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Assisted Living in Santa Cruz County, CA

The average cost of assisted living in the county is $5,595 a month. This guide is a starting point covering the cost of assisted living care in the county, as well as financing options to pay for it. You'll find in-depth information on 8 assisted living facilities in Santa Cruz County and 30 in surrounding areas.

  • Assisted living: $5,595
  • Nursing home semiprivate room: $8,076
  • In-home care: $5,529
  • Adult day health services: $1,809

Brookdale Scotts Valley

100 Lockwood Lane
Scotts Valley, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

5 Reviews

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

5 Reviews

Located just outside of Santa Cruz, Brookdale Scotts Valley offers exceptional service and accommodations for individuals looking for excellent assisted living.

Paradise Villa

2177 17th Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

2 Reviews
Starting at XXXX per month

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

2 Reviews
Starting at XXXX per month

Paradise Villa is a medium sized assisted living community where residents are constantly happy and contented. Here they receive compassionate care, comfort and security to ensure a good life to our seniors.

Sunshine Villa

80 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

2 Reviews
Starting at XXXX per month

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

2 Reviews
Starting at XXXX per month

Located in Santa Cruz, Sunshine Villa is a premier provider of both assisted living and Alzheimer's or memory care accommodations and services.

Aegis of Aptos

125 Heather Terrace
Aptos, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

1 Review

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

1 Reviews

Sitting close to local shopping, beaches and the library, Aegis of Aptos is a charming assisted living and memory care community near the shores of Monterey Bay.

Cedar Creek Alzheimer's & Dementia Care Center

15245 National Avenue
Los Gatos, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Alzheimer's and dementia care is bewildering, exhausting and heartbreaking. In the face of increasing despair, you seek relief, a place where you can find a carefully planned transition and compassionate and supportive staff. The Creeks is that special place.Our communities…

Terraces of Los Gatos

800 Blossom Hill Road
Los Gatos, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

It's no wonder why The Terraces of Los Gatos has been named one of the Best Retirement Communities in the West. Everything you want in retirement living is here.

Los Gatos Meadows

110 Wood Rd
Los Gatos, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Los Gatos Meadows is the community of choice for the discerning senior who wants to spend retirement having fun and being pampered without responsibilities.

Crestwood Residential Care Home

Los Gatos, CA

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Families can rest easy when their loved one moves to Crestwood Residential Care Home. We treat each resident like a member of our family, offering the best in services and amenities.

We Can Help! Our Local Advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.

Reviews of Santa Cruz County Assisted Living Facilities

Sunshine Villa

Review by DonnaRae | Consumer

Old world charm in a 150 yr. old mansion expanded seamlessly to include dining room, activity room, library/visiting room and garden area with gazebo. Facility is located on top of Beach hill blocks from the Boardwalk and has expansive views of Monterey Bay, UCSC hills, and downtown Santa Cruz. Rooms are cozy and equip...

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Sunshine Villa

Review by daughter | Consumer

These people are corporate through and through. Our mom is there now and she complains about Sunshine Villa always being short-handed with caregivers. They don't train the new caregivers enough because they have a high turnover and the new people don't know what the old caregivers used to do. This leaves my mom havi...

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Brookdale Scotts Valley

Review by shaun | Consumer

Oak Tree Villa is a great assisted living community in Scotts Valley. They have great amenities and offer exceptional senior living solutions.

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Brookdale Scotts Valley

Review by Jody, daughter | Consumer

The staff are great; however, I have been disappointed that their promise of taking my mom to appointments "Door to door" has not been true. She has requested several time to get to an appointment and they have told her they could not do it even though it has been in the 10 mile radius. They only have a bus on Tuesday...

Read more Brookdale Scotts Valley reviews

Brookdale Scotts Valley

Review by Judith, loving daughter | Consumer

This is my second attempt to post a one star review for Brookdale senior living. My mother lives there and was robbed shortly after moving in. Be wary of placing your loved one in this facility. Theft has been an ongoing problem here for over 10 years.

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Brookdale Scotts Valley

Review by Clay | Consumer

I liked Oak Tree Villa (Brookdale Scotts Valley). My impression of it was fine, but the food was bad. The rooms and the dining area was fine, but the chef was a lousy cook; they got rid of him. I liked the community. They have a new chef now, and that's why I want to go back. I did not like that I have to buy a portabl...

Read more Brookdale Scotts Valley reviews

Map of Santa Cruz County Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted Living Costs in Santa Cruz County

According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care study, assisted living costs in Santa Cruz County are higher than both the state average ($4,500) and the national average ($4,000). Costs for assisted living is similar in the nearby cities of Salinas ($5,500), San Jose ($5,500) and San Francisco ($5,500) but significantly lower inland in Modesto ($3,200), Merced ($3,500) and Madera ($3,323). 

Cost of Assisted Living Comparison Chart

  • Santa Cruz County: $5,595
  • National average: $4,000
  • State average: $4,500
  • Salinas: $5,500
  • San Jose: $5,500
  • San Francisco: $5,500
  • Modesto: $3,200
  • Merced: $3,500
  • Madera: $3,323

Care Cost Comparison

Senior care costs vary based on the type of service, the location and whether or not room and board is included. In Santa Cruz County nursing home care is significantly more expensive than assisted living, while in-home services, such as a home health aide and homemaker, costs are similar to assisted living. 

When comparing the costs for senior care, it’s important to factor in the expenses associated with maintaining a home, including rent, upkeep and utilities, since these costs are usually included with residential care services. 

