Top Ranked Assisted Living Facilities in Louisiana

There are 71 assisted living facilities in LA and the median cost of care is $3,748. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Louisiana is 4 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is The Verandah Retirement Living.

Louisiana offers several tax benefits for older adults, such as the ability toexclude all Social Securityand federal retirement benefits from their taxable income. It also has low property tax rates and lower-than-average costs of living, making it suitable for retirees with modest incomes.

The following guide introduces the housing options available to older adults in Louisiana and details how assisted living works, how much it costs, and how it compares to other types of senior care. It also gives an overview of the many resources available to seniors in the Bayou State, including healthcare communities, mental health services, and legal assistance.

Louisiana Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options

In Louisiana, older adults have a wide range of options when it comes to housing, personal care, and medical care. Many people choose to stay in assisted living communities, but others decide to hire in-home care providers or stay in some other type of residential setting.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)

When a loved one can no longer live independently, an assisted living provider can be a good option.  Assisted living residences are for residents who would like to, and can, maintain some independence but need help with meals, housekeeping, and some of the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as showering, getting dressed, or personal hygiene.

In Louisiana, assisted living is considered a form ofadult residential care. At the most basic level, an assisted living community typically assists with activities of daily living, scheduled recreational activities, laundry services, meals, assistance with medication self-administration, and transportation to medical offices and other local destinations. If a resident has a specific health need, assisted living staff must also arrange for monitoring, appropriate health assessments, or assistance with health-related tasks.

All assisted living facilities in Louisiana must be licensed by the Department of Health and Hospitals, Health Standards Section. According to the agency's rules, an assisted living community requires aLevel 3 licenseto serve 17 or more residents. Once a license is issued to an ALF, it can't be sold or transferred. Assisted living licenses must be renewed annually to ensure that each community remains in compliance with state regulations.

Difference Between Assisted Living and Community Residential Care Facilities

Residential care homes mainly refer to smaller providers in residential neighborhoods. They’re often family homes renovated to accommodate a small number of residents and the staff required to provide care. In Louisiana, the Department of Health and Hospitals, Health Standards Section, licenses four different levels of adult residential care: Level 1, personal care homes; Level 2, shelter care homes; Level 3, Assisted Living Facilities; Level 4, Adult Residential Care.

In Louisiana, Adult Residential Care facilities are permitted to administer medications and perform limited nursing services that are not allowed in Levels 1-3.  There are licensing requirements for administrators, staff training, and living units.

Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are a good housing option for seniors who can still live independently but want to downsize. Each resident or couple lives in a private unit, and most communities offer social programs so residents can meet their neighbors. Housekeeping, chores, and some meals may be provided, although these may incur an additional cost. Unlike the care given in an assisted living community, assistance with activities of daily living and medication management aren't available in these communities. 

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes offer the highest level of care of all senior living options. These communities provide around-the-clock supervision, skilled nursing care, and available medical help. Generally, people in nursing homes have complex medical issues or need more residential care than is offered in an assisted living facility. Louisiana has skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for people who require 24-hour care and intermediate care facilities (ICF) for people who don’t need as much medical care. Theaverage cost of nursing home carein the state is $5,759 for a semiprivate room and $6,060 for a private room. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Many seniors prefer to choose a community that will continue to meet their needs in the future. Continuing care retirement communities have independent living, assisted living, and nursing home facilities on the same property or owned by the same community. This model allows seniors to stay near their friends in familiar surroundings, even as their needs change. The care provided in the assisted living section is the same as in an assisted living community. The difference is that residents can easily move to a skilled nursing room if required. Often, CCRCs are bigger than ACHs, as they encompass more care options. 

Residential Care Facilities

Community Residential Care Facilities offer room and board and provide a degree of personal care for some time for two or more persons.  Residential Care Facilities offer some of the following services, depending on their level of license: lodging, meals, housekeeping, laundry, medication administration, intermittent nursing services, assistance with personal hygiene, assistance with transfers and ambulation, and assistance with dressing.

RCFs are licensed in Louisiana by the Department of Health and Hospitals, Health Standards section.  There are routine inspections, and their license, issued by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, is required to be posted in a conspicuous location in the facility.  

