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While assisted living facilities (ALFs) may be slightly more expensive than neighboring states, Delaware is actually easier on the wallet than other areas. Seniors in Delaware qualify for to up to $12,500 state income tax exclusions from retirement income and an additional $2,500 exclusion for those over age 65. There is no sales tax and there is less gas tax than other states. As well as the financial perks, Delaware is home to scenic beaches and peaceful parks, close to many historical landmarks, and a thriving jazz hub.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Delaware

When looking for an assisted living facility for your loved one, finding accurate information and comparing facilities can be a major barrier. To help solve this problem, we’ve created a comprehensive directory of ALFs in Delaware to help you easily access information about amenities, size of the facility, pricing, and more.

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How to Pay for Assisted Living in Delaware

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 Delaware and 4 additional cities within Delaware.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Assisted Living in Delaware

Though inflation has caused cost of living increases from 2022-2023, Delaware assisted living costs actually decreased by 13%, arriving at $4,459. New Jersey also saw a decrease of 12%, but the other surrounding states had increases. Pennsylvania increased to $4,653, and Maryland increased to $5,091. Massachusetts also increased by 8%. In contrast, the national cost increased by 10% to an average of $4,459.

Though some states saw decreases in 2023, 2024 prices will likely increase, so planning for these costs is essential. Delaware’s projected monthly cost is $4,885, and the projected cost in New Jersey is $5,992.

Location 2022 Cost (Historical) 2023 Cost (Current) 2024 Cost (Estimated)
Delaware $5,264 $4,587 $4,885
U.S. Average $4,070 $4,459 $4,802
Pennsylvania $3,908 $4,653 $5,016
New Jersey $5,857 $5,175 $5,992
Maryland $4,613 $5,091 $5,153
Massachusetts $5,202 $5,599 $6,393

Assisted Living Costs in Delaware's Top Cities

Costs for assisted living can vary quite a bit across the state. Wilmington has a monthly average of $3,711, offering one of the more affordable senior living options in the state, while Dover has the highest average of $5,864. Both Newark and Hockessin share an average of $4,203, which is lower than the state’s $4,587 average. Because of this wide variance, planning for the cost of senior living is important.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Understanding the cost of senior living requires weighing the different types of care in Delaware. Seniors who need help with daily living tasks may choose assisted living, which averages $4,587. Those who need minimal help but want social activities and basic wellness checks can choose independent living, which is the most affordable option at $3,472. When memory loss is a concern, memory care offers caregiving specific to this need, and it costs $6,049 a month.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Delaware

Diamond State Health Plan Plus (DSHPP)

Delaware has a growing population of elderly residents. As a result, they have expanded their Medicaid long-term care (LTC) programs to cover residential assisted living, community- and home-based care services. All programs to provide LTC have been absorbed by the managed care organization DSHPP, making aging care services in Delaware easier to access.

Who Is Eligible?

To qualify for Medicaid, one must be in need of skilled nursing care, low income, and have no alternative health insurance. Financially, applicants cannot receive more than 250% of the Social Security Income standard, in 2018 that amount is $1,875. The non-applicant’s income may be higher as there are spousal protections in place for eligibility purposes.

How To Apply?

Request a Medicaid application by email or you can call the Delaware Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 1-800-223-9074 or visit their website to find an office near you.

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 Assisted Living Resources in Delaware

In Delaware, a multitude of resources are available to support seniors during their retirement years. has gathered data on various local entities, initiatives, and agencies, and organized them according to the type of care they provide for effortless navigation.

Area Agency on Aging

Your local 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
Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities 800-223-9074 Delaware’s Area Agencies on Aging provide a range of services to support the health and well-being of seniors in the state. They offer community services to meet the nutritional, health, social, emotional, and recreational needs of older adults. AAAs ensure easy access to information on support services and long-term care options. They empower seniors to maintain their independence through respite care, nutrition programs, and support groups.

Cash Assistance Programs

In Delaware, 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
Delaware Emergency Assistance Services Low-income seniors may be eligible for ongoing government assistance to purchase food or pay urgent bills. Emergency government assistance programs are also available to help with unforeseen expenses or short-term bills.
Delaware Lifeline Program 800-234-9473 The LifeLine Program provides discounted telephone service, allowing participants to maintain communication with their loved ones via landline or mobile phones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Seniors in Delaware, whether residing independently or in a senior living facility, have access to various local financial aid options. These entities assist in offsetting certain in-home or long-term care expenses and link them to beneficial community resources.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Delaware Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is currently offered in select areas of Delaware, but it is not available statewide. PACE streamlines the Medicare and Medicaid process by acting as a central hub for all payments, claims, and assessments. Instead of providing direct funds, PACE serves as a single point of contact for managing Medicare and Medicaid.

