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Guide to Senior Living in Ohio

The Buckeye State is home to around 11.6 million Americans, just over 17% of whom are over the age of 65, which is nearly 2 million residents. Ohio has a thriving senior community living independently and in senior living facilities across the state. This population is growing rapidly as well. Ohio is expected to have more residents over age 60 than under age 20 as of the 2020 census throughout the state as a whole, including in 66 of 84 counties. As such, senior care in Ohio is very important. As a Midwestern state with a moderate cost of living, care is more affordable in Ohio than in some of the costlier states.

For seniors who need help paying for the cost of a senior living facility, however, help is available through several different outlets. This guide serves as an overview of senior living care in Ohio, including comparisons to nearby states and between cities, financial resources, and local programs that can assist seniors in need.

The Cost of Senior Living in Ohio

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.

Long-term care prices in Ohio range from $3,013 to $7,300 per month depending on the level of support provided. The most suitable option depends on the senior’s needs and preferences, including how much day-to-day assistance they need and whether they have any medical concerns that require ongoing monitoring. Continuing care retirement communities allow residents to start in independent or assisted living and access more advanced levels of support if needed.

At $3,013 per month, independent living is the most affordable option since it only includes housing, maintenance and recreational activities. According to Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living costs $4,635 per month, including personal care, meal plans and extras such as local transportation. Memory care costs about 25% more at $5,794 due to enhanced services and higher staffing ratios. Skilled nursing facilities typically charge $7,300 per month, a significant increase. Nursing homes are most appropriate for seniors who have complex medical needs or require a high level of rehabilitative care for a limited time.


Assisted Living


Independent Living


Memory Care


Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Assisted Living in Ohio

Ohio is the costliest location for assisted living in the region. Median prices across the state exceed the national average by $135. However, rates are almost $1,200 more than in Kentucky at $3,448. Ohio is also slightly more expensive than Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan and Indiana where prices range from $4,100 to $4,283.




The United States










West Virginia

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Ohio

Nursing home prices in Ohio are favorable when compared to the national average and other states in the region. At $7,300 per month, Ohio residents save about $600 compared to the typical nursing home resident. Rates are much higher in Michigan at $9,095 and Pennsylvania at $10,403. Prices in West Virginia are about 60% higher at $11,619. Neighboring states with more affordable rates include Indiana at $7,270 and Kentucky at $7,178. These locations provide a monthly savings of $30 to $122.




The United States










West Virginia

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

Ohio’s Medicaid program, also known as Medical Assistance, is a valuable resource for seniors who need long-term care but aren’t able to afford these services while supporting their spouse and paying for other essential expenses. 

The state pays for institutional care provided in skilled nursing facilities. It also covers private-duty nursing and provides waivers for community-based services offered in assisted living communities and memory care units. These programs are available when personal care services are medically necessary and are used as an alternative to nursing home care.

Long-term care waivers serve as an extension to Medicaid, so waiting lists may apply in some areas depending on the applicant’s needs. Waivers and traditional Medicaid benefits aren’t available for independent living since these communities provide limited services, such as housing and maintenance, that aren’t based on medical need. 

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

Seniors who require a nursing home level of care but want to receive services in a less restrictive setting may be able to apply for the state’s Medicaid waiver. These programs allow the state to cover services, such as assisted living and memory care, that aren’t available through the official Medicaid state plan.

Assisted Living Waiver Program

Ohio’s Assisted Living Waiver Program includes two components to help qualifying residents access personal care in an assisted living facility or special care unit. The Assisted Living Services component includes the following services:

  • Personal care
  • Social activities
  • Daily meals
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Transportation 

Community Transition Services are available to individuals who currently live in a nursing home and want to transfer to a less restrictive setting. It provides care coordination to assist with the move-in process, and it can help residents secure furniture and household items. 

The Assisted Living Waiver Program pays for personal care and related services. This allows beneficiaries to use their own resources to pay for the room and board portion of their monthly fees. To qualify, residents must be 21 or older and need help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and grooming. Individuals must meet financial eligibility requirements and be able to pay for the cost of room and board, which equals the current SSI benefit rate minus a $50 personal needs allowance. Enrollment is handled by Area Agencies on Aging and other PASSPORT agencies that administer Medicaid benefits.

Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care in Ohio

Ohio’s Medical Assistance program covers the cost of nursing home care or private-duty nursing when these services are medically necessary. Due to the high cost of care, Medicaid covers about 60% of the state’s 72,000 nursing home residents. Beneficiaries must spend the majority of their income on care before Medicaid begins paying, excluding a $50 monthly needs allowance. Seniors may also be able to use part of their income to support their spouse. In addition to meeting financial requirements, applicants must complete a personal needs assessment to determine whether they need a nursing home level of care.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Ohio

Eligibility for Medicaid long-term care benefits in Ohio is based on financial criteria and medical need. Seniors who require nursing home care or would rather apply for a waiver for assisted living or community-based alternatives can earn almost three times as much as those who are applying for regular Medicaid. For 2022, applicants can have up to $2,523 in monthly income, which adds up to approximately $30,000 per year. Assets are limited to $2,000. There are different rules and allowances depending on whether one or both members of a household require long-term care.

