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Assisted Living in New Jersey

A visit to New Jersey highlights why many of the Garden State’s almost 9.3 million residents are seniors. You’ll see sprawling farmland, beautiful and charming towns and over 130 miles of pristine coastline peppered with boardwalks. New Jersey also boasts many fine hospitals. Morristown Medical Center ranks in the national top 50 for cardiology and heart surgery and Hackensack University Medical Center is in the top 50 for neurology and neurosurgery.

New Jersey is among the highest-placed states in the 2024 Senior Living Report. Some variables reduce its score, such as fewer mental health professionals than average and limited opportunities to participate in civic life. However, these are offset by many others, including the diversity of destinations to visit and an above-average number of primary care physicians. Assisted living costs average $6,495 per month, which is high compared to the national median but in line with the above-average cost of living throughout the Northeast.

This guide considers assisted living fees across New Jersey and neighboring states, as well as the costs of other types of care. It also lists some senior-friendly resources and legal information concerning assisted living facilities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in New Jersey

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 New Jersey and its 55 cities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in New Jersey's Top Cities

Assisted living costs in New Jersey are well above the national average in most areas of the state, but actual costs vary dramatically by location. Ocean City, one of the most expensive areas in the state averages $8,822 per month, while Trenton is closer to the state median at $6,640. Somerset is on the higher end at $6,873, while Cherry Hill is one of the more inexpensive options at $4,350. 

New Jersey




Cherry Hill


Ocean City




Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Assisted Living in New Jersey

While inflation has increased the prices of long-term care in many states, assisted living care in New Jersey saw a moderate deflation in cost. From 2022 to 2023, costs dropped by 11.6%. The industry nationwide saw a price increase of approximately 9.6%. 

While most neighboring states followed the national trend, Delaware also saw a deflation of nearly 13%. Connecticut assisted living costs increased by nearly 16%, while Pennsylvania prices rose by more than 19%. New York saw a slightly more modest increase of nearly 15%.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
New Jersey$5,857$5,175$5,992
U.S. Average$4,070$4,459$4,802
New York$4,091$4,699$5,431

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

In New Jersey, the type of long-term care determines the price. The average cost of assisted living is $5,175 per month, which is more affordable than memory care which averages $6,289. Independent living costs less at $3,358 but also reflects a lower level of assistance. Available amenities and services offered affect the monthly rate. Finding the right level of care is just as important as shopping within a workable budget. 

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s Medicaid program is called NJ FamilyCare and it can pay for assisted living. It can cover some or all expenses for eligible seniors, giving them access to high-quality care they would otherwise be unable to afford. The  Managed Long-Term Care Services and Supports (MLTSS) program can help low-income seniors receive care in licensed facilities certified by the Department of Human Services.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in New Jersey?

The help NJ FamilyCare provides low-income seniors and younger residents with disabilities depends on the type of care most suitable for their current needs. These can include one or several of the following:


  • Room and board in an assisted living facility
  • Primary care (including doctors and dentists)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Transportation for medical purposes
  • Nutritional services
  • Hospital care
  • Nursing home care
  • Adult day health care
  • Home care, including personal care services

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in New Jersey

Managed Long-Term Care Services and Supports (MLTSS)

Managed Long-Term Care Services and Supports is a program operated by various Managed Care Organizations, a term that applies to health insurance companies authorized by NJ FamilyCare to administer Medicaid programs in the state. MLTSS can coordinate a range of services for adults at various stages of their health care journey. It can arrange nursing home support for limited and unrestricted periods and arrange transfers to assisted living facilities when the senior is deemed suitable for that type of care. Managed Care Organizations conduct clinical assessments to determine the senior’s eligibility, although the decision over who does and doesn’t get Medicaid is made by the Division of Aging Services. MLTSS covers:


  • Care management
  • Assisted living
  • Nursing home care
  • Community residential services
  • Mental health and addiction recovery
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Personal emergency response systems
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Respite care


To qualify for MLTSS, the applicant must:


  • Be aged 65 or older, or, if disabled, between 21 and 64
  • Satisfy the program’s financial requirements
  • Need assistance with 3 or more daily living tasks


To apply, seniors should contact their County Area Agency on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Connection.

