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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.

Paying for Senior Living in Connecticut

For many seniors, assisted living facilities are an excellent compromise between in-home care and a traditional nursing facility. However, these communities aren’t right for everyone. Whether due to budget or varying health or wellness needs, there are other avenues seniors should consider when choosing the kind of care they need. Here are average rates for common types of senior care:

$4880

Assisted Living

$4195

In-Home Care

$4576

Home Health Care

$1842

Adult Day Care

$12699

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Assisted Living in Connecticut

According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Connecticut can expect an average monthly cost of $4,880 in an assisted living facility. This is on par or slightly below many of the surrounding states; the Northeast is known for its higher cost of living, so it’s no surprise that New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York are also expensive areas in which to live as a senior.

$4880

Connecticut

$4051

United States

$6400

New Jersey

$5640

Massachusetts

$5338

Vermont

$4630

New York

The Cost of In-Home Care in Connecticut

Connecticut seniors who wish to receive assisted living services while living in their home are in for some good news: Connecticut has the lowest average for in-home care among its surrounding states and is even $95 below the national average. Connecticut in-home care is $572 cheaper than the same services in New York and New Jersey, both of which have monthly prices of $4,767. Rhode Island ($5,148) and Massachusetts ($5,186) are in a higher price range, leaving Connecticut as the most viable state in the area for in-home care.

$4195

Connecticut

$4290

United States

$5148

Rhode Island

$5186

Massachusetts

$4767

New York

$4767

New Jersey

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Connecticut

Seniors citizens should be forewarned about the astronomical cost of nursing home care in Connecticut before committing to this state for 24/7 supervision and medical care. With an average rate of $12,699 per month, Connecticut’s fees are among the highest in the nation at $5,186 above the U.S. average for nursing home care. Surrounding states aren’t much better. In Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey seniors pay $10,646 to $12,473 for nursing home care. While fees in Rhode Island ($9,961) are still above the national average, Connecticut seniors would save $2,738 per month to receive nursing home care only one state away. 

$12699

Connecticut

$7513

United States

$9961

Rhode Island

$12473

Massachusetts

$11613

New York

$10646

New Jersey

Financial Assistance for Senior Living in Connecticut

Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE)

The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders, abbreviated as CHCPE, is a state Medicaid waiver intended for seniors at risk of requiring care from a nursing home facility. In order to avoid this, the waiver program contributes to the costs of alternative forms of care, including senior living facilities. Resources can also include care management, adult day health services, home-delivered meals and homemaker services for seniors who choose to stay in their own home. The CHCPE doesn’t pay for room and board in a senior living facility but does offer four different service packages that range from one hour a week to 15 hours a week of personal services depending on seniors’ functional needs. A referral and screening process must be completed before seniors can enter a senior living facility.

In spite of being a Medicaid program, CHCPE is occasionally open to non-Medicaid-eligible seniors. Participants must be 65 years of age or older and be eligible for the CHCPE by meeting the financial and functional requirements. To meet functional requirements, seniors must need assistance with at least one or two activities of daily living, which include eating, getting dressed and personal hygiene tasks. In addition, seniors must also meet the asset thresholds for eligibility. For the Medicaid waiver, seniors cannot have more than $1,600 in countable assets for individual support, $3,200 in assets if both spouses in a couple are receiving support or $27,328 in assets if only one spouse requires support services. For the state-funded non-Medicaid option, an individual cannot have more than $38,592 in assets, while a couple, regardless of who needs services, can’t have more than $51,456 in combined assets.

Contact: To apply for the CHCPE, qualified seniors can fill out the application and return it to the Department of Social Services, Community Options, 9th floor, 55 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105 or via fax at (860) 424-4963. Seniors with questions can contact the Department of Social Services at (800) 445-5394.

VA Aid and Attendance Benefit and Housebound Allowance

For seniors who served in the military, the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit can be a viable option for financial assistance while residing in a senior living facility. An option in addition to a normal monthly stipend, the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit provides help for seniors who need support with daily life or are housebound. To qualify for aid under this benefit program, seniors must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The need for help with activities of daily living
  • The need to stay in bed or spend most of the day in bed due to illness or disability
  • Residency in a nursing home due to physical or mental health challenges related to a disability
  • Extremely limited eyesight of either 5/200 vision with glasses or contact lenses or concentric contraction of the visual field of a maximum of 5 degrees

The benefit amount available to seniors changes annually with inflation. As of 2020, a single adult can expect to receive up to $1,788, a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,149, and a couple can receive as much as $2,120.

Contact: Seniors can apply for this benefit by filling out form VA 21-2680 and returning it to a local PMC or by visiting a regional VA office in person. Seniors can also reach out to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs at (860) 616-3600.

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.

Connecticut Senior Living Free Resources

Connecticut Agencies

Department of Aging and Disability Services

The Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services is a free resource for seniors living throughout the state. Resources include access to a wide range of relevant information about aging services, Medicare and Medicaid, and financial assistance programs. Seniors and individuals with disabilities can also apply for many programs through the Department, including the Access Through Technology program, the Assistive Technology Loan program and the Statewide Respite Care program.

The Department of Aging and Disability Services is available to all seniors, people with disabilities, and their friends, family members and caretakers.

Contact: The Department of Aging and Disability Services can be reached at (860) 424-5055 by phone or in person at 55 Farmington Avenue, 12th floor, Hartford, CT 06105.

Area Agencies on Aging in Connecticut

Connecticut Area Agencies on Aging are nonprofit agencies funded by the State Department of Aging and Disability Services and are operated independently across numerous regions. There are five AAAs throughout the state, with locations in Norwich, Hartford, North Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury, that offer resources such as social services, nutritional services and family caregiver support services. AAAs are free to seniors living in the dedicated geographic region.

Veterans Affairs Offices in Connecticut

Veterans Affairs Offices can be a valuable resource for seniors who served in the armed forces and their families. In Connecticut, these locations can provide support to veterans, offering many forms of aid to those in need. This includes the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit program, which can provide support for seniors in senior living facilities.

OFFICE OF ADVOCACY & ASSISTANCEADDRESSPHONE NUMBER
1st District Office555 Willard Avenue
Newington, CT 06111
(860) 594-6604
2nd District Office100 Broadway, Norwich City Hall Room 305
Norwich, CT 06360
(860) 887-9162
3rd District70 West River Street
Milford, CT 06460
(203) 874-6711
4th District752 East Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06608
(203) 336-2570
5th District55 West Main Street, Suite 140
Waterbury, CT 06702
(203) 805-6340

Social Security Offices in Connecticut

For seniors in retirement, Social Security can be a valuable form of income to pay for resources like senior living facilities. Seniors in need of resources provided by Social Security, including Supplemental Security Income, can apply for benefits and get answers to common questions at Connecticut’s Social Security Offices.

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.

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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