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Guide to Senior Living in Kentucky

The southeastern state of Kentucky has a population of over 4.4 million residents, about 16% of whom are aged 65 and over. Over the next decade, the state’s senior community is projected to exceed 20% of the total population. To accommodate these seniors, Kentucky licenses over 130 senior living facilities. On average, seniors pay $3,497 per month for assisted living, which is 15% lower than the national monthly average of $4,051. This, combined with the state’s relatively low cost of living, may appeal to seniors who are seeking affordable care.

This guide provides an overview of the cost of senior living throughout the state and details about how assisted living compares in cost to other types of senior care. It also outlines the state and local agencies that can connect seniors with information and financial resources to help them cover the cost of their care.

Covid-19 Rules and Restrictions for Kentucky Senior Living Facilities

The following rules and guidelines were obtained from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), Office of the Inspector General , as well as other state-level government sites. Among others, these rules apply to skilled nursing facilities, personal care homes, assisted living communities, and intermediate care facilities.

This data has been most recently updated on 7/3/20, but keep in mind that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, so all of the below information can change at any time. For additional questions and up-to-date information, you can contact your loved one’s senior living facility or your local Area Agency on Aging

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?No
Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?Likely
Are hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?Yes, if extensive safety and testing protocols are followed
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?NA
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

Outings and Group Activities

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?NA
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?NA
Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?NA
Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?Yes, in groups of ten with distancing if no active cases are present
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?Yes, in groups of ten with distancing if no active cases are present

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?In cases of local outbreaks
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?Yes
Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?No
Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?Optional
Are residents being tested for coronavirus?Yes (in case of local outbreaks)

Paying for Senior Living in Kentucky

While assisted living is a popular option for Kentucky seniors who need an extra hand with chores and personal care tasks, several other types of care are available. The most affordable option is adult day health care, which costs $1,560 per month on average. However, this monthly fee doesn’t include living expenses like groceries, rent, utilities and after-hours personal care services. These expenses have to be paid on top of the cost of care, which may ultimately make this type of senior care more costly.

In-home care, which features nonclinical help like companionship and meal prep, and home health care, which includes medical assistance like wound care and monitoring of health status, cost nearly 10% more than assisted living, at $3,813 per month. The most costly type of senior care in Kentucky is nursing home care, with semiprivate accommodations costing an average of $6,905 per month.

$3497

Assisted Living

$3813

In-Home Care

$3813

Home Health Care

$1560

Adult Day Care

$6905

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Assisted Living in Kentucky

According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Kentucky costs about $3,497 per month. The U.S. average is $4,051, making Kentucky among the more affordable states in the nation for this type of care. Compared to its bordering states, Kentucky is the second-most economical option, with only Missouri having a lower monthly cost of care, at $2,881. West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois are more expensive at $3,750, $4,339 and $4,170 per month, respectively.

$3497

Kentucky

$4051

United States

$2881

Missouri

$3750

West Virginia

$4339

Ohio

$4170

Illinois

The Cost of In-Home Care in Kentucky

Kentucky offers some of the most affordable in-home care services in the United States at a monthly cost of just $3,813, far below the national average of $4,290. Additionally, this rate is much better than the neighboring states of Missouri, Ohio and Illinois where the same service amounts to $4,195, $4,290 and $4,481 a month, respectively. Only West Virginia offers a better deal on in-home care with monthly fees of just $3,432. 

$3813

Kentucky

$4290

United States

$4195

Missouri

$3432

West Virginia

$4290

Ohio

$4481

Illinois

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Kentucky

Kentucky’s nursing home care services will cost prospective seniors $6,905 a month. This rate is below the national average of $7,513 as well as significantly less than the cost of $10,707 in West Virginia and slightly less than Ohio’s monthly cost of $6,996. If savings are paramount, then Missouri and Illinois are better choices with monthly fees of $5,061 and $5,931 respectively. 

$6905

Kentucky

$7513

United States

$5061

Missouri

$10707

West Virginia

$6996

Ohio

$5931

Illinois

Financial Assistance for Senior Living in Kentucky

Optional State Supplement

Low-income seniors in Kentucky who qualify for the federal Supplemental Security Income program receive additional supplementation from the state. This cash benefit, which is paid monthly on top of the federal benefit, can be used toward living expenses at the recipient’s discretion, including senior living services. The amount that seniors receive depends on where they reside, with those living in personal care facilities receiving $520 per month for a combined state and federal benefit of $1,194 per month.

To be eligible for the optional state supplement, Kentucky seniors must be at least 65 years old, qualify for SSI and live in a senior living facility other than a Medicaid facility.

Contact: To enroll in SSI and receive the optional state supplement, seniors should call 1-800-772-1213 or apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits.

VA Aid and Attendance

Qualified veterans who receive a monthly VA pension and need help with daily living activities may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance benefits. This cash benefit is issued monthly in addition to the VA pension and can be used toward personal care services in senior living.

To be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, veterans must receive a VA pension and meet at least one of the requirements listed below:

  • They need another person to help them perform activities of daily living like dressing, feeding and bathing.
  • They have to stay in bed or spend a large portion of their day in bed due to an illness.
  • They reside in a nursing home due to a disability that results in the loss of mental or physical abilities.
  • Their corrected eyesight is limited to 5/200 or less in one or both eyes, or they have a field of vision of 5 degrees or less.