2022 Ohio Medicaid Income Limits

Income Limits*Asset Limits
Single Person$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household
(Only one applicant) 
$30,276 for applicant$2,000 for applicant
$137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household
(Two applicants) 

*per year

Medicaid long-term care is available to Ohio residents who meet the following requirements: 

  • The applicant must be aged, blind or disabled.
  • They must be a U.S. citizen or qualifying immigrant.
  • They must need health insurance or long-term care.
  • They must meet income and asset limits.

Applying for Medicaid in Ohio

Applying for Medicaid is as simple as completing an online application at The state also provides several alternative options. Seniors can make an appointment to apply in person at their county’s Job and Family Services office. Paper application packages can also be mailed or faxed to these local agencies. A complete directory of these locations is available online.

If it’s more convenient, you can apply over the phone by calling the Consumer Hotline at (800) 324-8680. Individuals who are frail or live in a nursing home can appoint an authorized representative to assist with this process. The state also provides free screening tools to help residents check their eligibility before applying.

Before You Apply 

Applicants should be prepared to provide personal identification as well as information about their income, expenses and medical needs. The following documents may be required to process your application:

  • Social Security number(s)
  • Government identification
  • Proof of citizenship or legal residency
  • Information about members of your household
  • Proof of assets, including stocks and property
  • Recent bank statements
  • Sources of income
  • A list of vehicles
  • Monthly expenses
  • Disability status
  • Medical and prescription drug costs
  • Information about existing health coverage
  • Any life insurance policies or annuities

How to Get Help 

Seniors who have questions about long-term care benefits should reach out to the Department of Medicaid for assistance. Help with specific issues, such as applications, appeals and billing concerns, is available through these branches.

ResourceContactWhat You Should Know
Department of Medicaid, Consumer Hotline(800) 324-8680The department’s Consumer Hotline is a one-stop shop for questions or concerns about Medicaid, including applications and covered services. Choice Counselors are available to help Monday through Saturday.
County Department of Job and Family ServicesSee Resource for Local ListingsApplications for Medicaid and other financial assistance programs, such as food stamps, are processed by Job and Family Services offices located in each county. Seniors can visit these locations to apply in person. This agency also provides adult protective services.
Bureau of State Hearings(614) 728-9574If your application has been denied or your Medicaid benefits have been reduced or terminated, you have a right to appeal. Hearings may be requested locally through the DJFS or at the state level. There are also online options. Consumers have 90 days from the date of the notice to begin the process.
Ohio Benefits Long-Term Services and Supports(844) 644-6582This state-sponsored website provides information about Ohio’s long-term care benefits. You’ll also find a directory of local resources to help with healthy, independent aging.

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

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 Ohio

Medicare is a complex federal health insurance program available to seniors and certain medically needy adults. For help enrolling, changing plans or managing your benefits, contact the following organizations for assistance.

ResourceContactWhat You Should Know
Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program(800) 686-1578OSHIP is a free service sponsored by the Ohio Department of Insurance and the U.S. government. It’s available to Medicaid-eligible seniors and their families. Every year, the program counsels more than 435,000 seniors to help them understand their options, find the right plan and apply for financial assistance if necessary.
Ohio Medicare Savings Programs(800) 686-1578Ohio has four Medicare Savings Programs that are available to low- and moderate-income seniors. These plans may pay your Part A or Part B premiums as well as deductibles and copays or coinsurance in some cases. Applications are handled by the Department of Job & Family Services.
Medicare Rights Center(800) 333-4114This nonprofit operates a free nationwide telephone hotline to help Medicare beneficiaries enroll in coverage, compare plans and make informed decisions. They also provide information about appealing denials. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

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

Depending on your unique situation, there may be other financial assistance options to partially or fully cover the cost of senior living in Ohio. 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 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 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 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 Ohio

Ohio provides a number of helpful resources for seniors who want to stay active and maintain their health and independence. The following government agencies and nonprofits serve seniors statewide.

