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Assisted Living in Maine

Maine offers cutting-edge health care facilities, very low crime rates and a wide selection of senior living options, making it one of the best places to live and retire in the United States. Maine also boasts the highest senior population of any state, and more than 21% of its almost 1.37 million residents are aged 65 and older.

Overall, Maine ranks sixth on our 2024 Senior Living Report thanks to high scores in the Health Care and Community Involvement categories. It’s home to excellent hospitals, such as Maine Medical Center in Portland and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, both of which were ranked as high performing in several procedures by U.S. News & World Report. Maine also offers many programs and resources to help support seniors, and a number of its cities and towns are part of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. The average cost of assisted living in Maine is $5,865 per month, which is more than the national average, but the state offers a Medicaid waiver for people who need help paying for care.

This guide provides a comparison of the cost of assisted living in Maine with nearby states, prices in different Maine cities and rates for other types of care. It also includes information about Maine’s Medicaid waiver, free resources for seniors and a list of assisted living regulations that facilities in Maine must follow.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Maine

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, 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 Maine and its 7 cities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Maine's Top Cities

The cost of assisted living in Maine varies significantly from one city to the next. In Topsham, the average cost is an astonishing $9,230 a month, reflecting the many expensive senior care options available in the city. Costs in Portland and Auburn are less than half of that in Topsham, at $4,493 and $4,395, respectively. And Scarborough’s average cost of $5,545 comes closest to the Maine average of $5,609.











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

From 2022 to 2023, the average cost of assisted living in Maine rose from $5,513 to $5,609, an increase of 1.7%. Though this is far below the U.S. average increase of 9.6%, it still amounts to $96 monthly. However, in the same period, inflation hit nearby states even harder. In New Hampshire, costs increased by 19.8% or a jaw-dropping $1,026 monthly. Vermont saw an increase of 11.6%, while costs in Massachusetts rose by 7.6% and Rhode Island by 6.2%. These trends emphasize the importance of planning ahead and considering the effects of inflation.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,070$4,459$4,802
New Hampshire$5,191$6,217$6,827
Rhode Island$4,706$4,997$5,065

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

The cost of senior living in Maine is determined by the type of care that’s involved. Independent living requires the least amount of care and is therefore the most affordable option at $3,515 a month. Memory care is much more hands-on, with a higher staff-to-patient ratio, and this is reflected in the costs averaging around $8,469 per month. Assisted living requires less care than memory care and amounts to $5,609.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Maine?

Maine’s Medicaid program, MaineCare, covers assisted living costs directly for eligible seniors with limited incomes and assets. Seniors who meet medical and financial requirements may qualify for coverage through the Residential/Assisted Living program.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Maine?

MaineCare’s Residential/Assisted Living program covers a variety of services for eligible seniors based on their individual care plans. These services may include:


  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Health support
  • Medication assistance
  • Assistive technology
  • Attendant services
  • Case management and care coordination
  • Personal care
  • Personal emergency response system
  • Physical, speech and occupational therapies
  • Respite
  • Transportation to medical appointments


The program helps cover the cost of services for seniors who expect to stay longer than 30 days in a residential care facility. To qualify, applicants must need less care than what’s provided in a nursing home but still require assistance with services such as personal care, medication administration and homemaking. Limited funding is available, and program participation is capped, so seniors may be placed on a wait list to obtain coverage.

To enroll in the Residential/Assisted Living program, applicants must complete a three-step process:

    • Fill out the Long-Term Care application. On the application, check the “Residential Care Facility” box below “What do you want to apply for?” to request coverage for assisted living.
    • Undergo a functional assessment through Maine’s Assessing Services Agency program. This assessment includes questions about the applicant’s care needs, health and financial circumstances to determine their eligibility.
    • Complete a face-to-face assessment if the Assessing Services Agency decides it’s necessary.

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

Eligibility for MaineCare is determined by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). To qualify for long-term care assistance, residents must:

  • Be 65 years or older
  • Be blind or disabled
  • Meet income and asset requirements

As of 2023, single applicants can have an annual pretax income of up to $32,904 and assets valued at no more than $2,000.

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)****Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$10,000
Two People1$32,904**$10,000$148,620
Two People 2$65,808***$15,000

*Depending on the facility setting, a recipient may not be able to keep income up to this level.

**Income limit is for applicant only.

***Income is limited to $2,742 per month per spouse. 

****The asset limit is technically $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. However, Maine allows an extra exemption of $8,000 in savings for an individual and $12,000 for a couple.

In addition to meeting income requirements, applicants may need to undergo a medical needs assessment to confirm their eligibility to receive services.

