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Guide to Senior Living in Texas

Texas is a unique state in many ways, and the senior demographic is no exception. While the state is home to approximately 7% of the more than 52.5 million seniors in the United States, those aged 65 and older make up only 12.6% of the state’s population. By 2050, estimates say that the state’s senior population will increase to approximately 17.4%, which is well below the 20% predicted nationwide. However, with 5.9 million seniors projected to live in Texas by 2030, senior living facilities will undoubtedly become an increasingly attractive option for those seeking senior care.

The affordable cost of senior living in Texas may explain why seniors choose to live in the state. For example, the average monthly cost of assisted living is $3,750, which is $301 less than the national average. Even with more affordable options for senior living, many seniors may struggle to pay for needed care. Fortunately, a variety of programs exist that may reduce these expenses. This guide offers information about the cost of senior living in Texas, possible financing options, and agencies and programs in the state that offer support for seniors.

The Cost of Senior Living in Texas

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 Texas have access to different long-term care options depending on their needs. These include assisted living, independent living, memory care and nursing homes. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Texas is around $3,998 per month and a semiprivate room in a nursing home is around $5,125. Memory care costs approximately $4,998 and independent living is the least expensive option at $2,599.

Independent living is for those who enjoy social activities and living among their peers, and who don’t require special care. However, independent living residents may opt for housekeeping services, meal preparation and transportation services. Assisted living communities offer a variety of personal care options, including grooming, bathing and medication management. Memory care communities exist on their own or within an assisted living community and provide 24/7 security and activities that address the needs of those with cognitive impairments. Nursing homes provide comprehensive care for those who need around-the-clock skilled nursing.

$3998

Assisted Living

$2599

Independent Living

$4998

Memory Care

$5125

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate room)

The Cost of Assisted Living in Texas

Assisted living in Texas costs about $3,998 per month, $502 more than the national average. Assisted living costs less in neighboring states Oklahoma and Louisiana, at $3,855 and $3,748 per month, respectively. New Mexico residents pay more at $4,498.

$3998

Texas

$4500

The United States

$4498

New Mexico

$3855

Oklahoma

$3748

Louisiana

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Texas

A semiprivate room in a nursing home in Texas costs around $5,125 per month, which is one of the lowest costs in comparison to the national average of $7,908 and surrounding states. In New Mexico, seniors pay around $7,604, while seniors in Oklahoma pay an average $5,475. Louisiana seniors pay about $5,759.

$5125

Texas

$7908

The United States

$7604

New Mexico

$5475

Oklahoma

$5759

Louisiana

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

Medicaid is one of the most common sources of funding for long-term care in Texas. Typically, Medicaid covers some services in a nursing home, assisted living community or memory care when an individual requires skilled nursing. Independent living isn’t normally covered since it’s an optional service for seniors who prefer not to live alone.

In nursing homes, Medicaid typically covers 100% of the cost of care once an individual meets income requirements and nursing home care is deemed necessary by a physician. Medicaid can partially cover the cost of care in assisted living and memory care communities. It won’t cover the cost of room and board but may pay for help with daily living, including grooming and housekeeping.



Medicaid Coverage Level

Type of Medicaid Coverage

Entitlement?*

Assisted LivingPartialMedicaid WaiversYes
Independent LivingNoneN/AN/A
Memory CarePartialMedicaid WaiversYes
Nursing Home CareFullMedicaidYes

*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 Texas

In Texas, assisted living and memory care costs are covered by Medicaid indirectly through two assisted living waivers.

STAR+PLUS Waiver

The STAR+PLUS waiver is available to adults ages 65 and older or those with disabilities. It provides reimbursements for a room, board and services such as therapy and transitional services, including moving from one facility to another and moving from one level of care to a higher one. Seniors must meet Medicaid income requirements and must require long-term care as defined by a physician.

To apply, seniors should contact their local Area Agency on Aging, visit Your Texas Benefits online or call 2-1-1. This isn’t an entitlement waiver. Not all who apply will receive benefits.

Community First Choice (CFC) Waiver

The CFC waiver covers personal care services and helps with activities of daily living, including housekeeping, grooming, bathing, toileting, meals and transportation. Eligibility is the same as the STAR+PLUS waiver. Seniors must medically require an institutional level of care, be 65 or older and meet Medicaid’s income requirements.

