Adult Care Homes in San Diego, CA


San Diego California Adult Care Homes: How to pay for, Licensing and Questions to ask…

San Diego is a beautiful, historical location for those looking for aging care and service providers. Referred to as the “Birthplace of California”, San Diego is a hub for tourism, coastal enthusiasts, and retirees. San Diego has recently emerged as a center for healthcare development, and is home to many universities and higher education, including San Diego State University and University of San Diego.

Adult Care Home and other terms

It is good to know the other terms/names you may hear: 

Nursing Home (although this is an outdated and not accurate term for this level of care)

  • Board and care home
  • Care home
  • Adult family home 
  • Residential care home 
  • Adult foster home
  • Personal care Home
  • Community Residential Care Facilities
  • Rest Homes

About Adult Care Homes in San Diego

California is the most populated state in the nation, and also is home to the most diverse population of citizens. Because of the ideal climate and variety of communities, California is a hot spot for seniors and retirees. As our senior population gets older, it is possible many aging adults may require care at some point. A popular care and senior housing option are adult care homes. Adult care homes, typically called Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, (or residential care homes) are private residences that provide a home-like environment.

Adult care homes serve six residents or less so the ratio of residents to staff is optimal for care. The caregivers may perform several functions, such as personal care, housekeeping, activities which promote social interaction, and group meals.

Operating under the supervision of Community Care Licensing, a subdivision of the California Department of Social Services. This program was created to provide aging adults (and others) with non-institutional care in a home-like setting under the supervision of the Department of Public Social Services. Residential Care Facilities are NOT permitted to perform any skilled nursing services. They are permitted to assist with activities of daily living (ADLs). typically, a residential care home houses between 2-7 residents.

Considerations when looking for care in San Diego

San Diego is the 2nd largest city in California, with the population tipping over 1,300,000 in 2020’s census. The mild year-round climate, beaches, and diverse culture have led San Diego to become a preferred location for senior citizens to retire and seek care. 

Cities near San Diego

  • Lemon Grove – 9 miles northeast of San Diego.
  • Chula Vista – 9.7 miles south of San Diego.
  • La Mesa – 10 miles northeast of San Diego.
  • Spring Valley – 12 miles east of San Diego.

Pricing and How to Pay for Adult Care Homes

Costs vary depending on where in California you are looking for an adult care home. The average cost for a residential care home in California tends to hover around $3,000 / month. The cost for a shared room in a six bed residential care facility is $3,000 / month and for a private room you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $7,000. 

Reaching out to California adult care homes in your local region is the most effective way to obtain information about costs. Speaking directly with agencies and those in charge allows you to discuss costs and levels of care, as well as any other questions or concerns you may have.

It is important to take your time when exploring payment and coverage options.

Medicare – NO:

  • Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
  • People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
  • Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.

Private pay – YES:

  • Many families pay for assisted living with private funds.
  • Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
  • Family members may contribute funds to pay for assisted living or other senior housing and care.

Medicaid – MAYBE:

  • Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans. Eligible participants include: low-income adults, elderly adults and people with disabilities.
  • Medicaid is administered by state, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by each state and the federal government.
  • Every state has their own individual Medicaid assistance program.
  • National guidelines are in place do decipher how states must spend Medicaid money, but with allowances toward the guidelines.
  • The state determines what levels of care will be covered by Medicaid, who is eligible, and how much the state will reimburse the care community.
  • If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You may be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability and other factors.

Long-term Care Insurance – MAYBE:

Long term care insurance is a great way to pay for assisted living, and planning ahead is important when considering how to pay for senior housing and care. Nearly 75% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care and services at some point. Buying into long-term care insurance when a person is in their 50s and 60s is the most common time to do so.

  • Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of chronic medical conditions.
  • Individuals and couples with the ability to pay into long-term care insurance have the advantage of a head start in allocating funds for senior care.

Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:

This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.

  • There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
  • A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
  • If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.

Questions to Ask

Finding an assisted living community, can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:

  • Make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. You can tell a lot about the operation by noting What is clean and maintained. Are doorknobs loose or damaged? Do you see any frayed carpet or trip hazards?
  • Visit during lunch hour to observe what the residents are eating. Ask questions about the nutrition program. Is there diversity in meals, healthy fruits and vegetables served at all meals, drink options?
  • Speak to residents and/or family members to learn their perspective.
  • Ask about staff and resident engagement. Get a feel for how staff interact with residents.
  • Ask about the life enrichment programs. Activities are crucial when it comes to quality of life and play a key role in care for older adults.
  • And finally (there is a plethora of more things to consider), get to know the leadership in the building. If you feel good around the executive director, head nurse, lead activities director and even the chef or janitor, it is a good sign you can trust them with the care of your loved one.

Local hospital and healthcare providers

Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego
4077 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

Sharp Memorial Hospital
7901 Frost St
San Diego, CA 92123

Kindred Hospital San Diego
1940 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92104

Alvarado Hospital Medical Center
6655 Alvarado Rd
San Diego, CA 92120

California Department of Health Care Servic

California Department of Social Services

Definitions of California Facility Type

California Long-Term Care Facilities FAQ

California Assisted Living Association

City of Los Angeles Department of Aging

California Department of Aging

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Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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