How To Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in New Jersey

Seniors who receive Supplemental Security Income from the federal Social Security Administration are automatically eligible for Medicaid in New Jersey. Those whose incomes and financial resources exclude them from receiving Supplemental Security Income may still be eligible for Medicaid but will need to visit their local County Board of Social Services to pursue their request.

Generally, an applicant must:


  • Be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant
  • Be 65 years of age or older
  • Have a monthly income and financial resources on or below the program’s limits


As of 2022, the monthly income limit for New jersey is $2,523 for a single applicant. A monthly personal needs allowance of $50, plus Medicare premiums aren’t included in the monthly income limit. In cases where one person from a two-person household applies for Medicaid, the non-applicant spouse may also be assigned an income allowance that isn’t included in the monthly income limit.


2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in New Jersey

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset 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**

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

**Income limit is for applicant only.

How to Apply for Medicaid in New Jersey

The easiest way to apply for Medicaid in New Jersey is to register with the NJ FamilyCare website and then follow the application process. Alternatively, seniors can download an application form from the NJ FamilyCare page of the Department of Human Services website and mail the completed form to NJ FamilyCare, P.O. Box 8367, Trenton, NJ 08650-9802. However, this method can increase the processing time considerably as the department may take 1-2 weeks just to follow up on the application. Seniors who prefer to speak to someone face-to-face may find it easier to contact their nearest County Board of Social Services, where an advisor can help initiate the application process.

Information You Will Need


  • Social Security numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants who need insurance)
  • Employer and income information for everyone in the applicant’s household
  • Policy numbers for current health insurances, including Medicare
  • Information from job-related health insurances available to anyone in the applicant’s household

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Seniors who need some assistance applying for Medicaid can get help from online and in-person resources. Those listed here can provide expert advice and also guide the senior step-by-step through the application process.

ProgramContactServices provided
LSNJLAW(888) 576-5529LSNJLAW is a nonprofit operated by Legal Services of New Jersey that provides free legal assistance and advice to low-income seniors. Its website contains information about Medicaid and its online application form can connect seniors to legal advisors who can assist.
American Council on AgingOnline OnlyThe American Council on Aging is a nonprofit that provides a free online-only service for seniors who need assistance prior to applying for Medicaid. It provides comprehensive information about Medicaid in New Jersey, including content about waivers for seniors who don't require assisted living but need Medicaid-funded health care. The site also includes a Medicaid eligibility test so potential applicants can determine if they qualify. It also has a spend-down calculator that can indicate how much of a senior's assets must be spent down to become eligible for Medicaid.
NJHelps.orgOnline OnlyNJHelps is the State of New jersey's online assistance site to help seniors determine if they're eligible for one or more state assistance programs, including Medicaid. It then helps visitors begin the application process. The site also provides advice on other free aid services, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Cash Assistance, which could be useful to seniors waiting for a decision on their Medicaid applications.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in New Jersey?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in New Jersey

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 New Jersey

There are many resources in New Jersey 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
New Jersey Area Agencies on AgingThere are 21 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in New Jersey, one in each of the counties in the state. They offer helpful, relevant programs and services geared toward senior New Jerseyans, such as the Hearing Aid Assistance Program and the Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program. Agencies also connect seniors to services including transportation, case management, homemaker and respite services, community-based meal programs and educational courses for caregivers.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in New Jersey 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
New Jersey 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 New Jersey seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Jersey Meals on WheelsAs part of the national Meals on Wheels network, New Jersey Meals on Wheels helps seniors who experience food insecurity. While the organization doesn't directly distribute or collect food, it can help seniors find free congregate meal sites, food pantries and home delivery options in their local area. Volunteer drivers also provide a regular welfare check for seniors on their routes. By MOW policy, seniors aren't turned away due to inability to pay, though donations are accepted.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Jersey Assistive Technology Lending Center888-695-0845The Assistive Technology Lending Center is a free service that allows New Jersey residents with disabilities to borrow a wide range of assistive devices. Available items include transfer devices, wrist rests, call chimes and telephone amplifiers.
New Jersey Bikur Cholim Medical Equipment G'Mach973-472-1030The Bikur Cholim of Passaic-Clifton operates a medical equipment bank, making donated items available to anyone who needs them. Available items include scooters, canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs.
New Jersey Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center800-922-7233The Richard West ATAC uses federal funds to make assistive technology more accessible to the people who need it. The center partners with Goodwill Home Medical to make certain items available for free.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

