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The Assisted Living Research Institute spent dozens of hours researching the top assisted living communities in the San Diego area to allow seniors and their families to find the community that’s right for them. Click through the facilities listed below to read in-depth reviews, what residents are saying, and details such as base pricing, room types, and more.

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In order to find the top assisted living communities in the San Diego area, our team of researchers:

  • Sorted through 328 communities using our unique methodology
  • Spent over 42 hours researching assisted living communities in San Diego
  • Read more than 2,624 reviews left by residents and their family members

After filtering out facilities that didn’t meet our high standards, we were left with 28 assisted living communities that earned our seal of approval. Through this process we discovered that the average cost of assisted living in the city of San Diego is $5,475, which is higher than the state average of $5,250 and also higher than the national average of $4,500.

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Jonathan Frank
Licensed Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner
Jonathan Frank
Licensed Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner

Jonathan Frank is a Licensed Social Worker with over 10 years experience working with the geriatric population in a variety of different settings. He received his Masters degree from Rutgers University with a certificate in Aging and Gerontological Services. Additionally, he is a Certified Dementia Practitioner accredited by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. Jonathan also has Bachelors degree in psychology and worked as an Emergency Medical Technician for 14 years. His passion lies with the elderly and ensuring they age with dignity.

Read on for in-depth information about the top assisted living facilities in San Diego, a brief dive into our methodology for determining the best assisted living communities, and a searchable directory of 30 communities in the San Diego area.

How to Pay for Assisted Living in San Diego, CA

Determining how to finance assisted living often starts with the question, “What’s the cost?” In today’s economy, where inflation plays a significant role, having current data is crucial for senior living financial planning. has gathered cost information from its expansive network of over 75,000 senior living providers. This data offers a glimpse into the average expenses for assisted living in San Diego and 200 additional cities within California.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Assisted Living in San Diego, CA

Most areas have seen an increase in assisted living care costs. In San Diego, the increase from 2022 to 2023 was about 10%, a rate that’s similar to the U.S. increase. California’s increase was slightly lower at about 7% with current costs coming in at $4,459.

Looking at costs for 2024, San Diego could see rates around $4,824, still similar to expected national rates of $4,802, which are both about 8% increases. Other California cities, including San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento, are also expecting 8% increases for 2024. Preparing for continued increases helps seniors plan for future care expenses.

Location 2022 Cost (Historical) 2023 Cost (Current) 2024 Cost (Estimated)
San Diego $4,088 $4,479 $4,824
U.S. Average $4,070 $4,459 $4,802
California $4,625 $4,946 $5,221
San Jose $6,669 $7,306 $7,868
San Francisco $7,099 $7,777 $8,375
Sacramento $4,995 $5,472 $5,893

Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care in San Diego, CA

Care costs vary largely for San Diego seniors based on the type and services. Independent living typically costs the lowest, averaging $3,679 and focuses on a carefree lifestyle. Assisted living is a little more, averaging $4,479, which accounts for the helping hand residents receive. Memory care comes in at the top at about $6,951 due to the specialty dementia care it provides. Comparing the budget with necessary services can help seniors choose a care option.

Care Type Cost
Assisted Living $4,479
Memory Care $6,951
Independent Living $3,679

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in San Diego, CA

Paying for assisted living in California graphic

Other Ways to Pay for Assisted Living in San Diego, CA

Since not everyone can afford to pay for assisted living out-of-pocket, it’s important to find alternative methods to help make assisted living more affordable. Some of these options include:

  • Veterans Benefits
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Reverse Mortgage

For more information about your options for making assisted living more affordable, visit our guide to Assisted Living in California.

Free and Low-Cost Assisted Living Resources for Seniors in San Diego, CA

Numerous resources are available in San Diego, California to support seniors during their retirement. has gathered data on local groups, initiatives, and agencies, and organized them according to care categories for convenient access.

