Guide to Senior Living in Louisiana
Louisiana is one of the most popular states for tourists to visit in the South. This is partly because of the cultural and entertainment attractions New Orleans offers, and partly for the hunting and fishing in Louisiana’s pristine nature areas. Over 15% of Louisiana’s 4.6 million people are seniors aged 65 and over, with 129 senior living facilities located around the state to look after their needs. Active seniors in Louisiana are able to enjoy inland saltwater fishing trips, which are hard to come by elsewhere in the United States, without a license from age 60. Seniors whose support is primarily from Social Security pay no state tax on the income, and Louisiana has the third-lowest property taxes in the country.
Seniors living in Louisiana’s senior living communities pay less than the national average for all care types. For instance, the cost of assisted living at $3,650 a month, according to the Genworth 2019 Cost of Care Survey, is $401 less a month less than the national average of $4,051. Louisiana’s cost of living is generally low, compared with other states, but senior living costs can still be a challenge to manage for many aging citizens. This guide is written to help seniors understand the likely costs of senior living, as well as to locate resources to help seniors live well in senior living in Louisiana.
The Cost of Senior Living in Louisiana
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.
Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey for 2021 collects data from Louisiana residents to create price averages for several types of senior care. Nursing Home Care is the most expensive with a monthly average of $5,759 for a semiprivate room. These facilities are more expensive than every other type of senior care because they provide a very high level of medical attention and supervision. Memory care, which offers specialized cognitive services and activities above the level of regular assisted living, has a median price of $4,685 per month.
Independent Living communities are the most affordable choice for seniors in Louisiana, averaging $2,436 per month. These communities are more affordable because they offer little or no assistance or medical services. Assisted Living facilities are about $1,300 more per month because they do offer daily assistance, dining, amenities and activities.
Nursing Home Care
The Cost of Assisted Living in Louisiana
Assisted living costs in Louisiana are significantly less than the national average of $4,500 per month but are typical for the southeast United States. With a monthly average of $3,998 per month, Texas is the most expensive state in the region, followed closely by Arkansas ($3,760). Mississippi ($3,500) and Alabama ($3,503) have very similar assisted living rates and are both more affordable than Louisiana.
The United States
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Louisiana
Nursing home costs in Louisiana are affordable when compared to the national average of $7,908 per month. Its costs are also low compared to nearby states in the southeast. The only state with less expensive rates is Texas, with a monthly average of $5,125. Arkansas ($6,083) has slightly more expensive nursing homes than Louisiana. Despite being lower than the national average, the estimated cost for nursing homes in Mississippi is $7,118 per month.
The United States
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Senior Living in Louisiana?
Louisiana’s Medicaid system, known as Healthy Louisiana, covers some parts of senior living, with a focus on support services for older adults with physical and mental disabilities. The only type of care that Medicaid fully covers, if you’re eligible, is nursing homes. It can also pay for additional medical services not normally provided by the nursing facility.
Louisiana Medicaid does not pay for room and board in assisted living facilities or memory care settings, but it does pay for assistance with Activities of Daily Living as described in its Long-Term Personal Care Services provisions. Covered services include food preparation, housekeeping, grooming, bathing and more.
Medicaid does not cover the costs of independent living. However, when you need to hire in-home care within an independent living community, those services may be covered by Healthy Louisiana or one of its waiver programs under some circumstances.
|Medicaid Coverage Level||Type of Medicaid Coverage||Entitlement?*|
|Assisted Living||Partial||Medicaid program or waiver||No|
|Memory Care||Partial||Medicaid program or waiver||No|
|Nursing Home Care||Full||Medicaid||Yes|
*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 Louisiana
Medicaid’s coverage of assisted living and memory care for seniors in Louisiana is limited to residents who need a nursing home level of care. These programs cover some personal care services, coordination and therapies. One of the programs also covers limited specialized services that some memory care units offer, such as cognitive therapies and activities catered to residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. You must already qualify for Lousiana Medicaid to be eligible for these programs.