Adult Day Care

Adult day care differs from adult day care because Louisiana's adult day care centers serve adults with developmental disabilities. In contrast, adult day care providers offer services to adults with functional impairments. Adult day care centers providesocial, health, and other support servicesto ensure that older adults with functional limitations have adequate care and supervision during daytime hours. The Department of Health and Hospitals, Bureau of Community Supports and Services, regulates the provision of adult day care in Louisiana.

Adult day care differs from assisted living because services are only provided during limited hours each day. Adult day care centers may also be closed on the weekends. In contrast, assisted living communities offer services 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Adult day care costsan average of $1,788per month in Louisiana in 2021.

In-Home Care

There are two types of in-home care available in Louisiana: homemaker services and home healthcare. Homemaker services generally provide personal care and may also help with errands, chores, and housekeeping. Home healthcare can deliver these services and offer medical care such as skilled nursing and medication management. Unlike assisted living care, in-home care is provided to people in their homes, making it a good choice for those who prefer to age in place. However, it doesn’t give seniors access to social and recreational programming for assisted living communities. The average cost of homemaker services is $3,623 per month, and the average cost of a home health aide is $3,718 per month. 

Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Louisiana

There are nearly 200 assisted living communities in the state of Louisiana. There are several major providers of assisted living communities in Louisiana. Azalea Estates operates five communities in the state, as does Fidelis Care. Brookdale operates seven communities in the state in cities ranging from Kenner to Bossier City.

Quality and Safety of Assisted Living Facilities in Louisiana

The Department of Health and Hospitals has theauthority to inspect an ALFeach time it applies for license renewal. Inspection reports are a matter of public record, making it easier for older adults and their loved ones to make informed decisions about their care. If the Department of Health identifies any serious violations during an inspection, it may suspend, revoke, or terminate the ALF's license. TheLouisiana Long-Term Care Ombudsmanalso advocates for the rights of assisted living residents and investigates complaints regarding specific assisted living communities.

Louisiana has stringent licensing requirements for every assisted living community. Before issuing a license, the Department of Health and Hospitals sends an inspector to ensure the applicant complies with all state regulations. To qualify for a license, an ALF must offer studio apartments withat least 200 net square feetof floor space. Apartments with separate bedrooms must have a minimum of 100 square feet of bedroom space and 190 square feet of living space. The size requirements don't include the square footage used for bathrooms. All residents must also have access to common areas, at least one outside window, a call system, and a kitchenette. 

Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Louisiana

Theaverage cost of assisted living carein Louisiana is $3,748 per month. This is almost $800 lower than the national average of $4,500. The cost of living in Louisiana is 13.1% lower than the national average, with healthcare costs 6.1% lower and housing costs 38% less than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. Costs in the state range from $2,650 in Monroe to $4,800 in Houma. 

How Costs Compare In Nearby States

If you live close to Louisiana’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option. Seniors in Texas pay around $3,998 per month, while costs in Mississippi average $3,500 and costs in Arkansas average $3,760 per month. 

Paying For Assisted Living Care In Louisiana

The average cost of assisted living in Louisiana is around $45,000 per year, so you or a family member may be wondering how to pay for care. A range of options is available to fund senior housing in the state. 

Private Funds

Selling a home is a common way for seniors to raise funds for assisted living care. Income from pensions and Social Security may also pay for some care. Other examples of private funds include your retirement accounts, mutual funds, and other investments. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance covers personal care, residential care, and other long-term support and services. Each plan is different; however, most offer a daily amount based on the policy that pays for assistance with activities of daily living. Most people buy a policy in their 50s or 60s and access it when required. If you or your family member has a policy, read it carefully to see what care it covers. 

Programs For Veterans

Louisiana hasfive veterans homesaround the state in Jackson, Bossier City, Monroe, Reserve, and Jennings. These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Louisiana who served in the military. The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also has offices where team members can help people obtain benefits and services. This includes theAid and AttendanceBenefit, which can help qualified veterans fund personal care. 

Elderlife Financial can help you understandhow to pay for assisted living.

What Is Included With Assisted Living Care In Louisiana?

The services provided in assisted living communities generally come under three broad categories: personal care, medical care, and amenities. 

