Guide to Senior Living in Nevada
Nevada’s senior population is growing relatively fast compared to the country overall — a growth of 2.6% in just 10 years according to census data — and the state is now home to roughly half a million seniors. Residents benefit from a 0% income tax rate, which covers retirement accounts and Social Security, and a lower than average cost of health care.
The cost of senior care in Nevada fares well in comparison to other states. For instance, assisted living is more affordable in Nevada, at an average of $3,400 per month, when compared to the United States at $4,051, according to the Genworth 2019 Cost of Care Survey. Seniors may be eligible for financial assistance to cover some of this cost.
This guide contains cost comparisons for senior living in Nevada. Financial assistance programs that relate to senior living are also included, as well as links to useful resources at the state and local levels.
The Cost of Senior Living in Nevada
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.
Seniors in Nevada have access to different long-term living options suiting various care needs, financial situations and lifestyle preferences. Older, active adults who don’t require medical or personal care assistance may wish to reside in an independent living community, where more time can be spent socializing and indulging in hobbies rather than on home maintenance tasks. Others who need help with daily living activities but still wish to maintain a degree of independence can reap the benefits afforded in assisted living. Memory care, which is often offered in assisted living communities, is helpful to seniors with dementia. Adults requiring the oversight of around-the-clock medical care will likely best be served in a skilled nursing home.
According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, Nevada’s average monthly cost for assisted living is $3,750, making this an affordable state for this type of long-term care. Independent living is less expensive, at $2,438, as these seniors don’t require everyday help with care needs. When adults residing in assisted living communities need memory care, rates can average $4,688. Skilled nursing homes are the priciest senior living option at $9,216 per month.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Nevada
The median cost for assisted living in Nevada, at $3,750, is below the national average of $4,500. Neighboring Utah has lower pricing for assisted living at an average of $3,500, while expenses in California, at $5,250, and Oregon, at $5,045, are higher than Nevada’s. Comparative costs in Idaho are similar to Nevada’s, and assisted living in nearby Arizona costs more by about $250 per month.
The United States
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Nevada
Nursing home costs in Nevada average $9,216 a month, about $1,300 higher than the US average of $7,908. Costs for nursing home care in the states of Utah ($7,178), Arizona ($6,540) and Idaho ($8,517) are less expensive than comparable long-term care options in Nevada by between $700 and $2,670 per month, depending on the location. Prices for nursing homes in California, at $9,794, and in Oregon, at $10,342, are higher than costs in Nevada.
The United States
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Senior Living in Nevada?
Many seniors in Nevada find that living costs may be beyond their means, especially for older adults who need assistance with daily living chores or have extensive health care needs. Although Nevada doesn’t cover costs for independent living, the state does offer programs to help elderly citizens afford other types of senior living through Medicaid programs and waivers. The Medicaid rules in Nevada allow for payment of nursing home costs and some assisted living facility benefits when seniors meet the proscribed health, income and asset limits.
Nevada’s Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) cover many of the costs of long-term care. For older adults eligible for placement in Nevada nursing homes, Medicaid pays for comprehensive services and 24-hour care. Seniors in assisted living communities may qualify for the Assisted Living (AL) Waiver that covers assistance with daily living activities, case management and other services, which may include memory care. Room and board are not covered under this waiver. Nevada Medicaid additionally has a program called Personal Assistance Services (PAS) that provides qualified seniors with as much as 35 hours of weekly personal assistance.
|Medicaid Coverage Level||Type of Medicaid Coverage||Entitlement?*|
|Assisted Living||Partial||Medicaid Waivers||No|
|Memory Care||Partial||Medicaid Waivers||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 Nevada
Nevada’s two Medicaid waiver programs cover the costs of supportive services, including memory care, provided in an assisted living facility. These include the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) and the Assisted Living (AL) Waiver. With these Medicaid waivers, a person’s transition into more expensive nursing home care may be delayed or avoided.