For details about resources across the state and in neighboring cities, please visit the California state page on


Area Agency on Aging

Your local San Diego Area Agency on Aging is a valuable resource for retirees, offering guidance on financial aid, in-home care, and long-term care planning. They also link seniors and caregivers to community resources.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Aging & Independence Services 800-339-4661 The California Department of Aging oversees the network of Area Agencies on Aging, which offer a range of programs to support the well-being of older residents. These programs, funded by the state and federal government, include services like senior nutrition, care management, and Medicare counseling. Low-income seniors can also participate in volunteer programs, such as the Senior Companion Program and the Senior Community Service Employment Program, to contribute to their communities.

Cash Assistance Programs

In San Diego, financial aid programs are available to support low-income seniors in maintaining their home-based living. These programs offer tax relief, essential service discounts, and assistance with home heating and cooling expenses.

Program Name Phone Number Description
General Relief – San Diego 866-262-9881 San Diego’s General Relief Cash Assistance Program, funded by the county, offers emergency cash loans to eligible seniors. While primarily for seniors up to age 64, older seniors with limited incomes and resources may also qualify. Apply online at BenefitsCal or in person at San Diego Family Resource Centers. Proof of local residency and lack of funds or support are required for qualification.


Financial Assistance for Senior Care

Financial aid is available for seniors in San Diego who prefer to age in place. Various local entities provide support for expenses like home care, home adjustments, and utility bills.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Casa Pacifica ADHC Center 619-424-8181 Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) is a program that aims to keep seniors out of nursing homes by providing comprehensive care in the community. It includes professional nursing, mental health services, therapy, personal care, and other support to help seniors maintain their quality of life. CBAS is designed to meet the unique needs of each participant and ensure they receive the care they require.
Loving Care ADHC 619-718-9777 Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) is a program that aims to support seniors in the community, preventing the need for nursing home placement. CBAS provides a range of services, including professional nursing care, mental health support, therapy, personal care, and more. By offering these services, CBAS helps participants maintain their quality of life and independence.
San Diego Family Circle ADHC 858-244-4555 Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) is a program that aims to support seniors in the community, preventing the need for nursing home placement. CBAS provides a range of services, including professional nursing care, mental health support, therapy, personal care, and more. By offering these services, CBAS helps participants maintain their quality of life and independence.
Neighborhood House ADHC Center 619-233-6691 Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) is a program that aims to support seniors in the community, preventing the need for nursing home placement. CBAS provides a range of services, including professional nursing care, mental health support, therapy, personal care, and more. These services are designed to help participants maintain their quality of life and meet their individual needs.
In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS) – San Diego 800-339-4661 The In-Home Supportive Services Program provides financial assistance for home-based services, enabling eligible individuals to remain in their homes. Services covered include meal preparation, house cleaning, personal care, and grocery shopping.


Food Assistance Programs

In San Diego, various local initiatives are dedicated to promoting senior health through balanced nutrition. They offer services like meal delivery, communal dining, and food banks, ensuring elderly residents have access to affordable, nutritious food.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Chollas View United Methodist Church Food Distribution 619-264-0169 Chollas View United Methodist Church in San Diego, CA, offers a food distribution program every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. This program provides a variety of ingredients to help community members in need prepare meals at home, offering relief from hardship and hunger. Additionally, seniors are welcome to attend worship services every Sunday at 11 a.m.
Ocean Beach Emergency Food, Inc. Loaves & Fishes, also known as Ocean Beach Emergency Food, Inc., is an emergency food bank that serves Ocean Beach and the Peninsula area. Eligible seniors must reside in the 92106, 92107, or 92110 areas and have a need for food. The emergency food bags provided include peanut butter, beans, canned fruits and vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, soup, and other non-perishable items. Toiletries and hygiene products may also be available based on supply.
Meals on Wheels – San Diego County 619-260-6110 Meals on Wheels addresses hunger and isolation by providing seniors in California with nourishing meals. The delivery schedule is determined by local branches, who decide the quantity and timing of the meals each week.
San Diego Hunger Coalition 858-452-3663 The San Diego Hunger Coalition coordinates hunger-relief efforts in San Diego County, connecting residents with local food banks and distribution centers. They assist seniors in finding congregate meal sites or home-delivered meal programs. The organization also helps low-income families and individuals sign up for CalFresh grocery assistance and the federal WIC program.


