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Guide to Senior Living in Connecticut

A state in the Northeast that makes up a part of the greater New York City tristate area, Connecticut is home to 3.5 million people, around 17% of whom are aged 65 or older. Connecticut is the seventh oldest state in the United States, with a senior population that is expected to keep growing; by 2030, over 1 in 5 residents of Connecticut will be of retirement age.

Despite the aging of state residents, senior living in the state is not exactly affordable. For instance, Connecticut seniors can expect to pay around $4,880 per month for an assisted living facility, according to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey. This rate is about $800 more than the national average of $4,051. However, there are financial resources in place for those in need, making it a little easier to afford the cost of senior living care in Connecticut.

This guide serves as an overview of senior living in Connecticut, including relevant stats, local resources that can provide financial assistance, and rules and regulations governing senior living.

The Cost of Senior Living in Connecticut

Note: There currently isn’t authoritative data on the average cost of Independent Living Facilities nationwide, so instead, we use the cost of Assisted Living to estimate it. Since the cost of Independent Living is typically 30-40% lower than the cost of Assisted Living, the numbers below were calculated by subtracting 35% from the cost of Assisted Living.

Note: Memory care is typically provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, and in general, costs 20-30% more than standard assisted living services. No authoritative cost data is available for this type of care, so we estimated memory care rates by adding 25% to assisted living fees in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.

There are four types of senior living facilities in Connecticut, each designed to make life more comfortable for older residents at varying positions on the health spectrum. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the most affordable is independent living, which averages at $3,334 per month. This is primarily because there’s almost no care support, with the focus instead on diverse accommodation options and more amenities.

Assisted living and memory care are similar, both providing comfortable rooms, health-appropriate amenities and 24-hour care. The most affordable is assisted living, at $5,129, while memory care typically costs another $1,282 per month because the staff is highly trained and there are additional security and surveillance systems. Nursing home care is the costliest option, at $13,764, due to the provision of medical professionals and greater staff-to-resident ratios.

$5129

Assisted Living

$3334

Independent Living

$6411

Memory Care

$13764

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Assisted Living in Connecticut

Although Connecticut’s seniors pay around $629 per month more for assisted living than the national average of $4,500, their costs are still among the most affordable in the region. Only New Yorkers, who typically pay $4,580, have lower average fees. Generally, assisted living facilities in the region charge $6,000-plus for their services, such as in New Hampshire ($6,053), Massachusetts ($6,500), Rhode Island ($6,826) and New Jersey ($6,495).

$5129

Connecticut

$4500

The United States

$6500

Massachusetts

$6826

Rhode Island

$4580

New York

$6495

New Jersey

$6053

New Hampshire

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Connecticut

Seniors considering nursing home care in Connecticut should know they’re likely to pay the highest fees in the region. At $13,764 per month, fees are usually around $989 more than in New York, which is the next costliest state in this part of the country. Thereafter, nursing home fees in surrounding states become more affordable, such as in Massachusetts ($12,623), New Jersey ($11,254) and New Hampshire ($10,950). At $9,429 per month, Rhode Island is the only state in the area with fees close to the national average of $7,908.

$13764

Connecticut

$7908

The United States

$12623

Massachusetts

$9429

v

$12775

New York

$11254

New Jersey

$10950

New Hampshire

Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Senior Living in Connecticut?

Although it’s more complicated than a simple yes, in many cases, Medicaid can pay for senior living. However, what it pays for depends on the type of care facility and the individual applicant’s medical and financial circumstances.

Independent living communities rarely include care services, as their residents are relatively fit and healthy, so Medicaid won’t pay any of those costs. However, since assisted living and memory care residents often need comprehensive care support, Medicaid can contribute toward medical and some non-medical expenses. The only type of senior living facility where Medicaid will pay all costs is a nursing home.

There are two ways to get financial support from Medicaid in Connecticut. The first is HUSKY Health, which directly pays nursing home care facilities authorized to accept Medicaid, while seniors in assisted living and memory care facilities can apply for support through a waiver program known as the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders.



