Utah, the Beehive State, is known for its unusually high age of longevity among seniors. This is often attributed to the environment and economy of Utah, with its clean, rural air, outdoor spaces that beg to be enjoyed, and a lower than average cost of living. Seniors who wish to maintain an active lifestyle can thrive in this state, and will also have access to one of the best healthcare systems in the country.
Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Utah
Finding the right long-term care community can be a difficult task. To simplify the process, we have compiled our data on Utah assisted living facilities into an easy to use table. Consult the directory below to find over 170 facilities listed with important information, such as their amenities, costs, and Medicaid acceptance status.
Showing of Communities
Paying for Assisted Living in Utah
The Cost of Assisted Living
Utah has lower assisted living costs than any other state in its region, according to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey. Even in neighboring Nevada which has relatively low costs, assisted living is still more expensive. With average costs at an estimated 16% less than the national median, Utah is a viable retirement option for people in most income brackets.
Assisted living expenses vary based on one’s chosen city of residence. In most states, more populated urban centers will have higher costs. However, none of Utah’s most population-dense cities have assisted living facility (ALF) costs exceeding the national median of $4,000 per month.
The type of long-term care that is needed will also affect monthly costs to consumers. Utah’s average costs for most types of care are greater than costs for assisted living, with nursing home residence commanding the highest likely expense for long-term care in the state. Only independent living is more affordable than Utah’s assisted living facilities.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Utah
Medicaid Personal Care Coverage
Utah offers Medicaid reimbursement for personal care services. This is intended for people who need limited assistance with two or more activities of daily living, such as personal grooming tasks or walking from one place to another, and for whom these services are not covered by any other Medicaid program or waiver. Covered services may be provided by personal care aides or healthcare professionals employed by assisted living facilities, and also by home health aides hired by an ALF resident. Enrollment in the PCS program is not capped, and there are no waitlists.
Who is Eligible?
Personal care services coverage cannot be offered to people who:
- Are bedridden
- Are in need of 24-hour, skilled nursing care
- Cannot self-administer medicines with minimal assistance
- Cannot perform personal grooming tasks with minimal assistance
Recipients must require personal care assistance in order to maintain basic functioning or to delay the progression of a disease. As long as applicants who meet these requirements have also applied for all other benefits for which they may be eligible, enrollment is possible.
How to Apply
For more information on the Personal Care Medicaid program, view the PCS Provider Manual online. Enrollment can be initiated by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging. Consult the AAA directory in this guide to find the Agency serving your county.
The Aging Waiver
The Aging Waiver is provided for Utah Medicaid recipients who are medically eligible for nursing home care. Eligible people are partially incapacitated, yet capable of sustaining residence in a community setting, such as a family home or assisted living facility. Qualified applicants will have access to support services that enable them to avoid being institutionalized while still receiving their Medicaid benefits. Because space in waiver programs is limited, the Department of Human Services recommends that interested parties sign up for the waiver waitlist as far in advance as possible.
Who is Eligible?
People who are bedridden or completely reliant on nursing care do not qualify for waiver services. However, those who need assistance with activities of daily living, added accessibility features in their homes, or other provisions to help them maintain a relatively independent lifestyle may be approved for coverage.
The Aging Waiver is available to people who meet the following specifications:
- 65 years of age or older
- Assessed as nursing home-eligible
- Financially qualified for Medicaid
How to Apply
Applications for this waiver must be initiated with the Area Agencies on Aging, where a case manager will conduct a needs assessment. Contact your nearby Area Agency on Aging by consulting the directory in this guide. For more information on the Aging Waiver, view the waiver fact sheet at Health.Utah.gov. A more detailed description of the waiver is provided in the Aging Waiver Provider Manual.
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 Utah
The New Choices Waiver
The New Choices Waiver provides a means for people who are currently living in an ALF or another long-term care facility to transition back into their own home or into that of a caretaker without losing their Medicaid benefits. This waiver is for people who reside in Medicaid-funded facilities, and will reimburse for home- and community-based services once they are relocated from assisted living. Services covered include things like adult day healthcare, non-medical transportation, home-delivered meals, and attendant care. Medicaid waivers are limited enrollment programs, so anyone who wishes to enroll in the New Choices Waiver should act as far in advance as possible to add their name to the waitlist.
To find out more, view the New Choices Waiver fact sheet from Health.Utah.gov, or call (800) 662-9651 and dial 6 for the correct department. To begin your enrollment process, consult the table below to locate your local Area Agency on Aging.
Utah Legal Services
Utah Legal Services is a nonprofit law office providing free legal counsel to Utah citizens. ULS does not practice criminal law, but will accommodate inquiries regarding civil law. To be eligible for services, interested parties must have an income that is within 200% of the federal poverty guideline, and similarly limited assets.
