Our Evaluation of Assisted Living in San Diego, CA
(Our Rating = 5 Stars)
San Diego, also known as the birthplace of California, is a coastal city located in Southern California. It is a beautiful, quiet town full of history and culture and known for its beaches, mild weather, harbor and Animal and Sea Parks. It is rated as one of our “Top 10 Best Cities for Seniors” to live and retire in.
With temperatures in the 70s year round, plenty of activities, great restaurants and hundreds of assisted living options, San Diego is an excellent place for Seniors to live. There is also plenty of access to some of the top hospitals, veteran services, restaurants, and an abundance of activities in the area.
Whether you are looking for a large assisted living community or a small board and care home to take care of your Love One, you will have plenty of options to choose from. San Diego boasts over 200 assisted living options that can provide high-end care all the way to those families who have a tighter budgets to work with.
Local Safety and Crime
San Diego was ranked in 2013 by Business Insider as the “20th Safest City in America.” With safety always a concern for any one finding care for their Loved One, one should always thoroughly research the areas before making a decision. The city is relatively safe but there will always be pockets of good areas and bad areas. Ensure to not only look online for safety data, but ask locals in the area to get a better understanding of how to keep your Loved One safe (source: Area Vibes)
San Diego’s temperatures truly lives up to the expectation of being located in the Golden State. San Diego residents experience a year round temperature averaging in 71 throughout the year (58 at night). In the summer, the weather averages 74 degrees (67 at night) and 65 degrees in the winter (49 at night). Although not as hot as Los Angeles and other Southern California cities, San Diego will surely make your Loved One comfortable year round (source: weather.com).
Types of Senior Housing
San Diego Assisted Living offers large communities that specialize on daily activities, resident socialization, secure Alzheimer’s wings and more. Some of these communities that offer these type of services are Emeritus, Vintage, Atria and Sunrise Senior Living.
Some residents will also prefer a “home-like” environment similar to what they are used to at home. These are called Board and Care Residential Homes that provide 6 to 10 beds at the most, have a smaller Caregiver-to-Resident ratio (1:3) and can be more flexible on costs.
Assisted Living Communities or Board and Care Homes are non-medical facilities for seniors that have caregivers round the clock 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although no medical staff members are required to be in the facility, they are typically on call and ready to help your Loved One when they are in need.
Local Assisted Living Costs
Should your Loved One prefer high-end care or require a facility that can work with a tighter budget, you should not have a problem finding the right place in San Diego. Assisted Living costs in the area average about $4,000 per month. However, they can start as low as $2,100/month and go as high as $6,070/month depending on care needs (source: Genworth 2013).
The biggest factor in the cost of care will be your loved one’s condition and care needs. The facility’s admission staff or facility owner will determine this assessment. Other determining factors also include location of the facility, age of the facility (or if newly renovated), experience of the staff, years in business, private or shared room, amenities and services provided.
Paying for Assisted Living
Assisted Living is typically paid by the resident or their family out of pocket (private pay). Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, Medicare or Medicaid does not cover the monthly cost. However, some alternatives are using Long Term Care Insurance or if your loved one or their spouse is a war veteran. If eligible, these programs do assist the monthly cost of care. However, if your loved one still needs further assistance, the Department of Social Services can assisted those in need of affordable senior housing programs.
San Diego has over 31 conveniently located hospitals throughout the city including a number of Veteran’s Hospitals. The “Best Regional Hospitals” rated by US News & World Report are UC San Diego Medical Center, Scripps La Jolla Hospitals, Scripps Mercy Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Scripps Memorial Hospital-Encinitas and Sharp Coronado Hospital.
Should your Loved One be in need of regular check-ups to the doctor or emergency care, San Diego has some of the top hospitals to help meet their needs.
Public transportation in San Diego is services by the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). The MTS provides buses that provide transportation for those using wheelchairs. These small shuttles do not have a fixed route and can accommodate those with Seniors with disabilities. For example, if you need assistance going to your doctor appointment, the MTA Access shuttles can pick you up, bring you to your destination and get you back home. More information can be found on the San Diego MTS website.
Another option might be finding an assisted living facility that provides transportation services. Most facilities do provide this service to their residents, but you will want to check if there is an additional charge. Some facilities do charge extra for transporting their residents and some do not. It is always good to ask the staff when you tour the facility so you can ensure your Loved One gets the services they need.
Senior Community Center
San Diego has 10 Senior Center Community Centers located throughout the city. Each Center provides numerous activities to keep your Loved One active, social and constantly learning. Some of the Senior Centers include the Golden Hill Center, La Jolla / Florence Riford Center, the Memorial Center and Verne Goodwin Center to name few. More information can be found at the San Diego government website under parks and recreation services.
Local Shopping & Dining
San Diego is a great place to take your Loved One shopping and get them out for a little exercise. With the city’s perfect climate, some of San Diego’s outdoor malls might be the answer for a little sun. There are shopping centers such as Fashion Valley Mall, Mission Valley, Westfield UTC and Horton Plaza in Downtown. Also, you can always find some great discounts at the Carlsbad Outlets or even go to La Jolla for its boutiques located right by the famous cliffs.
After you’ve done all the shopping and built your appetite, you and your Loved One will not fall short of dining choices in San Diego. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, Italian, French, Japanese or Mexican food, you’ll find it all here throughout the city.
Activities for Seniors
Some of San Diego’s great attractions that my interest your Loved One include Balboa Park, the Birch Aquarium, Casa de Estudilo, the Old Globe Theater, Mission San Diego de Alcala, the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, SeaWorld, the Wild Animal Park and the San Diego Zoo.
If that isn’t enough to keep them busy, there are famous yearly events in the city such as the Art Walk, the Open Air Book Fair in Hillcrest, the Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay, Street Scene Music Festival and more.
If your Love One will also prefer something more cultural and historic, there are over 100 museums throughout San Diego County that should keep their imaginations and creativity running.
Save Time When Searching For Care
Save yourself time by browsing through hundreds to thousands of facilities (we've personally visited and inspected*) with virtual picture tours to narrow down your choices.
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About the Author: Catharine D. Allado is a Senior Care Expert and the COO of SeniorCareHomes.com - An extensive online directory of Assisted Living, Memory Care and other types of Senior Housing across the U.S. "SeniorCareHomes.com Empowers Families to Choose the Right Assisted Living Options for Their Loved Ones. - Tour Online and Save Time."TM
Note: Ratings and Grades are based on our staffs' personal opinions and experiences in the referenced City. SeniorCareHomes.Com has visited and inspected hundreds to thousands of assisted living facilities all across the U.S. While we make every effort to visit as many facilities as possible, we do not claim that we have visited and inspected every single licensed assisted living facility across the U.S.
Sources: AreaVibes, Weather.Com