Pennsylvania is a senior-friendly state – all retirement income for residents 60 and older is exempt from state taxes, and the sales tax rate of 6% is lower than average. According to the United States Census Bureau, 21.8% of the state’s population is elderly. Many of the elderly in the state live on fixed, limited incomes and need assistance in paying for and locating affordable assisted living facilities.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Pennsylvania

When starting the search to find a quality assisted living facility for yourself or an elderly loved one, it’s important to compare each facilities amenities, the type of care services they offer, and what financial assistance is available to help pay for the services you or your loved one. The directory below gives details and in-depth information on over 150 facilities in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Paying For Assisted Living in Pennsylvania

The Cost of Assisted Living in Pennsylvania

The monthly median cost of assisted living in Pennsylvania is $3,750, which is cheaper than the national average of $4,000. According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Pennsylvania is also less expensive than the median in all but one neighboring state, West Virginia.

 

While the cost of Assisted Living is fairly consistent throughout the state, Scranton is the one exception coming in at $1,600 below the state average. The Philadelphia Area is the most expensive region in the state at $1,318 above the national average of $4,000.

 

While nursing home care is relatively cheap in Pennsylvania when compared to the rest of the nation, it’s still considerably more expensive than assisted living. Other than independent living which doesn’t provide assistance with activities of daily living, assisted living communities are the cheapest solution for long-term care in the state. While nursing home care is relatively cheap in Pennsylvania when compared to the rest of the nation, it’s still considerably more expensive than assisted living. Other than independent living which doesn’t provide assistance with activities of daily living, assisted living communities are the cheapest solution for long-term care in the state.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Aging Waiver Program

The Aging Waiver is the division of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging that services frail elderly who are eligible to receive nursing home care but prefer to live and receive care in their home or communities. There are no caps, but some counties may have a waiting list.

Assisted living residents interested in the Aging Waiver must complete an in-person assessment to determine eligibility. If eligible, the resident, along with his or her representatives, will create a care plan with an Area Agency on Aging manager. It’s important that the care plan includes all the services the resident will need, as well as how often he or she will need them. If the services needed are not included in the care plan, they won’t be covered by the Aging Waiver.

Who Is Eligible?

Applicants need to qualify for Pennsylvania’s Medicaid and meet certain income, asset limits and functionality requirements. If you’re 60 or older and will be the only one in your home, the qualifications for Medicaid include:

  • Must meet the level of care needs for a Nursing Facility
  • Be a legal U.S. resident who lives in Pennsylvania
  • Annual income must not exceed $2,250 (in 2018), and your assets must be $8,000 or less

How to Apply

To get more details about eligibility requirements and start an application, contact your local Area Agency on Aging office. You can also call (918) 933-4900 or (800) 435-4711.

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 Pennsylvania

Living Independence for the Elderly Program

Seniors 55 or older and eligible for or already receiving Medicaid or Medicare may find help with health and home care services through the Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) program. For Pennsylvania seniors who reside in an assisted living community, LIFE pays for prescription drugs, home modifications, in-home medical equipment, and supplies, plus more. It does not cover expenses for room & board.

LIFE is not available in all Pennsylvania communities. Click here to search for communities where LIFE is available.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Like many states, Pennsylvania maintains a Long-Term Care Ombudsman program that is free and confidential. The Ombudsman is tasked with:

  • Educating residents, facility staff and the community on residents’ rights
  • Providing assistance to residents with exercising their rights
  • Addressing questions in regards to billing and charges, including Medicaid and Medicare
  • Handling service change, transfer, discharge or discontinuance appeals
  • Making referrals to long-term care programs and related services
  • Investigating and resolving complaints about long-term care facilities and any long-term care services by residents or their family and friends

Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a network of hundreds of nonprofit organizations across America that provide federally funded services to adults over 60 in their local areas.

Pennsylvania has many Area Agencies on Aging that offer comprehensive information on various kinds of programs and community supports for seniors.