Medicaid Coverage LevelType of Medicaid CoverageEntitlement?*
Assisted LivingPartialMedicaid WaiversNo
Independent LivingNoneN/AN/A
Memory CarePartialMedicaid WaiversNo
Nursing Home CareFullMedicaidYes

*Note: Entitlement programs mean that everyone who qualifies will receive coverage and be accepted into the programs. If the program is not “entitlement,” then participant caps could be in place, and there may be a waiting list. 

Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living & Memory Care in Connecticut

Not all seniors with qualifying health conditions want to enter nursing homes unless absolutely necessary. Fortunately, Connecticut’s Medicaid has a waiver program that can pay medical expenses for eligible assisted living and memory care residents.

Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE)

CHCPE is designed to reduce the state’s Medicaid cost burden while simultaneously providing financial support to seniors who can receive nursing home levels of care in other ways. The section of CHCPE relevant to seniors considering assisted living or memory care is the Assisted Living Program. It’s available to adults aged 65+ at risk of moving into a nursing home who satisfy the program’s medical and financial restrictions.

Before applying, seniors should check if the facility of their choice accepts CHCPE or be prepared to relocate to an authorized facility outside their area. CHCPE-funded services within managed care communities include:

  • 24-hour security
  • Meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Personal care assistance
  • Emergency transportation for medical purposes

To apply for CHCPE, seniors should download an English or Spanish language copy of the application form. They should try to complete it in its entirety, as partially filled documents cause processing delays. The printed document should be mailed to:

The Department of Social Services
Community Options, 9th Floor
55 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105-3725.

Alternatively, applicants can fax the document to (860) 424-4963. Seniors with questions about their application can call the department at (800) 445-5394.

Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care in Connecticut

As of 2022, there are 209 nursing homes in Connecticut, which equates to around 24,500 licensed beds. Approximately 74% of them are funded through Medicaid. The state and federally funded program pays for all medical services within the facility, including rehabilitation treatments and medications, in addition to room and board costs. It also pays for transportation for medical purposes, assistive technologies and, when necessary, the services of foreign language interpreters.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Connecticut

Although Medicaid and CHCPE are different programs, they share income and asset limits. However, CHCPE clients must contribute 9% of the cost of their services. Asset limits vary, depending on the individual’s circumstances. For all applicants, the limit is $1,600, but in cases where one senior from a two-person household applies, their spouse’s assets are assessed and mustn’t exceed $137,400. Where a senior’s income is within range but their assets are above the limit, they cannot apply for Medicaid until their assets are legitimately reduced to the maximum amount.

Recipients of state supplement benefits, known as AABD (Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled) are automatically eligible for Medicaid in Connecticut, but SSI beneficiaries are not.

2022 Connecticut Medicaid Income Limits



Income LimitsAsset Limits*
Single ApplicantMust be below the cost of nursing home care$19,200
Two-Person Household (Only one applicant)Must be below the cost of nursing home care$19,200 for applicant

$137,440 non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Two applicants)Must be below the cost of nursing home care$38,400 

*per year

Medicaid for older adults in Connecticut, known as Husky C, demands applicants satisfy requirements in addition to medical and financial criteria. The senior must be:

  • A U.S. citizen (or legal resident)
  • A Connecticut resident
  • 65 years old or more
  • On a low or very low income
  • Unable to perform daily living tasks without assistance, such as bathing and dressing

Applying for Medicaid in Connecticut

The quickest way to apply for Medicaid in Connecticut is to use the online application form available on the ConneCT.gov website. Seniors should choose the Medicaid/HUSKY C option and create an account or log in using their existing username and password. Alternatively, applicants can print and mail a completed copy of form W-1EINST to:

DSS Scanning Center
P.O. Box 1320
Manchester, CT 06045-1320

Applicants may also visit their nearest DSS field office.

