The Golden State has something for everyone with its warm temperatures and diverse parts of the state where you can do everything from wine tasting to skiing to visiting National Parks, and of course, surfing. The state has programs and tax incentives designed to make it attractive for seniors to live here too.
Fresh food is big here thanks to the large agriculture industry and plenty of restaurants to eat at. From vegan food to burgers, pasta, and allergy-friendly food, California serves it up. Plus there are endless entertainment options to choose from including art, live theater, sports, and music festivals.
Area Agencies on Aging
California Department of Aging
1300 National Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95834-1992
click here to visit the California Department of Aging website
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The California Department of Aging contracts with and provides leadership and direction to Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) that coordinate a wide array of services to seniors and adults with disabilities at the community level and serve as the focal point for local aging concerns. You can locate a AAA in your area by calling 1-800-677-1116 or find your county agency in the list below.
California Agencies on Aging:
California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) regulates health care service plans.
DMHC assures healthcare laws are followed, and that plan members get the right care at the right time.
Complaint forms are at their website
California HealthCare Foundation
The foundation's functions include:
Respite (In-Home) Services Respite means intermittent or regularly scheduled temporary non-medical care and/or supervision provided in the person's home. In-Home Respite services are support services which typically include:
Respite services typically are obtained from a respite vendor. For more information about respite services, contact a California Department of Developmental Services regional center representative.
Here are a few San Diego County vendors:
Assisted Living Communities
Your retirement planning should be based on understanding the options associated with Assisted Living. As part of a retirement plan, these options combine housing, support services, and health care, as needed. Assisted living is a retirement service for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing, and transportation. Some residents may have memory disorders, including Alzheimer's, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence, or other challenges of senior life. Residents are assessed to determine the level of service they may need. These retirement services generally include 24/7 supervision, three meals a day, housekeeping, transportation, minor medical attention, personal care assistance, security and emergency call, exercise programs, social and educational activities. In addition, some Assisted living communities may provide: gardens, libraries, and chapels.
Assisted living communities are operated by both profit and non-profit organizations. Pricing can range from $1000 to over $4,000 per month based on your location. There may be extra fees for special services.
Adult Day Care
Adult Day Care is a service for frail, physically or cognitively impaired seniors, and their caregivers. Numerous stand-alone adult day care facilities and adult day care centers are available in urban and suburban areas to provide elderly care. Check your state here. A large percentage of Adult Day Care centers are operated on a nonprofit or public basis. Many centers are affiliated with multi-service entities such as home care, assisted living, nursing facilities, and hospitals.
Congregate, assisted living or nursing care communities may offer elderly care as an "outpatient" service to the neighboring population on a per-day basis. Those that do may also provide respite care for a weekend, or a week. Senior centers may also offer senior day care as one of their services.
You may choose to spend your golden years in a community designed especially for mature adults. Senior living facilities come in many sizes and shapes. Senior apartments are one such chose. A Senior Apartment allows you to take advantage of many amenities and personalized services without having to maintain a house and yard.
Senior apartments should be a consideration for older adults that can take care of themselves. Aside from age-restrictions, these apartments are usually developed the same as standard apartments. Some of these apartments are also equipped with items such as handrails and pull cords to make getting around and living easier. Also, these apartments provide a community of elderly neighbors without the hassles of a larger home to manage. Properties can vary in terms of services but typically offer apartment living and services designed specifically for independent, active seniors 55 and older. Since many of these residences are designed for active seniors, most do not offer meal service, housekeeping, or medical services. Senior apartment complexes are usually located near senior centers, parks, shopping malls, golf courses, and public transportation. Some provide van services to nearby shopping and needed services.
Senior apartments can be found in many communities, some are under federal housing guidelines and will only accept low-income seniors, but most are privately owned. Many of the privately owned properties offer reduced rents to low-income tenants with assistance from Dept. of Housing Urban Development (HUD). You should be aware that senior apartments usually have a captured audience with a significant waiting lists period.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
The type of care that may be administered ONLY BY A NURSING HOME near you is defined by state regulations. Generally, "medical procedures" and assistive acts requiring a nurse to physically "handle" a patient are limited to nursing home providers, when not in a hospital. For example, changing bandages for deep wounds is often only permitted in Nursing Homes, as is turning a patient in bed who cannot turn themselves.
"Cohousing" refers to a type of collaborative housing that attempts to overcome the alienation of modern subdivisions in which no one knows his or her neighbor, and where there is no sense of community. The typical cohousing community has 20 to 30 units, privately owned single-family homes or apartments, arranged in such a way as to encourage interaction with neighbors. It often has a common house, workshops, shared gardens and a greenhouse, meeting and exercise rooms, and often a shared kitchen and dining room where residents may choose to prepare and share meals. In many cases, more than one generation of a family will live in cohousing.
