Independent Living Communities in California

Independent living communities in California are great places for older adults still able to carry out their normal routine but who enjoy the added benefit of receiving care as needed. Devoted to social enrichment, support, and your overall well-being, this senior care type allows individuals to maintain their unique lifestyles in like-minded communities. Although each location varies, seniors are sure to find a range of amenities and opportunities for recreation, no matter their interest or degree of mobility. With living options such as studio apartments, small cottages and everything in between, independent living is quickly becoming one of the most popular long-term care options for seniors.


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Cost Comparison of California’s Independent Communities

City Monthly Minimum Monthly Maximum Monthly Median
Bakersfield $1,399 $1,424 $1,412
Carmichael $2,235 $2,834 $2,633
Escondido $2,124 $2,900 $2,459
Fresno $1,524 $3,795 $2,570
Los Angeles $2,435 $6,825 $3,953

California has 536 independent living communities with the average cost of $2,814 per month.

With each community offering its own unique amenities and services,  costs will vary based on location, size, and the housing options available. In most every California independent living community, you’ll find housekeeping and linen services, transportation, meal plans, and fitness centers, all included in your monthly payments. It is likely that your community will provide medical services, however, they often come at an additional cost. Here are a few prices found throughout California.

Recreation & Attractions in California

There are many things to see in California such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Sea World, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and more exciting attractions. California has many trademark sights such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood sign, and Death Valley National Park. Depending on your location, a trip to the National Sequoia Forest to see massive, ancient trees can also be a wonderfully serene experience. Besides these attractions, there are also other activities to fill your time: bicycling, hiking, going to the beach and many bus trips to take you sightseeing.

California's Climate, Geography & Culture

California has an average temperature of 61 degrees, a high temperature of 74 degrees, and a low temperature of 48 degrees. Winter temperatures fall in the 50 to 60-degree range and the summer temperatures average between 80 and 90 degrees. The spring and fall temperatures are between the 60 and 70 degrees.

California has two seasons: a long, dry summer and a wet, but mild winter; California receives 19 inches of rainfall annually. If you are living in the high mountainous area, you will experience all four seasons, with the snow lasting from November until April. Places such as Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, and Mount Shasta can receive 10 feet of snowfall. Other than the mountainous regions, California is rather warm with mild winters. There is the constant issue of a drought during the summertime.

California's Independent Living Regulations & Laws

All rules and regulations for independent living communities in California are enforced by The Department of Social Services. Title 22 mandates the standards for safety, medical care, and sanitation requirements, issuing an annual report that can be reviewed by the public upon request. These reports include any past violations and the community’s attempts to correct them. 

Crime & Safety in California

California has many well-known organizations focused on preventing crime and protecting their citizens.  Some of the groups are California Crime Prevention Officers’ Association and Crime Prevention Program, both groups are focused on preventing crime, delivering information to citizens, and offering services to protect or inform people. Similar to other states, California has neighborhood watches, crime stoppers and police forces that also help their citizens.

LocationViolent Crimes Per 1,000 ResidentsProperty Crimes Per 1,000 Residents
San Clemente1.0610.51

Payment Options for California Independent Living

Many seniors will pay for their senior care with their own pension, savings, and sell off their assets while others may have their family assist them with the costs. Medicare only covers short-term care typically following a hospital visit and does not cover independent living communities costs. Medicare does not provide coverage for independent living care due to the long-term condition of old age; Medicare usually does supports individuals with short-term conditions.

As a veteran, an individual can receive the Veteran’s Benefits to pay for their senior living care costs. A single Veteran would receive $1,644 monthly, if they are a couple they would receive $1,949, and a Veteran’s surviving spouse would receive $1,056. Seniors may also buy long-term care insurance to pay for senior care. The individual would receive money daily from the insurance company in order for them to pay and receive care.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be used as another form of payment and is for those who may be blind, have a disability, but must have little income and assets, over 65 years of age, and a current U.S. citizen. 

Otherwise, it may be useful to consider opening a senior living line of credit. With this option, individuals can use up to $50,000 with no collateral, sending the money directly to their independent living community. The repayment terms are usually very flexible, and you only need to use the amount of money necessary to pay for care. 

Senior & Elderly Rights for Independent Living in California

According to the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), all residents of independent living communities have the right to their own personal privacy, file official complaints, and receive the proper care in a safe environment. As detailed here, residents in California independent living communities retain their rights to remain autonomous decision makers in regard to what medical care is provided, as well as when dealing with financial matters.  

For assistance in learning about and exercising your rights, you can review the California Ombudsman for more details. 

CA Independent Living Medical Record Rules & Regulations

State and federal HIPAA laws require all resident records and medical reports of services provided on community grounds are recorded, maintained and available to residents in a timely manner. These documents are to remain confidential and residents are to be notified in order to authorize their disclosure to any other third-party. Your medical information is sensitive and personal, so never feel pressure to disclose it without the proper precautions and documentation. 

Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.