How To Apply For Medicaid in Maine

Seniors can apply for MaineCare via the My Maine Connection web portal or submit a paper application at their local DHHS office. For questions about the application, contact the DHHS Office of Family Independence at (855) 797-4357 or complete the request assistance support form.

Information You Will Need

Individuals should have the following information available when applying for MaineCare:


  • Names and birth dates of all applicants
  • Proof of Maine residency
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of income, such as tax returns or pay stubs 
  • Documentation of assets, including assets that were sold, liquidated, transferred or cashed in during the 60 months prior to submitting an application
  • Copies of health insurance cards, including Medicare

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Maine residents have several options if they want to learn more about MaineCare benefits and get help with the application process. Seniors can contact the following resources for assistance.

ProgramContactServices provided
Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program(800) 499-0229Long-term care ombudsmen serve as advocates for people who are dealing with MaineCare application denials and those who have had necessary medical services denied by MaineCare. They work with MaineCare on an individual's behalf to get needed services approved. Ombudsmen can also file an appeal for a hearing in the event of unexpected benefit reductions and terminations.
Consumers for Affordable Health Care(800) 965-7476This organization operates a consumer assistance helpline that provides unbiased advice about MaineCare and other health insurance programs. Staff members can help seniors get enrolled, figure out their coverage, file appeals and find programs that subsidize health and prescription drug costs.
Maine Equal Justice(866) 626-7059Maine Equal Justice features a list of frequently asked questions about MaineCare on its website. Residents can find answers about eligibility requirements, income verification, MaineCare for immigrants and more.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Maine?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Maine. 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 Maine.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Maine

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 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 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 Maine

There are many resources in Maine that assist seniors in their retirement. 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
Maine Area Agencies on AgingMaine's five Area Agencies on Aging provide information, assistance, referrals and advocacy to the state's elder population. These agencies connect older adults to valuable local resources, such as medical transportation, in-home care services and educational programs. Staff also offers health insurance counseling services to help seniors navigate the ins and outs of Medicare or commercial health care plans. All offices are open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Interpreters are available for non-English-speaking callers.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Maine 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
Maine 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.

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 Maine seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maine Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)207-287-7513The Commodity Supplemental Food Program in Maine provides low-income adults age 60877-353-3771 with a monthly food package to enrich their diets. These packages, also called Senior Brown Bags, Commodity Boxes or Senior Boxes, include an array of nutritious foods. Recipients must meet income eligibility guidelines. The CSFP is delivered by Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in partnership with organizations across the state. For more information, seniors should contact the appropriate agency in their county.
Maine Good Shepherd Food Banks207-782-3554Nonprofits across Maine operate food pantries to provide fresh and nonperishable foods to seniors and other community members in need. Food pantries often play a significant role in directly distributing food to low-income residents. Some also provide personal and household items and pet foods and may have special programs to supply holiday-specific food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Food pantries operate on varying days and hours, and eligibility requirements may differ.
Maine Meals on WheelsMaine Meals on Wheels provides seniors with food assistance conveniently delivered to their doorsteps. Homebound adults aged 60 and above with mobility issues can access affordable, nutritious and ready-to-eat meals on a sliding fee scale. Residents receive healthy meals and companionship, with Meals on Wheels volunteers playing a crucial role in ensuring seniors' well-being by checking on their health and safety daily. In addition, seniors who have transportation can visit community sites for group meals and socializing.
Maine Nutrition Services Program877-353-3771Maine Nutrition Services Program acts for seniors challenged by the cost or efforts of accessing a balanced diet, those wanting to socialize and housebound seniors. Staff and volunteers serve meals at a variety of community dining locations. These communal meals are an opportunity to share in healthy dining, meet new friends and access professional assistance from nutritionists, disease management counselors and other health professionals. Home delivery meals are also provided.
Maine Senior FarmShare Program207-446-5550The Maine Senior FarmShare Program helps low-income seniors in the state access fresh fruits and vegetables that are an important part of a healthy diet. Recipients receive $50 worth of produce from a participating farm and can choose from over 100 authorized farms in the state. The program is open to Maine residents who are age 60+ (55+ for Native Americans). Participants must also meet annual income eligibility guidelines. MSFP operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-442-6003The Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, is open to eligible seniors and low-income families statewide. This monthly benefit helps seniors obtain the foods they need for good nutrition, but applicants must be residents of Maine and meet specific income and resource guidelines to qualify. Electronic benefits transfer cards are then loaded with benefits, which can be used at most supermarkets and grocery stores statewide for qualifying food and beverage purchases.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Maine collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maine CITE Program207-621-3195The Maine Department of Education's Maine CITE Program makes assistive technology available to Maine seniors. Free loaner services offer short-term use of medical devices. Seniors can try out equipment before buying it to see if it works for them.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Maine seniors who meet certain income criteria can apply to local resources to help them pay for prescription drugs. Eligible residents can also receive assistance through health insurance and other programs to access free or discounted medical services.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maryland Drugs for the Elderly and Disabled program866-796-2463Seniors may qualify for discounted prescriptions through the Drugs for the Elderly and Disabled program. DEL provides up to 80% off the cost of some prescription medications. Recipients may have a $2 copayment. Call the Pharmacy Help Desk at (866) 796-2463 for assistance.

