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Nursing Homes in Georgia

Seniors aged 65 and older account for 14.3% of Georgia’s population of 10,617,423, and there are 22,894 nursing home residents in the state. Skilled nursing facilities in Georgia provide 24/7 medical care, supervision and recreational programming for adults with complex medical needs that cannot be safely met in a less restrictive setting.

Georgia seniors can access high-quality acute and emergency health care service at over 170 hospitals including the nationally ranked Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. The state is also home to a number of VA medical centers and clinics including the Atlanta VA Medical Center and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.

Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey lists the average monthly cost of semiprivate nursing home care in Georgia at $6,722, while a private room in a skilled nursing facility runs about $7,173. This guide highlights nursing home care costs in Georgia, and how those costs compare to neighboring states. There’s also an overview of Medicaid and other programs that include nursing home benefits, links to free and low-cost resources for seniors and their families, and a summary of the state regulations regarding skilled nursing facilities.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Georgia

The average monthly cost of a semiprivate nursing home room in Georgia is $6,722, which is $1,034 below the national average rate of $7,756. Average rates in neighboring Alabama are slightly more affordable at $6,540, while the same level of care is costlier in Tennessee ($7,072), South Carolina ($7,298) and North Carolina ($7,300). Just south of Georgia, nursing home costs are significantly higher in Florida, where semiprivate care rates average $8,660 per month.

Throughout Georgia, nursing home rates range from $6,266 in Athens to $7,841 in Valdosta. Rates in Gainesville ($6,388), Augusta ($6,509) and Savannah ($6,540) are below the state average, while rates are above-average in Macon ($6,783), Atlanta ($6,950) and Dalton ($7,513). 















Nursing home care is the highest level of long-term care in Georgia, and this type of care is geared towards those who need 24/7 medical support to manage complex chronic conditions. Seniors who opt to remain in their own homes while receiving support can expect to pay $1,355 per month for adult day health care services. This type of care generally involves nonmedical programming in a congregate setting on weekdays along with a nutritionally balanced daily lunch. 44 hours of weekly in-home care from a homemaker costs an average of $4,004 per month, and a home health aide is $4,099. Residential care in an assisted living facility costs an average of $3,500.

Adult Day Health Care


Homemaker Services


Home Health Aide


Assisted Living Facility


Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Home Care in Georgia?

Approximately 2,195,640 individuals are enrolled in Georgia state Medicaid as of July 2021. The program covers the costs associated with living in a nursing home as well as some limited personal care assistance. Specific services covered by Medicaid include grooming, bathing, chore help, meals, transportation and medication management. It also covers room and board and some medical costs, including the cost of medications and on-site medical monitoring and evaluations.

There are more than 310 nursing homes in the state of Georgia, all of which accept Medicaid. These facilities provide hospital-level care for seniors who require specialized care and are unable to live on their own. The Georgia Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE) waiver helps pay for skilled nursing services, personal support services, respite care, adult day health, and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Seniors who are able to age in place in their own homes may apply for the Community Care Services Program (CCSP) which helps pay for personal care services like home-delivered meals, personal emergency response services, home health care, case management and financial management.

Medicaid Eligibility in Georgia

Institutional or nursing home Medicaid is an entitlement program in Georgia, meaning anyone who meets the minimum criteria may receive benefits. These benefits are only available to those who reside in a nursing home. Applicants get the same $32,904 income limit, so if two people apply, it doubles. However, asset limits run $2,000 for a single applicant, rising to $3,000 for a couple. If only one member of a couple needs nursing home care, the other member can have up to $148,620 in assets while the applicant can only have $2,000. 

2022 Basic Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Georgia

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

*All monthly income except for a $90/mo. personal needs allowance and Medicare premiums must be paid to the facility as a share of cost. There may also be a monthly needs allowance for a non-applicant spouse, .

**Income limit is for applicant only.

Aside from financials, there are several other eligibility requirements for Georgia Medicaid recipients.

