll 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 RegulationsTrained 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 RequirementsThe 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 RequirementsAny 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
  • <\/ul>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 LivingAll assisted living facility owners, directors, administrators, managers and direct caregivers must pass a criminal background check.
Requirements for Reporting AbuseStaff 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.

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Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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