Columbia is set in the middle of Missouri, roughly equidistant from Kansas City and St. Louis. Livability.com rated Columbia #6 in its Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2019. Approximately 10.6% of the city’s 123,000 residents are aged 65 and over. Many are drawn in by the city’s blend of old-world charm and modernity. Boutique stores and artisan farmers’ markets abound, as do thrift shops and shopping malls. It’s also a city of parks with acres of unspoiled landscapes, such as Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary.

Assisted living facilities offer alternative residences for seniors who struggle with common tasks, such as housekeeping, dressing, and maintaining hygiene. Although each facility is unique, most provide residents with freshly-prepared meals, personal care and 24/7 security. In most other aspects, seniors continue to live independent lives. According to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, monthly fees for assisted living in Columbia average $2,900, which is more affordable than the state average of $3,000 and the national average of $4,300.

This guide covers senior living costs in more detail, in addition to the pros and cons of living in Columbia. It also lists resources for seniors considering assisted living.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Columbia, MO

Cedarhurst of Columbia

2333 Chapel Hill Road, Columbia, MO, 65203

We toured Cedarhurst of Columbia. I think it is a very nice facility, but it just wasn’t the right place for dad. They had a lot of activities. They had a caring staff, but the place wasn’t in Fulton. … (read more)
We toured Cedarhurst of Columbia. I think it is a very nice facility, but it just wasn’t the right place for dad. They had a lot of activities. They had a caring staff, but the place wasn’t in Fulton. … (read more)

Hillcrest Assisted Living

9415 N Brown Station Rd, Columbia, MO, 65202

Hillcrest Assisted Living is located conveniently off of N Route B in Columbia, Missouri, only six miles from the beautiful Fingerlakes State Park and nine miles from downtown. Loved ones praise the f … (read more)
Hillcrest Assisted Living is located conveniently off of N Route B in Columbia, Missouri, only six miles from the beautiful Fingerlakes State Park and nine miles from downtown. Loved ones praise the f … (read more)

The Westbury

550 Stone Valley Parkway, Columbia, MO, 65201


Lenoir Woods

3710 South Lenoir Street, Columbia, MO, 65201

Lenoir Woods is located in Colombia, Missouri near Highway 63 and Nifong Park. Relatives appreciate the activities which keep residents connected and active, including concerts, bingo, crafts and movi … (read more)
Lenoir Woods is located in Colombia, Missouri near Highway 63 and Nifong Park. Relatives appreciate the activities which keep residents connected and active, including concerts, bingo, crafts and movi … (read more)

Bluff Creek Terrace

3104 Bluff Creek Drive, Columbia, MO, 65201

High-quality assisted living is easy to secure at Bluff Creek Terrace, which features a facility administrator dedicated to helping you navigate through the necessary paperwork. It’s referred to by vi … (read more)
High-quality assisted living is easy to secure at Bluff Creek Terrace, which features a facility administrator dedicated to helping you navigate through the necessary paperwork. It’s referred to by vi … (read more)

Colony Pointe

1510 Chapel Hill Road, Columbia, MO, 65203

Colony Pointe is an assisted living facility in Columbia, Missouri, surrounded by residential communities and small local markets. It offers the scenic view of woods that lie just beyond an open field … (read more)
Colony Pointe is an assisted living facility in Columbia, Missouri, surrounded by residential communities and small local markets. It offers the scenic view of woods that lie just beyond an open field … (read more)

Candlelight Lodge Retirement Center

1406 Business Loop 70 West, Columbia, MO, 65202

Candlelight Lodge Retirement Center is an assisted living and memory care facility in Columbia, Missouri, close to La Nickell Golf Course and Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Park. It’s close to sever … (read more)
Candlelight Lodge Retirement Center is an assisted living and memory care facility in Columbia, Missouri, close to La Nickell Golf Course and Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Park. It’s close to sever … (read more)

The Cottages at Mill Creek Village

1990W Southampton Drive, Columbia, MO, 65203

The Cottages at Mill Creek Village is a senior living facility located in Columbia, Missouri, that residents and their families describe as an exceptional living environment with a homey atmosphere. T … (read more)
The Cottages at Mill Creek Village is a senior living facility located in Columbia, Missouri, that residents and their families describe as an exceptional living environment with a homey atmosphere. T … (read more)

The Bluffs

3105 Bluff Creek Drive, Columbia, MO, 65201

Located in beautiful Columbia, Missouri, The Bluffs is an assisted living facility that is separated into five subdivisions that each cater to specific needs, from minimal support to rehabilitation an … (read more)
Located in beautiful Columbia, Missouri, The Bluffs is an assisted living facility that is separated into five subdivisions that each cater to specific needs, from minimal support to rehabilitation an … (read more)

What to Consider About Assisted Living in Columbia

The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services is responsible for regulating assisted living facilities throughout the state. Its work includes conducting unannounced inspections to ensure licensed facilities are complying with standards. Additionally, it reviews reports submitted by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman regarding complaints made by residents and others, which can influence decisions to issue and revoke licenses.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Assisted Living in Columbia