To apply, seniors should contact their local Area Agency on Aging or visit Your Texas Benefits online. The program is an entitlement program which means all who apply and meet eligibility requirements are accepted.

Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care in Texas

Medicaid typically covers all the costs of nursing home care for low-income seniors, including custodial care, assistance getting in and out of bed, meals, bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living. To be eligible, seniors must be residents in a nursing home for at least 30 consecutive days before they apply. After 30 days, contact Texas Health and Human Services to apply.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Texas

Seniors applying for Medicaid must meet the income eligibility criteria, which vary depending on the number of people in the applicant’s household. For a single person, the yearly income limit is $30,276 with assets of no greater than $2,000. In a two-person household where only one person applies, the income limit is the same as a single applicant. The spouse who remains in the home may receive a Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA), which is defined under the spousal impoverishment rule. When both individuals apply, the income limit is $60,552 per year with an asset limit of $3,000.

2022 Texas Medicaid Income Limits

 Income Limits*Asset Limits
Single Person$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household
(Only one applicant)
$30,276$2,000 for applicant
$137,400 for nonapplicant
Two-Person Household
(Two applicants)
$60,552$3,000

 *Per year

 Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or legal alien
  • Must be at least 65 years of age or older or have a disability
  • Must be a resident of Texas

Applying for Medicaid in Texas

Seniors in Texas can apply for Medicaid through the Your Texas Benefits website or by calling 2-1-1 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST. To apply by mail, download the forms and post them or submit the application in person at a local Health and Human Services benefits office.

Before You Apply

Before applying for state Medicaid, it’s recommended to gather all the information you need and be prepared to answer questions about each family member. Information you’ll need includes:

  • Social Security number
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status
  • Government-issued ID
  • Proof of income for the past 60 days
  • Copies of bank statements for the past 60 days
  • Home deed and vehicle title information
  • Retirement account information
  • Copies of life insurance policies
  • Any additional documentation to prove your case

How to Get Help

Seniors in Texas have access to several resources and organizations that provide assistance when applying for state Medicaid. These sources are free or low-cost and address other needs, including help with nutrition and transportation information.

ResourceContactDescription
Benefits.gov(800) 252-8263Benefits.gov is a federally funded website that provides information on the available government programs. The site offers eligibility information and details on how to apply for Medicaid and other services.
Your Texas Benefits(737) 867-7700Your Texas Benefits is the official site for state benefit programs, including Medicaid, Medicare, healthcare information and support services. The site offers a prescreening tool that helps users understand the benefits and supports they may qualify for before filling out an application.
Area Agencies on Aging(855) 937-2372There are 28 Area Agencies on Aging that provide help with Medicaid and other benefits and programs, including healthcare, nutrition, and caregiver support.

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

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 Texas

Additional help is provided for seniors living in Texas who have questions regarding Medicare. Representatives are available through several organizations to assist throughout the entire application process and they can answer questions on everything from benefits and payments to changes in coverage and eligibility. 

ResourceContactDescription
Texas Health and Human Services(800) 252-9240The Department of Health and Human Services provides unbiased assistance for seniors who need help navigating the different sections of Medicare. They also offer free benefits counseling and information on claims, premiums, copays and prescription medications.
Texas State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)(800) 252-9240SHIP offers health information, counseling and details on how to apply and eligibility. SHIP assists seniors in making coverage changes and provides information on out-of-pocket costs alongside details on elder rights.
Medicare.gov(800) 633-4227Medicare.gov is the official federal website for Medicare. The site offers a live chat 24/7 for those who have questions regarding their plans, eligibility and additional insurance programs. Other information includes claims and billing help, complaints about services, general health and health concerns, illness prevention and addiction treatment.

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

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

Older adults may have special needs that can be addressed through a variety of programs and services within the state. Whether the individual chooses to receive care at home or in a long-term care facility, there are many resources that may help improve quality of life and can delay entry into a nursing home or assisted living community.