Area Agency on Aging Address Phone Number
Adams County Office of Aging, Inc 318 W. Middle St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 334-9296
Allegheny County AAA 2100 Wharton St. 2nd Fl.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 350-4234
Area Agency on Aging of Somerset County 1338 South Edgewood Ave.
Somerset, Pa 15501
(814) 443-2681 or (800) 452-0825
Armstrong County AAA 326 S. Water St. Ste. 1
Kittanning, PA 16201
(724) 548-3290
Beaver County Office of Aging 1020 8th Ave.
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
(724) 847-2262
Bedford County AAA 240 Wood St., P.O. Box 46
Bedford, PA 15522
(814) 623-8148 or (800) 892 7903
Berks County Area Agency on Aging Services Center, 8th Floor 633 Court Street
Reading, PA 19601
(610) 478-6500
Blair Senior Services, Inc 1320 12th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
(800) 245-3282 or (814) 949-4856 (TDD)
B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging (Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna & Tioga) 220 Main Street Unit 2
Towanda, PA 18848
(800) 982-4346
Butler County Area Agency on Aging 111 Sunnyview Circle Ste. 101
Butler, PA 16001
(724) 282-3008 or (888) 367-2434
Cambria County AAA 110 Franklin Street, Ste. 400
Johnstown, PA 15901-1831
(814) 539-5595
Carbon County AAA 401 Delaware Avenue 3rd Floor
Palmerton, PA 18071
(800) 441-1315
Centre County Office of Aging 420 Holmes St. Room 245
Bellefonte, PA 16823-1488
(814) 355-6716
Chester County Department of Aging Services 601 Westtown Road Ste. 130
West Chester, PA 19380-0990
(610) 344-6350
Clarion Area Agency on Aging 16 Venture Lane
Clarion, PA 16214 (Route 322 East)
(814) 226-4640
Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. 103 North Front Street
Clearfield, PA 16830
(814) 765-2696 or (800) 225-8571
Clinton STEP Office of Aging 124 East Walnut Street
Lock Haven, PA 17745
(570) 858-5800
Columbia-Montour Aging Office, Inc 702 Sawmill Road Ste. 201
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
(570) 784-9272 or (800) 598-5001
Crawford Active Aging, Inc 1034 Park Avenue
Meadville, PA 16335
(814) 336-1792
Cumberland Aging & Community Services 1100 Claremont Road
Carlisle, PA 17015-8560
(888) 697-0371, ext. 6110
Dauphin County AAA 2 South Second Street Third Floor
Harrisburg, Pa 17101
(717) 780-6130 or (800)-328-0058, ext. 6130
Delaware COSA 206 Eddystone Ave.
Eddystone, PA 19022
(610) 490-1300 or (800) 416-4504
Experience, Inc (Forest and Warren) 905 4th Ave.
Warren, PA 16365
(814) 723-3763 or (800) 281-6545
Franklin County AAA 600 Norland Ave. Ste. 11
Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 263-2153 or (800) 642-6990
Fulton County AAA 182 Buchanan Trail Ste. 145
McConnellsburg, PA 17233
(717) 485-5151 or (800) 637-0315
Greater Erie Community Action Committee 18 West 9th Street
Erie, PA 16501
(814) 459-4581 or (800) 769-2436
Huntingdon County AAA 307 10th St.
Huntingdon, PA 16652
(814) 643-5115 or (800) 528-9155
Indiana County AAA 1001 Oak St.
Indiana, PA 15701
(724) 465-2697
Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging 186 Main Street, Ste. 2
Brookville, PA 15825
(814) 849-3096 or (800) 852-8036
Lackawanna County AAA 200 Adams Ave. 3rd Floor
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 963-6740
Lancaster County Office of Aging 150 N Queen St.
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 299-7979 or (800) 801-3070
Lawrence County Area Agency on Aging 2706 Mercer Rd.
New Castle, PA 16105
(724) 658-3729
Lebanon County AAA 710 Maple St. 2nd Floor
Lebanon, PA 17046
(717) 273-9262
Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services 17 South Seventh St.
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18101
(610) 782-3034
Luzerne County AAA (Luzerne & Wyoming) 111 N Pennsylvania Boulevard Ste. 100
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18701
(570) 822-1158
Lycoming STEP Office of Aging 2138 Lincoln St.
Williamsport, PA 17701
(570) 858-5800
Mercer County Area Agency on Aging 133 North Pitt St.
Mercer, PA 16137
(724) 662-6222
Mifflin-Juniata Area Agency on Aging 249 W 3rd St.
Lewistown, PA 17044
(717) 242-0315 or (800) 348-2277
Monroe County Area Agency on Aging 724 Phillips St. Ste. 102
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 420-3735 or (800) 498-0330
Montgomery County Office of Aging and Adult Services 1430 DeKalb St. 2nd Floor
Norristown, PA 19404
(610) 278-3601
Northampton County AAA 2801 Emrick Blvd.
Bethlehem, PA 18020
(610) 829-4540
Northumberland County Area Agency on Aging 322 N 2nd St.
Sunbury, PA 17801
(570) 495-2395 or (877) 622-2251
Office of Human Services AAA (Cameron, Elk and Mckean) 118 Center St.
Ridgway, PA 15853
(814) 776-2191 or (800) 672-7145
Perry County AAA 315 Keystone Way
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
(717) 582-5128 or (866) 926-5118
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging 642 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130-3049
(215) 765-9000 or (215) 765-9041 (TDD)
Pike County AAA 150 Pike County Blvd.
Lords Valley, PA 18428
(570) 775-5550 or (800) 233-8911
Potter County AAA 62 North St.
Roulette, PA 16746
(717) 787-8091 or (800) 800-2560
Schuylkill County Office of Senior Services 110 East Laurel Boulevard
Pottsville, PA 17901
(570) 622-3103
Southwestern Pennsylvania AAA (Fayette, Greene & Washington) 305 Chamber Plaza
Charleroi, PA 15022-1607
(724) 489-8080
Union-Snyder Agency on Aging, Inc 116 N 2nd St.
Lewisburg, PA 17837
(570) 524-2100 or (570) 374-5558
Venango County Older Adults Services 1 Dale Ave.
Franklin, PA 16323
(814) 432-9711 or (866) 452-4464
Wayne County Area Agency on Aging 323 Tenth St.
Honesdale, PA 18431
(570) 253-4262
Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging 200 South Main St.
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 830-4444 or (800) 442-8000
York County Area Agency on Aging 100 West Market St.
York, PA 17401
(717) 771-9610 or (800) 632-9073

