Assisted Living in Pennsylvania
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Families looking for assisted living in Pennsylvania (PA) 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 931 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 17.8 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Pennsylvania will pay $3,750 per month on average.
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What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Pennsylvania
Assisted living communities are as diverse as the state, ranging from small residences to large complexes that offer several service levels including independent living and memory care.
Pennsylvania law distinguishes between assisted living residences (ALR) and personal care homes (PCHs). PCHs are usually smaller and don't have the same legal requirements of an ALR.
Residents in PCHs may share a bathroom, and their rooms don't need to be equipped with a sink or refrigerator. Staffing rules are less stringent, and many services typical of an ALR are not available in a PCH, including physical and occupational therapy or hospice. Public spaces may be smaller and there is no need for a room emergency notification system. It's important to note, however, that some PCHs exceed their legal requirements and may, in fact, have just as many amenities as an ALR.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Pennsylvania
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 Pennsylvania
Both the elderly and their families can benefit from the free resources provided by many nonprofit and governmental organizations found across Pennsylvania. These organizations can provide an excellent starting point in understanding your rights and options.
Pennsylvania Area Agencies on Aging
There are 64 local Agencies on Aging aimed at increasing seniors' independence and dignity. This non-profit organization focuses on individuals, aged 60 and older, and provides services that include counseling, tax assistance, and legal advice.
Although they don't provide financial assistance with ALRs, they have expert knowledge on Medicaid billing, low-income subsidies and senior care. They also act as an ombudsman during any disputes between the ALR and the resident or their families. The agencies are divided by counties; find the chapter nearest to you listed below.
318 W. Middle St., Gettysburg, PA 17325
2100 Wharton St, 2nd Floor, Pittsburg, PA 15203
326 S. Water St, Ste 1, Kitanning, PA 16201
1020 8th Ave, Beaver Falls, PA 15010
240 Wood St, Bedford, PA 15522
633 Court St, 8th Floor, Reading, PA 19601
1320 12th Ave, Altoona, PA 16601
220 Main St, Unit 2, Towanda, PA 18848
30 E. Oakland Ave, Doylestown, PA 18901
111 Sunnyview Circle, Ste 101, Butler, PA 16001
110 Franklin St, Ste 400, Johnstown, PA 15901
118 Center St, Ridgeway, PA 15853
401 Delaware Ave., 3rd Fl., Palmerton, PA 18071
420 Holmes St, Rm 245, Bellefonte, PA 16823
601 Westtown Rd. Ste. 320, West Chester, PA 19380
12 Grant St., Clarion, PA 16214
103 N. Front St., Clearfield, PA 16830
2138 Lincokn St, Williamsport, PA 17701
702 Sawmill Rd. Ste. 201, Bloomsburg, PA 17815
1034 Park Ave., Meadville, PA 16335
1100 Claremont Road, Carlisle, PA 17015
Two South 2nd St., Harrisburg, PA 17101
206 Eddystone Ave, Eddystone, PA 19022
118 Center St, Ridgway, PA 15853
18 W. 9th Street, Erie, PA 16501
137 North Beeson Avenue, Suite 107, Uniontown, PA 15401
905 4th Ave., Warren, PA 16365
600 Norland Ave., Suite 11, Chambersburg, PA 17201
182 Buchanan Trail, McConnellsburg, PA 17233
93 East Hight Street, B-Level, Waynesburg, PA 15370
307 10th Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652
1055 Oak Street, Indiana, PA 15701
186 Main Street, Brookville, PA 15825
249 West 3rd Street, Lewistown, PA 17044
200 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18503
150 N. Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
2706 Mercer Road, New Castle, PA 16105
710 Maple Street, 2nd Floor, Lebanon, PA 17046
17 S. 7th Street, Room 230, Allentown, PA 18101
111 N. Pennsylvania Blvd., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
2138 Lincoln Street, PO Box 3156, Williamsport, PA 17701
118 Center Street, PO Box A, Ridgway, PA 15853
133 N. Pitt Street, Mercer, PA 16137
724 Phillips Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360
1430 DeKalb Street, Norristown, PA 19404
702 Sawmill Rd., Bloomsburg, PA 17815
2801 Emrick Blvd, Bethlehem, PA 18020
322 N. Second Street, Sunbury, PA 17801
315 Keystone Way, New Bloomfield, PA 17068
642 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
150 Pike County Blvd., Lords Valley, PA 18428
62 North Street, Roulette, PA 16746
110 E. Laurel Blvd., Pottsville, PA 17901
116 N. 2nd Street, Lewisburg, PA 17837
1338 S. Edgewood Ave., Somerset, PA 15501
245 Muncy Street, Suite 205, Laporte, PA 18626
157 Spruce Street, Suite 1, Montrose, PA 18801
48 Plaza Lane, Wellsboro, PA 16901
One Dale Ave., Franklin, PA 16323
905 4th Ave., Warren, PA 16365
150 West Beau Street, 216 Plaza Building, Washington, PA 15301
323 Tenth Street, Honesdale, PA 18431
200 S. Main Street, Greensburg, PA 15601
100 W. Market Street, Suite 102, York, PA 17401
There are six veterans' homes located throughout the state with varying degrees of assistance levels. You may view descriptions of each home along with photos and reviews on the DMVA website. The Veterans Association website also provides advice and assistance to eligible veterans and their spouses on benefit opportunities, along with a list of forms and publications available for download.