Contact: To apply for VA Aid and Attendance, seniors should contact the Louisville VA regional office at 1-800-827-1000.

Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Kentucky

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.

To keep residents in senior living facilities safe and to enhance their quality of life, the state requires that senior living facilities be certified on an annual basis by the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living. To receive certification, facilities have to abide by these rules and regulations.

Scope of Care

Services that must be provided in senior living facilities include assistance with the activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, scheduled daily social activities and assistance with self-administrated medication. Facilities also must offer help with household activities like housekeeping, laundry, chores, shopping and transportation. Residents may arrange for additional services beyond what the facility provides through a third party.

Memory Care Regulation

Memory care services are offered in senior living facilities. Facilities must provide a description of the training their staff members receive, including the topics the training covers, how many hours of training are required, the training schedule and which staff members must receive dementia-related training.

Care Plan Requirements

Before a resident signs a lease and moves into an senior living facility, the facility must complete a functional needs assessment to verify that the facility can meet the resident’s needs. This assessment must be updated on an annual basis to ensure that the facility is meeting the resident’s ongoing needs.

Medication Management Requirements

Senior living facilities in Kentucky may help with self-administered medications. This includes reminding residents to take their medications, reading the medication’s label, opening the medication’s packaging, storing the medication and ensuring that the resident has taken it. Staff members aren’t permitted to handle the medication itself or administer it.

Staffing Requirements

Senior living communities are required to have a designated manager who oversees day-to-day operations and monitors caregivers. The state doesn’t have minimum staffing ratios but expects facilities to ensure that enough caregivers are on site at any given time to handle residents’ scheduled and unscheduled needs.

Caregiver Screening Requirements

Senior living facilities are required to perform criminal background checks on all prospective employees. Anyone who has been convicted of a felony related to theft, a sexual crime, abusing or selling illegal drugs, or abusing, neglecting or exploiting an adult is ineligible for employment.

Caregiver Training Requirements

Caregivers must receive orientation within 90 days of their hire date, and annual training on topics like residents’ rights and adult first aid is required.

Medicaid Coverage

The state doesn’t cover senior living services under Kentucky Medicaid or any of its waiver programs.

Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state, meaning that anyone who suspects or observes elder abuse is legally required to report it. Calls can be made anonymously to the 24-hour hotline at (877) 597-2331.

Kentucky Senior Living Free Resources

Kentucky Agencies

Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living

The Kentucky Department of Aging and Independent Living is a state government agency that oversees the administration of statewide programs for seniors and residents with disabilities. Through this agency, Kentucky residents can learn about resources such as caregiver support services and research information on local senior living facilities. The agency provides one-on-one assistance over the phone to help seniors connect with the public programs and services that may be beneficial to them. Services are free to use and available to everyone.

Contact: For information on the programs and services provided through DAIL, call (877) 925-0037.

Area Agencies on Aging in Kentucky

Kentucky is home to 15 Area Agencies on Aging, each of which serves specific counties. These agencies are made up of networks of public and nonprofit organizations that provide a wide variety of services to seniors, such as congregate and home-delivered meals, transportation, homemaker assistance and other services that promote independent living. These services are free to use and are available to adults aged 60 and over.

Veterans Affairs Offices in Kentucky

Qualifying veterans and their spouses may receive services such as health care and financial assistance, including the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, through Kentucky’s Veterans Affairs offices. The main benefits office is in Louisville, and there are several VA clinics and resource centers throughout the state.

VA OFFICEADDRESSPHONE NUMBER
Lexington Vet Center1500 Leestown Road Suite 104
Lexington, KY 40511
859-253-0717
Louisville Vet Center1347 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40208
502-287-6710

Social Security Offices in Kentucky

Kentucky has over two dozen Social Security offices located throughout the state. These offices assist seniors with questions or issues they may have with their Social Security benefits. They can also help seniors apply for SSI benefits or obtain a social security card.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does assisted living cost in Kentucky?

On average, assisted living costs $3,497 per month in Kentucky. Owensboro is the most affordable city in the state for assisted living, and the Lexington area is the most expensive.

Does Kentucky Medicaid pay for assisted living?

In Kentucky, all assisted living facilities are considered private entities, making them ineligible for public funding. Currently, assisted living services in the state aren’t covered by Medicaid or any of its waiver programs.

Does Medicare pay for assisted living?

Original Medicare doesn’t pay for assisted living, including personal care assistance and room and board. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may pay for supportive services received in an assisted living facility.

What types of services are available in Assisted Living?

Some services provided in assisted living facilities include assistance with the activities of daily living, including dressing and bathing, housekeeping and laundry services, and transportation.

What is the difference between assisted living and independent living?

Assisted living is well-suited to seniors who are unable to safely live alone but don’t require skilled nursing care. These facilities promote residents’ independence but provide help with tasks such as scheduling doctor’s appointments, cleaning and meal preparation. Independent living focuses on offering convenience and supporting an active lifestyle. It doesn’t provide personal care services or nursing support.

The Top Cities for Senior Living in Kentucky

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

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