Long-Term Personal Care Services Program
LT-PCS provides funding for meal preparation, bathing and grooming, transferring, mobility, toileting, light housekeeping, shopping and medication reminders. It does not cover specialized or skilled nursing, specialized aid services and companionship. It also does not cover supervision not related to daily activities, so this important aspect of memory care is not included. To qualify for this program, you must meet a nursing home level of care or be expected to need that type of care within 120 days. You must also be able to direct your own care or have a representative coordinate care for you. Call Louisiana Options in Long Term Care at (877) 456-1146 to apply.
Community Choices Waiver
The Community Choices Waiver funds services for disabled adults in community settings who meet a nursing facility level of care. It covers:
- Assistive devices and medical supplies
- Transition services
- Personal assistance services, such as those offered in the Personal Care Services Program above
- Support coordination
- Accessibility adaptations
CCW may also cover some of the specialized services offered in memory care settings, such as physical, occupational and speech therapies. Resources for this program are limited, so you may be placed on a waitlist if your application is approved. To add your name to the registry or learn more about the CCW program, contact Louisiana Options in Long Term Care at (877) 456-1146.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care in Louisiana
Louisiana Medicaid will cover the following services in nursing homes for eligible adults:
- Skilled Nursing or medical care
- Rehabilitation needed for injury, disability or illness
- Health-related care and services needed for a mental or physical condition
Eligibility for nursing home care is determined by the Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS).
Eligibility for Medicaid in Louisiana
Income and asset limits based on the federal poverty level are one of the primary eligibility criteria for Medicaid in Louisiana. Singles cannot make more than $30,276 per year and own more than $2,000 in assets. Married couples — with both applying — can’t earn more than $60,552 and have more than $3,000 in assets. If only one spouse is applying, the income limit is $30,276 and the asset limit is $2,000 for the applicant and $137,400 for the non-applicant.
2022 Louisiana Medicaid Income Limits
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household(Only one applicant)||$30,276||$2,000$137,400 (non-applicant)|
|Two-Person Household(Two applicants)||$60,552||$3,000|
In addition to meeting the income and asset requirements, Medicaid applicants must prove that they are:
- Residents of Louisiana
- U.S. Citizens or legally documented residents
- Aged 65 or older, or blind and/or disabled
- In need of a nursing home level of care
Anyone who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or already gets benefits from the Office of Family Supports (OFS) automatically qualifies for general Medicaid.
Applying for Medicaid in Louisiana
There are several ways to apply for Medicaid in Louisiana. You can:
- Fill out the Louisiana Medicaid Online Application (OLA)
- Call the Medicaid hotline at (888) 342-6207 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.
- Visit or call any Medicaid Application Center
- Print a Medicaid application, complete it and mail it to the address in the instructions
Before You Apply
Medicaid applicants are required to provide detailed personal information, including:
- Social security numbers
- Addresses and phone numbers
- Financial information, including bank and retirement accounts
- Existing health insurance information
- Real estate holdings
How to Get Help
The following organizations may be able to help you apply for Medicaid and take advantage of your benefits once your application is approved.
|Louisiana Healthcare Connections||(866) 595-8133||Louisiana Healthcare Connections helps seniors and families apply for Medicaid and find covered services within their community. The organization is part of a network of more than 15,000 health care providers located throughout the state.|
|Benefits.gov||Online Only||This federal website provides detailed information about Medicaid in Louisiana, including help with applying for benefits and finding out what services are covered. The site also includes information about other public benefits that may supplement your Medicaid coverage.|
|Human Services Authority||Office Locations||The Louisiana Development Disabilities Council operates dozens of Human Services Authorities and Human Services Districts throughout the state where seniors can go to apply for Medicaid and get help with their benefits. Each office has unique services and events.|
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Senior Living in Louisiana?
