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With a growing senior population, Colorado’s scenery and outdoor activities make it an attractive state in which to retire. Older adults have a wide selection of communities to choose from in the state – there are assisted living facilities in rural farming communities, mountain towns, and major metropolitan areas.

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When searching for an assisted facility for yourself or a loved one, finding and comparing accurate, up-to-date information is a significant challenge. Our database of over 400 assisted living communities in Colorado can help you locate and compare information about amenities, size of the facility, pricing, and more.

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How to Pay for Assisted Living in Colorado

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 Colorado and 21 additional cities within Colorado.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Assisted Living in Colorado

Inflation impacts most areas of life, and the increases from 2022 to 2023 caused assisted living costs in the nation to increase by 10%. In Colorado, 2023 had an average cost of $4,630, which was a smaller increase of 5.5%. All nearby states also saw increases. Kansas increased by 19%, while Utah’s costs grew by 12%. New Mexico also increased, averaging $4,185 in 2023, as did Oklahoma, which increased to $3,789.

Because prices are estimated to continue rising, increasing to $5,063 by 2024 in Colorado and $4,802 nationally, making a plan for senior living costs is wise.

Location 2022 Cost (Historical) 2023 Cost (Current) 2024 Cost (Estimated)
Colorado $4,392 $4,630 $5,063
U.S. Average $4,070 $4,459 $4,802
Kansas $4,066 $4,834 $5,149
Utah $3,690 $4,129 $4,200
New Mexico $3,465 $4,185 $4,752
Oklahoma $3,173 $3,789 $4,035

Assisted Living Costs in Colorado's Top Cities

Surveying the larger cities in Colorado shows a range of costs. Some, like Fort Collins at $5,239 a month and Colorado Springs at $5,142 a month, have averages above the state’s average. Aurora is also on the higher end at $5,014. Denver offers a more affordable option, with a monthly cost of $3,620 on average. The fact that prices can vary so widely is another reason why planning is critical.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Another important part of planning for senior living costs is choosing the right level of care. Assisted living, which averages $4,630, provides personal support and a measure of independence. Independent living provides affordability with an average of $2,802, and it gives self-reliant seniors the benefit of living in a community with planned events. In contrast, memory care, which averages $5,958, provides around-the-clock security and specialty training for managing memory loss concerns in a dignified way.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Colorado

The Elderly, Blind, and Disabled Waiver

The Medicaid state plan for Colorado is called Health First Colorado (HFC). HFC does not directly cover costs for assisted living facilities. However, it does offer a waiver program that can help cover expenses at state-licensed assisted living communities (called Alternative Care Facilities in Colorado). It’s important to note that the Elderly, Blind and Disabled (EBD) Waiver is not an entitlement program, so even if you qualify you may not be accepted into the program.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for the EBD waiver you must fall under these criteria:

  • Must be 65 +
  • Must require long-term support and a nursing home level of care
  • Income must be less than $2,205
  • Must have countable resources less than $2,000 (single) or less than $3,000 (couple)

Those who don’t meet the financial requirements may become eligible using the Health First Colorado Buy-In Program.

How to Apply

If you or your loved one is currently enrolled in Health First Colorado you can contact your local Single Entry Point (SEP) to start the application process for the Elder, Blind and Disabled waiver. If you or your loved one is not enrolled in Health First Colorado you must first apply and be accepted before applying for the EBD waiver.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on
  • Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit

Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Colorado

There are many resources in Colorado that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.


Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Area Agencies on Aging The Area Agencies on Aging in Colorado provide information on local resources and programs for older adults throughout the state. The aim of the agencies is to help seniors remain as independent as possible while receiving the assistance they need to live purposeful lives. Services provided by the AAAs include case management, transportation and health screenings. AAAs offer multiple programs depending on the specific needs of individuals, including adult day programs and congregate and home-delivered meals.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Colorado provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Lifeline Program 800-234-9473 The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.
Colorado Old Age Pension The Old Age Pension is a financial assistance program that pays beneficiaries up to $771 per month. You can use these funds to pay for any senior living or senior care services you may need. If you qualify for the Old Age Pension, you may also be eligible for the Health Care Program, which provides medical coverage for some seniors who do not qualify for Medicaid.


Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Colorado seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Program of All-Inclusive Care For the Elderly (PACE) The Program of All-Inclusive Care For the Elderly is a managed Medicaid program that provides health care at designated facilities, but it also covers some care services seniors can get at home. These include skilled nursing, personal care, transportation and physical and occupational therapies. A PACE home care coordinator can arrange for the delivery of support services you need. The program pays for all services that are covered under Medicare and Colorado’s Medicaid plan.


Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Colorado seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Meals on Wheels Colorado Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals to homebound seniors aged 60 and older throughout the state. The organization doesn’t charge for the meals but asks seniors to contribute what they can afford when possible. Volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals low in cholesterol and fat to promote a healthy lifestyle, and they visit briefly to ensure the individual is safe. The program also offers nutrition education services for interested seniors, helping them learn about a well-balanced diet.
Colorado Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 855-855-4626 Colorado Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides funds for seniors to use to buy food. SNAP provides electronic benefit transfer cards that receive monthly funds that low-income seniors can use to purchase food. To apply, seniors need proof of their income status and family size. Colorado SNAP serves the entire state.
Colorado Volunteers of America Meals on Wheels 720-501-3367 Meals on Wheels is a national organization that’s delivered thousands of meals to seniors in Colorado who are unable to prepare or obtain their own food. In addition to serving the nutritional needs of countless older adults in the state, volunteers provide a valuable service by checking in on the health and well-being of isolated seniors.
Colorado Works (TANF) 855-855-4626 Colorado Works operates as the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. It helps low-income seniors with energy bills and heating and cooling repairs. It also includes the Old Age Pension program, which provides financial assistance and help with health care costs. Income and residency requirements apply. Benefits can last up to 60 months.


Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Colorado collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Hospital Equipment Lending Program 720-598-6126 The Assistance League of Denver loans wheelchairs, bath benches, walkers and other medical equipment to those in need at no cost to the borrower. You are expected to return all equipment once you’re finished using it.
Colorado South Metro Medical Equipment Closet 720-443-2013 This equipment closet provides short-term loans of medical equipment to adults recovering from an injury, injury or illness. The max term of a loan is 3 months.
Colorado Summit County Senior Services – DME Loan Closet 970-668-2952 The program loans out walkers, crutches, wheelchairs commodes and other durable medical equipment on a short-term basis. The loan closet is located within the Community & Senior Center.
Colorado Tri-Lakes Care Loan Closet 719-481-4864 The Tri-Lakes Care Neighborhood Nurse Center loans out walkers, canes, non-powered wheelchairs, crutches and toilet seat risers at no cost to the borrower. All loaned equipment is donated by members of the community.


Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Colorado seniors who meet certain income criteria can apply to local resources to help them pay for prescription drugs. Eligible residents can also receive assistance through health insurance and other programs to access free or discounted medical services.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Old Age Pension Health and Medical Care Program 800-221-3943 The Medical Care Program provides limited health care services for older adults who do not qualify for a Health First Colorado plan. It includes inpatient and outpatient hospital services, home health care, surgical dental services, durable medical equipment and medical transportation. The Old Age Pension also pays for limited pharmaceuticals. This program is known by a few different names: Modified Medical Plan, State Medical Program and the OAP State Only Program.


Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Colorado have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Brothers Redevelopment 303-202-6340 This non-profit organization assists seniors by helping them to apply federal and social benefits. They can also help with financial planning, reverse mortgages and creating living wills. Additionally, members of the group volunteer to help seniors with housework, yard work, home repairs and running errands. All of these services are aimed at helping seniors to successfully age in place. There is no charge for the services.
Colorado Weatherization Assistance Program Your local weatherization provider can help you save money on your heating and cooling bills by providing free energy conservation solutions. Experts will perform an energy audit at your property and then recommend services at no cost, including infiltration sealing, furnace repair, LED light installation, solar energy and air source heat pumps.


Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Colorado seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Legal Assistance for Older Adults Seniors can receive legal services through this department, which protects seniors’ rights and ensures they understand those rights. Advocacy and access to representation is also available.
Colorado Legal Services Colorado Legal Services (CLS) offers free legal assistance to seniors aged 60 and older if they meet certain income, asset and legal problem requirements. CLS may take on cases that align with the firm’s priorities regardless of income, if the financial and staffing resources are available. Example cases include family law, consumer debt, tax litigation and problems with SSI disbursement or other government benefits. Online, phone and walk-in applications are welcome.
Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program 719-471-2096 The Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program assists seniors living in long-term care communities such as assisted living facilities. They serve as advocates who regularly visit residents and investigate any complaints and claims of abuse, neglect or inadequate care.


Senior Centers

Senior centers in Colorado bring together residents through recreational activities and events. Many also offer advice and support on senior issues, run wellness and nutrition programs, and connect older adults with other resources in the local area.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado 2-1-1 866-760-6489 Call 2-1-1 to access many senior services. Long-term care services and information are available through this service, along with many other disability and aging resources. The website can also help direct seniors and caregivers to the right resources for their needs.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Colorado help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter The Alzheimer’s Association advocates for memory care recipients and their families. In addition, this association raises funds for research and raises awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. Through the Colorado chapter, seniors can receive local services, resources and referrals.
Colorado Benefits in Action 888-496-4252 Benefits in Action is a nonprofit organization designed to provide health insurance navigation. A counselor from the program will spend time with seniors and their caregivers, explaining the various state health care insurance plans and helping seniors to find the best option for their particular situation. Counselors can assist seniors in applying for health care insurance and any benefits they’re eligible for. Additionally, the counselors can explain financial assistance options available for seniors needing to make the move to nursing home care.


Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Colorado help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they’re entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Social Security Social Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you’ll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.


Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Colorado resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado Senior Property Tax Exemption 303-660-7450 This tax savings program exempts up to $100,000 of your home’s value from your exemption will be %50 or property taxes.


Veteran’s Services

Colorado retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they’re eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Colorado VA Benefits and Health Care Colorado’s VA Benefits and Health Care ensures seniors who’ve served in the nation’s military have access to the essential programs and services they are entitled to. Veterans who qualify receive health care, counseling, education, job opportunities and housing placement. The agency also helps seniors obtain compensation and benefits and offers access to military records. Families of veterans may receive assistance with burial and survivor benefits.


Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Colorado

Assisted Living Care Plan

When establishing residency at an assisted living facility, the resident will work with staff and other family members to develop a care plan that will include:

  • A plan for medication assistance indicating whether assistance is needed
  • Any physical or mental limitations
  • Special instructions and needs (such as dietary requirements or restrictions)

The care plan may be modified by the resident at any given time, and they are to be reassessed yearly or if there are any significant changes in their physical, behavioral, or cognitive functions. If the resident is receiving any outside care the facility will document that and help to coordinate the services received with services provided by the facility.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

Residents may be admitted into an assisted living facility in the state of Colorado if the facility is able to meet the needs of the resident according to their pre-admission assessment. Residents who cannot be admitted into assisted living facilities in Colorado include those that:

  • Are consistently incontinent
  • Are bedridden
  • Need around-the-clock nursing services
  • Need restraints
  • Have a disease or infection that is transferable
  • Have a substance abuse problem

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Some of the services provided by assisted living facilities in the state of Colorado include:

  • A safe and sanitary environment
  • Protective oversight
  • Help with activities of daily living (such as meals, bathing, and moving around)
  • Social and recreational services within and outside of the facility

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

The State of Colorado doesn’t directly cover the cost of assisted living through its Medicaid program. However, residents may receive financial assistance via the Elderly, Blind and Disabled (EBD) Waiver. Contact Colorado’s Medicaid program, Health First Colorado, for more information.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

In Colorado, apartment-style units are not required. Each bedroom in an assisted living facility must have one window and storage space, and no more than 2 occupants per room are allowed. There must be at least one full bathroom for every six residents.

Medication Management Regulations

Residents may administer their own medications if a licensed medical professional has deemed it appropriate. If needed, a qualified medication administration person (QMAP) may administer prescribed and non-prescribed medications to the resident but cannot administer medications via syringe.

QMAPs must pass an approved medication training course given by a licensed nurse, physician, or physician’s assistant, and they must pass an approved competency test. Additionally, they must complete an evaluation of competency every 5 years. The Department has a list of current persons certified as QMAPs and facilities must keep a copy of that list.

Staffing Requirements

All assisted living facilities (ALFs) require full-time administrators and sufficient staff, as well as a plan to determine how many staff members need to be on-duty and awake 24 hours a day. While there are no minimum staff-to-patient ratios, facilities must have enough staff to provide the services required to provide for all residents’ needs according to their care plans. A qualified medication administrator and at least one staff member with current certification in adult first-aid must be on site at all times.

Staff Training Requirements

Administrators must be 21 years of age or older and complete a 30-hour training program. 15 of those hours must cover:

  • Residents’ rights
  • Environment and fire safety
  • Emergency Procedures and first-aid
  • Assessment skills (identifying and addressing difficult situations and behaviors)
  • Nutrition

The other 15 hours of training must include meeting the personal, social, and emotional needs of the residents. This can include instruction regarding the management of residents’ medication, finances, end of life care, etc.

All staff must be given on-the-job training or have experience in the job field before they can give care to the residents. Within 1 month of hire the facility is to provide training on:

  • Assessment skills
  • Infection control
  • Identifying and dealing with difficult situations and behavior
  • Health emergency response
  • Residents’ rights
  • First aid and injury response
  • The facility’s medication administration program
  • Specific needs of the population served
  • Procedures for providing care to current residents

Background Checks for Assisted Living

A criminal background check is required for all staff, volunteers, and contract staff. The owners and administrators of the ALFs are also to undergo a state fingerprint check that will notify criminal justice agencies of any future arrests.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

If you believe that a facility is not functioning properly or violating Colorado law, you can file a complaint anonymously at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Colorado COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/7/22. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your assisted living facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

COVID-19 Rules in Colorado
Are loved ones allowed to visit residents in their assisted living community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents required to quarantine after their loved ones visit? No
Are loved ones required to wear masks when visiting residents? Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors allowed in assisted living communities? Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures before entering the assisted living community? Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the assisted living community for non-medical reasons? Yes
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they get back to the assisted living community? No (Conditions Apply)
Are assisted living communities required to cancel all group outings? No
Are assisted living communities allowed to host group activities within the community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms? Yes
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes



*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

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