Most people move to assisted living communities because they look for easy access to personal care. These services assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, walking, and toileting. Communities also provide supervision and can deliver care for unforeseen needs or in cases of emergencies.  

In Louisiana, ACHs must provide care and services in the resident’s care plan. This can include coordinating medical care and appointments. Communities may also deliver health services, with 26% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 33% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 27% of ACHs have hospice services. 

ACHs may provide specialized care for people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. These special care units have additional security measures to ensure residents don't wander, a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Typically, they also offer programs designed to improve cognitive function and routines that help lower stress.

Mental health issues are a growing consideration for communities, and services to address these concerns are becoming more common. In Louisiana, 68% of communities conduct depression screening, and 29% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 24% of ACHs. Social workers can provide counseling, conduct assessments, and help ensure residents access all the resources they need. 

Amenities refer to other features and services of the community. ACHs offer three meals a day and coordinate activity programs to help residents stay active and connected with families, and the community. Facilities in Louisiana must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services.  

Wellness Resources in Louisiana

LouisianaAging and Adult Servicesprovides several programs to help people maintain their health or care for illnesses and injuries. The THSCI program is designed to help Louisiana residents with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. The Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly offers services to help seniors remain as active as possible. Louisiana also hasArea Agencies on Agingto connect residents with wellness resources in their parishes.

Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans isnationally ranked in neurology and neurosurgery, high-performing in the gastroenterology and GI surgery specialty, and high-performing in 13 medical conditions and procedures. Louisiana residents also have access to quality care at Tulane Health System, Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, and many outpatient health care providers.

Mental Health Resources

The Office of Behavioral Health’slocal governing entitiesthroughout Louisiana provide access to mental health and addiction treatment services. These entities are organized into human services districts to ensure that residents in each region can get the care they need. TheGovernor's Office of Elderly Affairsalso makes mental health services available through the state aging network.NAMI Louisianaeven offers support groups, educational events, and other tools to help residents of the Bayou State get help with a wide range of mental health concerns.

The Transition Into Assisted Living In Louisiana

The decision to move into an assisted living community can be difficult. Generally, you'll notice changes in your loved ones that suggest they need some assistance. Signs that this environment could be beneficial include increased isolation, loss of mobility, noticeable weight loss or gain, and signs that they’re neglecting household chores. 

Your older family member may be the one to start talking about assisted living. For many seniors, moving into a home where cooking, laundry, and other chores are taken care of is appealing. For seniors who realize they need help with daily tasks, the addition of personal care may come as a relief. In Louisiana, 10% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (17%), toileting (32%) and walking (42%). Caregivers in ACHs help 44% of residents to dress, and 58% of residents need help bathing. 

If you think your family member would benefit from assisted living, start by talking about it openly. Highlight the positives of a move, such as social activities, cooked meals, and easily accessible assistance. Some ACHs provide respite care, which may allow your family member to have a trial run. Remember, this should be a conversation, not a lecture. Stay open to their opinion. If they’re not ready to transition to assisted living, talk about the care they need to stay at home. 

Louisiana Assisted Living Oversight

At the state level, the Department of Health and Hospitals (DoHH) oversees assisted living communities in Louisiana. Every ALF must follow the regulations outlined inChapter 68 of the Louisiana Administrative Code, which the DoHH is also responsible for enforcing. As of June 2022, Louisiana has163 active assisted living communities, according to the Health Standards division. Louisiana doesn't publish its ALF inspection reports online. Still, older adults and their loved ones may be able to obtain these reports by filing a request with the Department of Health under the Freedom of Information Act.

Legal Resources

The term "elder law" is often associated with estate planning, trusts, and help obtaining benefits through Medicare or Medicaid. Unfortunately, the field has grown to include cases involving elder abuse, elder neglect, and exploitation. Skilled attorneys can help older adults affected by these issues.

TheLouisiana Attorney Generalaccepts complaints regarding unfair housing practices and consumer disputes, giving older adults help when a landlord or business owner is taking advantage of them. People who need help securing public benefits should contact theGovernor's Office of Elderly Affairs, which offers assistance provided by an attorney or paralegal. In some cases, seniors may be matched with law students working under the supervision of licensed attorneys. The Louisiana Bar Association operates theLegal Education and Assistance Program, which makes referrals to attorneys in each parish.