  • Must meet the required level of care
  • Must already reside in a nursing home
  • Must be a nursing home resident for at least 30 days

How to Apply for Medicaid in Georgia

There are several ways for seniors to apply for Medicaid in Georgia. The easiest way to apply is through the Georgia Gateway Customer Portal website. The website also makes it possible to manage and renew benefits, check the status of the application and report changes. Seniors may also call and apply by phone at (877) 423-4746, in person at any local Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) office or through the mail by completing the necessary forms and mailing them back to the Division of Family and Children Services. All forms may be requested by calling (877) 423-4746.

Information You Will Need


  • A valid copy of your birth certificate or proof of identity and citizenship or immigration status
  • Federal, state or local photo ID cards
  • Social Security number for each person applying
  • Paycheck stubs, payroll records or recent W-2 forms for the last four weeks
  • Proof of income
  • Current health insurance policies
  • Life insurance policies
  • Recent bank statements
  • Most recent tax return
  • Information on assets  

Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Georgia

The following is a list of available resources for individuals who need assistance in applying for Georgia Medicaid. Most also offer information on the waivers that are available to assist older adults when moving to a personal care home.

ResourceContactService is a federal site that helps individuals locate benefits and programs to help pay for healthcare and other services. The site provides a brief description of each program, including how to apply, eligibility requirements and contact information.
Georgia Medicaid(404) 657-5468The Georgia Medicaid website offers information on the available programs for adults, families and individuals with disabilities. The site also contains the latest news and updates on Medicaid and its waivers and offers a list of providers and pharmacies that accept Medicaid as payment.
Georgia Health Services Network(770) 466-7771The Georgia Health Services Network is the network of medical providers in the state that accept Medicaid and the Medicaid waivers as payment for services. The network offers trained counselors who can answer questions about moving family members into long-term care facilities and can provide educational material on all the plan benefits.

Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care in Georgia?

Medicare provides limited coverage for short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, but seniors must meet a number of specific requirements. This benefit is available to beneficiaries who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge, so it’s most valuable for those who are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery.

Once seniors meet the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing per benefit period. The first 20 days are covered in full. Starting on day 21, beneficiaries must pay a daily coinsurance rate. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:


  • Meals
  • A semiprivate room
  • Medications
  • Skilled nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiologist care
  • Medical supplies
  • Medical social services
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Ambulance transportation


What Isn’t Covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors’ day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.

For more information about Medicare and when it covers Nursing Home Care, read our Guide to Nursing Homes.

Medicare Support & Resources in Georgia

There are several programs in Georgia that help seniors navigate the Medicare application process, including assistance understanding the different parts and coverage amounts. The following list contains free resources, including contact information.

GeorgiaCares(866) 552-4464 (Option 4)GeorgiaCares is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Georgia. It provides free information on Medicare, including help understanding the available health plan choices and enrollment assistance. GeorgiaCares can also help seniors review Medicare summary notices and explanation of benefits and sort through medical bills.
Georgia Division of Aging Services(866) 552-4464The Georgia Division of Aging Services offers information on medical insurance, including Medicare, and connects seniors with financial assistance when paying for medical services.
Georgia Department of Community Health(404) 656-4507The Department of Community Health helps seniors understand how Medicare works with other health services and can assist with applying for benefits.
Empowerline(404) 463-3333Empowerline is an Atlanta-based advocacy group that helps seniors understand their different insurance choices. Free counselors are available through email and chat and they also hold health insurance seminars throughout the city.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Georgia

While Medicaid and Medicare are two of the most common programs used to pay for Nursing Home Care, there are other financial assistance options available, depending on your unique situation.

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 skilled nursing care.
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 nursing care. 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 skilled nursing care. 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 skilled nursing care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Georgia

There are many resources in Georgia 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
Georgia Area Agencies on AgingGeorgia's Area Agencies on Aging provide various services to support the state's older adults. They offer assistance in accessing health care, including medical screenings and prescription drug programs. The agencies also offer nutrition programs as well as transportation services to help seniors with essential travel. Additionally, they provide resources for caregiver support, legal assistance and information on housing options to enable a higher quality of life for seniors in Georgia.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Georgia 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
Georgia 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.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Georgia seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia New Options Waiver/Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program800-436-7442The New Options Waiver (NOW) and the Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) are available to Georgia residents living with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These waiver programs may help seniors pay for a variety of health care costs, including adult day care, nursing care, in-home care and assisted living. They may also cover the cost of specialized medical equipment, respite care, transportation and home modifications, as needed.

