With its senior-friendly tax laws, highly rated hospitals and a cost of living that’s below the national average, Pennsylvania has much to offer retirees in their golden years. The state is renowned for its vibrant seasons and beautiful views of the countryside, where seniors can enjoy scenic drives, camping and other outdoor activities all year long. Some of Pennsylvania’s best places to live include Pittsburgh, Lancaster, York and Harrisburg, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Independent living is a housing arrangement that’s aimed exclusively at older adults, typically seniors aged 55 and up. Depending on the community, it can include home maintenance, transportation, security and meal plans. This option is ideal for seniors who don’t need 24-hour supervision or help with their activities of daily living. In Pennsylvania, the average cost of independent living is approximately $2,571 per month.

This guide covers the cost of independent living in Pennsylvania compared to other nearby states, ways to pay for independent living and several free and low-cost resources for retirees.

The Cost of Independent Living in Pennsylvania

Note: A specific figure for the cost of independent living in Pennsylvania or any other state is not published. However, this type of elderly support setting tends to cost about 30-40% less than assisted living. We’ve started with assisted living costs reported by the Genworth Financial 2021 Cost of Care Survey, and subtracted 35% to calculate independent living costs.

On average, individuals or their families in Pennsylvania pay $3,222 for independent living, which is the same as the national average. Neighboring states have independent living costs that range from being lower than Pennsylvania’s, the same or higher. Among these, West Virginia’s are the most affordable at $2,293. Ohio’s costs for independent living are the same as Pennsylvania’s while those of Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Delaware are all moderately more expensive.

$3222

Pennsylvania

$2925

The United States

$3222

Ohio

$2293

West Virginia

$3347

Maryland

$3594

New Jersey

$3470

New York

$3470

Delaware

Inside Pennsylvania, the costs of independent living can vary between cities and regions. The larger metropolitan areas such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Allentown all cost more than the state average, while certain smaller cities such as Harrisburg and Scranton cost less. Pittsburgh is the most expensive city in the state for independent living at $3,470. Philadelphia follows closely behind at $3,464. Communities closer to the eastern urban regions of Pennsylvania are generally more expensive than many interior towns.

$3470

Pittsburgh

$3464

Philadelphia

$3378

Allentown

$3099

Harrisburg

$2975

Scranton

Just as in the United States as a whole, independent living in Pennsylvania is the least expensive type of senior care available. At $3,222, it costs much less than assisted living and is also far more affordable than homemaker services, home health aide services or nursing home care with either semiprivate or private rooms.

$4957

Homemaker Services

$5148

Home Health Aide

$1690

Adult Day Care

$4500

Assisted Living Facility

$9034

Nursing Home Care

Can You Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Independent Living in Pennsylvania?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Medicaid and Medicare to help pay the monthly fee for residing in an Independent Living community. For seniors who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), there may be financial assistance programs available to help cover the cost of care in Independent Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need a higher level of care, read our guide to Assisted Living in Pennsylvania.

Read on for more information about using alternative means to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc.

Independent Living Resources in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania seniors have access to a wide range of free resources, services and programs serving retirees throughout the state. Provided by government agencies and nonprofit organizations, these services include wellness programs, legal aid, veterans assistance and employment training for seniors seeking work.