Food Assistance Programs

In Delaware, 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
Delaware Meals on Wheels Delaware Meals on Wheels delivers hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors and disabled residents across the state. The program is managed by five organizations: City Fare Meals on Wheels, Newark Senior Center, Modern Maturity Center, CHEER, and Meals on Wheels Lewis-Rehoboth. Seniors can reach out to their nearest program for food delivery. Additionally, the organization provides meal kits with nonperishable foods to help seniors stock their kitchens.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In Delaware, numerous groups are addressing the steep expense of new medical equipment. They gather gently used items like wheelchairs, ramps, and walkers, providing them to local seniors and individuals in need.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative 800-870-3284 The Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative offers temporary loans of durable medical equipment to individuals in need. Whether you’re recovering from an illness, waiting for equipment repairs, or wanting to test a medical device before buying, we’ve got you covered. Experience the convenience and flexibility of our short-term loan program.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Seniors in {} with specific income levels can tap into local resources for prescription drug cost assistance. They may also qualify for health insurance and other schemes offering free or discounted medical services.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Delaware Diamond State Health Plan – Plus 800‐996‐9969 The Diamond State Health Plan – Plus is a Medicaid waiver that provides comprehensive long-term care options for seniors, including nursing home care. It replaces multiple waivers and offers a simplified solution for seniors who need different levels of care in the community or nursing facilities. The program consists of two sub-programs, the Nursing Facility Program and the Long-Term Care Community Services Program. It allows seniors to have some control over their care, including the option to hire family members as providers.
Delaware Prescription Assistance Program 844-245-9580 The Delaware Prescription Assistance Program provides financial assistance to low-income individuals who cannot afford prescription drugs. It is open to elderly or disabled individuals with no prescription drug coverage other than Medicare Part D, and those with an income below 200% of the federal poverty level. Eligible seniors may receive up to $3,000 per year for Medicare Part D premiums and certain prescribed medications if their income is low or if their prescription bills exceed 40% of their income.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Delaware, numerous programs are available to aid seniors and individuals with disabilities in financing home modifications and repairs. These programs, offering grants or loans, have diverse eligibility requirements specifically designed for retirees.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Delaware Weatherization Assistance Program 302-504-6111 The Delaware Weatherization Assistance Program offers free home improvements to enhance energy efficiency. Services include insulation, weather stripping, low-energy light bulbs, and other enhancements.

In Delaware, 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
Delaware Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. 800-537-8383 Delaware Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. offers complimentary legal assistance to individuals aged 60 and above, as well as adults with disabilities. Through the Elder Law Program, Delaware seniors can access guidance and resources on a range of senior-related matters, such as living wills, powers of attorney, consumer concerns, and benefits.

Social Security Offices

In Delaware, 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
Delaware Social Security 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.

Tax Assistance

Numerous tax aid resources are available in Delaware for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. These include potential exemptions on medical costs, property tax reductions, and other tax relief initiatives.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Delaware Senior School Property Tax Relief The Senior School Property Tax Relief program provides a 50% discount on property taxes, with a maximum value of $400. This relief is exclusively applicable to the primary residence of seniors.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Organizations are available to aid low-income seniors in {} 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
Delaware Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides emergency payments to help families with their utility bills. It offers assistance for heating during winter and air conditioning during summer months. This program aims to support low-income households struggling with their energy expenses.

Veteran’s Services

Veteran services in Delaware 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
Delaware VA Benefits and Health Care The Delaware VA Benefits and Health Care program provides medical care and additional benefits to seniors across the state. Seniors who served in the military may qualify for services and retirement benefits through the state’s VA program. The main VA Medical Center is in Wilmington, with outpatient clinics or vet centers in Dover, Georgetown, and Wilmington.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Delaware

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) in Delaware are bound by strict codes of conduct and policies to protect the residents. The Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection (DLTCRP) handles abuse claims, as well as licensing and certification for Medicaid-enrolled assisted living facilities. To request a copy of a facility’s survey report, which includes all complaint information as well as the results of the most recent annual survey, contact the DLTCRP’s office in Wilmington, New Castle County at (302) 557-6661.