Veterans Affairs

Pennsylvania has VA centers to help veterans and their spouses with financing options for various kinds of care. These offices can provide guidance on your eligibility and direct you to the best support options for you.

VA Center Address Phone Number
Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs 726 Cherry St.
Reading, PA 19602
(610) 378-5601
Bucks County Vet Center 2 Canal’s End Road Ste. 201B
Bristol, PA 19007
(215) 823-4590
Centre County Veterans Affairs 420 Holmes St. Room 333
Bellefonte, PA 16823-1488
(814) 355-6812
DuBois Vet Center 100 Meadow Lane Ste. 8
DuBois, PA 15801
(814) 372-2095
Erie Veterans Affairs 140 West 6th St.
Erie, PA 16501
(814) 451-6265
Lancaster Veterans Affairs 150 N. Queen St. Ste., 103
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 299-7920
Lehigh Veterans Affairs 17 South Seventh St.
Allentown, PA. 18101-2400
(610) 782-3295
Montgomery County Veterans Affairs 1430 DeKalb St.
Norristown, PA 19401
(610) 278-3285
Robert M. Jackson Veterans Center, Inc 316 Carlisle St.
Harrisburg, PA 17104
(717) 695-6249
Union County Veterans Affairs 155 N. 15th St.
Lewisburg, PA 17837
(570) 524-8677
Williamsport Vet Center 49 East Fourth St. Ste. 104
Williamsport, PA 17701
(570) 327-5281
York County Veterans Affairs 28 E. Market St.
York, PA 17401
(717) 771-9218

Social Security Offices

Pennsylvania’s Social Security Offices offer another great resource for seniors and elderly caregivers looking for assistance. By contacting or visiting a Social Security office, you can get a better understanding of your or your loved one’s social security benefits and the types of assistance available to help pay for assisted living expenses. Below is a list of Social Security Offices in Pennsylvania.