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 Coverage||Medicare Coverage Duration||Coinsurance Requirement?|
|Nursing Home Care||Limited||100 Days Per Benefit Period||Yes – After 20 Days|
What Nursing Home Care Services Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:
- A semiprivate room
- 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 and Resources in Louisiana
If you have more questions about your Medicare coverage and how it relates to your senior living situation, you can contact one of the following resources for assistance. Help may be available online, over the phone or in person.
|Medicare.gov||(800) 633-4227||The official website for the federal Medical system provides basic information about coverage as well as links to service providers in your community. The site includes a live chat system that’s available 24/7 and a telephone hotline that can answer your questions about claims or coverage.|
|Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)||(800) 259-5300||The Senior Health Insurance Information Program is staffed by trained and knowledgeable counselors who can help you learn about all your Medicare benefits so that you can make fully informed decisions. Counselors can provide this assistance over the phone or in person at locations throughout Louisiana. SHIIP also offers Medicare Saving, Louisiana SeniorRX and other prescription savings programs.|
|BenefitsCheckUp||(800) 794-6559||BenefitsCheckUp helps you discover public benefits that you may have overlooked, some of which may help you pay for parts of senior living. It contains information about thousands of programs and services. Help is available through the website and over the phone. This is a free service operated by the National Council on Aging.|
Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Senior Living in Louisiana?
Depending on your unique situation, there may be other financial assistance options to partially or fully cover the cost of senior living in Louisiana. 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 Started||What You Should Know|
|Aid and Attendance||Apply 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 Mortgages||Research 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) Insurance||Learn 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 Louisiana
The following free resources may help you with senior living issues whether you need a high level of assistance in a nursing home or are mostly independent. Several of these public and private organizations have offices located in cities throughout the state.
|Louisiana Answers||(225) 342-7100||The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) operates Louisiana Answers to give seniors in the state the information they need to find services that match their needs. The organization is targeted at older adults who have physical and cognitive disabilities, but the resources provided can be helpful to all seniors. ADRC strives to empower seniors so that they can manage their own care. It also offers respite care and other services to family caregivers who need support.|
|AARP Louisiana||(866) 448-3620||While membership with the AARP costs $12 per year, the organization offers many free resources to the public through its website and local events. The state office hosts several of these events every month in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and other cities. Topics include fraud protection, brain health, nutrition and healthy living. AARP’s free educational resources can help Louisiana families learn how to find the right senior living option.|
|Louisiana Area Agencies on Aging||List of Locations||The Governor’s Office on Elderly Affairs oversees 34 Area Agencies on Aging throughout Louisiana that deliver a variety of services to seniors and families. Seniors still at home can take advantage of assisted transportation, meal delivery, in-home respite and other forms of material aid. Adults in or searching for senior living can use an agency’s case management services to find an affordable community that meets their needs and budget. Available services may vary from agency to agency.|
|Louisiana Law Help||Online Only||Louisiana Law Help gives seniors the information they need to resolve a wide range of legal topics, including public benefits, wills and trusts, powers of attorney, resident rights and custody. It offers self-help tools so that families can locate state benefits that might help pay for senior care or other quality-of-life improvements. The site can also educate seniors about their rights as residents in all types of senior living communities. Information about free, in-person legal assistance is available for certain cities in the state.|
|Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA)||(225) 219-5000||The state’s Department of Veterans Affairs can help veterans and other eligible beneficiaries get their VA pensions so that they can pay for senior living. Disabled vets may be eligible for Aid & Attendance as well. The crisis hotline can help seniors in emergency situations, and agents in the department can connect vets with services and other resources in the community to supplement VA assistance. LDVA has offices in nearly every parish in the state.|
Covid-19 Rules and Restrictions for Louisiana Senior Living Facilities
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including ldh.la.gov and cms.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/8/2022, 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?||No (Conditions Apply)|
|Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|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|
Outings and Group Activities
|Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?||Yes|
|Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?||No (Conditions Apply)|
|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)|
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 (Conditions Apply)|
|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?||Yes|
|Are residents being tested for coronavirus?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Louisiana
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.
