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The average cost of assisted living in the city is $4,825 a month. This guide is a starting point covering the cost of assisted living care in the city, as well as financing options to pay for it. You’ll find in-depth information on 6 assisted living facilities in Santa Maria and 7 in surrounding areas.
The Cost of Senior Care in Santa Maria, CA
Merrill Gardens at Santa Maria is a campus-style senior community nestled in the Santa Maria Valley, one hour north of Santa Barbara and 30 minutes south of San Luis Obispo.
Santa Maria Terrace was nice. They served us a really good lunch, and it was a clean facility. They had tours and offered to take you to doctors' offices. We liked the garden area and the assembly room, and when we were there they were singing. It was pretty nice. The staff was very nice.Read more Santa Maria Terrace reviews
I was very impressed with Santa Maria Terrace. The only thing I didnt like about it was they had very restrictive kitchen hours. I don't think I'd have a problem living there though. The rooms were good. They have a full range of activities for seniors and certainly more than I would probably use. The kitchen hours we...Read more Santa Maria Terrace reviews
Santa Maria’s average monthly cost of assisted living is among California’s highest, along with San Jose ($5,500) and San Francisco ($5,500), according to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Study. Assisted living costs in this city are considerably higher than the state ($4,500) and national ($4,000) averages. The same care type is much less expensive in smaller cities, such as Bakersfield ($3,150) and Riverside ($3,500), throughout the state.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Surrounding Areas
In Santa Maria and other California communities, the average monthly costs for long-term care vary substantially depending on what type of care is required. Compared to assisted living costs, Nursing home care ($10,646) is more than twice as costly, while home care is $600 more expensive. Those who wish to remain at home must also consider additional costs, such as rent, groceries and home maintenance, which are typically included in residential care fees.
Senior Care Cost Comparison Chart
California’s state Medicaid program, referred to as Medi-Cal, provides financial support and access to free or low-cost health care for low-income residents, including seniors and those with disabilities. Medi-Cal offers a wide array of medical privileges, including inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prescriptions medications, various therapies and long-term services and supports.
To receive financial support and additional services, seniors living in assisted living facilities can apply for the Assisted Living waiver program or the Multipurpose Senior Services Program listed below. Medi-Cal programs are co-funded by the state and federal governments.
Eligibility for these waivers state that seniors must require a nursing home level of care, and applicants are subject to income and asset limitations. Financially, individual seniors cannot have income exceeding $1,242 per month or assets over $2,000; couples combined monthly income must be below $1,682 with assets valued at less than $3,000. In most cases, the family home (for seniors living at home), one vehicle and personal belongings are exempt.
Assisted Living Waiver
The Assisted Living waiver provides seniors residing in assisted living facilities with financial aid and services. Covered services include nurse visits, physical therapy, dental and medical care and transportation. The waiver doesn’t cover room-and-board fees. Currently, Santa Barbara County seniors, including those in Santa Maria, are not eligible for this waiver unless they choose a facility in an ALW-eligible county (listed in the Assisted Living waiver link). To apply for this waiver, seniors can contact a care coordination agency in person or call (800) 991-6147.
Multipurpose Senior Services Program
The Multipurpose Senior Services program (MSSP) is another waiver program available through Medi-Cal. The waiver was meant to help reduce the number of seniors in nursing homes in the state of California. The MSSP provides support to seniors living in assisted living facilities or at home. The program covers numerous services, including daily nurse visits, respite care and nonmedical transportation. With a cap of 12,000 participants, this program often has a waiting list. To apply to this program, seniors should contact the California Department of Health Care Services at (916) 440-7548.
State Supplemental Payment
Santa Maria seniors who receive federal Supplemental Security Income may be eligible for additional financial support through the California State Supplemental Payment program. It provides additional support to seniors with limited income in long-term care communities who can’t afford their room-and-board costs. The amount of the benefit is based on the applicant’s income and tops off at $423.37 monthly. Those who wish to apply may visit their local Social Security office or call (800) 772-1213 for more information.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is often bought by older adults preparing for their senior years. The policies cover seniors’ assisted living costs after a required deductible, usually paid once a year. The exact terms vary among insurance providers but typically cover the cost of care in approved assisted living facilities. Deductibles, rates and eligibility depend on the provider, plan chosen and the health and age of the policyholder. For more information, contact the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program at (800) 434-0222.
Elderlife Bridge Loan
Elderlife Financial Services and other companies offer bridge loans to help eligible seniors and their families pay for long-term care in assisted living communities. Seniors repay the low-interest loan in monthly installments. These loans are a temporary solution and are meant to bridge the gap until other funding sources can be secured, such as the sale of a home or veteran benefits.
Up to six family members can cosign a loan if seniors are unable to qualify on their own. This increases the likelihood of approval and reduces monthly payments for each cosigner. For more information, contact Elderlife at (888) 228-4500.
Senior centers provide a range of services and events for Santa Maria residents over the age of 55, including communal meals, day trips, fitness classes and social activities.
Oasis Senior Center
420 Soares Ave., Orcutt, CA 93455
510 E. Park Ave., Santa Maria, California, 93454
The City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department has a variety of fitness classes to keep adults 62 and over in shape. Santa Maria seniors also receive program discounts.
Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Senior Program
Eligible veterans can seek financial assistance and medical care through Veterans Affairs. There’s also a local VA clinic for eligible Santa Maria vets.
Santa Maria Community Based Outpatient Clinic
1550 East Main Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454
The Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens-Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is a Santa Maria nonprofit organization that provides nutrition, supportive programs and health services to older adults in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.
Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizen (Office of the Aging)
528 S. Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454
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