Social Security Office Address Phone Number
Allentown Social Security Office 41 N 4th St.
Allentown, PA 18102
(877) 405-6746
Altoona Social Security Office 303 Cayuga Ave.
Altoona, PA 16602
(800) 325-0778
Ambridge Social Security Office 120 Merchant St.
Ambridge, PA 15003
(724) 251-0147
Belle Vernon Social Security Office 800 Plaza Dr., Ste. 320
Belle Vernon, PA 15012
(866) 931-4826
Bethlehem Social Security Office 555 Main St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(866) 783-7458
Bloomsburg Social Security Office 700 Market St.
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
(570) 784-6224
Butler Social Security Office Woody Dr.
Butler, PA 16001
(877) 583-4102
Carlisle Social Security Office 200 S Spring Garden St.
Carlisle, PA 17013
(800) 772-1213
Chambersburg Social Security Office 50 N 3rd St.
Chambersburg, PA 17201
(800) 772-1213
Chester Social Security Office 807 Crosby St.
Chester, PA 19013
(800) 772-1213
Cranberry Social Security Office 80 Regina Dr.
Cranberry, PA 16319
(800) 772-1213
DuBois Social Security Office 480 Jeffers St.
DuBois, PA 15801
(814) 372-1470
Easton Social Security Office 134 S 4th St.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 258-9033
East Stroudsburg Social Security Office 9090 Franklin Hill Rd. #101
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
(888) 835-6169
Erie Social Security Office 717 State St. #500
Erie, PA 16501
(800) 772-1213
Fairless Hills Social Security Office 444 Lincoln Hwy.
Fairless Hills, PA 19030
(800) 772-1213
Greensburg Social Security Office 122 W 3rd St.
Greensburg, PA 15601
(800) 772-1213
Harrisburg Social Security Office 555 Walnut St. #810
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(888) 327-1176
Hazleton Social Security Office 88 S Laurel St.
Hazleton, PA 18201
(866) 388-9878
Hermitage Social Security Office 2380 Garden Way
Hermitage, PA 16148
(724) 346-5901
Indiana Social Security Office 1265 Wayne Ave. # 310B
Indiana, PA 15701
(800) 772-1213
Johnstown Social Security Office 334 Washington St.
Johnstown, PA 15901
(800) 772-1213
Kittanning Social Security Office 159 Butler Rd.
Kittanning, PA 16201
(800) 772-1213
Lancaster Social Security Office 1809 Olde Homestead Ln. #104
Lancaster, PA 17601
(800) 772-1213
Lebanon Social Security Office 924 Russell Dr.
Lebanon, PA 17042
(888) 377-7019
Lewistown Social Security Office 208 W 3rd St.
Lewistown, PA 17044
(800) 772-1213
McKeesport Social Security Office 540 5th Ave.
McKeesport, PA 15132
(800) 772-1213
Meadville Social Security Office 19063 Park Avenue Plaza
Meadville, PA 16335
(800) 772-1213
Monroeville Social Security Office 400 Oxford Dr. #210
Monroeville, PA 15146
(800) 772-1213
New Castle Social Security Office 1708 Wilmington Rd.
New Castle, PA 16105
(800) 772-1213
New Kensington Social Security Office 707 5th Ave.
New Kensington, PA 15068
(800) 772-1213
Norristown Social Security Office 1700 Markley St.
Norristown, PA 19401
(800) 772-1213
Philadelphia Social Security Office 1500 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(800) 772-1213
Pittsburgh Social Security Office 6117 Station St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(800) 772-1213
Pottsville Social Security Office 2221 W Market St. Ste. 200
Pottsville, PA 17901
(866) 269-0880
Reading Social Security Office 201 Penn St. Ste. 200
Reading, PA 19601
(800) 772-1213
Royersford Social Security Office 39 W Ridge Pike
Royersford, PA 19468
(866) 964-7415
Scranton Social Security Office 409 Lackawanna Ave. Floor 1
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 963-7911
Selinsgrove Social Security Office 150 Susquehanna Valley Mall Dr.
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
(800) 772-1213
Seven Fields Social Security Office 300 Seven Fields Blvd.
Seven Fields, PA 16046
(800) 772-1213
State College Social Security Office 901 University Dr. Ste. 2
State College, PA 16801
(800) 772-1213
Towanda Social Security Office 1 Elizabeth St. Ste. 1
Towanda, PA 18848
(800) 772-1213
Uniontown Social Security Office 942 Morgantown Rd
Uniontown, PA 15401
(724) 439-8940
Upper Darby Social Security Office 8645 West Chester Pike
Upper Darby, PA 19082
(800) 772-1213
Washington Social Security Office 95 W Beau St. Ste. 010
Washington, PA 15301
(800) 772-1213
West Chester Social Security Office 1101 West Chester Pike
West Chester, PA 19382
(800) 772-1213
Wilkes-Barre Social Security Office Stegmaier Bldg St 102 7 N Wilkes Barre Blvd
Wilkes Barre, PA 18702
(800) 772-1213
Williamsport Social Security Office 240 W 3rd St. Ste. 100
Williamsport, PA 17701
(800) 772-1213
York Social Security Office 2670 Industrial Hwy. Ste. 2
York, PA 17402
(800) 772-1213