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 Georgia seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Emergency Food Assistance Program404-657-5244The Emergency Food Assistance Program is a federally sponsored program that provides monthly emergency food packages to low-income people and seniors at no charge. Offered in all 159 Georgia counties, this food assistance program helps supplement the diets of older adults with shelf-stable foods such as canned meat, pasta, peanut butter and bottled juices. When available, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as frozen meats, are distributed as well.
Georgia Food Bank Association404-419-1738The Georgia Food Bank Association is a nonprofit organization serving low-income seniors through food distributions throughout the state. The program's goal is to enable seniors with fixed incomes to have access to nutritious meals without having to choose between paying for food, medicine or utilities. Residents can access over 700 locations throughout the state, such as community kitchens, food pantries, senior centers and shelters.
Georgia Meals on WheelsThe Georgia Meals on Wheels program enables homebound seniors and residents with mobility issues to receive regular home delivery of nutritious, hot meals. Qualified individuals must be 60 or older with a disability or mobility issues that make it difficult to shop or prepare healthy meals. Seniors can benefit from various meal delivery options, social interactions and safety checks. Additionally, if transportation is available, community centers can offer seniors meal options and an opportunity to socialize with others.
Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)877-423-4746Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP, is a federally funded program that provides monthly benefits to eligible seniors to help cover the cost of food. Senior SNAP is available for Georgia seniors ages 60 or older who do not work and whose household is under the income limits established by the program. Seniors must apply for these benefits and participate in a phone interview before they are deemed eligible.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Section 504 Home Repair Program706-546-2162The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides seniors in rural areas with grants of up to $10,000 to ensure the homes they live in are safe and sanitary.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Georgia 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
Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program866-552-4464The state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has trained volunteers who help seniors research assisted living options in Covington and identify options for paying for their care. The ombudsman also ensures residents understand their rights and advocates on their behalf to ensure they receive the services they're entitled to.
Georgia Senior Legal Aid404-389-9992Georgia Senior Legal Aid works with Atlanta Legal Aid to provide a helpline for Georgians aged 60 and older who need free legal advice, putting a special focus on low-income seniors who live independently and lack traditional social supports. GSLA's volunteer attorneys can provide guidance and referrals regarding legal topics that include eviction and foreclosure, consumer fraud, difficulty claiming public benefits and the like. All services are over the phone.
Georgia Elderly Legal Assistance Program866-552-4464Through Georgia's Elderly Legal Assistance Program (ELAP), seniors aged 60 and older can access free legal support for noncriminal cases. The program's team of lawyers and paralegals can offer information, counseling and representation on issues of interest to seniors, including consumer protection, elder abuse and exploitation, health care benefits and long-term care. The program also hosts community education sessions. ELAP services are available in all counties across Georgia and can be accessed by contacting the local Area Agency on Aging.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Georgia 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 Georgia Chapter800-272-3900The state Alzheimer's Association works to seek a cure for dementia and other memory issues through global research, community outreach and government initiatives. Programs include a 24/7 helpline, support and education programs, early-stage social engagement programs and online tools.
Georgia Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)404-657-5332The Senior Community Service Employment Program assists people aged 55 and older who are unemployed and attempting to re-enter the workforce. The program is run by the U.S. Department of Labor specifically to assist low-income individuals with poor prospects for employment. Participating seniors receive part-time community service assignments and receive pay for those hours.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Georgia resources help older adults by providing advice on Medicaid options, waiver programs and eligibility criteria to help seniors receive the right health care benefits.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Medicaid Home and Community Based Services877-423-4746Georgia Medicaid may be able to assist seniors aged 65 and over with some or all of the costs of living in their memory care communities. Pre-admission screening and a review of the resident's assets and income are required before the senior can be accepted into the program. The screening's purpose is to determine if the senior is best served by being admitted to a memory care community.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Georgia 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
Georgia 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 Georgia 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
Georgia Property Tax Homestead ExemptionsThis program allows seniors aged 65 and older to claim a $4,000 exemption from county property taxes, provided they meet the requirements of the program.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)877-423-4746Seniors in Georgia who struggle to pay their utility bills can apply for the Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Through LIHEAP, seniors who meet income requirements can apply for energy bill payment assistance, help with repairs of their energy systems and weatherization assistance to make their homes more energy-friendly.
Georgia Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIWAP)877-423-4746The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) ensures that all Georgia residents have access to clean, safe water by providing funds to pay for household water for eligible, low-income households.