Senior living communities in Louisiana are regulated as Level 3 facilities by the state Department of Health and Hospitals, Health Standards Section. This section regulates senior care homes, sets statewide standards and conducts inspections to ensure compliance. The section sets rules for how senior living communities can admit new residents, provide Alzheimer’s care in special treatment units, manage medications for residents and hire staff members.
Seniors in Louisiana must have a doctor’s physical and mental health examination and written endorsement prior to acceptance in a senior living facility. This examination must determine that the senior’s physical needs are not greater than the level of care provided by the specific facility applied to and that no ongoing medical needs preclude admission. Doctors must coordinate with care staff to develop a unified plan of care for all new residents, and plans must be kept up to date with annual reviews. Seniors cannot be admitted to a senior living facility if they require continuous IV therapy, extensive wound care or other medical interventions that call for skilled nursing care. Exceptions are permitted for occasional treatment by a visiting nurse, as well as for hospice patients who need IV treatments for comfort care.
Memory Care Regulation
Senior living facilities may establish an Alzheimer’s special care unit (ASCU) on the premises for treating senior residents with age-related dementia. This unit must be either a wing of the facility or a separate structure on the property that can be secured to prevent wandering or harm to residents. State regulations require that ASCU staff who work directly with residents have a minimum of 8 hours of dementia-specific training within 90 days of hire and work under the supervision of the facility administrator.
Louisiana allows staff at all care levels, including senior living and other Level 3 facilities, to supervise the self-administration of residents’ prescription medications. Non-licensed staff members are permitted to cue or to remind residents to take medication included in their care plan. Staff members may also open containers, help pour medication or bring containers of oral medications to residents. No professional licensure is required for staff who assist residents to self-administer medications in this way, provided the staff member has training on the policies and procedures specific to medication assistance. This training must be completed at hiring and repeated annually.
Level 3 facilities are not permitted to administer medication to residents as a medical intervention. Residents who require interventions such as non-self-administered injections or other invasive treatments must transfer to a Level 4 nursing care facility, medical outpatient clinic or hospital for such treatment. All prescribed medication taken by residents must be logged and added to the resident’s care plan on file. Deviations from care plan medication regimens must be reported as soon as possible to the resident’s physician of record.
Staff at all Level 3 facilities in Louisiana must be maintained at a level adequate for both routine care of all residents and for emergency evacuation if needed. This varies between waking and sleeping hours, though the state does not set specific staff-to-resident ratios that facilities must set as a benchmark. All facilities, as a condition of holding a valid license, must have a director, activity manager and at least one staff member who provides hands-on care. Any qualified staff member may fill more than one role, though not on the same shift.
Directors of Level 3 and 4 facilities must be at least 21 years old and have one of the following qualifications:
- A four-year degree from an accredited college or university with at least 2 years of experience in health, social services or geriatrics
- A high school degree plus 6 years of experience in health, social services or geriatrics
- A master’s degree in a relevant field, such as health, geriatrics or health care administration
- Hold a current license as a nursing facility administrator
Non-management staff at senior living facilities in Louisiana must pass a background check, registry check and pre-employment health and drug screenings. Initial orientation must be completed within seven days of the start of work, and an annual 12-hour continuing education requirement must be followed for all direct care staff members.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does assisted living cost in Louisiana?
Assisted living in Louisiana costs an average of $3,650 per month. This is $401 a month less than the $4,051 national average. It is also significantly lower than many of the other states in the South.
Does Louisiana Medicaid pay for assisted living?
Medicaid is a health insurance program intended primarily for low-income citizens who might otherwise lack coverage. Medicaid coverage in Louisiana does not directly pay for the non-medical caregiver services provided by assisted living facilities. Despite this limitation, Louisiana Medicaid does pay for many of the secondary costs of assisted living, such as prescription drugs and medical supplies.
Does Medicare pay for assisted living?