New clients are encouraged to initiate services with ULF online by filling out their intake form at ulsoi.legalserver.org. Utah Legal Services asks that, if possible, any inquiries be made either online at UtahLegalServices.org, or by visiting their offices in person. ULS has four office locations across the state.
|ULS Office Location||Address||Phone Number|
455 N. University Avenue
Provo, UT 84601
Salt Lake City office
205 N. 400 West
Salk Lake City, UT 84103
298 24th Street
Ogend, UT 84401
St. George office
229 St. George Boulevard
St. George, UT 84770
Veterans’ Affairs can help vets and their families finance their assisted living decisions. Benefits that the VA may be able to provide include pensions, VA loans, additional pension benefits, and a framework of social services providing assistance to veterans in any stage of life. Interested parties should visit the Salt Lake City Regional Benefit Office at 550 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84113 from Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, or call (844) 698-2311.
For veterans who have questions regarding Medicaid, contact the Department of Health Veterans’ Coordinator, Tracy Barkley at (801) 538-6417 or (877) 291-5583.
The Utah Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Utah’s LTC ombudsman program is administered by the Department of Human Services. Long-term care ombudsmen are volunteers who advocate for people in long-term care programs, including those who live in assisted living or nursing facilities. Ombudsmen visit with ALF residents periodically to ensure that their services and environments align with their residential and plan of service agreements.
Ombudsmen are easily reachable and will travel to a resident’s location upon request. To learn more about the program, visit the Department of Human Services online, or locate the ombudsman serving your county by consulting the table below.
|Ombudsman||Counties Served||Phone Number|
Cache, Rich, Box Elder
Washington, Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane
Utah, Wasatch, Summit
Sevier, Millard, Piute, Wayne, Sanpete, Juab
Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan
Duchesne, Daggett, Uintah
The Area Agencies on Aging
The Area Agencies on Aging are a national network of state-selected resource centers for elders. Their goal is to facilitate access to care, provide program development, and reduce confusion in procuring social and health services. Utah’s Area Agencies on Aging partner with the DHS Department of Aging and Adult Services to offer a long list of services for seniors, including transportation, caregiver respite, and health-related home modifications for those in need. Consult the directory below to find the AAA office serving your area.
|Area Agency On Aging Location||Address||Phone Number|
586 East 800 North
Orem, UT 84097
237 26th Street, #320
Ogden, UT 84401
2001 S. State Street S1-600
Salt Lake City, UT 84190
P.O. Box 9
117 S. Main Street
Monticello, UT 84535
330 S. Aggie Blvd.
Vernal Utah 84078
330 E. 100 South
Roosevelt, UT 8066
151 N. Main Street, Suite 200
Tooele, Utah 84074
375 S. Carbon Ave. P.O. Box 1106
Price, Utah 84501
1070 W. 1600 South, Bldg B
St. George, Utah 84770
22 S. State Street
Clearfield, Utah 84015
170 N. Main
Logan, Utah 84321
250 N. Main P.O. Box 820
Richfield, Utah 84701
Social Security Offices
Social Security Benefits are an important part of the retirement lifestyle for most American seniors. Utah has five Social Security office locations throughout the state where ALF residents can receive direct assistance. To find the Social Security office that serves your local area, consult the following directory. Note that many Social Security-related tasks can be completed online by visiting SSA.gov, including finding out benefit amounts, ordering new SS cards, or managing benefits.
|Social Security Office||Address||Phone Number|
324 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401
88 W. 100 North
Provo, UT 84601
1091 N. Bluff Street
Saint George, UT 84770
175 E. 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
10138 S. Jordan Gateway
South Jordan, UT 84095
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Utah
The state of Utah maintains regulations for long-term care facilities through the DOH Bureau of Health Facility Licensing, Certification, and Resident Assessment. The following regulations govern the hiring practices, care services, and logistical requirements of Utah’s assisted living facilities.
Assisted Living Service Plans
Within one week of admission to a Utah ALF, residents must be assessed by a physician to determine their physical needs, and then must meet with facility staff to establish a plan for their services at the facility. Service plans are an acknowledgment of residents’ needs and a statement of their facility’s chosen methods for administering aid and ensuring their continued health and safety.
The service planning meeting is also used to establish a residential agreement that discloses all possible costs to the resident, and to inform them of their rights and responsibilities as tenants. A wandering risk management agreement must also be made for incoming residents who have dementia or a related illness. Service plan agreements must be supplemented with regular health assessments to be conducted at least every six months.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Assisted living facilities in Utah cannot accommodate residents who require in-patient hospital care or long-term nursing. As such, one cannot be considered for residence if they have a communicable disease, such as tuberculosis, or if they need complete assistance with medical maintenance tasks. Residents must be of stable health or of a state wherein only minimal assistance with activities of daily living and mobility is needed. Residence cannot be offered to people who pose a danger to themselves or others.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
The state of Utah hosts two regulatory levels of assisted living: Level I and Level II.
Level I facilities can accommodate residents of stable health who are fully ambulatory and are thus able to exit the facility unassisted in the event of an emergency. These facilities provide basic personal care assistance to give residents a minimal level of aid in attending to activities of daily living (ADLs), such as personal grooming, eating, and doing laundry. Level I facilities provide unintrusive safety supervision, regular health monitoring, and an atmosphere of community participation that helps seniors remain active and social.