Congregate communities offer independent living in separate private apartments, and the opportunity to share activities of daily living with other residents as one chooses. They may offer rental or ownership units. Learn more about it on our Congregate Housing page.
Here is a list of Congregate Housing resources in California:
There may come a time when a person with Alzheimer's disease will need more care than can be provided at home. The individual may need to move into residential care, such as assisted living or a nursing home. Planning for a move into a care facility should begin well before admission is needed. This advanced planning allows families to learn about what care options are available to determine what will best be able to meet the needs of an individual with dementia, to anticipate the costs of care, and to find the financial resources. Below are some of the communities that provide Alzheimer's related care.
Here is a list of facilities in California that specialize in Alzheimer's care:
Did you know that taking a class in just about any subject can improve your cognitive abilities, rejuvenate your memory, and have fun all at the same time?
Elder Law Attorneys work primarily with people as they age. These attorneys usually coordinate with others in various fields to provide their clients with a wide variety of services.
Moving and Storage Services
Make sure you have the information you need to protect your memories, money, and belongings from moving problems. The best defense against moving difficulties is to be informed and aware of your options when choosing a reputable mover. While most household moves go smoothly, there are many pitfalls of which you should be aware. It can also be stressful, even under the best of circumstances.
Use the moving checklist to help guide you through the moving venture.
A critical step is to read and understand all information provided by the mover. These should include the following basic documents as part of your move:
The estimate should clearly describe, in writing, all charges for services the mover will perform. Make sure the estimate is signed by the mover. Do not accept oral estimates.
Bill of Lading
The bill of lading is a contract between you and the mover and a receipt of your belongings. You should be given a partially completed copy of the bill of lading before the mover leaves the residence at origin.
Order for Service
The order for service is a list of all the services the mover will perform and shows the dates your household goods will be picked up and delivered
The inventory is the receipt showing each item you shipped and its condition. Be sure you receive a written copy of the inventory after your household goods are loaded and that you agree with its description of your household goods' condition.
See our list of California Moving Companies
Aging In Place
"Aging in place" is growing older without having to move. Aging in place with supportive services is one of the most desirable ways of aging. Aging in place can achieve efficiencies enabled by the customized care. The most successful aging in place approaches focus on the provision of the most appropriate care for the specific individual. Thus avoiding wasted costs brought on by a "generic" care model.
An aging in place scenario creates housing and health care options to provide support as defined by an individualís wishes and efforts to live independently. Aging in place can work best when it is employed as a part of a comprehensive plan for retirement and aging. An essential step in implementing aging in place is to make your home aging friendly. As we age, we don't hear so well, we sometimes forget or get confused, and we even outlive doctor's predictions about our longevity. So as long as we persist in growing older, why not arrange our homes to accommodate our reality. Incorporate memory triggers into the way we arrange cabinets and counters, add soft fabrics to muffle background noises, change appliances to better accommodate our short-comings.
If you want to learn more, visit our Age in place section. Once you have an idea of the changes needed in the home, it is time to discuss the changes with a contractor/builder in your area. See our list of California Aging In Place Specialists.
An FHA guaranteed Reverse Mortgage program enables older homeowners (62+) to 'borrow back' a portion of the equity in their home and convert it into cash while remaining in their home for as long as they want. They remain on the title and do NOT have to make any loan payments for as long as they continue to live in the home and it remains their primary residence. When the last borrower sells, moves out or passes away, the loan becomes due. This enables many senior homeowners to age in place.
Should you fail financial assessment, you may still be eligible for a reverse mortgage with a mandated lifetime tax and insurance set-aside.
Alzheimer's State Regulations
Alzheimer's Unit Requirements are set by the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division (call them at 916-657-2346).
Regulations were revised to permit secured perimeters for Alzheimer's residents. Facilities may opt to install delayed egress doors or lock perimeters. A special permit is required for these special units.
Assisted Living State Regulations
Assisted Living Regulatory Information
Department of Social Services
Community Care Licensing Division
Residential Care Facilities For The Elderly is a housing arrangement chosen voluntarily where 75 percent of the residents are 60 years of age or older and where varying levels of care and supervision are provided. Facility staff may assist residents with the self-administration of medication.
Insurance State Regulations
Contact: Department of Insurance
300 Capitol Mall, #1500
Sacramento, CA 85814
The Consumer Services Division (CSD) handles inquiries, responds to consumer complaints in regards to claims handling practices, rating and underwriting issues.
For current and additional information, see the California Franchise Tax Board.