Veteran's Services

Georgia 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
Georgia VA Benefits and Health CareThrough the Georgia VA Benefits and Health Care program, qualified veterans, including many seniors, can receive health care and financial benefits. The VA has medical centers in August, Decatur and Dublin, and it also operates outpatient clinics in many other cities. The Veterans Benefits Administration has a regional benefits office in Decatur as well as intake sites in other cities, giving seniors multiple locations to access their benefits.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Georgia

Skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes, are inspected, licensed and regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation office. Georgia’s Rules of Department of Community Health, Chapter 111-8-56, Healthcare Facility Regulation, Nursing Homes include regulations designed to ensure optimal health and safety for long-term care residents. 

Licensing RequirementsGeorgia nursing homes that participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare programs must successfully pass federal certification inspections administered by Georgia's Healthcare Facility Regulation office, the designated federal inspection agency. Every nursing home must be under the direct supervision of a licensed nursing home administrator.
Staffing RequirementsLicensed nursing homes must have a least one registered, licensed undergrad or licensed practical nurse on-site and designated as shift leader at all times. While there are no set staffing levels, facilities must ensure that sufficient staff are on-hand to provide at least 2 hours of direct care to every resident every 24 hours. Dining aides cannot be counted as direct care staff, and overnight caregivers must be awake and on-duty throughout the night. 
Staff Training RequirementsEvery facility must have a registered nurse employed for at least 40 hours per week as the director of nursing services. The staff team must include at least one licensed medical doctor and a dentist. All nursing personnel must participate in an ongoing education program delivered by a registered nurse and supervised by the director of nursing services.
Admission RestrictionsA licensed nursing facility can only admit and retain residents who can be safely cared for within the facility, and who have been referred by a physician. Facilities must have a written transfer agreement with at least one acute care hospital to ensure continuity of care for residents with care needs that cannot be safely accommodated within the facility. 
Care Planning RequirementsNew residents must be thoroughly assessed by a physician within 48 hours of admission to a nursing home. A comprehensive care plan outlining the admitting diagnosis, treatment and medication orders, emergency contacts and medical history must be prepared and reviewed by a physician every 30 days for the first 90 days, and on a regular basis following the initial placement period. 
Dietary and Nutritional Services RequirementsNursing homes are required to employ a dietitian licensed by the American Dietetic Association for a minimum of 8 hours per month. The dietitian must design a nutritionally balanced menu that includes meals served no more than 5 hours apart during the day plus between-meal snacks. Breakfast must be served no later than 14 hours following the previous evening meal, and facilities must maintain a 3-day emergency supply of non-perishable foods. 
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesNursing homes may offer physical therapy, occupational therapy and other specialized rehab services. When offered, these services must be provided by a licensed therapist, and a therapy record must be maintained for each patient. 
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesMedication storage and administration must comply with all state and federal laws and regulations. Prescription medications can only be administered by licensed medical professionals, and self-administration of medications among residents is discouraged. 
Activities Requirements Nursing homes need to offer age-appropriate social and recreational programming. 
Infection Control Requirements Nursing homes must work to prevent the spread of infectious diseases between staff and patients. Any direct care staff with a communicable illness or open sore cannot work until fully recovered. Patients who exhibit signs of a communicable disease or illness must be isolated while contagious. 
Medicaid CoverageGeorgia Medicaid pays the care costs for beneficiaries who require placement in a nursing home for a period of 30 days or longer. Although licensed nursing homes are not required to accept reimbursement from Medicaid, the vast majority of skilled nursing facilities in the state are Medicaid-certified.

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