Cost of Homemaker/Home Health Aide Comparison Chart

  • Assisted living: $5,595
  • Homemaker services: $5,529
  • Home health aide: $5,815
  • Adult day health: $1,809
  • Nursing home care (semiprivate room): $8,076

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Santa Cruz County

Medicaid in California

Medicaid is a national health insurance program that is jointly funded by federal and state governments. It provides limited coverage for essential health care services, such as doctor visits, hospitalization and emergency services for Americans of all ages with low income and assets. 

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) administers Medicaid, known also as Medi-Cal. Seniors aged 65 and older are eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage under the Aged and Disabled Federal Poverty Level Program (A&D FLP).

To qualify, seniors must have a countable income below $1,242 (individual) or $1,682 (couple) and own less than $2,000 in nonexempt assets (individual) or $3,000 (couple). 

Income includes monies received from all sources such as pensions, wages and investment interest, while countable assets include cash, bank account balances and bonds. Medicaid asset exemptions include personal effects, furniture, one automobile, non-revocable burial trusts and a primary residence that either the Medicaid applicant and/or their spouse reside in.

Unlike many other states, California does not cap the value of the primary residence in determining Medicaid eligibility. There is a look-back period of 30 months prior to applying for Medi-Cal. Any assets that applicants gift or sell during this time will be appraised, and the market value will be added to the total assets assigned to the applicant. This may result in a penalty assessed as a period of Medi-Cal ineligibility. 

Seniors over the age of 65 who are ineligible for Medi-Cal under the A&D FLP due to excess income, may be eligible for coverage through the Aged, Blind and Disabled – Medically Needy Program (ABD-MN), which is a Medi-Cal Share of Cost program. 

Under the ABD-MN program, applicants are required to pay a monthly share of cost towards their Medi-Cal coverage. The monthly share is determined by subtracting a needs allowance from the applicant’s countable monthly income. In cases where the share is prohibitively high, applicants may have the option of purchasing additional health insurance in order to reduce their countable income down to the Medi-Cal A&D FLP maximum income rate.

California Assisted Living Waiver

Seniors who are 65 and older and currently members of Medi-Cal may be eligible for help with assisted living costs through the Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) program.

The ALW program is designed to reduce nursing home placement rates among seniors in California through additional funding, enabling them to live in assisted living facilities or public subsidized housing. This Medicaid waiver program is open to Medi-Cal eligible seniors who require nursing home level of care as a result of their medical needs.

Seniors who are already enrolled in Medi-Cal don’t need to submit an additional application to the ALW program; however, potential ALW candidates do need to contact a Care Coordination Agency (CCA) through the County of Santa Cruz Employment and Benefit Services Division to request a CCA assessment. 

Registered nurses assess the needs of each applicant to determine eligibility for nursing home level care in an independent living setting, develop an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) and monitor service delivery. 

Services under the ALW program can include: 

  • Assistance with creating and maintaining a current ISP
  • Home care aide and homemaker services 
  • Meal preparation and service
  • Skilled intermittent nursing services
  • Supervision of self administered medications 
  • Medication administration by a licensed registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse
  • Daily recreational programming 
  • Medical transportation
  • Provision of an emergency call system

Individuals who are enrolled in Medi-Cal on a Share of Cost (SOC) basis are excluded from the Assisted Living Waiver program. There are a limited number of ALW slots available statewide, and seniors who qualify for the Assisted Living Waiver may be placed on a waiting list. 

For more information about Medi-Cal coverage and the Assisted Living Waiver program, contact the County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department, Employment and Benefit Services Division at (888) 421-8080.

Other Financial Assistance Programs for Assisted Living

Veterans Aid and Assistance and Housebound Benefits

Veterans, and their survivors, who receive a regular VA pension and are either housebound or require daily assistance due to a disability may qualify for a pension top up through the Aid and Attendance and Housebound program

To qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits, applicants must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • Be bedridden
  • Live in a nursing home to receive care for mental and/or physical disabilities
  • Require daily assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, eating and/or managing a prosthetic device
  • Have limited corrected eyesight that tests at 5/200 or poorer
  • Suffer from concentric contraction of the visual field to five or fewer degrees

To qualify for the Housebound allowance, applicants must have a VA disability rating of 100 percent and be largely restricted to their primary residence due to the disability. The disability does not need to be related to military service.

Note that applicants may be approved for only one of these benefits even if they meet the criteria for both programs. 

For more information on the VA Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits contact the Santa Cruz County Vet Center at (831) 464-4575 or the Santa Cruz County Veterans Services Office at (831) 454-7276. 

Assisted Living Resources in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County Senior Centers

Senior centers in Santa Cruz County offer a wide variety of recreational and social programs for older adults, including weekly exercise classes, day trips and computer classes. Seniors aged 55 and older can participate in special events, connect with others and learn about community resources at these centers. 

Downtown Senior Center
301 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 420-6180

Mid-County Senior Center
829 Bay Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 476-4711

Community Assistance Agencies

A number of government organizations and nonprofit groups provide seniors in Santa Cruz with access to free transportation, low-cost legal support and information about area resources for older adults. 

Lift Line Accessible Transportation
521 Main Street Suite H, Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 688-8840

Seniors Council of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties
234 Santa Cruz Avenue, Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 688-0400

Veteran Centers and Clinics

There are a number of resources for veterans and their families in Santa Cruz County that provide assistance with benefits, access to VA health care and advocacy for veterans. Veterans who need help with their VA pension or pension top up programs can contact the Santa Cruz Vet Center or the Santa Cruz County Veterans Services Office. 

Santa Cruz County Veterans Services Office
842 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 454-7276

Santa Cruz Vet Center
1350 41st Avenue, Suite 104, Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 464-4575

VA Capitola Clinic
1350 41st Avenue, Suite 102, Capitola, CA 95010-3906
(831) 464-5519

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