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.
Showing of Communities
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|
318 W. Middle St.
2100 Wharton St. 2nd Fl.
1338 South Edgewood Ave.
(814) 443-2681 or (800) 452-0825
326 S. Water St. Ste. 1
1020 8th Ave.
240 Wood St., P.O. Box 46
(814) 623-8148 or (800) 892 7903
Services Center, 8th Floor 633 Court Street
1320 12th Avenue
(800) 245-3282 or (814) 949-4856 (TDD)
220 Main Street Unit 2
111 Sunnyview Circle Ste. 101
(724) 282-3008 or (888) 367-2434
110 Franklin Street, Ste. 400
401 Delaware Avenue 3rd Floor
420 Holmes St. Room 245
601 Westtown Road Ste. 130
16 Venture Lane
103 North Front Street
(814) 765-2696 or (800) 225-8571
124 East Walnut Street
702 Sawmill Road Ste. 201
(570) 784-9272 or (800) 598-5001
1034 Park Avenue
1100 Claremont Road
(888) 697-0371, ext. 6110
2 South Second Street Third Floor
(717) 780-6130 or (800)-328-0058, ext. 6130
206 Eddystone Ave.
(610) 490-1300 or (800) 416-4504
905 4th Ave.
(814) 723-3763 or (800) 281-6545
600 Norland Ave. Ste. 11
(717) 263-2153 or (800) 642-6990
182 Buchanan Trail Ste. 145
(717) 485-5151 or (800) 637-0315
18 West 9th Street
(814) 459-4581 or (800) 769-2436
307 10th St.
(814) 643-5115 or (800) 528-9155
1001 Oak St.
186 Main Street, Ste. 2
(814) 849-3096 or (800) 852-8036
200 Adams Ave. 3rd Floor
150 N Queen St.
(717) 299-7979 or (800) 801-3070
2706 Mercer Rd.
710 Maple St. 2nd Floor
17 South Seventh St.
111 N Pennsylvania Boulevard Ste. 100
2138 Lincoln St.
133 North Pitt St.
249 W 3rd St.
(717) 242-0315 or (800) 348-2277
724 Phillips St. Ste. 102
(570) 420-3735 or (800) 498-0330
1430 DeKalb St. 2nd Floor
2801 Emrick Blvd.
322 N 2nd St.
(570) 495-2395 or (877) 622-2251
118 Center St.
(814) 776-2191 or (800) 672-7145
315 Keystone Way
(717) 582-5128 or (866) 926-5118
642 N. Broad St.
(215) 765-9000 or (215) 765-9041 (TDD)
150 Pike County Blvd.
(570) 775-5550 or (800) 233-8911
62 North St.
(717) 787-8091 or (800) 800-2560
110 East Laurel Boulevard
305 Chamber Plaza
116 N 2nd St.
(570) 524-2100 or (570) 374-5558
1 Dale Ave.
(814) 432-9711 or (866) 452-4464
323 Tenth St.
200 South Main St.
(724) 830-4444 or (800) 442-8000
100 West Market St.
(717) 771-9610 or (800) 632-9073
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|
726 Cherry St.
2 Canal’s End Road Ste. 201B
420 Holmes St. Room 333
100 Meadow Lane Ste. 8
140 West 6th St.
150 N. Queen St. Ste., 103
17 South Seventh St.
1430 DeKalb St.
316 Carlisle St.
155 N. 15th St.
49 East Fourth St. Ste. 104
28 E. Market St.
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.
Altoona Social Security Office
303 Cayuga Ave.
Ambridge Social Security Office
120 Merchant St.
Belle Vernon Social Security Office
800 Plaza Dr., Ste. 320
Bethlehem Social Security Office
555 Main St.
Bloomsburg Social Security Office
700 Market St.
Butler Social Security Office
Carlisle Social Security Office
200 S Spring Garden St.
Chambersburg Social Security Office
50 N 3rd St.
Chester Social Security Office
807 Crosby St.
Cranberry Social Security Office
80 Regina Dr.
DuBois Social Security Office
480 Jeffers St.
Easton Social Security Office
134 S 4th St.
East Stroudsburg Social Security Office
9090 Franklin Hill Rd. #101
Erie Social Security Office
717 State St. #500
Fairless Hills Social Security Office
444 Lincoln Hwy.
Greensburg Social Security Office
122 W 3rd St.
Harrisburg Social Security Office
555 Walnut St. #810
Hazleton Social Security Office
88 S Laurel St.
Hermitage Social Security Office
2380 Garden Way
Indiana Social Security Office
1265 Wayne Ave. # 310B
Johnstown Social Security Office
334 Washington St.
Kittanning Social Security Office
159 Butler Rd.
Lancaster Social Security Office
1809 Olde Homestead Ln. #104
Lebanon Social Security Office
924 Russell Dr.
Lewistown Social Security Office
208 W 3rd St.
McKeesport Social Security Office
540 5th Ave.
Meadville Social Security Office
19063 Park Avenue Plaza
Monroeville Social Security Office
400 Oxford Dr. #210
New Castle Social Security Office
1708 Wilmington Rd.
New Kensington Social Security Office
707 5th Ave.
Norristown Social Security Office
1700 Markley St.
Philadelphia Social Security Office
1500 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Pittsburgh Social Security Office
6117 Station St.
Pottsville Social Security Office
2221 W Market St. Ste. 200
Reading Social Security Office
201 Penn St. Ste. 200
Royersford Social Security Office
39 W Ridge Pike
Scranton Social Security Office
409 Lackawanna Ave. Floor 1
Selinsgrove Social Security Office
150 Susquehanna Valley Mall Dr.
Seven Fields Social Security Office
300 Seven Fields Blvd.
State College Social Security Office
901 University Dr. Ste. 2
Towanda Social Security Office
1 Elizabeth St. Ste. 1
Uniontown Social Security Office
942 Morgantown Rd
Upper Darby Social Security Office
8645 West Chester Pike
Washington Social Security Office
95 W Beau St. Ste. 010
West Chester Social Security Office
1101 West Chester Pike
Wilkes-Barre Social Security Office
Stegmaier Bldg St 102 7 N Wilkes Barre Blvd
Williamsport Social Security Office
240 W 3rd St. Ste. 100
York Social Security Office
2670 Industrial Hwy. Ste. 2
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.
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.