San Antonio is located in south-central Texas, with a population of more than 1.5 million people. One of the state’s largest cities, San Antonio is home to historical landmarks, world-class shopping, live entertainment, and fine dining. The area has year-round warm weather and relatively little rain, making it a popular place for families to retire.
As a metropolitan city, San Antonio’s senior living options are diverse. Dozens of assisted living communities make the area ideal for retiring families, helping them live the lives they’ve always imagined.
San Antonio Assisted Living
San Antonio is one of the most populated cities in Texas, offering dozens of assisted living communities. When families are comparing senior living facilities in San Antonio, it can be a challenge to know which are a good fit with so many options to choose from.
Assisted living communities are unique, each with services and amenities that make them stand out from the rest. Texas Health and Human Services (THHS) classifies residences into two categories, depending on the level of care they provide:
Type A communities, where residents do not require regular assistance during their sleeping hours and they are capable enough to follow instructions during an emergency (like a fire or during severe weather).
Type B communities, where residents need nighttime assistance and they are not capable of evacuating during an emergency without help.
THHS requires all assisted living communities to provide standard personal care services to retain their license. Personal care is an umbrella term that includes typical supportive services like assistance with activities of daily living (feeding, dressing, bathing, etc.) and general oversight of each person’s physical and mental wellbeing. Medication administration is also commonly offered at assisted living communities in San Antonio.
Along with personal care services as outlined by the THHS, assisted living communities in San Antonio must provide on-site meals for residents. Many exceed the regulations set forth by the THHS to offer recreational activities, both on and off-campus, although they are not required.
Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Senior Care in San Antonio, Texas
Frequently, assisted living is the right choice for long-term care, offering standard supportive services in a home-like environment. However, assisted living may or may not be the right choice for certain individuals depending on a person’s care needs.
Assisted living is one of the most popular types of long-term care, and for good reason. Staff preserves each resident’s sense of self-sufficiency while providing direct assistance with their activities of daily living. Residents are free to live as they please, attending activities and enjoying personal time whenever they like. Unlike living at home, however, help is there when they need it.
Like assisted living facilities, independent living communities offer on-call personal assistance, apartment maintenance, on-site meals, and housekeeping services. The main difference lies in the amount of care they provide. Instead of providing direct, regular assistance with residents’ activities of daily living, independent living provides a home-like environment where residents can live a maintenance-free life. They provide a cost-effective alternative to assisted living for families who need some help but can largely care for themselves without assistance.
Nursing homes fill a unique role compared to independent and assisted living. When a person lives with chronic illness or injury, they may require ongoing skilled nursing care to manage their condition. Typically, independent and assisted living communities do not provide skilled nursing care, but nursing homes are fully-equipped for ongoing medical services.
Standard Assisted Living Amenities in San Antonio, Texas
To qualify as an assisted living community San Antonio, a residence must offer standard personal care services on-campus. These services should include assistance with each resident’s activities of daily living - typically activities like eating, bathing, and dressing.
Communities must provide three nutritious meals per day, according to each resident’s individual dietary needs. If a person has allergies or religious objections to a certain food, kitchen staff must make adjustments as necessary.
Many residences provide scheduled transportation throughout San Antonio and the surrounding area, typically through shuttles or partnerships with ride-sharing services (like Lyft). Assisted living communities in San Antonio usually offer housekeeping services and apartment maintenance along with personal care services.
Along with meals, most assisted living communities in San Antonio offer recreational events and social activities to help residents stay active and meet friends. Residences commonly publish their calendar of upcoming events online so families can plan their schedules ahead of time.
Opportunities vary by location but may include events like:
Game nights and community competitions
Group outings and adventures to restaurants, nearby landmarks, and more
Birthday parties, social mixers, and happy hours
Arts and crafts sessions and educational lessons
Trips to movie theaters or on-campus movie screenings
Fitness courses and group exercise sessions
Devotional time and fellowship opportunities
Incoming residents should contact their preferred communities to find out which amenities and services and amenities they provide outside of those required by the THHS. Each residence is unique and there is no guarantee families will find the same amenities at more than one community.
