Best Assisted Living Facilities

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An assisted living facility provides help with things like activities of daily living, meals, and housekeeping. These communities can be large or small, privately-owned or corporate, or standalone or part of a larger community, but they all offer some level of care or assistance to older adults who are unable to manage the tasks of living on their own (e.g., cooking, bathing, or toileting).

Because the level of care needed will vary based on needs, we looked at facilities that offer different levels of care such as assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, or memory care. Here, we rounded up the best assisted living facilities, so you can make an informed decision.

Best Assisted Living Facilities of 2021

Best Overall : Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg Virginia


Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg Virginia

 Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg Virginia

Why We Chose It: We selected Warm Hearth Village because its beautiful campus in Virginia offers a wide range of care. Plus, Virginia is known for its low taxes and excellent healthcare, which makes it a desirable place to retire.

What We Like
  • Many levels of care

  • Virginia is a tax-friendly state

  • Beautiful campus

What We Don't Like
  • College town

  • Some décor is dated looking

  • Must pay an entrance fee

If you're looking for an assisted living facility with a wide range of care options, Warm Hearth Village is a solid option that's located on 220 acres of lush forest in Blacksburg, Virginia. As a resident of Warm Hearth Village, you have access to the continuum of care available, such as skilled nursing or memory care, which is beneficial if your health declines and you need additional care in the future.

You can choose from a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment with a full bath and kitchenette. Services include assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, or toileting, as well as medication management. The facility provides three meals per day in its dining room, and all costs are included in the monthly lease. 

We liked that the campus is large and has many recreational activities for those who want to stay active. In addition to beautiful landscaping, it touts walking paths, fitness classes, book and video libraries, a beauty shop, and an indoor pool and fitness center. It also offers transportation to doctors' appointments and shopping as well as therapy services on site. 

Costs vary depending on your level of care and desired accommodations but Warm Hearth Villages does have some federally-subsidized, low-income senior housing available. You may be required to pay an upfront cost to be part of this community.

Best for Low-Cost Housing : Parsons House Preston Hollow


Parsons House Preston Hollow

 Parsons House Preston Hollow

Why We Chose It: This family-owned and operated building is located in Dallas has some of the highest quality healthcare for seniors with a relatively low cost of living compared to other areas of the country.

What We Like
  • Family-owned and operated

  • Pet-friendly

  • Texas is a tax-friendly state

  • No upfront lump sum

What We Don't Like
  • Small units

  • Weather is unpredictable

Parsons House Preston Hollow is an assisted living facility located in Dallas, Texas, that provides many levels of care including independent living, assisted living, and memory and respite care. This is great for the senior who may not need much help now but wants access to resources as they need them.

Parsons House owns and operates five buildings throughout Texas, and all of them are pet-friendly with assisted living units. Other amenities include restaurant-style dining, a fitness center, group fitness classes, housekeeping, walking paths, an onsite dog park, and more. Many organized activities are planned each day and transportation is available for off-property outings. Even better? There are many things to do close-by and residents have access to excellent medical care at nearby hospitals. 

Units start at approximately $3,628 which is low compared to $4,350, the average cost for a senior living facility in Dallas. There is no lump sum payment required upon move-in, and costs increase with each level of care.

Reviews online state that staff is caring and inviting, and the property is well cared for with beautiful grounds. Texas is also a great place to retire as it has high-quality healthcare, access to many Medicare physicians, no income tax, and additional tax exceptions for seniors.

Best for Medi-Cal : Pacifica Senior Living Escondido


Pacifica Senior Living Escondido

 Pacifica Senior Living Escondido

Why We Chose It: As one of the facilities on the approved Medi-Cal Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) list, Pacifica is eligible for the Assisted Living Waiver in California which allows patients to use Medi-Cal funds to pay for nursing home level care in residential care facilities.

What We Like
  • If you meet the requirements, you can use Medi-Cal to pay a portion of the monthly cost

  • Big city living

  • Beautiful grounds

What We Don't Like
  • Less recreational activities than other buildings

  • No pool or gym

  • Designed for those who need a higher level of care

Pacifica Senior Living in Escondido is a boutique-style assisted living facility located in sunny California. It offers both assisted living and memory care and has studio and one-bedroom apartments available. The building is set on 4 acres of landscaped grounds, so there are ample walking paths and areas to relax outdoors. 

Services provided at Pacifica Senior Living in Escondido include weekly housekeeping, a large private dining room, movie theatre, library, hair salon, and a weekly calendar of social activities. It is lacking some things that other buildings have, such as a pool or large fitness facility. Staff is available 24 hours a day and can assist with ADLs, mobility, medications, and daily tasks.

The benefit of a building like Pacifica Senior Living in Escondido is that it is on the list of approved RCFE facilities that are eligible for the California Assisted Living Waiver. This waiver allows the patient to use Medi-cal funds to subsidize the monthly fee in a residential care facility. Patients must require nursing home-level care to qualify, so it is not always guaranteed.

Reviews online state the building is clean and the staff is attentive. Plus, it won the 2021 Senior Advisor "Best of Senior Living" award. 

Best for Extra Hands-On Care : Brookdale Spruce Wood, New Hampshire


Brookdale Spruce Wood, New Hampshire

 Brookdale Spruce Wood, New Hampshire

Why We Chose It: If you want a community where you can continue to receive services as your needs increase, Brookdale Spruce Wood is a great choice.