  • According to Neighborhood Scout, Columbia is below the national average for violent crime and above for property crime. Generally speaking, those south of I-70 experience less crime than those in the north, although neighborhoods in the northwest and northeast have good reputations, too. It’s also worth noting that seniors are less likely to be involved in crime than all other age groups.
  • Columbia’s climate can vary throughout the year. Winter months can see temperatures fall to 21 degrees Fahrenheit with up to six inches of snow, while summer months can regularly see temperatures of 88 degrees. Due to precipitation levels, the summer months can also be muggy. However, spring starts early in Columbia, its trees blooming with vibrantly colored flowers that decorate the city for many months to come.
  • Seniors in Columbia have access to excellent health care services. Doctor.com records 292 Medicare registered physicians in Columbia, which includes family doctors, internists and orthopedic surgeons. There are also seven hospitals, including the University of Missouri Healthcare-Columbia and Boone Hospital Center, ranked #12 and #4 in the state by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Sperling’s Best Places bases its cost of living indices on a national average of 100, with states above that figure being more expensive. Columbia’s cost of living is rated 87.9, indicating that the incomes of its residents can go further. Only health care, which comes in at 100.6, is generally more expensive. All other costs in the city, including transportation, are typically below-average.
  • Columbia’s climate adversely affects the city’s air quality. However, with a score of 55, it’s only just below the national average of 58. Water quality is above average, scoring 60 against the U.S. average of 55. Columbia’s greatest contribution to improving the local environment is its commitment to clearing up contaminated land as part of the EPA’s Superfund project. The city scores an almost perfect 98, far above the national average of 87.

Paying for Assisted Living in Columbia

Upon publishing its 2020 Cost of Care Survey, Genworth revealed Columbia to be one of the most affordable cities in the state for assisted living. The survey also showed the sometimes surprising differences in costs between different types of senior care.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Nearby Cities

At $2,900 per month, Columbia’s assisted living costs are lower than every other city in Missouri except Joplin, where costs average at $2,500 — $500 below the state average. Despite being only 35 minutes from Columbia, seniors in Jefferson City typically pay $250 more per month. Costs in St. Joseph are even higher, at $3,488, while Kansas City has the most expensive assisted living costs in the state, at $4,460. 

$2900

Columbia

$3000

Missouri

$4300

The United States

$3150

Jefferson City

$4460

Kansas City

$3488

St. Joseph

$2500

Joplin

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care

The 2020 Genworth survey didn’t include figures for adult day care in Columbia, but the state average is $1,788 per month. Assisted living is the next most affordable type of care at $2,900, despite including accommodation. Its costs are $1,676 below those of home and home health care, which both average at $4,576. Nursing homes are the least affordable type of care, with the typical semiprivate room costing $4,940 per month and private rooms coming in at an average of $5,870.

$4576

Home Care

$4576

Home health care

$2900

Assisted living

$4940

Nursing home (semiprivate room)

$5870

Nursing home (private room)

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Columbia

Eligible seniors seeking financial aid for assisted living costs have access to Missouri’s Medicaid plan. Seniors can also take advantage of non-Medicaid programs for financial aid. Missouri’s Pharmacy Assistance program, MORx and the Older Americans Act offer assistance to seniors. 

Learn more about these programs, plus who’s eligible, on our Assisted Living in Missouri page.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Columbia

More Ways to Pay for 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. Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Reverse Mortgage

For more information about different ways to finance assisted living, visit our Assisted Living in Missouri page.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Columbia

Seniors in Columbia have access to many resources, including support if something is wrong in an assisted living community. These examples also show some of what’s available to help make assisted living an affordable choice for seniors and their families.

ResourceContactService
VA Aid and Attendance Benefits(816) 246-1411U.S. military veterans currently residing in senior living facilities are entitled to apply for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit to help them cover a portion of their care costs. The spouses of vets can also apply for the monthly payment, which can be up to $1,881 for an individual veteran, $1,209 for a surviving spouse or $2,230 for a couple. There’s no requirement to repay the benefit. Vets who are unsure if they qualify can check by using the free tool on the VeteranAid.org website.
Medicaid – Supplemental Nursing Care Program(855) 373-4636The Supplemental Nursing Care Program can help low-income seniors in assisted living communities meet some of their costs. As it’s a Medicaid program, it can’t cover room and board costs. However, if the senior can satisfy the income, citizenship and health restrictions, the program can provide some financial assistance. As of 2021, the program makes monthly payments of $50 to the senior for their personal needs and $292 to the assisted living facility to cover personal care services.
CLAIM – Medicare Counseling(800) 390-3330CLAIM is a nonprofit organization that has taken on the role of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Missouri. It serves Medicare beneficiaries and seniors who need help with enrolling in a plan. The organization’s services are free and unbiased, including times when the counselors may suggest private health care insurance. Counselors do not sell health insurance, their role is to help seniors make informed decisions that ensure they have the right coverage for their needs.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman(573) 443-5823Seniors residing in residential care communities, their families and third parties can register complaints about facilities to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman will investigate the complaints and seek resolutions with the owners and managers of the facilities. Also, families can request access to the data held about assisted living communities in Columbia. The ombudsman does not charge for this service.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Columbia

Columbia-area assisted living communities must adhere to the comprehensive set of state laws and regulations that all assisted living communities in Missouri are required to follow. Visit our Assisted Living in Missouri page for more information about these laws.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Columbia