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 Maine have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
MaineHousing's Home Accessibility and Repair Program800-452-4668MaineHousing's Home Accessibility and Repair Program issues grants to low-income homeowners who can't afford necessary home repairs and improvements. Grants may cover modifications to help disabled persons or those experiencing physical barriers to living at home to remain in their residences.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Maine 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
Maine Legal Services for the Elderly800-750-5353Maine Legal Services for the Elderly provides those aged 60 and over with free high-quality legal services.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Maine 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
Maine 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 Maine 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
Maine State Property Tax Deferral Program207-624-5600The State Property Tax Deferral Program allows older homeowners to defer paying property taxes until they move, sell, or pass away. Seniors must submit a Property Tax Deferral Application with their local municipal assessor between January 1 and April 1.

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. Maine retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maine Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)877-544-3271HEAP helps low-income seniors pay for heating costs. HEAP applicants may also apply for the Low-Income Assistance Program, which pays for electricity costs by providing a credit on the recipient's electric bill.

Veteran's Services

Maine 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
Maine VA Benefits and Health CareMaine's VA Benefits and Health Care services are designed to help seniors aged 65 and older access critical services for their well-being. Elderly veterans have various options across the state to receive care and support for their benefits, such as the VA Medical Center in Augusta and the Togus Regional Office. Seniors can access programs like the Disability Housing Grant for Veterans to make home modifications for service-connected disabilities.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Maine

Assisted living facilities throughout Maine are regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Facilities are required to comply with all state laws, rules and regulations for quality of care, medical services, room occupancy, staff training, background checks and reporting of abuse.

Assisted Living Service Plan RequirementsAssisted living facilities must provide a comprehensive assessment of each resident's care needs, health status, dietary restrictions and mental condition. This assessment must be performed within 30 days of admission and at least every six months or earlier if the resident's status changes significantly.
Assisted Living Admissions RequirementsAssisted living facilities in Maine must ensure that they can meet all of an applicant's care needs prior to admission. Applicants may not be admitted if they're at high risk for health and safety conditions that can't be adequately managed or are deemed dangerous to themselves or others. 
Assisted Living Scope of CareFacilities must provide personal care, assistance with residents' activities of daily living, housekeeping, chore services, care coordination, transportation to medical appointments and other services as identified in an individual's care plan.
Assisted Living Medicaid PolicyAssisted living is one of the long-term care services covered through Maine's Medicaid program, MaineCare, for individuals who qualify. Coverage under MaineCare is only available at licensed, approved facilities.
Assisted Living Facility RequirementsFor facilities licensed on or after May 29, 1998, double-occupancy rooms must have a minimum of 120 square feet per resident and private rooms a minimum of 80 square feet per resident. The maximum allowed occupancy is two residents per room. Facilities must have at least one toilet for every four residents and one bathtub or shower per every eight residents.
Medication Management RequirementsAssisted living staff who manage resident medications are required to complete a medication administration course approved by the Board of Nursing. Approved staff can hand residents medication, read labels, check dosages and observe residents taking medications. Facility administrators must arrange for a pharmacist to conduct an on-site review of resident prescriptions, records and physician orders every 6 months.
Staffing RequirementsEach facility must have an on-site administrator who's at least 21 years of age. Maine doesn't have patient-staff ratio requirements except for Level IV facilities, which require at least one staff member to be present at all times for facilities with 10 beds or fewer. Facilities with more than 10 beds must have a minimum of two staff members present at all times.
Staff Training RequirementsAdministers must hold a professional license related to residential care or have 5 years of experience or education in the health care field. Level IV staff members must complete a 50-hour personal support specialist course and a 40-hour medication course to administer medications. Training and education requirements aren't specified for staff members in facilities below Level IV.
Background Checks for Assisted LivingStaff members must submit to a background check through the Maine Background Check Center (MBCC), which is operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Facilities may not employ anyone found to have a committed disqualifying offense, which include elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Requirements for Reporting AbuseMaine's assisted living staff are considered mandated reporters and are required to report abuse, either observed or suspected, to the DHHS. Staff can report abuse by calling (800) 624-8404 or completing the DHHS Online Report Form.

Frequently Asked Questions

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