Assisted Living in New Mexico

Get the insights you need to find the right city.

Families looking for assisted living in New Mexico (NM) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 98 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 17 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in New Mexico will pay $4,250 per month on average.

Average Monthly Costs

States near New Mexico

$4,644.00 New Mexico
$4,152.00 Arizona
$4,146.00 Texas
$4,000.00 US
Genworth lists the average cost of a private, one bedroom unit in an assisted living community in New Mexico as $4,644. This places New Mexico on the higher end of the scale at about $600 over the national average, and about $500 higher than the median cost of assisted living in nearby states.

Compare Monthly Care Costs

When it comes to care options, assisted living is just one of several choices available to seniors. Some care options, like part-time in-home care or independent living, may cost less, while others like memory care or skilled nursing are likely to cost significantly more. Seniors can speak with their medical practitioners to receive guidance on what level of care will best suit their needs and abilities.

Nursing Home Care


Assisted Living


In-Home Care

Average Monthly Costs

Cities in New Mexico

$5,572.00 Santa Fe
$5,572.00 Albuquerque
$4,282.00 Las Cruces
$3,970.00 Rest Of State
$3,933.00 Farmington
When estimating the cost of assisted living, it's important to know that average prices can differ significantly between various parts of New Mexico. The most affordable region in New Mexico for assisted living is Farmington at $3,933.

What You Should Know About Assisted Living in New Mexico

Assisted living communities in New Mexico were formally referred to as adult residential care facilities by the state. As of 2018, the correct technical term for these communities within the state was assisted living facilities (ALFs).

State laws cause a wide range of facilities to fall under this designation. Requirements to be an ALF include:

  • Two or more individuals receive services and live within the facility
  • Assistance is provided with at least one activity of daily living (such as helping someone bath, eat, take correct medications or travel to necessary appointments)
  • Programmatic services are also provided (such as recreation and exercise, games and nutritional education)

Under these rules, adult foster care that includes at least two individuals constitutes an ALF in New Mexico.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in New Mexico

Centennial Care: New Mexico Medicaid

Seniors in New Mexico who meet the income requirements may be able to get help paying for part or all of their assisted living needs via New Mexico's Medicaid program, which is called Centennial Care.

Centennial Care's ALF benefit for assisted living is known as the Agency-Based Community Benefit. To receive services under this benefit, individuals must live in an ALF that is approved by Medicaid.

Who Is Eligible?

Seniors who live in a Medicaid-approved ALF and meet income requirements for Medicaid can apply for this benefit. The income threshhold is $1,346 for one senior, which means individuals with an income less than that amount may qualify.

How to Apply

Applications can be completed via telephone or the web.

To complete an online application, individuals or their representative can create a YesNM account. Instructions are then provided for completing the app. They can also call 1-855-637-6574 to complete a phone application.

More Ways to Finance 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. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.

Free Assisted Living Resources in New Mexico

Aside from Medicaid, a number of other government and nonprofit agencies in New Mexico oversee assistance programs that may be of benefit to individuals seeking help paying for assisted living care.

Area Agencies on Aging in New Mexico

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging brings together hundreds of organizations from across the country who work with and on behalf of seniors for all manner of reasons. One thing some of these agencies do is assist individuals with finding the right senior care and ways to pay for it.

More than 10 such agencies provide services in Albuquerque alone, and those interested in finding out what organizations work within their area can use the search function at the N4A's website.

City of Albuquerque-Bernalillo County AAA

400 Marquette Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87103
(505) 768-2745 or TTY: (800) 659-8331

Indian Area Agency on Aging

625 Silver SW, Suite 414, Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 383-3904 or (866) 451-2901

NonMetro Area Agency on Aging

3900 Paseo del Sol, Santa Fe, NM 87507
(505) 395-2668

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in New Mexico

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

Staff are required to create plans for what treatment and assistance will be provided to each resident -- and New Mexico law requires that residents or their power of attorney sign an agreement noting these provisions. The agreements must include the scope of services that will be provided -- that's not the same for every ALF and not even the same for every resident within in each community, as individual needs vary.