Assisted Living Service Planning

Residents must complete a written services agreement with the assisted living facility, no later than the day of admission. If the patient requests services from any outside party, including family members, those must also be included in the service contract. Services include transportation, laundry, activities, financial planning, and furnishings. The service planning contract outlines:

  • What services will be provided
  • Who will be providing the services
  • How services will be provided
  • When services will be provided
  • The expected outcome of services

A negotiated risk contract is a service plan that emphasizes independence and autonomy. The facility and the resident add a signed document that details mutually agreed upon actions that balance a resident’s need for autonomy and the facilities need for liability protection in case of accidents. Only residents who are deemed capable of making choices and have no dementia diagnosis are able to enter into a managed risk contract.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

An assisted living facility provides housing, supervision and personalized assistance to its residents that need help with activities of daily living, or ADLs. While there is a 90-day exemption available for existing residents, generally it is required for a resident to be capable of living independently of medical equipment such as breathing ventilators, wound machines, or a trachea machine that is needed for longer than 6 months. It is also expected residents not be bedridden for longer than 14 days or be carriers or any disease that would require more than contact isolation. A physical is to be completed within 14 days of admittance to an ALF.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities are not residences for those that are in need of constant medical care. These homes are for people that need assistance with ADLs, such as light housekeeping, shopping, and assistance with dressing or medication. The residents are able to live generally independently, though care services are provided and there is medical care staff available.

Assisted living facilities are required to define the services they provide patients in the initial agreement, created prior to initiating the ALF contract. Services might include meals, laundry, housekeeping, and recreational activities. When the service planning contract is created, the facility and the resident negotiate what services are provided, who is responsible for what processes and what the charges and service rates are. A price sheet must be provided before any ALF contract can be signed in the state of Delaware.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

In Delaware, new waivers are available in the Medicaid program to help senior citizens pay for assisted living. Eligible seniors can enroll in Medicaid to access the Diamond State Plus Health Plan for assisted living services and case management. Request a long-term care waiver by calling the Delaware ARDC toll free at 1-800-223-9074.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Assisted living communities provide apartment-style living accommodations to residents. In Delaware, no more than two occupants may occupy one room in an ALF. There must be one bathroom for every four residents, and it must be accessible from either the residents own unit or a common area. All residents must have access to a kitchen, sink, and refrigerator, whether in their own unit or a common area. All private areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms must have emergency intercoms available in case of falls or other emergencies.

Medication Management Regulations

When a resident is admitted into an assisted living facility, they must include their medical history and current medications in their service plan. A registered nurse will complete the medication plan and it will be evaluated 30 days after admission as well as quarterly.

Residents of assisted living facilities in Delaware must be able to administer their own medication, or the RN must administer the medication. Direct care staff, family members, and support persons chosen by the resident are able to assist the resident with medication by opening the container, handing the resident their medication and logging the date, time, name and amount of medications taken.

Staffing Requirements

There is not a required staff-to-patient ratio in Delaware, but there is a minimum staff requirement. All direct care staff must know each resident and be familiar with their personal service plans. A director is required for every assisted living facility, regardless of size. The director must remain on site for a minimum of 8 hours a week, though this number increases with the number of beds in the facility. The director manages the facility and staff, as well as upholds current laws and regulations within the facility.

Licensed facilities with 25 or more beds must maintain a full-time Nursing Home Administrator. Houses with less than 25 beds but more than 4 may employ a part-time administrator. Facilities must also employ a director of nursing who is registered as a nurse, for a minimum of 8 hours a week. ALFs with over 25 beds must employ the director of nursing full-time.

There must always be one staff member on site who is qualified to administer medication. For an aide to assist a resident self-administer medication, they must complete first aid, CPR, and the Delaware-created Assistance with Self-Administration of Medication program.

Staff Training Requirements

Orientation training is required for all direct care staff, permanent or temporary. Ongoing training is required as well. A minimum of 12 hours annual training is required for resident assistants in areas such as:

  • Fire safety
  • Emergency procedures
  • Assessments
  • Psychosocial needs
  • Health processes
  • Infection control
  • Basic food service
  • Resident rights
  • Reporting abuse

Background Checks for Assisted Living

All staff of assisted living facilities or any other licensed caregiver role must submit to a federal background check by the Delaware Bureau of Investigations. Any information discovered during such a check must be reported to the DHSS for review. Any abuse, neglect or mistreatment conviction in the past 15 years is a disqualification for employment in Delaware for care agencies and facilities. Facilities are also required to follow Delaware’s drug testing policy for all employees, which mandates testing for employees of any programs, care agencies, and care facilities.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Healthcare workers, caregivers, and indirect care staff are all required to report any suspected physical, emotional or financial abuse to the proper departments within their facility as well as to the state. The first point of entry for an abuse allegation occurring in long-term care facilities is the Office of Health Facilities Licensing and Certification. Call the 24-hour hotline to report abuse at 1-877-453-0012 or file a complaint online.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, you can report the problem anonymously through the state of Delaware. To report elder abuse that occurs in the home or community to the state, contact the DHSS Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities by at (800) 223-9074.

Delaware COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/3/22. 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 Delaware
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 (Conditions Apply)
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
Are staff members regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes (Conditions Apply)
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 (Conditions Apply)



*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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