Level II facilities offer all of the same benefits of Level I facilities, but with added assistance for more physically and/or mentally impaired residents. Residents of Level II facilities have access to an array of personal and health-related care services that are available 24 hours a day. Tenants are also offered the assistance of one person to aid and transfer them if they are incapable of securing their own safety in emergency evacuations. Only Level II facilities can accommodate people with dementia or related diseases. Level II facilities also offer more substantial assistance with activities of daily living, but still cannot legally provide total assistance. Residents must be able to partially perform ADL tasks for themselves.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Utah provides Medicaid reimbursement for services rendered to residents of participating assisted living facilities. Residents may be reimbursed for select services if they have qualifying levels of need, and if they qualify financially for Medicaid enrollment. The Personal Care Coverage Medicaid program can help individuals who need extensive aid in performing at least two activities of daily living, as long as these residents can self-administer their own medications. Utah also offers a Medicaid waiver to aged ALF residents who would otherwise have to be in a nursing home to continue receiving their benefits. This waiver is a limited enrollment program, so anyone who wishes to receive benefits through a waiver must sign up to a waitlist.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Living spaces in Utah ALFs may be either single- or double-occupancy. Units with one resident must have at least 120 square feet of usable living space, and double-occupancy units will have at least 200 square feet. For any unit to house two residents, both parties must agree to the arrangement. Common bathrooms are permitted to be shared among ALF units, but shared bathrooms must provide one toilet and one shower for every four and ten residents, respectively.
Level I and Level II facilities must follow grounds regulations that are based on whether they are large (17 or more residents), small (6 to 16 residents), or of limited capacity (2 to 5 residents). These regulations are largely in place to ensure fire safety and a high level of accessibility by physically impaired residents.
Medication Management Regulations
In all Utah facilities, a licensed healthcare professional or pharmacist must review resident plans of service every six months to assess individual medication schedules. All Level I and Level II assisted living facilities in Utah must offer assistance with the self-administration of medicines, and must also offer fully administrative medication assistance to more impaired residents.
Uncertified staff may assist with self-administration, meaning they can help an individual open packaging or read labels, and may provide reminders to take medicines. Only when under direct supervision by a registered nurse can uncertified direct care staff fully administer a resident’s medication for them. Family members may also be tasked with medication administration for a resident, but in these cases, that individual must take responsibility for all aspects of medication administration.
Utah’s assisted living regulations require that sufficient staff be readily available to fulfill all resident plans of service 24 hours per day. An administrator must be in charge of operations, and this person must be on the grounds during most hours or must select an appropriate proxy to be present in their absence. Level I and Level II ALFs must have a registered nurse on staff to provide coordination and supervision of nursing services, as well as regular health evaluations. Direct care staff must be available in both facility types to provide day-to-day assistance to residents, but direct care staff employed by Level II facilities must have nurse’s aide certifications.
Staff Training Requirements
Utah has different training and employment requirements for Level I and Level II facilities, and these vary with facility size.
Administrators must be at least 21 years old and must pass a criminal background check. Applicants for this position at Level I and Level II facilities must have, at a minimum, an associate’s degree or two years of work experience in a field related to healthcare management. Applicants with greater experience or education are favored for the administration of Level II facilities, and in large Level II facilities (with 17 or more residents), administrators must acquire a state certification within six months of hire.
Direct care staff are required to complete orientation training to cover topics related to resident care and interaction. The training curriculum includes a range of topics that acquaint new employees with person-centered long-term care principles, medication assistance, physical aid, and the care of residents with dementia. Orientation training is supplemented with a period of in-service training as well. Direct care staff in Level II facilities are required to obtain nurse’s aide certifications within their first four months of hire.
Background Checks for Assisted Living
Residential care background checks involve a search through a long list of state and federal databases where information concerning abusive or dishonest behavior may be documented. Utah requires that people seeking employment with, or control over an assisted living facility must submit to screening through the state’s Direct Access Clearance System. This system uses fingerprinting and personal information to find any past or pending instances of conviction or substantiated accusations of certain crimes. Crimes that can disqualify a person from association with a facility include violent acts, like abuse or assault, and also abandonment, neglect, exploitation, or theft.
The state of Utah provides different means of complaint-filing for citizens who wish to report elder abuse or malpractice by a long-term care facility.
To report any long-term care facility for failure to fulfill a contractual agreement with a resident, the Bureau of Health Facility Licensing, Certification and Resident Assessment recommends contacting one of Utah’s long-term care ombudsmen. To find an ombudsman in your area, consult the directory included in this guide.
To report a suspected act of elder abuse, Adult Protective Services can be contacted confidentially at (800) 371-7897. Reports can also be filed online at DAAS.Utah.gov. Abuse of a vulnerable adult can include physical or emotional abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment, exploitation, and theft. Citizens who learn of an act of elder abuse are legally obligated to file a report.