New Jersey 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
New Jersey Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled Program (PAAD)800-792-9745The PAAD Program makes prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and younger adults with disabilities. Medicare-eligible individuals must enroll in Medicare Part D, but PAAD covers the monthly premium for a basic Part D plan, keeping out-of-pocket costs as low as possible. Once Medicare Part D benefits are applied, a PAAD participant pays a copay of $5 for an approved generic drug or $7 for an approved brand-name drug. If Medicare Part D doesn't cover a drug, the PAAD participant must switch to a covered drug or ask their doctor to request an exception due to medical necessity.
New Jersey Senior Gold Program800-792-9745The Senior Gold Program helps eligible residents of New Jersey pay for prescription medications, injectable medications for multiple sclerosis and insulin needles and syringes. Senior Gold discounts can be combined with Medicare Part D coverage, reducing a senior's out-of-pocket prescription costs. For each covered drug, a Senior Gold participant pays a $15 copay and 50% of the remaining cost once Medicare Part D benefits are applied.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Jersey Weatherization Assistance Program609-292-4080The New Jersey Weatherization Assistance Program offers grants to help older adults and younger adults with disabilities conserve energy, protect their homes against the elements and increase energy efficiency. Funds may be used to add weather stripping, install insulation, replace inefficient water heaters and make energy-related repairs.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to New Jersey 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
New Jersey Community Health Law Project (CHLP)973-275-1175The Community Health Law Project advocates for frail seniors and those on low incomes. It specializes in several areas of civil law. For example, it can help seniors who were denied Medicaid or Medicare and refused public benefits, such as SSI. It also handles consumer law and living wills.
New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman877-582-6995The NJ Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an independent advocate for seniors living in residential care facilities throughout the state. Its ombudsmen are directly appointed by the state governor. Their duties include visiting facilities to speak in confidence with residents, inform them of their rights and investigate any complaints they have with their care providers. The ombudsman can negotiate solutions but not impose its recommendations. However, if a complaint suggests criminal behavior, such as elder abuse, the ombudsman will refer it to the appropriate law enforcement entity.

Senior Centers

Senior centers in New Jersey bring together residents through recreational activities and events. Many also offer advice and support on senior issues, run wellness and nutrition programs, and connect older adults with other resources in the local area.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Jersey 211877-652-1148211 New Jersey is the state's branch of a national organization. Within New Jersey, 211 can help residents locate and access agencies and nonprofits in their area dedicated to helping seniors within the community and in residential care. Whereas an Area Agency on Aging can directly help seniors by coordinating assistance from multiple state-sponsored agencies, 211 can refer them to nonprofits funded by donations and supported by volunteers who may offer help not provided by the state. 211 also has a 24-hour helpline, so seniors aren't limited to when they contact the free service.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in New Jersey 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 Greater New Jersey Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer's Association is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing services and treatments for those living with memory loss. The New Jersey Chapter offers a range of online and in-person resources, including patient and caregiver support groups, educational sessions and advocacy services. Anyone can contact the AA for information about local resources.
Alzheimer's New Jersey888-280-6055ALZNJ was previously affiliated with the Alzheimer's Association and is now an independent nonprofit organization. It serves all of New Jersey from its headquarters in Roseland by providing information and connections to relevant services at the local level. ALZNJ hosts educational events and support groups across the state and provides care consultations to seniors and caregivers during the early stages. The organization can also connect residents with clinical trials, as well as legal and financial planning.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in New Jersey 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
New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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
New Jersey Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Deduction609-292-6400The Senior Citizens and Disabled Property Tax Deduction is open to those aged 65 and older or who are living with a disability and have been residents of New Jersey for at least one year. The program gives eligible residents a deduction on their property tax bill, with the amount currently set at $250.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Jersey Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)800-510-3102The LIHEAP helps low-income residents of New Jersey cover their heating and cooling bills. It also makes provisions for emergency fuel assistance and heating systems via the Home Energy Assistance Program. The program is open to residents of all ages who meet the income requirements.