Assisted Living Waiver
The AL Waiver provides supportive services to eligible people residing in assisted living. The services covered depend on the individual’s specific needs, including personal and/or memory care. A case manager is provided to assess, determine and arrange the services for each person to help them remain in an assisted living environment rather than a more restrictive nursing home setting. The services under this waiver typically include:
- Attendant help with the activities of daily living
- Case management by a licensed social worker
Applicants for the AL Waiver must be 65 years old and up and legal residents of Nevada. They must need a nursing home level of care yet reside in or be ready to move into an assisted living facility. The income limits for the AL Waiver are the same as Nevada’s Medicaid income limits. Monthly income for individuals must not exceed $2,523 a month. Other financial eligibility requirements, such as a limit on assets, also must be met.
To apply for the AL Waiver, seniors may contact the Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) office in their area.
Personal Assistant Services Program
The PAS waiver covers up to 35 hours per week of personal care services in a home or assisted living facility, including:
- Attendant care to help with the activities of daily living
- Durable medical equipment
In order to be eligible for the PAS waiver, individuals must be legal Nevada residents, have a diagnosed physical disability that impacts the ability to complete some of the activities of daily living. Financial eligibility for seniors aged 65 and up includes a monthly income of $2,523 or less and countable assets valued at $2,000 or less.
Individuals can apply at their regional Aging and Disability Services Division office (ADSD). The phone number for the ADSD offices in Las Vegas and Clark counties is (702) 486-6930. Across the state and from all other areas in Nevada, the number to call is (888) 729-0571.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care in Nevada
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services administers Medicaid programs in the state. Long-term care Medicaid is an entitlement program that covers costs for seniors aged 65 and older who qualify for this type of residential care. The eligibility guidelines for nursing home care in Nevada are the same as the requirements for regular Medicaid assistance.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Nevada
Single applicants must have a monthly income of $2,523 or less and assets of no more than $2,000. Seniors can keep a personal needs allowance of about $35 per month. Married couples with one spouse applying must meet the same monthly income and asset limit for the applicant, although the non-applicant spouse can hold onto assets worth up to $137,400. When both spouses are applying for Medicaid, the combined income limit is $5,046 and asset limits go up to $4,000.
2022 Nevada Medicaid Income Limits
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household(Only one applicant)||$30,276||$2,000 for applicant$137,400 for non-applicant|
|Two-Person Household(Two applicants)||$60,552||$4,000|
Seniors applying for Medicaid must meet certain other eligibility requirements for nursing home care. These include:
- Functionality: Be in need of a nursing home level of care
- Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
- Residency: Be a permanent Nevada resident
Applying for Medicaid in Nevada
There are a few ways to apply for Medicaid benefits in Nevada. Seniors can apply online through the Access Nevada website or download an application through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) site. Applicants can also go to their local DHHS office. Other options include calling the Customer Service Voice Response Unit at 1-800-992-0900. Individuals may also get assistance from the Aging and Disability Resource Center in their area. Medicaid officials in Nevada have 45 days to respond to an application, although those awaiting a disability determination may have to wait up to 90 days for acceptance to a program.
Before You Apply
When applying for Medicaid in Nevada, it’s best to gather all of the necessary documentation you’ll need ahead of time. This will increase your chances of gaining a quicker approval of benefits. Some of the eligibility documents you will need include:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status
- Proof of Nevada residency
- Income and other earnings or benefit statements
- Bank statements
- Health insurance coverage
How to Get Help
Applying for Medicaid can be confusing and time-consuming. Forms, documentation and information must be filled out and gathered beforehand. Nevada has some resources available to help seniors apply for this type of aid, understand the benefits available and learn how they can qualify if they exceed the set income and asset limits.