ResourceContactDescription
Texas Senior ResourcesOnline OnlyThe Texas Senior Resources online directory lists available programs and services in Texas by region. The directory is geared towards seniors aged 55 and older and children with aging parents. Categories of resources include care advisors, case managers, home modification contractors, palliative care, moving services, reverse mortgages and transportation.
AGE of Central Texas(512) 458-6305AGE of Central Texas helps seniors throughout Austin and the surrounding area address a variety of needs. The office provides help with caregiver support, health and fitness and insurance counseling. The organization also operates several senior centers that provide safe and secure environments for seniors to gather.
Texas Department of Insurance(800) 252-3439The Texas Department of Insurance helps seniors choose the best insurance coverage to suit their needs. The site also provides information on insurance fraud and the different types of long-term care, including how to locate a community that best fits their specifications.
Meals on Wheels Texas(844) 489-6325The Texas Meals on Wheels organization seeks to end hunger in older adults throughout the state. Volunteers provide home-delivered meals, and the organization makes deliveries to local senior centers.
Texas Long-Term Care Ombudsman(800) 252-2412The long-term care ombudsman advocates for seniors in assisted living and other facilities. The ombudsman listens to concerns and other issues, informs residents of their rights and helps families learn about the different ways to pay for long-term care.
Texas Veterans Commission(800) 273-8255The Texas Veterans Commission helps seniors throughout the state who served in the military locate plans and services that address their individual needs. The commission provides educational assistance and helps with locating medical care, mental health services and employment. The commission also provides details about the Aid and Attendance Housing Benefit that helps veterans pay for long-term care.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Texas

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including hhs.texas.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 2/15/2022, 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 Texas

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. 

Texas Health and Human Services licenses all long-term care facilities throughout the state. Most Senior Living Facilities receive either an A or B license. The major difference is that those with a type A license can only accept residents who can self evacuate during emergencies, while a B license is for facilities that offer assisted evacuation. All senior living communities providing memory care must have a B license. Keep reading to find out more about the statutes and regulations that govern senior living facilities in Texas.

Scope of Care Provided

Senior living facilities offer a variety of assistance services including personal care and help with ADLs. General supervision is also part of the care offered at these communities. A Senior living facility must also offer a weekly activity or social program. Memory care units and facilities must also encourage socialization, physical activity and cognitive development in scheduled activities. Activities must be provided for memory care residents on a daily basis.

A Senior Living Facility cannot provide ongoing skilled nursing services similar to the level of care offered in a nursing home, although temporary services can be offered for up to 30 days following an illness or injury.

Care Plan Requirements

Within 14 days of admission, senior living facilities must complete a comprehensive evaluation and develop an individualized service plan for each resident.

Medication Management 

Medication management is typically limited to supervision and reminders for residents capable of self-administration. Staff may assist with opening containers and pouring out appropriate dosages, and returning medications to secured areas after each dose. Some residents may choose to keep medications secured in their rooms, but staff must assess those residents at least once a month to determine their continued capability.

Senior living facilities can work with residents who are not able to self-administer medication. The staff member providing medication management must hold a current license to administer medication, have a medication aide permit and act under the supervision of a licensed nurse. Alternatively, the staff member must be delegated and trained in the task by a staff nurse.

Staff Requirements

Senior living facilities must maintain comprehensive staff records that document the completion of a criminal background check prior to hiring, an annual employee misconduct registry check and an annual nurse aide registry check. Staff files must be provided to the Texas Health and Human Services Department upon request.

All Senior Living Facility staff must complete a four-hour orientation upon hiring. Direct care staff must complete an additional 16 hours of on-the-job training. Each year, staff must complete at least six hours of continuing education, with some positions requiring more.

Report Abuse or Neglect

The Health and Human Services Department investigates all claims of abuse or neglect in licensed senior living facilities in Texas. To report an incident, call 1-800-458-9858.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does assisted living cost in Texas?

The cost of assisted living is closely tied to location. There are areas in Texas where costs exceed $5,300 and other areas where costs are as low as $2,000 per month. The average across the state is $3,750.

Does Texas Medicaid pay for assisted living?

While standard Medicaid does not pay for assisted living, those who qualify may receive financial assistance through the Texas Medicaid STAR+PLUS waiver program.

Does Medicare pay for assisted living?

Medicare does not offer coverage for care services provided in assisted living facilities, however, it does offer limited coverage for nursing home stays.

What types of services are available in assisted living?

Assisted living facilities typically offer personal care, help with ADLs, meals, social opportunities and entertainment. Planned activities and exercise classes are also common offerings, along with access to primary medical care, podiatry and dentistry services.

What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?

In Texas, a nursing home provides round-the-clock care from registered nurses, while assisted living facilities do not. Depending on the level of care required, a nursing home may not offer as many amenities as an assisted living facility and may also have a more limited calendar of activities.

Learn More About Senior Living in Texas

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

The Top Cities for Senior Living in Texas

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

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