Before You Apply

Before applying, it’s prudent to collect all the information required to avoid processing delays. Although original documents are recommended, the department will accept copies. These should include proof of:

  • All household members (birth certificates, noncitizen resident status cards, etc.)
  • Income (pay stubs, IRS form 1040, etc.)
  • Medical insurance and expenses (Medicare cards, medical bills, etc.)
  • Shelter and utility costs (lease agreements, mortgage bills, homeowners’ insurance bills, etc.)
  • Assets (bank statements, life insurance policies, stocks/bonds, etc.)

How to Get Help

Seniors can get authoritative help by contacting their nearest DSS field office. However, other help is available should applicants prefer to do their own research first or have issues dealt with by specialist departments, such as the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.



ContactWhat You Should Know
Medicaid.govOnline OnlyMedicaid.gov is a regularly updated federal website that ensures seniors have access to the latest changes involving Medicaid. It provides comprehensive information about the program and numerous links about how and where to apply, in addition to links where seniors can check the current status of their applications.
American Council on AgingOnline OnlyThe American Council on Aging is a partnership of multiple Medicaid specialists throughout the country who provide detailed information for each state, including Connecticut. The site also has useful online tools, such as the spend-down calculator, which provides general advice on how an applicant can spend down their assets if they’re above the threshold. 
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit(860) 258-5986The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates fraud relating to the program and prosecutes offenders who abuse the health care services provided to needy seniors in Connecticut. The unit educates seniors about fraud and provides them with the means to report suspected cheats. 

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Senior Living in Connecticut?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living, independent living, or memory care. Unlike nursing homes, these care types are not considered to be “clinical settings” and so are not eligible for Medicare coverage. That being said, those who live in these communities can still use Medicare to cover the cost of approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc.

When it comes to nursing home care, it gets much more complicated. Medicare does provide limited coverage for a qualified stay in a nursing home,but there are strict rules and requirements of which you should be aware. This benefit is available to seniors who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge.

Once you’ve met the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility (per benefit period). While the first 20 days are covered in full, there is a daily coinsurance rate that must be paid starting on day 21. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.


Medicare CoverageMedicare Coverage DurationCoinsurance Requirement?
Assisted LivingNoneN/AN/A
Independent LivingNoneN/AN/A
Memory CareNoneN/AN/A
Nursing Home CareLimited100 Days Per Benefit PeriodYes – After 20 Days

What Nursing Home Care Services Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:

  • Meals
  • A semiprivate room
  • Medications
  • Skilled nursing services
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiologist care
  • Medical supplies
  • Medical social services
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Ambulance transportation

What Nursing Home Care Services Aren’t Covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors’ day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.

Medicare Support & Resources in Connecticut

Connecticut’s seniors can get free information and assistance from several organizations dedicated to helping Medicare beneficiaries and those preparing to enroll in a plan. Those listed here range from government agencies that focus primarily on online support, supplemented by phone advisors, and legal organizations that provide direct assistance, often for non-standard issues, such as Medicare being denied.


Resource

ContactWhat You Should Know
Medicare.gov(800) 633-4227Medicare.gov is a federal government website with a wealth of information that’s regularly updated, so seniors can be confident in getting the latest facts. It provides detailed information about eligibility requirements, copays and deductibles, in addition to content about supplementary plans, such as Medicare Advantage and Medigap.
CHOICES(800) 994-9422CHOICES is the abbreviated name for Connecticut’s programs for health insurance, outreach, information and eligibility screening. The programs’ trained advisors operate throughout the state, providing seniors with unbiased and confidential one-on-one support in all things Medicare. This support includes helping them understand the various plans and how they can help the senior’s long-term care requirements. The advisors can also discuss private health care plans but won’t try to sell insurance. 
Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut(800) 453-3320Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut is a collective of attorneys, paralegals and volunteers who give their time and expertise to provide free counseling, advice and support to low-income residents unable to pay for legal services. The site includes a legal help finder, which can make it easier for seniors to locate experts in their vicinity who have experience dealing with Medicare issues. The nonprofit can also assist with other aspects of health care and long-term care that fall within civil law.
Center for Medicare Advocacy(860) 456-7790The Center for Medicare Advocacy is a national nonprofit headquartered in Connecticut that advocates for increased Medicare coverage. The center provides many diverse self-help packs for seniors who prefer not to speak to advisors. As it’s primarily a legal organization, it can also provide direct legal assistance to seniors with specific needs that sometimes fall beyond the experience of other nonprofits, such as acquiring Medicare that covers costs for slowing down declining health.

Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Senior Living in Connecticut?

Depending on your unique situation, there may be other financial assistance options to partially or fully cover the cost of senior living in Connecticut. Below, we cover some of the common ways that seniors can make senior living options such as assisted living or memory care more affordable.


How to Get StartedWhat You Should Know
Aid and AttendanceApply online at va.gov.If you are a veteran and you receive a VA pension, you may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit. This benefit takes the form of a monthly cash allowance that you receive in addition to your standard pension. This benefit is used by veterans who need long-term care services, including care received at an assisted living facility.
Reverse MortgagesResearch and learn about the different types at ftc.gov.If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to access some of the equity in your home. Like traditional loans, reverse mortgages do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months, so seniors should carefully weigh this option alongside other financing methods.
Long-Term Care (LTC) InsuranceLearn about how to receive LTC insurance benefits at acl.gov.While those who currently need assisted living will typically not be eligible, if you purchased an LTC insurance policy in the past, you may be able to use it to help pay for assisted living. While most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, you still need to check the specific terms of your policy.

Free Senior Living Resources for Seniors in Connecticut

There are many agencies and organizations operating in Connecticut that can assist seniors with varying needs. The following list includes nonprofits that can help older residents prepare their taxes, file complaints about their care providers, volunteer to help the needy in their communities and connect with others blighted by memory loss. There’s also support for vets who aren’t getting the benefits they’re entitled to.



ContactWhat You Should Know
Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs(860) 616-3600The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs is an advocate for U.S. military vets, their spouses and dependents. Its advisors can help clients identify and claim state and federal benefits, in addition to some military benefits that can help with senior living costs, such as VA Aid and Attendance. Additionally, the department can help vets apply for the veteran’s flag on their CT driving license or ID card.
Area Agencies on AgingMultiple Phone NumbersAlthough Connecticut’s Area Agencies on Aging are private nonprofits, they have been authorized by the Department of Aging and Disability Services to provide multiple resources for seniors in their respective areas. The agencies are primarily focused on helping seniors age safely and comfortably at home through the provision of social and nutritional services and support for family caregivers. However, they can also provide limited help for seniors in long-term care facilities, such as assistive technology equipment loans and transportation. The agencies also manage the long-term care ombudsman program, which investigates complaints made by senior living residents, their families and third parties.
Alzheimer’s Association – Connecticut Chapter(860) 406-3040The Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association provides local support that complements the online services provided by the national organization. These include early-stage engagement programs, which allow seniors at the start of their cognitive impairment journeys to connect with others at the same stage. There are also support groups managed by trained facilitators that can help seniors and the families of those affected by memory loss.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program(800) 942-2677The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is a mechanism developed by AmeriCorps to connect older residents who want to help others with nonprofits that rely on volunteers. Multiple agencies and organizations throughout Connecticut administer the program locally, helping volunteers and charities find each other while also arranging free accident and liability insurance for seniors during their working hours.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program(888) 687-2277The AARP’s tax-aide program can help all of Connecticut’s older residents prepare and submit their taxes, although it prioritizes those on low incomes. The program is available online and in person. Online, seniors can use free software to prepare their taxes and contact IRS-certified volunteers by phone if there’s anything they need assistance with. Seniors who prefer in-person services can visit their local authorized center, where a volunteer can help them prep and submit their taxes.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers(800) 994-9422Community Choices is a program available through Aging and Disability Resource Centers across Connecticut that helps older residents, the disabled and caregivers find free support programs and services. These include organizations dedicated to helping seniors transition to appropriate care facilities and access useful counseling and benefits programs linked to health care and financial support.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Connecticut

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including ct.gov/DPH. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/2/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visiting Loved Ones

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?Yes
Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?Not Available*
Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?Yes
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives? Yes
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

*NOTE: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Outings and Group Activities

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons? Not Available*
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine? Not Available*
Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?No
Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?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.

Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?Yes
Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

Safety Measures for Residents

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms? Not Available*
Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms? Not Available*
Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures? Not Available*
Are residents being tested for coronavirus?Yes

*NOTE: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Connecticut

Note: All these rules typically apply to non-clinical senior living facilities, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Nursing homes and other senior living facilities with a clinical setting may have additional or slightly different requirements and regulations.

In Connecticut, senior living facilities are overseen by the Department of Public Health. In order to keep residents safe and protected while in care, numerous rules and regulations govern the licensing and operations of senior living facilities.

Service Plan Requirements

All residents must have a service plan within seven days of admission, as developed by a registered nurse with input from the resident and their family. This plan should include an assessment of overall health, the services required and any ongoing treatments. Residents in a senior living facility have a right to be involved in the development of their own service plans and always have the right to refuse treatment. These service plans must be reviewed every 120 days or whenever a resident’s condition substantially changes.

Senior Living Scope of Care

In Connecticut, senior living facilities must offer housing, resident assistance with activities of daily living as required, maintenance services and three meals a day. Services can include helping with medication management.

Senior living facilities don’t provide a nursing home level of care, such as wound management, catheters, PICC lines or other ongoing care for chronic conditions. However, outside service providers are permitted to offer assistance in these cases, allowing residents to remain in a senior living facility rather than requiring a transfer to a nursing home.

Medication Management

Medication management is an option for residents in a senior living facility. Staff can help with self-administering medications, including pouring or dosing medications and helping patients safely take their medicines. Licensed nurses can administer medications to residents when necessary and included in a care plan.

Staffing Requirements and Training

All senior living facilities must have at least one registered nurse supervisor in charge of coordinating nurses and direct service staff members. There are no minimum ratios for service staff, but a supervisor must be available for at least 20 hours a week for every 10 licensed nurses or nursing aides. A full-time supervisor is required for facilities with 10 to 20 licensed nurses or aides, with an additional supervisor for every 20 employees. A registered nurse must be on call 24 hours a day. There are no rules stipulating a staff member must be awake overnight unless this is a part of a resident’s service plan.

All staff working in a senior living facility need to undergo a 10-hour training program. Further, all aides must take a competency exam as well as at least six hours of continuing education yearly. Coursework must involve general techniques and procedures related to senior living as well as specific community requirements.

There are no state laws about mandatory staff background checks. However, senior living facilities may require background checks of their own volition to use to make hiring decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does assisted living cost in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, the cost of assisted living averages $4,880 per month, an amount around $800 higher than the national average of $4,051. The cost of assisted living varies throughout the state, with cities like Bridgeport averaging a price much higher than the national average and New Haven averaging much less. Connecticut is on par or less expensive than most of its neighboring states.

Are there financial assistance programs for assisted living in Connecticut?

Yes, there are financial assistance programs for assisted living facilities in Connecticut. Many seniors benefit from the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders Medicaid waiver that provides support for community care for seniors both eligible and ineligible for Medicaid.

What are Activities of Daily Living?

“Activities of daily living” refers to any tasks that are required to live normally on a day-to-day basis. This includes bathing, eating, using the bathroom, preparing food and getting around the home.

What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?

The primary difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities relates to the level of care available to residents. Assisted living facilities offer help with activities of daily living, medication management and basic first aid. Nursing homes, on the other hand, provide more comprehensive care, helping residents with chronic conditions and more advanced treatment, like ventilator support.

Who should consider assisted living?

Assisted living is a great option for those who require assistance with day-to-day tasks but don’t need the more significant medical intervention that comes with nursing home admission. A good candidate for assisted living is a senior who could live at home with a caregiver but prefers around-the-clock access to support in a residential facility.

Learn More About Senior Living in Connecticut

For more information about specific types of senior living in Connecticut read our Guide to Assisted Living and Independent Living.

The Top Cities for Senior Living in Connecticut

Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Connecticut cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.

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