What We Like
  • Has all levels of care, from skilled nursing to independent living

  • On 14 acres wooded acres

  • 2 miles from downtown Durham, New Hampshire

  • Spacious floorplans

What We Don't Like
  • Limited recreational facilities

  • Décor is dated

Brookdale Spruce Wood is located in Durham, New Hampshire, and has all the amenities you need as you age. It offers assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing services, so if your situation changes in the future, there are options available to ensure you get the care you need. Additionally, it has home health care and hospice services available. 

Amenities are limited but include a game room, library, barbershop, courtyard and garden, and guest suites. There are also a variety of activity programs that encourage socialization and friendship among residents. Additionally, the facility also has a great personal care service that delivers goods and toiletry items to your door to limit the need to leave for shopping. But if you are able to and enjoy leaving the premises, the main part of town is located just two miles from downtown Durham and the University of New Hampshire.

Pricing varies and monthly costs can range from roughly $800 to $7,725 for an assisted living apartment. Reviews online state that Brookdale has a great reputation at all of its buildings for providing high-quality care. 

Best for Luxury : Vivante North, Costa Mesa, California


Vivante North, Costa Mesa, California

 Vivante North, Costa Mesa, California

Why We Chose It: This modern facility has high-end amenities and offers a luxury experience for those looking to retire in California.

What We Like
  • New facility

  • Excellent culinary program

  • Wide variety of services

What We Don't Like
  • No skilled nursing

  • Expensive

Vivante North, located in Costa Mesa, California, offers all the high-end services you would expect from an upscale building and provides independent and assisted living, as well as memory care.

As a modern and upscale facility, there are many amenities available, such as an indoor pool, dance floor, bocce court, putting green, full gym, beauty salon, and multiple lounges. Vivante North also has multiple options for dining, and reviews online state that the food is top-notch. Its expert culinary team offers diverse dining options and provides a formal dining experience. If you are mobile and want to leave the premises, the residence is located in a busy area close to shopping, dining, hospitals, and churches.

Staff is available 24 hours a day and they have licensed care providers on site. However, it does not have a skilled nursing unit, which may be a deterrent for those who want a facility with all levels of care. 

Studio suites start at about $4,500, while one-bedroom suites start at roughly $5,200. If you need additional services or extra care, then you can expect additional fees each month. Vivante costs slightly more than the average assisted living in Costa Mesa, but if you value a beautiful facility and luxury services, you may find value there.

Final Verdict 

Overall, assisted living facilities vary greatly depending on location, size, and amenities provided. It’s important to first decide on where you’d like to live and then narrow down your options based on amenities or level of care. Most communities offer multiple levels of care and in-home services, making them desirable for those who are no longer able to live alone due to safety concerns or need for assistance with daily tasks. 

All the communities on our list are highly-rated in online reviews and some hold accreditations or an RCFE designation. All communities provide meals, accommodations, support with ADLs and household tasks, as well as a variety of activities. Some options are more expensive than others, and it's important to note that most assisted living facilities do not take insurance. If you have a long-term care policy or Medi-Cal, you may be able to get assistance with paying the monthly rent. It is best to choose a community that is within your budget, in a desirable location, and has the services you need to age in place.

Compare Providers

Best Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted Living Facility Why We Chose It  Location Cost
Warm Hearth Village  Best Overall Blacksburg, Virginia Varies (get a quote)
Parsons House Preston Hollow Best for Low-Cost Housing Dallas,Texas  Starts at about $3,628
Pacifica Senior Living Best for Medi-Cal Escondido, California Starts at around $2,800
Brookdale Spruce Wood  Best for Extra Hands-On Care Durham, New Hampshire  Ranges from about $800 to $7,725
Vivante North  Best for Luxury Costa Mesa, California  Suites range from about $4,500 to $5,200

FAQs

What Is an Assisted Living Facility?

An assisted living facility is a communal housing option for seniors who need various levels of medical or personal care. Many assisted living facilities offer a variety of rooms, apartments, condos, or townhomes to choose from, as well as amenities such as restaurants, in-room dining, fitness centers, transportation, and on-site activities.   

What Are the Costs Associated With an Assisted Living Facility?

Assisted living facilities generally charge a monthly fee similar to rent. Depending on the level of care required, this fee can include meals, personal care services, housekeeping, transportation, and more. Some assisted living facilities charge an entrance fee that can vary considerably depending on the facility. 

Are Assisted Living Facilities Covered by Insurance?

Health insurance does not cover assisted living facilities. If you have a long-term care policy or a long-term care rider on your life insurance, you may be able to be reimbursed for some or all of your monthly fee. If you are on Medicaid, you may be able to pay for some of your monthly fees with Medicaid funds, but this varies by state. 

When Should I Consider an Assisted Living Facility for Myself or a Loved One?

If you or your loved one is no longer able to live at home independently, an assisted living facility is a great option to improve your quality of life and receive the care you need as you age. It can often be less expensive than having caregivers come to your home and eliminates the need to do things like pay household bills, get groceries, cook meals, or other challenging activities. 

Methodology

We researched and compared 15 assisted living facilities throughout the U.S. in order to compile this list. We asked allied healthcare professionals, including physical and occupational therapists, for their recommendations and looked at the pros and cons of living in certain states. We compared facilities based on cost, floorplans, level of care provided, food options, and amenities and activities available. We excluded facilities that do not have private rooms or apartments or lacked adequate information online detailing their services.

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  1. Paying for Senior Care. The 10 Best Assisted Living Facilities in Dallas, TX.