Below is a list of specific VA Centers throughout the state and their addresses.
2 Canal's End Road, Suite 201B, Bristol, PA 19007
(215) 823-4590; (215) 823-4590
100 Meadow Lane, Suite 8, DuBois, PA 15801
240 W. 11th St., Erie Metro Center, Suite 105, Erie, PA 16501
1500 N. Second Street Suite 2, Harrisburg, PA 17102
1817 Olde Homestead Lane, Suite 207, Lancaster, PA 17601
320 E. Johnson Hwy, Suite 201, Norristown, PA 19401
101 E. Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19120
801 Arch Street Suite 502, Philadelphia, PA 19107
2500 Baldwick Rd, Suite 15, Pittsburgh, PA 15205
1002 Pittston Ave., Scranton, PA 18505
White Oak Mall, 2001 Lincoln Way, Suite 21, White Oak, PA 15131
49 E. Fourth Street Suite 104, Williamsport, PA 17701
State social security offices provide assistance and explain government benefits to seniors and their families. The Pennsylvania Social Security Administration can help you understand Medicare benefits, SSI and disability benefits. A listing of offices in cities throughout the state is listed below.
41 N 4th St, Allentown, PA 18102
303 Cayuga Ave, Altoon, PA 16602
120 Merchant Street, Ambridge, PA 15003
800 Plaza Dr Suite 320, Belle Vernon, PA 15012
555 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018
700 Market St, Bloomsburg, PA 17815
102 Woody Dr, Butler, PA 16001
200 S Spring Garden St, Carlisle, PA 17013
50 N Third Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201
807 Crosby Street, Chester, PA 19013
80 Regina Dr, Cranberry, PA 16319
302 Liberty Blvd, Dubois, PA 15801
9090 Franklin Hill Rd Ste 101, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
134 S Fourth St, Easton, PA 18042
717 State St Highmark Bldg Ste 500, Erie, PA 16501
444 Lincoln Hwy, Fairless Hills, PA 19030
122 W 3rd Street, Greensburg, PA 15601
555 Walnut Street Suite 810, Harrisburg, PA 17101
88 S Laurel St, Hazleton, PA 18201
2380 Garden Way, Hermitage, PA 16148
1265 Wayne Ave Suite 310 Prof Center, Indiana, PA 15701
334 Washington St Suite 225, Johnstown, PA 15901
159 Butler Rd, Highland Bus. Ctr Ste 1, Kittanning, PA 16201
1809 Olde Homestead Ln Suite 104, Lancaster, PA 17601
924 Russell Drive, Lebanon, PA 17042
208 West 3rd Street, Lewistown, PA 17044
540 5th Ave, Mckeesport, PA 15132
19063 Park Ave Plaza, Meadville, PA 16335
400 Oxford Drive, Suite 210, Monroeville, PA 15146
1708 Wilmington Rd, New Castle, PA 16105
707 5th Ave, New Kensington, PA 15068
1700 Markley Street, First Floor, Norristown, PA 19401
1500 JFK Blvd 20th Fl, Philadelphia, PA 19102
4240 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
2373 Welsh Road, Philadelphia, PA 19114
3336 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145
701 East Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144
3400 Aramingo Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134
2929 North Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19132
921 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
650 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228
6117 Station St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
2221 W Market Street Suite 200, Pottsville, PA 17901
201 Penn St Ste 200, Reading, PA 19468
39 W Ridge Pike, Royersford, PA 19468
409 Lackawanna Avenue Oppenheim Bldg 1st Flr, Scranton, PA 18503
150 Susq Vly Mall Dr, Selinggrove, PA 17870
901 University Dr Suite 2, State College, PA 16801
1 Elizabeth Street Suite 1, Towanda, PA 18848
942 Morgantown Road Uniontown Shopping Ctr, Uniontown, PA 15401
8645 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA 19082
95 W Beau St Suite 010, Washington, PA 15301
1101 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382
7 N Wilkes Barre Blvd Stegmaier Bldg, St 102, Wilkes Barre, PA 18702
240 West 3rd St Suite 100, Williamsport, PA 17701
2670 Industrial Hwy Suite 2, York, PA 17402
PALA is a nonprofit organization that represents assisted living and personal care homes throughout Pennsylvania. Through advocacy, PALA speaks for its home providers and their residents at the state capital level and at Washington, D.C. They also provide a listing of senior living providers to family members and seniors looking for alternative care settings.