In San Diego, numerous agencies provide affordable or complimentary legal assistance to the elderly. They offer counsel on matters like estate management, living wills, and power of attorney. Some even serve as advocates for seniors’ rights in long-term care facilities.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program – San Diego 858-640-4661 The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in San Diego offers seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities direct support. Ombudsmen help seniors understand their legal rights and advocate for them on matters like quality of care, billing, and benefits. The program also assists with transitions, caregiver abuse, nutrition, and other elder concerns.


Senior Engagement

In San Diego, a variety of programs and resources are available for seniors to stay engaged and active. These include wellness initiatives, volunteering options, and support networks, all aimed at fostering community involvement and enhancing life quality.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Aging & Independence Services Volunteer Programs 858-505-6399 Aging & Independence Services Volunteer Programs provides two volunteer opportunities for seniors. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, operated by AmeriCorps, is open to adults aged 55 and above. The Senior Volunteers in Action is available for individuals aged 50 and older. These programs offer seniors the chance to contribute their skills and time in various settings, including museums, law enforcement, and senior centers.


Social Security Offices

In San Diego, Social Security offices provide essential services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. They offer guidance on retirement benefits, disability allowances, and Supplemental Security Income.

Program Name Phone Number Description
San Diego Social Security Offices 800-772-1213 Social Security provides income for retirees and individuals unable to work due to disability. Funding is derived from payroll taxes paid by employers, employees, and self-employed individuals. Upon retirement, monthly payments are determined by previous earnings.


Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Organizations are available to aid low-income seniors in San Diego struggling with home maintenance costs, including utility and energy bills. Emergency funding may also be accessible for those at risk of utility service termination due to unpaid bills.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – San Diego 866-675-6623 The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) aids eligible households in managing utility bills, while the LIHEAP Energy Crisis Prevention Program (ECPP) provides financial support to low-income households experiencing energy-related emergencies. For instance, the ECPP may assist homeowners at risk of power disconnection.


Veteran’s Services

Veteran services in San Diego offer invaluable assistance to retired military personnel. These local entities guide veterans in utilizing their rightful benefits and provide counsel on diverse matters.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Jennifer Moreno Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center 858-552-8585 The Jennifer Moreno Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego offers a wide range of primary and specialty health services for veterans. From mental health care and pain management to women’s health services and rehabilitation, our center is dedicated to providing comprehensive support. With a patient-centered approach and a focus on whole health, we strive to ensure that every veteran receives the care they deserve.
San Diego Vet Center 858-642-1500 The San Diego Vet Center in California offers essential mental health support and assistance to veterans. Their specialized services include individual and group therapy, addressing concerns like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and grief. With a strong commitment to improving veterans’ well-being, the center serves as a reliable pillar of support for those who have courageously served their country.


Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in San Diego, CA

Assisted Living Communities in San Diego are required to follow a set of rules and regulations that are determined by the state. For an overview of those rules and regulations, see the information below. For more specific information, talk with your local community or Area Agency on Aging.

Laws and regulations for assisted living in California

Our Methodology

It’s not what we research, but the way we research that makes stand out. We start by identifying problems and challenges in the senior care industry by gaining insight from conversations with industry professionals, older adults, and those that care for them. Next, our research team led by industry experts apply our data-driven research techniques to understand the magnitude of the challenge and how to overcome it. Finally, we present our findings in easy-to-understand guides and studies and share our actionable results with influencers and caregivers, as well as the general public.

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Facility Features (40%)

Facility Health Services Graded on health services provided
on the facility including, but not
limited to, on-site nursing,
pharmacy, skilled nursing,
medicine administration, etc

Facility Amenities Graded on the available

Affordability Financial assistance acceptance
and overall costs and value.

Residential Quality (40%)

Resident Satisfaction Polling & survey of overall facility satisfaction.

Facility Complaint and Violations Number of complaints and violations the facility had. Taking into account improvement over time.

Online Reviews Aggregated verified online reviews.

Location (20%)

Location-Based Benefits Including, but not limited to, proximity to
hospitals, ambulance response times, senior
resources available, and state and city
financial assistance.

Location Quality Local crime rates, incidents against older
adults, air quality, climate.

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