|Contact||What You Should Know|
|Elder Care Help Line||(800) 307-4444||Seniors needing assistance with Medicaid coverage information and counseling services can speak with an advocate via the Elder Care Help Line, a service that is provided under the auspices of the Nevada Division of Aging.|
|Veteran Service Officers||(888) 444-4443||These are free local services to help veterans apply for and obtain benefits through the Veterans Affairs Administration. Benefits such as Aid & Attendance and survivors’ pensions can help seniors with the costs of senior living.|
|Nevada Aging & Disability Resource Centers||Dial|
|Several resource centers are located within Nevada, in Las Vegas, Reno, Silver Springs and Carson City. Find the local phone number and address for each by calling 2-1-1. This resource assists residents with information and help in applying for benefit programs, such as Medicaid waivers, independent living assistive technology and other programs.|
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Senior Living in Nevada?
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 Nevada
Once qualified for Medicare, seniors have access to a wide variety of no-cost services to help them understand their coverage benefits, private Medicare choices and how to save on premiums and copayments. The following are important resources available to Medicare recipients in Nevada:
|Contact||What You Should Know|
|Nevada Medicare Assistance Program (MAP)||(800) 307-4444||Seniors eligible for Medicare have access to free one-on-one counselors to help with comparing Medicare plan choices, signing up for a new plan and receiving unbiased education and assistance concerning the various Medicare programs, such as SHIP, SMP and MIPPA.|
|State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)||(775) 687-4210||The Aging and Disability Services Division Administrative Office in Carson City takes calls to help seniors with questions about eligibility requirements for the Nevada Medicare SHIP Program. Volunteers are available to help with referrals to other state or community services, Medicare appeal processes and information about long-term care insurance.|
|Medicare.gov||(800) 633-4227||This website of the Federal Medicare Program assists viewers with the latest information about Medicare, such as eligibility requirements, different types of Medicare health plan choices, Medicare Savings Programs and how to avoid paying late enrollment penalties that can impact future Medicare premiums.|
Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Senior Living in Nevada?
Depending on your unique situation, there may be other financial assistance options to partially or fully cover the cost of senior living in Nevada. 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 Nevada
Seniors living in Nevada can access several programs and services available to them at no cost, often without regard to income or care needs. Here are some resources available to older Nevada residents that can help them improve their quality of life and maintain their independence.
|Contact||What You Should Know|
|AARP Nevada||1-866-389-5652||AARP Nevada provides seniors aged 50 and up with statewide information concerning upcoming events and activities, health insurance applications, virtual health, exercise and cooking classes, in addition to updates on federal and state bills that affect seniors’ rights and benefits. As AARP members, Nevada seniors can take advantage of discounts on travel, automobile purchases, income tax preparation and other savings.|
|Alzheimer’s Association – Desert Southwest Chapter||(702) 248-2770||This chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has offices in Las Vegas to provide those affected by this disease with support, education and advocacy for the needs and rights of those living with dementia. There is also a 24/7 Helpline.|
|Alzheimer’s Association – Northern Nevada Chapter||(775) 786-8061||Serving those living in the Reno area, this Alzheimer’s Chapter provides similar services as those of the Southwest Chapter.|
|Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada||(702) 386-1070||This Las Vegas-based organization is dedicated to providing free legal advice, information and representation to seniors living in Southern Nevada. Their programs for seniors include help for older residents going through a divorce, needing assistance with Social Security Disability applications or appeals, guardianship issues, foreclosure, bankruptcy, domestic violence and legal issues.|
|Nevada Care Connection||Dial|
|The Nevada Care Connection is a network of resources available to senior citizens that can be accessed by connecting with a resource navigator, either online or by phone. Through this agency, older adults and others can find emergency shelter, get help with housing expenses, search for various types of meal and food services, access transportation and get behavioral or mental health assistance.|
|Long Term Care Ombudsman Program||1-888-282-1155||The Nevada LTC Ombudsman Program is a service authorized by the Federal Older Americans Act to improve the quality of care provided to seniors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and residential homes. Volunteers help seniors with their concerns and complaints, provide information to the community at large in regards to long-term care in Nevada and educate seniors and their families about aging issues and senior citizens’ rights.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Nevada Senior Living Facilities
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including nvhealthresponse.nv.gov and cdc.gov/coronavirus. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/10/2022, 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|
|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|
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 Nevada
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 Nevada, senior living facilities are licensed as residential facilities for groups. These facilities must provide a core set of services to residents on a 24/7 basis, including food, supervision, shelter and assistance. The Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance under Health and Human Services is responsible for evaluating and licensing Nevada’s senior living facilities. States laws and regulations are contained in Nevada Revised Statutes Ch. 449.017 and Nevada Administrative Code 449.156.
