Bellingham is a small city of fewer than 93,000 citizens situated near the Canadian border in the northwestern corner of Washington State. Its residents have the best of both worlds: classic small-town living with easy access to urban amenities in nearby Seattle. Bellingham is ideal for those who enjoy a cool maritime climate, with average summer highs in the 70s and winter lows in the 40s. Approximately 15.7% of Bellingham residents are seniors aged 65 and over. Bellingham has several top-quality agencies and assisted living facilities designed to provide a supportive living environment for those who can no longer live alone comfortably or safely. 

Assisted living services typically include housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and help with basic personal care and other aspects of daily living. Many assisted living facilities include on-site lifestyle amenities such as spas, salons, pools and putting greens. The average cost of assisted living in Bellingham is $4,600 per month, according to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. 

This guide provides an overview of assisted living in Bellingham. Seniors can learn more information on care costs, including cost comparisons with other Washington communities and other types of senior care. 

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Bellingham, WA

Spring Creek by Bonaventure

223 E Bakerview Road, Bellingham, WA, 98226

Spring Creek by Bonaventure wasn’t prepared for our visit, even though I had given a lot of information. The food was not good, just mushy and tasteless. They spoke to me rather than our friend who wa … (read more)
Spring Creek by Bonaventure wasn’t prepared for our visit, even though I had given a lot of information. The food was not good, just mushy and tasteless. They spoke to me rather than our friend who wa … (read more)

Brookdale Fairhaven

2600 Old Fairhaven Pkwy, Bellingham, WA, 98225

Choosing an assisted living facility for your elderly loved one is a challenge—and one that residents and their families say Brookdale Fairhaven meets. Families specifically mention the nursing team … (read more)
Choosing an assisted living facility for your elderly loved one is a challenge—and one that residents and their families say Brookdale Fairhaven meets. Families specifically mention the nursing team … (read more)

Rosewood Villa

702 32nd St., Bellingham, WA, 98225

It is quiet, clean, and provides meals and everything my loved one needs. He has only been there for a couple of weeks, but it seems like a good fit for him. It looked very nice and gave me a positive … (read more)
It is quiet, clean, and provides meals and everything my loved one needs. He has only been there for a couple of weeks, but it seems like a good fit for him. It looked very nice and gave me a positive … (read more)

Sapphire at Woodway

1712 E. Maplewood Ave., Bellingham, WA, 98225

My sister moved mom into this place 3 yrs ago. They are pleasant enough to my mom but… They take one bedroom units and turn them into 2 units by putting a curtain across the entry to the living room … (read more)
My sister moved mom into this place 3 yrs ago. They are pleasant enough to my mom but… They take one bedroom units and turn them into 2 units by putting a curtain across the entry to the living room … (read more)

Cordata Court

4415 Columbine Drive, Bellingham, WA, 98226

Brookdale Bellingham’s general appearance and layout were good. Overall, the facility was very good, but when I toured it, I felt like they didn’t have enough staff members on hand. There also didn’t … (read more)
Brookdale Bellingham’s general appearance and layout were good. Overall, the facility was very good, but when I toured it, I felt like they didn’t have enough staff members on hand. There also didn’t … (read more)

Mt Baker Care Center & Summit Place Assisted Living

2905 CONNELLY AVENUE, Bellingham, WA, 98225

My mom moved into Mt Baker Care Center & Summit Place Assisted Living yesterday. The staff is fabulous. They are very helpful and friendly. The place is small, but it is homey and very down to ear … (read more)
My mom moved into Mt Baker Care Center & Summit Place Assisted Living yesterday. The staff is fabulous. They are very helpful and friendly. The place is small, but it is homey and very down to ear … (read more)

Highgate at Bellingham

155 E Kellogg Rd, Bellingham, WA, 98226

My husband is at Highgate at Bellingham. It’s way too far out expensive. Right now, it has been really rough because of Covid isolation. My husband is pretty sad that he can’t even see anybody, but th … (read more)
My husband is at Highgate at Bellingham. It’s way too far out expensive. Right now, it has been really rough because of Covid isolation. My husband is pretty sad that he can’t even see anybody, but th … (read more)

Orchard Park

844 W. Orchard Drive, Bellingham, WA, 98225

Orchard Park in Bellingham, Washington, is near I-5, medical facilities, grocery stores and shopping centers. The facility offers activities such as music and exercise programs to keep residents engag … (read more)
Orchard Park in Bellingham, Washington, is near I-5, medical facilities, grocery stores and shopping centers. The facility offers activities such as music and exercise programs to keep residents engag … (read more)

Lake Whatcom Residential & Treatment Center

3400 Agate Heights Rd, Bellingham, WA, 98226


Columbia Place

2315 Williams Street, Bellingham, WA, 98225

Columbia Place is located in beautiful Bellingham, Washington, which is the northernmost city in the state. It’s close to the waterfront and offers easy access to the northern Cascades, Vancouver and … (read more)
Columbia Place is located in beautiful Bellingham, Washington, which is the northernmost city in the state. It’s close to the waterfront and offers easy access to the northern Cascades, Vancouver and … (read more)

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Bellingham

Since most COVID-19 rules for Assisted Living Communities and other Senior Living Facilities are set at the state level, you can view the specific rules for your state on our Guide to Assisted Living in Washington. Keep in mind that every community has specific policies that they put in place to protect their residents, so you should contact your local community for more information. Additionally, you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging to learn more – find contact information here.

