Nevada may be an ideal retirement option for seniors who appreciate desert beauty and climates of dry heat. Being one of seven states with no state income tax, Nevada is also a viable option for people who live on fixed incomes. With a social landscape unlike any other state, citizens here take pride in the relatively limited powers of government over everyday functions, such as marriage, personal entertainment, and taxation.
Paying For Assisted Living in Nevada
The Cost of Assisted Living in Nevada
The median cost of assisted living in Nevada is $500 less per month than the $4,000 national average. Nevada represents a middle ground in average ALF costs among surrounding states, with only Idaho and Utah costing less. Finding a facility in this state can represent a favorable alternative to paying for the same level of care in California or Oregon, where prices far surpass those of all surrounding locations.
In Nevada’s major cities of Carson and Reno, assisted living residents can expect to pay more than the statewide monthly average. However, for seniors who opt to live in the Las Vegas area, costs are likely to be close to $300 less than the state’s median cost. Nevada also has many smaller towns and cities where expenses can be far lower than the median. If Nevada’s three largest cities are excluded, the average cost of assisted living for the rest of the state is only $3,100.
The level of care that is needed will often greatly impact a person’s expenses, though in Nevada, assisted living prices tend to be much lower than the state’s nursing home and memory care fees. Adult day healthcare is the least costly option for elder care in the state while independent living’s median price is closer to that of assisted living.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Nevada
Nevada participates in the national Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which provides coverage of all medical and personal care services for qualifying seniors. PACE offers a suite of care options for a capped monthly fee that is below the cost of comparable nursing home care.
This program is intended to help especially frail seniors avoid being institutionalized, and most recipients have dual eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare. Recipients may use their benefits in assisted living facilities. However, all recipients must have family or caregivers available who can provide limited care and supervision for short periods of respite.
Who is Eligible?
- Ages 55 and older
- At risk of institutionalization
- People who live in a PACE service area
- Individuals who can live safely in their home or assisted living community
Private payment is accepted for individuals not receiving Medicare or Medicaid, but space in the program is generally limited. People with the most pressing needs are given priority on Nevada’s PACE waiting list.
How to Apply
To find out if you qualify and begin the application process, call or visit your local Nevada Care Connection office location. To learn more about PACE benefits, visit Medicaid.gov. Nevada PACE has providers in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.
The Nevada Frail Elderly Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver
This is a Home- and Community-Based Services waiver, and it is intended to help people at imminent risk of institutionalization remain in their communities or in assisted living facilities. This waiver funnels Medicaid funding into 24-hour care services to be provided in one of these settings, and it is available for a limited number of recipients.
Services provided by the Frail Elderly Medicaid Waiver are:
- Caregiver respite
- Chore services
- Homemaker services
- Adult day healthcare
- Adult companion services
- Augmented personal care services provided in an ALF, including activities of daily living
- PERS (Personal Emergency Response System)
- Direct service case management
For these services to be provided to an assisted living resident, the residential unit must be equipped to provide 24-hour, supervised care, individual living rooms, and private toilet facilities. Because space in this waiver program is limited, applicants are selected from the wait list based on urgency of need.
Who is Eligible?
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Age 65 or older
- Eligible for full Medicaid
- At imminent risk of nursing home placement
- Require at least one of the services provided under the waiver per month
- Have an adequate support system during hours when services are not available
How to Apply
To apply, contact your nearest Aging and Disability Services Division to get in touch with a social worker who will handle your case. For more information, visit the Division of Healthcare Financing and Policy online.
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 benefits.va.gov.
- 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 longtermcare.acl.gov
- 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 longtermcare.acl.gov.
- 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 Nevada
Nevada’s Senior Rx is provided for citizens who are experiencing a coverage gap in qualifying for Medicare Part D, or who do not qualify for full Medicare prescription coverage. Assistance with prescription costs is given for people in coverage gaps, and those who do not qualify for full prescription coverage may receive partial premium reimbursements.
Eligible applicants must be:
- Enrolled in the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
- Resident in Nevada over the 12 preceding months
- Unmarried with a yearly income not exceeding $29,312
- Married with a yearly household income not exceeding $39,073
To learn more about Senior Rx, find information online at adsd.nv.org, or send an email to [email protected]. Call for information at 702-486-4307. If you think you qualify, click here to fill out an enrollment form.