Veteran's Services

New Jersey 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
New Jersey VA Benefits and Health CareNew Jersey VA Benefits and Health Care offers health care services to senior veterans through its medical centers and outpatient clinics. Additionally, the dedicated staff can provide valuable assistance with claims at benefits offices or guidance for other sources of support or specialized services. New Jersey also has two National Cemeteries to provide a resting place of honor for departed veterans. Furthermore, any veteran can reach a crisis worker at any time by dialing 988 and pressing 1.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Health monitor’s the state’s assisted living facilities to establish their adherence to the regulations governing their license agreements. It’s authorized to conduct unannounced inspections, demand underperforming facilities make changes by stipulated dates and revoke licenses from those that don’t abide by the regulations.

Assisted Living Service Plan RequirementsThe assisted living facility must conduct an initial health assessment on the senior's day of admission to determine the level of care the new resident requires. If the assessment suggests health care needs, an assessment conducted by a registered professional nurse must be completed within 14 days of the resident's initial admission. 
Assisted Living Admission RequirementsNew Jersey's Department of Health doesn't define requirements and restrictions for assisted living, other than the facility can't retain a resident who needs specialized long-term care, such as that provided in a nursing home. Each facility determines its own discharge requirements, which could mean families having to reconsider long-term care if their loved one develops a condition that makes continued residence untenable, such as cognitive decline.
Assisted Living Scope of CareAssisted living facilities must provide care 24 hours a day. This must satisfy each resident's needs and include personal care, medication services, social work support, recreational activities and dining facilities. It must also be capable of providing care given in nursing homes.
Assisted Living Medicaid PolicyEvery facility must distribute a statement of residents' rights to seniors and disclose their Medicaid admissions policies to current and potential residents.
Assisted Living Facility RequirementsFacilities must provide at least 150 square feet of usable floor space in a resident's private room and an additional 80 feet in a semiprivate room. No resident unit can house more than two people. Each unit must have a toilet, sink and bath or shower. It must also be fitted with smoke detection and fire suppression systems that also operate throughout the building.
Medication Management RegulationsRegistered nurses can inject allowable medications, such as epinephrine and insulin. They can also delegate the task to certified nurse aides and staff who have completed a medication aide course approved by the Department of Health and passed the certified exam.
Staffing RequirementsEvery facility must have an administrator, or substitute, always on-site if it has 60+ beds, or half the time if less than 60 beds. A registered nurse must be available 24/7 and a minimum of one personal care assistant and one staff member must be awake on-site continuously. New Jersey doesn't impose minimum staff ratios but staffing must be sufficient to care for residents' needs.
Staff Training RequirementsThe administrator must be certified as an assisted living administrator in New jersey and receive 30 hours of relevant training every 3 years. The facility determines all initial and ongoing training for staff. Personal care assistants must pass an approved nurse aide training course and receive at least 20 hours of additional learning every 2 years. Staff who administer medication must complete another 10 hours' training every 2 years.
Background Checks for Assisted LivingAll staff must be certified or licensed. Certified/licensed individuals will have passed a fingerprint criminal background check. Certified nurse aides and personal care assistants must be on a state agency registry to be allowed to perform their roles.
Requirements for Reporting AbuseAll staff are legally mandated to report suspected abuse to the Department of Health, and, in some cases, law enforcement. Facilities must also submit reports within specific time frames, such as within 24 hours in cases of abuse and exploitation and 2 hours where there has been a serious bodily injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

Assisted Living Facilities in New Jersey

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