What to Consider About Assisted Living in Bellingham

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) licenses and monitors long-term care facilities in Washington. The department performs unannounced inspections every 15 months. Those with complaints and concerns can contact the DSHS Complaint Resolution Unit toll-free hotline or file a written complaint through its online portal. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Assisted Living in Bellingham

  • Bellingham offers a classic Pacific Northwest climate, with cool, wet winters and warm, pleasant summers. The area receives slightly more rain than the national average, which helps keep everything green. However, it doesn’t have as many sunny days as other parts of the country and gets about 9 inches of snow per year. 
  • Bellingham has a higher cost of living than the state and national averages. However, health care costs are lower than the national average.
  • PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham has a high rating in nine adult conditions and procedures. The facility also has a same-day walk-in clinic. Those who require advanced medical care can find world-class facilities in nearby Seattle, including Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and the University of Washington Medical Center.
  • Violent crime in Bellingham is several points lower at 18.8 than the national average of 22.7 out of 100. On the other hand, property crime is more than twice the national average at 71.5 out of 100. However, assisted living facilities offer secure environments that are rarely the targets of burglary, vandalism and other property crimes. 
  • Bellingham has poor air quality, according to the American Lung Association. Those with respiratory illnesses may not find it the best retirement choice. 

Paying for Assisted Living in Bellingham

The average monthly cost of an assisted living facility in Bellingham is $4,600. However, the quality of the accommodations and the services and amenities available can affect prices.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Nearby Cities

Although the cost of assisted living in Bellingham is only $100 more than the national average of $4,500 per month, it’s $1,400 less than the overall Washington average of $6,000 per month. Seattle residents have the highest costs at $6,750 per month, while their rural counterparts in Walla Walla pay the least at $3,211 per month. In the southwestern community of Longview, assisted living costs average $5,300 per month. Residents of assisted living facilities in the opposite corner of the state in Spokane pay an average of $4,888 per month.  

$4600

Bellingham

$6000

Washington

$4500

United States

$6750

Seattle

$3211

Walla Walla

$5300

Longview

$4888

Spokane

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care

Bellingham seniors pay $6,483 for both in-home care and home health care. Nursing home residents have the highest senior care costs in Washington, with a semiprivate room averaging $9,277 per month. Bellingham’s least expensive senior care option is assisted living care.

$6483

In-Home Care

$6483

Home Health Care

$4600

Assisted Living Facility

$9277

Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Bellingham

There are Medicaid programs offered by the state of Washington to pay for the cost of ALF services in Mountlake Terrace. Eligible seniors may qualify for the Community First Choice (CFC) State Plan or one of the Home and Community-Based Service 1915(c) waivers which are the Community Options Program Entry System (COPES), New Freedom and Residential Support waivers.

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

Paying for Assisted Living in Washington

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 Washington page.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Bellingham

Bellingham seniors have access to community-based programs and services designed specifically for older adults. The following resources provide information about wellness screenings, reduced or free transportation, applying for veterans benefits and other relevant services. 

Resource

Contact

Description

(360) 676-6749

This organization provides services and referrals to help older adults retain their independence. Services include wellness screenings, balance workshops to minimize slip-and-fall accidents, health insurance counseling and case management. The agency also oversees the Senior Nutrition Program, which provides hot, nutritious congregate meals at senior centers and other community locations. 

(360) 733-4030

Bellingham seniors can join their peers for community meals, card and board games, fitness classes, dances, group outings and other activities. There is an on-site coffee bar, dining room and gym. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. 

(360) 676-7433

Whatcom County residents are eligible to receive reduced fares from Whatcom Transit Authority. Those aged 75 and over can get a Gold Age card that allows them access to free transportation on fixed-route and paratransit buses. 

(360) 778-6050

Former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, spouses and qualifying survivors can access support and assistance programs from this organization. Staff and trained volunteers provide assistance accessing state and federal veterans benefits. It hosts a variety of events that provide opportunities to network and socialize. Those who qualify may be able to get emergency financial help. 

(360) 734-3055

Those aged 55 and over can put their valuable skills to use by finding volunteer opportunities through the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County. Mileage reimbursements may be possible for some volunteers, and the organization hosts fun monthly events such as potlucks and movie nights for volunteers to connect and socialize. 

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Bellingham

Bellingham Assisted Living Communities must adhere to the comprehensive set of state laws and regulations that all Assisted Living Facilities in Washington are required to follow. Visit our Assisted Living in Washington page for more information about these laws.

Washington Laws and Regulations