Assisted Living Apartments in San Antonio, Texas
The THHS does not require assisted living communities in San Antonio to provide private living spaces or apartment-style units. Many offer semi-private suites to provide cost-effective options for residential care, while others provide larger private apartments. Before applying to a community, potential residents should contact them to learn more about the types of living arrangements they provide.
Assisted living residents may offer studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom apartment floor plans, including private and semi-private suites. Residents may live alone or with a spouse, or with a roommate depending on their community’s cohabitation policy.
No more than four people may share one semi-private assisted living apartment in San Antonio. To prevent overcrowding, at least half of a community’s apartments must house two or fewer people. All assisted living apartments must have a bathroom with a toilet and a sink, one for every four residents.
In San Antonio, living arrangements are defined as “assisted living apartments” if they:
Offer private spaces with individual living areas and sleeping areas
Are single-occupancy (may be double-occupancy by request)
Have ample storage space
Assisted living units are considered “residential care apartments” if:
They offer two bedrooms, each with a single occupant
They have a shared kitchen
They have a private bathroom
Apartments should be easy-to-navigate with open layouts, minimizing fall risks. Studio apartments feature one large living area that doubles as a bedroom, while one and two-bedroom layouts offer private sleeping quarters.
Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas
As one of the largest cities in Texas, there are nearly limitless opportunities for fun in the San Antonio area. Locals and tourists alike love the nearby SeaWorld theme park, home to hundreds of species of marine life and plenty of exciting thrill rides.
Fans of amusement parks will love Six Flags Fiesta Texas, where they can enjoy some of the nation’s most exciting thrill rides. The San Antonio River Walk is another entertaining attraction, offer dozens of shops, restaurants, and more.
Looking for an outdoor adventure? The Alamo is famously located in San Antonio, giving guests a chance to step into the past and see one of America’s most treasured landmarks. The San Antonio Zoo is another incredible outdoor adventure, home to thousands of species guests can observe.
Funding Assisted Living in San Antonio, Texas
When families or individuals transition into assisted living, paying for their care and room and board are usually their greatest priorities once they commit to a residence. Rent can be substantially higher than a privately-rented apartment or house because it includes the cost of meals, basic care, transportation, and utilities. Additionally, some residents should plan for additional fees if they need a la carte services.
Long-term care insurance is an increasingly popular way to pay for long-term care in San Antonio, but families should plan ahead for it to be cost effective. The younger a person is when they buy a long-term care policy, the more affordable their monthly premiums will be. Incoming assisted living residents with long-term care policies should contact their preferred communities to learn more about paying with their plan.
Paying out of pocket is another common way to pay for assisted living in San Antonio. Many families save money before their retirement to pay for long-term care when they retire. If a person has enough retirement savings, assisted living can be financially viable. Some residents combine their monthly retirement paychecks with their savings to pay for long-term care, letting them live a maintenance-free life without debt.
Medicaid recipients may qualify for financial assistance to pay for assisted living, courtesy of the Community-Based Alternatives (CBA) and Star Plus waivers. To qualify, a person must:
Meet Medicaid’s general financial requirements to qualify for standard benefits
Require community-based assistance to preserve their wellbeing
Require ongoing assistance with their activities of daily living
If a person does not qualify for Medicaid in San Antonio, they may not receive the CBA or Star Plus Waivers for pay for assisted living. To learn more about qualifying for Medicaid waivers in San Antonio, families should contact their local Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services Office.
Assisted living residents who served in the United States Armed Forces may qualify for additional financial assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers a program called Aid & Attendance for veterans who need ongoing assistance from another person. The benefit is paid in addition to a person’s monthly VA pension and is intended to pay for their residential care. For more information about eligibility and payment, veterans should contact their VA caseworker.
Incoming assisted living residents who served in the United States Armed Forces may have access to exclusive veterans’ benefits to pay for long-term care and supportive services. The Aid and Attendance benefit is one of the most frequently used programs for veterans who need assistance, providing a cash award monthly to make community-based care more affordable. To qualify for Aid & Attendance, a person must:
Have served in the United States Armed Forces during a time of war and not been dishonorably discharged
Be eligible for monthly pension through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Require the aid and assistance from another person to perform their activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, eating, and maintaining their personal hygiene
To learn more about the Aid & Attendance benefit, veterans should contact their VA caseworker for information about their personal eligibility.