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Pennsylvania

Assisted Living Assessments

Documents required prior to admission to an assisted living facility in Pennsylvania include a medical evaluation as well as an initial assessment and support plan. The assessments can be completed 15 days after admission if the resident:

  • Is being admitted directly from an acute care hospital
  • Is escaping an abusive situation
  • Has no alternative living arrangement

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

Unless assisted living facilities have approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, they cannot accept residents who:

  • Are dependant on a ventilator
  • Have stage 3 and 4 bedsores and vascular ulcers that are not in a healing stage
  • Require continuous IV fluids
  • Have an infectious disease that requires isolation or special precautions
  • Have NG tubes
  • Require physical restraints
  • Need continuous skilled nursing care 24-hours a day

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities are required to define the scope of services it provides to residents in writing. Assisted living communities in Pennsylvania typically offer the following services:

  • Assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (e.g. preparing meals, housework, laundry, shopping, etc.)
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (e.g. eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.)
  • Personal care
  • Hospice care and services
  • Nutritious meals and snacks
  • Daily social and recreational activities
  • Basic cognitive support
  • 24-hour supervision, monitoring, and emergency response
  • Help with self-administration of medicine or medication administration
  • Skilled nursing
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Behavioral health services

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Medicaid does not directly cover the cost of assisted living. However, elderly who qualify for nursing home coverage from Medicaid can opt for assisted living and use the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Aging Waiver. Although the waiver does not cover the cost of room and board, it will cover home and support services.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Rules for assisted living facilities in Pennsylvania include:

  • They must provide physical accommodations and safety equipment for residents with a disability.
  • Unless the resident agrees to share their living unit with another resident, he or she must have his or her own unit, and the facility cannot require residents to share a unit.
  • There must be accessible or adaptable doors for wheelchair use.
  • Lockable doors must be provided.
  • Living units and bathrooms must have an emergency notification system unless the resident has an alert device.
  • Safety bars in bathrooms and slip-resistant surfaces must be installed in bathtubs and showers.

Medication Management Regulations

In order for staff to be allowed to give residents their medications, they must be a registered nurse, licensed physician’s assistant, certified registered nurse practitioner, licensed practical nurse, or graduate of an approved nursing program under the supervision of a professional nurse or staff who has completed the medication administration training.

Staffing Requirements

Pennsylvania assisted living facilities are expected to provide enough staff to fulfill services identified in residents’ assessment and support plans. Additionally, a licensed nurse must be available in the facility or on call at all times.

An administrator’s responsibilities in an assisted living facility include administering and managing, providing assisted living services, or if the administrator cannot provide the services, he or she can direct qualified staff to carry out the services and supervise them. The administrator is also responsible for maintaining or supervising the maintenance of financial and other records.

Staff Training Requirements

Before an assisted living facility hires an administrator, the administrator is required to complete the following training:

  • An orientation program approved and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • A 100-hour standardized Department-approved administrator training course
  • A Department-approved competency-based training test with a passing score

The requirements for working as direct care staff in an assisted living facility are:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma, GED or be a nurse aide currently active on the Pennsylvania registry
  • Cannot have a drug or alcohol addiction
  • Must not have a medical condition that would keep him or her from providing the necessary assisted living services with reasonable skill and safety
  • Must have the ability to communicate in a mode or manner the resident can understand

Background Checks for Assisted Living

In accordance with the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA), applicants with prohibitive offenses (see § 10225.503 in the OAPSA) are not allowed to work in Pennsylvania assisted living facilities.

The assisted living facility is required to document all background checks on the Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record Check form or through the e-patch program.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Pennsylvania Assisted Living Facilities must follow the state and federal laws and regulations to ensure the safety and well being of all residents. If you suspect the facility is not in compliance with the laws and regulations, you can file a complaint through the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Ombudsman by calling (717) 783-8975.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or you are the one being abused, you should report any form of abuse (physical, mental, sexual, neglect, abandonment or exploitation) by calling the 24-hour elderly hotline at (800) 490-8505.

Assisted Living Communities in Pennsylvania

To find out about the top assisted living communities in Philadelphia, read our guide that provides in-depth reviews on the 26 facilities that are certified by the Assisted Living Research Institute.