Medicare does not offer direct support for board and care in an assisted living facility. Original Medicare has a Part B, which pays for many outpatient care services, and a Part A for short-term inpatient care, which does not include long-term assisted living. Medicare Advantage plans, often called Part C, vary in their coverage limits, but non-medical services are generally not eligible for coverage.
What are “activities of daily living”?
The term “activities of daily living” refers to many of the normal chores that seniors in assisted living may need help performing. These activities include bathing, dressing and personal care, as well as meal preparation and light housework. Shopping and transportation are sometimes included in the list of activities of daily living.
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?
Assisted living and nursing home care differ mainly in the degree to which they offer medical services for their residents. Nursing home care often includes medication administration and management, physical and occupational therapy and medically oriented services such as wound care. Assisted living, by contrast, resembles independent living with some personal caregiver services to help with activities of daily living.
Learn More About Senior Living in Louisiana
The Top Cities for Senior Living in Louisiana
Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Louisiana cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.
- Abbeville (3)
- Albany (2)
- Alexandria (12)
- Amite (1)
- Arcadia (4)
- Bains (1)
- Basile (1)
- Bastrop (6)
- Baton Rouge (43)
- Benton (1)
- Bernice (1)
- Bogalusa (2)
- Bossier City (11)
- Boyce (1)
- Bunkie (2)
- Carencro (1)
- Church Point (2)
- Colfax (1)
- Columbia (1)
- Coushatta (1)
- Covington (4)
- Crowley (3)
- Denham Springs (4)
- Dequincy (1)
- Deridder (2)
- Donaldsonville (2)
- Elton (1)
- Eunice (4)
- Farmerville (1)
- Ferriday (2)
- Franklin (3)
- Gonzales (2)
- Gretna (6)
- Hammond (5)
- Harahan (1)
- Houma (8)
- Iowa (1)
- Jeanerette (3)
- Jefferson (1)
- Jena (1)
- Jennings (3)
- Jonesboro (3)
- Jonesville (1)
- Kaplan (3)
- Kenner (5)
- La Place (1)
- Lafayette (30)
- Lake Charles (26)
- Lake Providence (3)
- Laplace (1)
- Lecompte (1)
- Leesville (3)
- Loreauville (1)
- Luling (2)
- Lutcher (1)
- Mamou (3)
- Mandeville (8)
- Mansfield (3)
- Mansura (2)
- Many (3)
- Marion (1)
- Marksville (2)
- Marrero (8)
- Mer Rouge (3)
- Meraux (1)
- Metairie (19)
- Minden (6)
- Monroe (28)
- Moreauville (1)
- Morgan City (2)
- Morse (1)
- Napoleonville (1)
- Natchitoches (7)
- New Iberia (16)
- New Orleans (60)
- New Roads (3)
- Newellton (1)
- Oak Grove (3)
- Oakdale (1)
- Oberlin (2)
- Opelousas (9)
- Palmetto (1)
- Patterson (2)
- Pearl River (1)
- Pine Prairie (1)
- Pineville (9)
- Plain Dealing (1)
- Plaquemine (2)
- Pleasant Hill (1)
- Pollock (1)
- Ponchatoula (2)
- Port Allen (1)
- Quitman (1)
- Raceland (1)
- Rayne (4)
- Rayville (5)
- Ringgold (2)
- Rosepine (1)
- Ruston (8)
- Saint Bernard (2)
- Saint Francisville (1)
- Saint Martinville (3)
- Scott (1)
- Shreveport (61)
- Simmesport (1)
- Slidell (10)
- Springhill (3)
- Sulphur (4)
- Sunset (2)
- Tallulah (8)
- Thibodaux (4)
- Ville Platte (8)
- Vinton (1)
- Violet (1)
- Vivian (4)
- Walker (2)
- Welsh (2)
- West Monroe (6)
- Winnfield (3)
- Winnsboro (5)
- Wisner (3)
- Woodworth (2)
- Youngsville (2)
- Zachary (1)
- Zwolle (1)