The agreement must also detail:

  • The cost of services provided
  • Requirements for admission
  • And criteria related to discharge

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

New Mexico doesn't allow ALFs to admit individuals who are in need of 24-hour nursing care. That is a service provided more appropriately by nursing homes. The state considers a variety of situations as falling under this prohibition, including:

  • Individuals who depend on ventilators for life
  • Residents who require constant intravenous therapy
  • Individuals with Stage III or IV pressure sores who require continuous wound care

Assisted Living Scope of Care

ALFs in New Mexico provide a wide range of services and care, and individuals may find different options offered at various facilities. Some common services provided often include assistance with daily activities or medication, the availability of staff to help with medical concerns and recreational activities such as exercise, crafts and outings. ALFs also have to provide three nutritious meals each day and make evening snacks available.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

New Mexico's Centennial Care Medicaid program provides benefits for individuals who meet eligibility requirements and live in a Medicaid-approved assisted living facility.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

New Mexico doesn't require that every ALF provide its residents with apartment-like accommodations, though only one or two people may occupy a room or suite.

The state requires, at minimum, that ALFs provide at least one bath facility (a shower or bath, along with a toilet and sink) for every eight residents. Basic security, such as locking doors, are also a requirement, though the details differ based on what type of care is provided. Assisted living facilities that offer dementia or other specialty care have to meet more requirements.

Medication Management Regulations

Individuals living in ALFs can administer their own medications if they have approval from their doctor.

If a physician hasn't signed off on individual management of medications, someone in an ALF can still administer their own medication if they have appropriate assistance. New Mexico requires that assistance to come from a doctor, nurse, someone who has gone through state-approved training regarding medication assistance or the individual's relative.

New Mexico doesn't require ALFs to have a pharmacist on staff, but they must make arrangements with a pharmacist in at least a consulting capacity. At minimum, the pharmacist must review medications quarterly to ensure everything is current and accurate.

Staffing Requirements

Facilities must provide an appropriate staff-to-resident ratio, and staff in communities that offer dementia care must meet special training requirements. Minimum staff ratios for facilities across the state are:

  • One direct care staff member in a facility with fewer than 15 residents
  • One direct care staff member and one other staff member in a facility with 16-60 residents
  • Two direct care staff members and one other staff member in a facility with 61-120 residents
  • Three direct care staff members and one other staff member in a facility with more than 120 residents

In facilities where dementia care is provided, at least one of the properly trained staff members must be awake at all times.

Each community must also employ an administrator to oversee daily operations. A licensed nurse is required in any facility that allows medication assistance, and a nurse must be available to review evaluations of resident health.

Staff Training Requirements

Nurses and other clinical staff working in any New Mexico assisted living facility must hold a current license and meet all training and continuing education requirements for that purpose. Direct care staff must go through training within the facility. New Mexico mandates at least 16 hours of supervised training before staff can directly interact with patients on their own, and those workers must also complete 12 hours of continuing education training every year.

Background Checks for ALR Staff in New Mexico

The background check required for working in various assisted living facilities in the state may differ, but they must meet the state minimum requirements:

  • Criminal history screening at the state and national level

A check of the New Mexico Employee Abuse Registry

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

New Mexico law includes a Duty to Report provision. That means that any person who believes that an incapacitated adult is being abused or neglected has a legal obligation to report it to the proper authorities; failure to do so can result in being charged with a misdemeanor.

Health care staff, such as those working in an assisted living environment, are double obligated to report abuse. Health care workers are mandatory reporters, which means they are obligated to make abuse known to the proper authorities.

Assisted Living Facilities in New Mexico



Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in New Mexico’s Caring Stars award program recognizes the best assisted living facilities across the U.S. based on reviews from family caregivers and older adults. This award is meant to help older adults and their loved ones find the best assisted living or in-home care option in their area. The list below shows up to 10 listings that have won the most Caring Stars annual awards in their state, sorted by their current overall average rating. For a complete list of Caring Stars winners for each year, please visit our Caring Stars info center.


Harmony Residential Care, Inc

Rio Rancho, NM $$$

39 reviews


Fairwinds - Rio Rancho

Rio Rancho, NM Cost Levels

12 reviews


The Montebello on Academy

Albuquerque, NM Cost Levels

27 reviews


White Oak Vista Del Rio

Albuquerque, NM Cost Levels

23 reviews


Brookdale Valencia

Albuquerque, NM $

27 reviews


The Aldea House dba Heaven Sent LLC

Albuquerque, NM Cost Levels

4 reviews


Life Spire Assisted Living - Rio Rancho, NM

Rio Rancho, NM $$

23 reviews


The Woodmark at Uptown

Albuquerque, NM $$

35 reviews


Avamere at Roswell

Roswell, NM Cost Levels

6 reviews


Brookdale Santa Fe

Santa Fe, NM $$$$

19 reviews