 ContactWhat You Should Know
Area Agencies on Aging(866) 243-5678Ohio’s 12 Area Agencies on Aging serve seniors, caregivers and disabled adults in designated counties. These agencies are part of a national network that includes more than 670 affiliates. AAAs administer state and federal benefits and provide free information about resources available to seniors aged 60 and older, including meals, transportation, companionship, recreation and ways to age in place.
Ohio Department of Aging(800) 266-4346The Department of Aging works with more than 40 local partners to administer certain Medicaid long-term care benefits and community-based programs funded by the Older Americans Act. It provides information about assisted living, caregiver support programs and dementia. Seniors can sign up for the agency’s Golden Buckeye consumer discount card starting at age 60.
ProSeniors(513) 345-4160ProSeniors has been advocating for older Ohioans since 1975. It focuses on providing information, advice and legal services to protect and empower seniors. It operates three divisions, including a long-term care ombudsman program, a legal services hotline and Senior Medicare Patrol, which works to combat fraud and waste.
Partnership for Long-Term Care Insurance (800) 686-1526LTC4Me is an initiative sponsored by the Ohio Department of Insurance and private insurance companies. It helps seniors learn more about plans that will pay for long-term care. Consumers who purchase a qualifying policy may have an easier time qualifying for Medicaid, and they may be eligible for additional asset protections.
Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman(800) 282-1206This statewide office informs consumers about long-term care options and advocates for seniors who reside in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and other institutions. Specially trained advocates visit local facilities, interact with residents and help to resolve complaints regarding meals, staffing, personal care, privacy and other issues. The state also provides a directory of local and regional ombudsmen.
Ohio Association of Senior Centers(614) 784-9772OASC is a membership-based industry association committed to encouraging excellence in senior center management and programming. In addition to providing education and resources for facility directors and staff, it issues awards and provides a directory of participating facilities across the state.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Ohio

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including and These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/13/2022, 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 Ohio

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 Ohio, numerous laws and regulations exist to ensure senior living facilities meet the highest possible standards. These guidelines help make sure seniors are kept safe and healthy while living in a senior living community.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for senior living care in Ohio, seniors must require assistance with daily living activities but still be able to live a somewhat independent lifestyle. Skilled nursing care requirements are capped at 120 days in a 12-month period. If seniors must be in a nursing home or hospital for longer than this window, facilities may deny admission. Those with challenging medical conditions or who have health problems that require consistent and ongoing maintenance, such as severe skin ulcers, are not permitted to enter or remain in senior living.

Senior Living Service Plans

Health assessments are required for all seniors prior to admission into an senior living facility. These exams are required both to assess eligibility as well as to guide the design of an effective care plan. Assessments should continue on an ongoing basis to ensure conditions don’t change. Any changes to physical or mental state requires a revision of a care plan to best address new needs. Residents are not bound to the care outlined in a service plan. As long as residents are made aware of any risks to denying a recommended service, they are allowed to turn down care.

Staffing Rules and Policies

Licensed Ohio senior living facilities must employ numerous different categories of staff members, including an administrator and members of a direct care team. Administrators must work a minimum of 20 hours a week during normal business hours and remain on call when off site. Direct care team staff members work hands-on with residents with duties limited by training or licensure. Ohio does not have minimum staffing ratios.

Staff working in senior living facilities in Ohio must undergo an orientation that covers job duties, building procedures, facility rules, emergency preparedness, and the rights granted to residents. At least eight hours of continuing education are required each year, with a focus on communication and personal care. Staff members must complete first aid training within 60 days of starting a job. Administrators need nine hours of continuing education annually.

Any facility that maintains service for individuals with dementia must train all staff members in at least two hours of specialty coursework on cognitive issues with a minimum of four hours of annual continuing education.

Staff members working directly with residents must have a Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation background check. Employees who have been Ohio residents for under five years must go through an FBI background check.

Medication Management

Patients who can take their own medications and are permitted to do so by a physician can receive assistance from non-licensed care team members in managing prescription drugs. This assistance includes reminders, organizing containers, verifying labels, and giving medication to patients to consume. If medication must be administered to a patient, either because a patient is unable or unwilling, a CNA, RN, LPN, or physician must perform this responsibility. In some cases, licensed home health aides are also permitted to assist with medication management.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does assisted living cost in Ohio?

In Ohio, assisted living costs an average of $4,339 per month. However, some areas of the country are more expensive than others. Toledo and Akron, for example, cost more than the state average, with expenses around $5,036 and $4,625 per month respectively.

Are there financial assistance programs for assisted living in Ohio?

Yes, residents in Ohio have numerous options to cover some of the costs associated with living in an assisted living facility. Some seniors can use the Ohio Residential State Supplement Program (RSS), a program that can cover some of the expenses associated with a residential care experience. The state also offers an Assisted Living Waiver program through Medicaid, which provides financial benefits for seniors who are Medicaid-eligible and choose assisted living care.

What are “Activities of Daily Living”?

Activities of Daily Living, or ADL, are general tasks required as a part of day-to-day living. They include getting out of bed, bathing, getting dressed, using the bathroom, cooking, eating and general cleaning tasks such as laundry. ADL are commonly a part of care in an assisted living facility.

What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?

The primary difference between an assisted living facility and a nursing home involves the level of medical care offered to residents. Basic first aid and medication management are permitted in an assisted living facility but any complex medical needs, such as feeding tubes or ventilator use, are best suited to a nursing home environment.

Who should consider assisted living?

Assisted living is a great solution for those who require extra assistance with the activities of daily living but who do not require substantial enough care to necessitate a nursing home. Many duties managed in an assisted living facility can be managed with the support of a home care aide rather than a medical professional.

Learn More About Senior Living in Ohio

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

The Top Cities for Senior Living in Ohio

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

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