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Pennsylvania
Assisted living communities are highly regulated by Pennsylvania’s state government with on-site inspections occurring annually. A complete list of the state regulations is available at pacode.com, but below are some key state laws.
Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements
A medical evaluation is required 60 days prior to admission to an assisted living community. Occasionally this evaluation may be performed after the move-in date if extenuating circumstances are involved. The evaluation looks at the current health of the individual and gathers typical medical information such as allergies, current medications, and immunizations. A mobility and daily living assessment is also performed.
After living in the community for 30 days, the new resident is again evaluated by the administrator or an appointee of the administer (usually an RN or an LPN under the guidance of an RN). This time the assessment is used to create the support plan and must include medical history, dietary needs and supplemental care requirements. In addition, the resident is tested on their ability to manage the activities of daily living including building evacuation, lock manipulation and medication self-administration. Once a final support plan is drawn up, it must be signed by the resident or their representative and implemented within 30 days.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Seniors experiencing certain conditions or diseases are prohibited from admission in Pennsylvania unless the licensing agency permits an exception. These includereportable infectious diseases that require isolation and conditions needing advanced skilled nursing care.
Certain Assisted Living communities may have an SCU (Special Care Unit) on site. Proof of a memory impairment is required for residents in these units.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
There are two types of core services that an ALR provides in Pennsylvania. The independent core package contains 24-hour supervision, laundry, social activities and cognitive support. The enhanced core package includes all items in the first package along with daily activity aids, transportation help and medication administration or self-administration assistance.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Pennsylvania does not cover room and board services of an assisted living residence in its Medicaid program or waiver programs. If the community accepts a resident that is eligible for SSI payments, the rent must not exceed the resident’s monthly income less any personal needs expenses.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
The interior of an ALR should be well-lit with additional markings for the visually impaired, and handrails, ramps and other accessibility devices should be in good repair.
There should be a common dining area that provides breakfast, noon and evening meals. The resident may eat in their room if ill or if the community offers room service.
Individual rooms should be equipped with the necessities for daily living including:
- Fully equipped bathroom with a sink, toilet and shower or tub
- Exterior locking doors unless they pose a safety risk to the resident
- Individually controlled thermostats for heat and air conditioning
- Electrical outlets that support small appliances such as a microwave or a mini fridge
- Telephone jack
- Storage space
The common area should include a space for food preparation and cleanup, which residents may use, and it must be separate from the community meal kitchen.
Medication Management Regulations
A resident who has been assessed and approved may self-administer their own medications. These medications should be kept out of reach of others in a locked box in the resident's room. Staff can perform daily or periodic medication reminders if necessary.
All other residents’ medications are administered by a licensed staff member or student nurse (who is under the authority of an RN). All prescription medications in the AL community must be labeled with the following:
- Resident's name
- Medication name
- Date dispensed
- Dosage instructions
- Prescribing doctor
Each AL residence must employ enough personnel to provide one hour of care to each resident per day and two hours of care to residents with mobility issues. There must be a licensed nurse on site or on call, and a registered dietician should be available to accommodate dietary restrictions. The administrator or director should be on-site a minimum of 36 working hours.
Staff Training Requirements
All staff should be trained in fire safety and emergency preparedness, and personnel may not provide direct care until they have completed 18 hours of general training with an additional 16 hours of annual training. All training records and training plans must be available for inspection.
Background Check for ALR Staff in Pennsylvania
The age requirement for all staff, except housekeeping and food service, is 18, and proof of a criminal history and background check must be kept on file.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Each resident shall be informed of their right to lodge complaints without the threat of retaliation. A poster detailing these rights should be publicly displayed, and all residents should understand how to file a complaint.
Instances of elder abuse or neglect should be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. The state hotline number is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-490-8505. The ALR staff is trained to look for instances of abuse and it is mandated by law to report any occurrences.
Assisted Living Facilities in Pennsylvania
Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Pennsylvania
Caring.com’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.
The Birches at Harleysville
Harleysville, PA $$
Chestnut Knoll Personal Care and Memory Care
Boyertown, PA $$
Heritage Hill Senior Community
Weatherly, PA $$
Brookdale Mt. Lebanon
Pittsburgh, PA $$$
Juniper Village at Forest Hills
Pittsburgh, PA $$$
Country Meadows - Leader Heights
York, PA Cost Levels
North Wales, PA Cost Levels
Traditions of Hershey
Palmyra, PA $$
Brandywine Living at Senior Suites
East Norriton, PA Cost Levels
Concordia Lutheran Ministries
Cabot, PA Cost Levels