Resource
Contact
Service
(717) 541-4214
Pennsylvania's 52 Area Agencies on Aging aim to help seniors live independently in their home or community for as long as possible. AAAs provide vital services for seniors and caregivers, including public benefits counseling, health education, referrals to resources and unbiased information about options for long-term care. Pennsylvanians with complaints about elder abuse, neglect or exploitation can contact the ombudsman through their local AAA.
(717) 412-5300
Through PennDOT, seniors receive free transportation to any destination along their local bus route. PennDOT also offers a discounted shared-ride program for seniors who are unable to use the bus. This program provides curb-to-curb transportation and allows residents to schedule rides in advance. Both programs are open to those aged 65 and older.
(717) 861-8910
Pennsylvania's Office for Veterans Affairs helps former military members obtain pensions and disability compensation, as well as other benefits they may be entitled to. Seniors can contact their local OVA to learn about tax exemptions, burial services and assistance programs for needy veterans and their loved ones.
(717) 783-1550
This program provides free legal advice and court representation for low-income Pennsylvanians aged 60 and older. Its volunteer attorneys can help seniors with issues related to Social Security, taxes, age discrimination and other civil matters.
SCSEP is an on-the-job training program for low-income Pennsylvania residents aged 55 and older. SCSEP recipients gain work experience and learn new skills that can help them find meaningful full-time employment. The program provides training at day care centers, hospitals, schools and other community service-based settings.
Senior Corps supports three volunteer programs for Pennsylvania retirees: Senior Companions, Foster Grandparents and RSVP. Senior Companions volunteers help other older adults who need assistance with performing daily tasks, and Foster Grandparents provide mentoring and tutoring to disabled children in the community. The RSVP program allows seniors to choose when and where they'd like to serve based on personal interests and skills.
(717) 783-1550
At one of the state's many senior community centers, Pennsylvanians can find recreational activities, games, health programs, special events and a full schedule of educational workshops. All activities at the senior centers are typically low-cost or free.

COVID-19 Rules for Independent Living in Pennsylvania

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dhs.pa.gov. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/13/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Pennsylvania Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes


Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Pennsylvania Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Pennsylvania Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Find Independent Living Communities in Pennsylvania

Use the tool below to find Independent Living Communities near you – if you’d like to search in a specific city in Pennsylvania, simply put that in the search bar below.

Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley

6300 Greene St, Philadelphia, PA, 19144

My mom and step father moved into Stapeley two weeks ago, after an extensive search to find a living situation that would work for them both. They’ve only been there a short while, and it’s still in t … (read more)
My mom and step father moved into Stapeley two weeks ago, after an extensive search to find a living situation that would work for them both. They’ve only been there a short while, and it’s still in t … (read more)

Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack Park

8401 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA, 19152

My sister likes Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack Park very much. There are several things that we liked about it. The people that were there, Claire as well as Martha, were professional. They took the … (read more)
My sister likes Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack Park very much. There are several things that we liked about it. The people that were there, Claire as well as Martha, were professional. They took the … (read more)

Holy Redeemer Lafayette

8580 Verree Road, Philadelphia, PA, 19111

My parents are now at Holy Redeemer Lafayette, and it’s been good. What I like the most is that it was near my house and that it was affiliated with the Holy Redeemer Health System. Some of the units … (read more)
My parents are now at Holy Redeemer Lafayette, and it’s been good. What I like the most is that it was near my house and that it was affiliated with the Holy Redeemer Health System. Some of the units … (read more)


2012

The Watermark At Logan Square

Two Franklin Town Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

The Watermark at Logan Square was very nice. I thought the apartments were really small. I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t have a pool and it was a lot extra per month to park in the garage, but … (read more)
The Watermark at Logan Square was very nice. I thought the apartments were really small. I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t have a pool and it was a lot extra per month to park in the garage, but … (read more)

2014, 2015

Atria Center City

150 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

Atria Center City looks like it would be a nice place to live. I like the theater, the library, and everything. The staff seems nice and they also have activities to do. It’s located right downtown. T … (read more)
Atria Center City looks like it would be a nice place to live. I like the theater, the library, and everything. The staff seems nice and they also have activities to do. It’s located right downtown. T … (read more)

Paul’s Run

9896 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19115

I went to Paul’s Run Retirement Community. I was very impressed. It’s very well-run. And the recommendations I got were from people I knew well enough to depend on their recommendations. They had had … (read more)
I went to Paul’s Run Retirement Community. I was very impressed. It’s very well-run. And the recommendations I got were from people I knew well enough to depend on their recommendations. They had had … (read more)

The Villages at Pine Valley Active Adult Community

8601 Pine Road, Philadelphia, PA, 19111

The Villages at Pine Valley is wonderful. It’s very good. The rooms are very nice, upgraded, clean, and a little less like a home. They have a clubhouse where they have card games, socials, and trips. … (read more)
The Villages at Pine Valley is wonderful. It’s very good. The rooms are very nice, upgraded, clean, and a little less like a home. They have a clubhouse where they have card games, socials, and trips. … (read more)