Communication Access Services
The CAS program provides free Relay Service (7-1-1) equipment for the hearing or speech impaired, enabling these individuals to use telephones. This program is funded via a surcharge added to the phone bills of Nevada telephone users, and is completely free for recipients.
Nevada Care Connection
Nevada Care Connection is a resource center for seniors with five locations across the state. In an effort to reduce confusion and facilitate access to care, NCC serves Nevada as a central point of access for many elder care-related state services. Their function is to help citizens understand and navigate their options within the Nevada healthcare sphere.
Apart from its resource centers, this organization represents a collaborative of many partners who use the Care Connection network to make their own services more accessible, including some state agencies.
- Nevada 2-1-1
- Aging and Disability Services Division
- Division of Healthcare Financing and Policy (Medicaid)
- Division of Public and Behavioral Health
- Division of Welfare and Supportive Services
- Department of Health and Human Services
Visit the Nevada Care Connection online, or find your local office in the table below.
|Nevada Care Connection Resource Centers||Address||Phone Number|
Nevada Senior Service
901 N. Jones Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89108
Access to Healthcare Network
4001 S. Virginia Street, Suite F
Reno, NV 89502
Access to Healthcare Network
405 Idaho Street, Suite 214
Elko, NV 89801
William N. Pennington Life Center
952 S. Maine Street
Fallon, NV 89406
Lyon County Human Services
620 Lake Avenue
Silver Springs, NV 89429
Area Agencies on Aging
The AAA is a federally funded organization. In the state of Nevada, it is referred to as the Division for Aging Services, and it acts as a central agency unifying hundreds of community outreach programs for citizens over 60. Nevada hosts four Area Agencies on Aging with an office in each of the state’s most populous cities.
To learn more about the Area Agencies on Aging, visit them online at n4a.org. Consult the table below to find your nearest AAA office.
|Area Agency on Aging||Address||Phone Number|
Division for Aging Services
3416 Goni Road, Building D
Carson City, NV 89706
Division for Aging Services
1010 Ruby Vista Drive, Suite 104 Elko, NV 89803
Division for Aging Services
1860 E. Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Division for Aging Services
445 Apple Street, Suite 104
Reno, NV 89502
Social Security Offices
The Social Security Administration has many services available online at SSA.gov, including:
- Applying for Social Security Benefits
- Requesting replacement Social Security cards
- Making sure you qualify for benefits
- Estimating your benefits
- Receiving Social Security statements electronically or by mail
For further assistance, contact or visit your nearest SSA office. Refer to the alphabetical list below to find one in your area.
|Social Security Office||Address||Phone Number|
Henderson Social Security Offices
10416 S. Eastern Avenue
Henderson, NV 89052
Las Vegas Social Security Offices
1250 S. Buffalo Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89117
North Las Vegas Social Security Offices
4340 N. Simmons Street
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
Reno Social Security Offices
1170 Harvard Way
Reno, NV 89502
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Nevada
Assisted Living Service Plans
Most assisted living facilities (ALFs) interview prospective residents before their move-in date to establish a service plan. The service plan discloses a resident’s needs and desires, as well as the ALF’s service capabilities and costs. The document is updated with regular evaluations, usually on a yearly basis, and includes a functional assessment of the resident. Residents’ rights and facility regulations are also disclosed in the service plan, and a signed and dated copy is kept on file.
An important part of the service plan interview is determining what personal care services and level of care are needed by each resident. People who receive behavioral care must have goals and strategies included in their document, and the plan must be confirmed by a physician or behavioral healthcare provider. If the plan involves recurrent medication administration or other skilled nursing services, a nurse or medical practitioner must review and confirm the provisions.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
To become an assisted living resident, citizens must meet certain qualifications of physical and mental capability. The state of Nevada allows for people who have limited mobility or intellectual capacity to be accommodated at facilities under a special designation: Category 2. Category 2 residents may work with home health and hospice providers who can more directly provide medical aid and assistance with activities of daily living, like eating, bathing, and moving around.