Admissions and Care Policy
Senior living facilities serve residents in a group environment and staff are responsible for providing food, personal care and security at all times. These facilities may serve elderly, frail, mentally handicapped or disabled people. Residents are assessed upon entry, and again at least annually, to develop an individualized care plan. All assessments include a check for dementia.
People who are bedridden or who require confinement or full-time nursing supervision cannot be admitted to a senior living facility. If a person develops any of these needs, the facility must receive a medical exemption from the state to allow the resident to stay.
Facility administrators must, upon request, make available the schedule of fees, services provided, optional charges and the refund policy on unused fees.
Memory Care Requirements
Residential care facilities that have received additional evaluations from the state may operate Alzheimer’s units, which are also known as memory care communities. A senior living facility without suitable accommodation must relocate the resident if they’re found to be suffering from dementia or other memory loss and cannot safely be cared for.
Memory care communities must be a secure unit with a minimum ratio of 1:6 caregivers to residents, and at least one caregiver awake at all times. Living quarters must be lockable, and all exit doors must be alarmed.
Staff must receive training in providing care to residents with dementia, including emergency procedures, within their first 40 hours on the job. They must also complete a further set of dementia-specific training sessions within 90 days.
Nevada seniors in senior living facilities are permitted to store and administer medication for themselves unless otherwise indicated by a health care professional. Residents in memory care generally aren’t permitted to handle medication unsupervised. Staff members who manage or administer medication must complete approved medication training courses beforehand, as well as additional annual training and exams. The facility must keep in-depth records of medication use to prevent abuse and administrative errors.
Regulations on Staffing
Caregivers must be 18+ and able to communicate clearly in English. They must also have the knowledge and skills required to care for the specific resident population of the facility. All staff must have completed current CPR and first aid training programs within a month of their employment, and within two months they must have received training relevant to the resident population. Specific facilities that mandate further training include memory care and those who care for people with chronic illness or mental illness. The mandated training subjects for each member of staff must be completed annually.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does assisted living cost in Nevada?
The state is fairly affordable in relation to the region and the country as a whole. Nevada’s average monthly cost for assisted living is $3,400 — a savings of 16% compared to the national average $4,051. Nevada shares its average cost with Utah, but California and Oregon are much less affordable at $4,500 per month.
Does Nevada Medicaid pay for assisted living?
Yes. The state Medicaid program can help cover some of the bill for assisted living, and there are three relevant waivers in this guide that may provide further financial assistance for Nevadans who need help paying for a residential care facility.
What are activities of daily living?
This term refers to the incidental tasks that healthy adults perform dozens of times each day, such as meal preparation and cleanup, bathing, dressing and transferring to and from a bed or wheelchair. These and other tasks are commonly referred to as ADLs.
What types of care are provided in assisted living facilities?
Staff members provide personal care, such as assistance with activities of daily living, as well as the necessary food, accommodation and security. These types of care must be present day and night. Temporary medical care can also be provided, but residents who need full-time nursing supervision cannot be admitted to assisted living.
What types of services are available in assisted living?
Residents receive the care services as described above. The individual facilities around Nevada can provide additional services that cater to the age, health and social needs of the resident population. Services may include podiatrist, pharmacy, physical and speech therapies, beauticians, hairdressers and transport for group lunches.
Learn More About Senior Living in Nevada
The Top Cities for Senior Living in Nevada
Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Nevada cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.