The Philadelphia Protestant Home

6401 Martins Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA, 19111

I went to The Philadelphia Protestant Home. I was there to visit them about a possible respite stay for my mother during the holidays. It was a lovely facility, what I saw. But because my mother needs … (read more)
I went to The Philadelphia Protestant Home. I was there to visit them about a possible respite stay for my mother during the holidays. It was a lovely facility, what I saw. But because my mother needs … (read more)

Mount Sinai Apartments

430 Reed St, Philadelphia, PA, 19147

I am actually very happy here in Mount Sinai Apartments. It is a senior building, and they are not subsidized, but the rent is very reasonable. You pay the rent and the electric and, of course, whatev … (read more)
I am actually very happy here in Mount Sinai Apartments. It is a senior building, and they are not subsidized, but the rent is very reasonable. You pay the rent and the electric and, of course, whatev … (read more)

Gloria Dei Estates

1304 Rhawn Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19111

I’m in Gloria Dei Estates, and Gloria Dei has several locations. Some of them have independent living, assisted living, and memory care on one campus. Ours is just the independent living. They have ac … (read more)
I’m in Gloria Dei Estates, and Gloria Dei has several locations. Some of them have independent living, assisted living, and memory care on one campus. Ours is just the independent living. They have ac … (read more)

Delaware Valley Veterans Home

2701 Southampton Rd, Philadelphia, PA, 19154

The best thing about Delaware Valley Veterans Home is that there’s no entrance fee and our relative is a veteran. The place is adequate, it’s not very homelike. It’s more institutional-like.
The best thing about Delaware Valley Veterans Home is that there’s no entrance fee and our relative is a veteran. The place is adequate, it’s not very homelike. It’s more institutional-like.

The York House

5325 Old York Road,, Philadelphia, PA, 19141

My father has moved into The York House. It’s a very nice and quiet community. The people there are willing to work with you no matter what your income is. It’s very clean. There are lots of activitie … (read more)
My father has moved into The York House. It’s a very nice and quiet community. The people there are willing to work with you no matter what your income is. It’s very clean. There are lots of activitie … (read more)

Hayes Manor Retirement Residence

2210 Belmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19131

My friend lives in Hayes Manor, and it was very nice, and very clean. My friend said the staff was wonderful. The rooms were very nice, and they have a patio and a kitchenette.
My friend lives in Hayes Manor, and it was very nice, and very clean. My friend said the staff was wonderful. The rooms were very nice, and they have a patio and a kitchenette.

Philippian Gardens

5110 North 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19120

Philippian Gardens was a very clean, nice, and quiet place to live. There weren’t any mice or roaches. They had open grounds where the senior citizens could go out and sit. The employees were very n … (read more)
Philippian Gardens was a very clean, nice, and quiet place to live. There weren’t any mice or roaches. They had open grounds where the senior citizens could go out and sit. The employees were very n … (read more)

John C. Anderson

249 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107


Komfort Keepers Home Care LLC

2517 N 24th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19132


Premier Cadbury at Cherry Hill

2150 Route 38, Cherry Hill, NJ, 08002

I’m going to move to Premier Cadbury at Cherry Hill. They had nicer rooms that are less expensive than other places I saw. I was impressed with the staff, they did a nice job. It’s just that the build … (read more)
I’m going to move to Premier Cadbury at Cherry Hill. They had nicer rooms that are less expensive than other places I saw. I was impressed with the staff, they did a nice job. It’s just that the build … (read more)

Chestnut Station

20 W Chestnut Ave, Merchantville, NJ, 08109

We chose Chestnut Station Apartments because the price was low, at $1275 a month. The staff members are nice people, easy to get along with, and they’re glad to help you out. This is just like an apar … (read more)
We chose Chestnut Station Apartments because the price was low, at $1275 a month. The staff members are nice people, easy to get along with, and they’re glad to help you out. This is just like an apar … (read more)

The Residence at Bala Cynwyd

230 Rock Hill Road, Suite 110, Bala Cynwyd, PA, 19004