ALFs cannot accept residents who:
- Are bedridden
- Require medical supervision on a 24-hour basis
- Require restraints or confinement
- Require gastronomy care
- Suffer from staphylococcus, or other serious infection
The state of Nevada specifies other types of illnesses that must be self-managed by residents in order to remain at an ALF. Facilities must have state-endorsed medical exemption to accommodate residents who need third-party care from a home health or hospice agency.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Residents may require medication assistance and/or aid with activities of daily living, which all facilities must be equipped to provide. Only facilities that have had their license endorsed by the Bureau of Healthcare Quality and Compliance can accommodate Category 2 individuals, and often a home health or hospice agency will work with these residents to provide a greater level of care than the facility can accommodate. Assisted living communities are required to provide at least 10 hours of social and physical activity each week in order to help residents maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Though facilities in Nevada are required to provide assistance with personal care for all residents, Medicaid does not reimburse for service provided to individuals who don’t require an extensive level of care. However, residents who have been assessed as nursing home-eligible (Category 2) may be reimbursed for personal care services provided at the ALF. By applying for Home- and Community-Based Waiver Services, Category 2 residents can avoid, or at least delay, institutionalization, remaining instead in assisted living or in their communities.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Private assisted living units require at least 80 square feet of usable living space, while shared housing can accommodate a maximum of three residents and must provide at least 60 square feet per person. There must also be a toilet for every four residents, and one shower or bath will be available per, at most, every six residents. All units must also make special provisions for the comfort and safety of people with auditory or mobility impairments.
ALFs are required to provide three nutritious and appetizing meals per day, and facilities with 10 or more residents will have trained dieticians on staff. Tenants may have their lunches delivered to be eaten their units, but not for more than 14 consecutive days.
No one can be forced to accept a roommate in Nevada assisted living – all shared living arrangements must be voluntary.
Medication Management Regulations
Residential facility caregivers may assist residents in taking their medications. Often this means that an ALF employee will help open packaging, or provide cues to help occupants remember to take their medicines.
Administrators and employees are required to complete a 16-hour course on medication management prior to employment and must pass an exam when the course is completed. Medication training is repeated annually with an eight-hour course. Facility administrators must organize a medication management plan, and employees must be trained to implement it.
Although there are no specific caregiver-to-resident staffing ratios required for unendorsed Nevada ALFs, facilities must have sufficient staff on hand to meet residents’ needs. At facilities with an occupancy of 20 or more, at least one staff member will be awake and available throughout the night, with an additional caregiver always prepared to be available at 10 minutes’ notice. If a facility houses 50 or more people, then administrators must appoint a manager to oversee daily activities.
Staff Training Requirements
In addition to the employee and administrative training required for medication management, both caregivers and administrators of ALFs must become certified in first-aid and CPR within their first 30 days of employment. All staff is subject to eight hours of continued education every year, but other training and employment requirements differ for caregivers and administrators.
- Must be licensed by the Nevada State Board of Examiners for Administrators of Facilities for Long-Term Care
- Must achieve an advanced certificate in first-aid and CPR administration within 30 days of hire
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must possess an ability to understand the problems of the aged and disabled
- Must demonstrate proficient English speaking, reading, and writing
- Must achieve a certificate in first-aid and CPR administration within 30 days of hire
- Must receive no less than four hours of resident care training
- Must undergo more extensive initial and yearly training for employment at facilities that accommodate residents with certain mental or chronic illnesses
Background Checks for Assisted Living
Caregivers, administrators, and all other staff can have no prior convictions or substantiated accusations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Nevada ALFs can only accept background checks conducted in-state by the Department of Public Safety and/or the FBI.
The state of Nevada provides different means for citizens to file complaints of facilities and to make reports of elder abuse.
Report a Facility
The Bureau of Healthcare Quality & Compliance (HCQC) conducts investigations concerning assisted living facilities. This agency also offers a look-up tool to help prospective residents find facilities and see their past inspection histories.
To file a complaint with the HCQC, find the complaint form at dpbh.nv.gov where it can be submitted electronically or downloaded as a PDF to be mailed or faxed. Complaints can be emailed directly to [email protected].
Nevada’s Aging and Disability Services takes confidential reports concerning people aged 60 and older who are abused, neglected, exploited, isolated, or abandoned. If the agency determines that a crime has been committed, they will refer the case to local authorities to begin investigation within a maximum of three days.
To make a report from anywhere in the state, call (888) 729-0571, or for the Las Vegas/Clark County area, call (702) 486-6930. For more information, visit adsd.nv.gov.com.