Greatest Assisted Residing Communities in San Francisco
When living alone is no longer a viable option, assisted living communities can provide a comfortable place for seniors to age with dignity. In addition to helping older adults live safely, assisted living also provides amenities and community that can help make life enjoyable as you age.
In San Francisco, assisted living facilities run the gamut from luxurious high-rise buildings to quaint, historic mansions with close-knit groups of residents. While no community is perfect for everyone — we highly recommend you tour multiple options — you’re sure to find some solid choices from our rundown of the best assisted living communities in the Bay Area.
How We Chose the Best Assisted Living
We researched hundreds of assisted communities in the San Francisco area and evaluated each of them based on the following criteria:
- Cost: According to Genworth, a long-term care insurance provider, the average monthly cost of assisted living in San Francisco is about $6,300 per month, with costs increasing as a person moves from assisted care to nursing or memory care. With this in mind, we looked for assisted living communities that cost roughly around the San Francisco average.
- Care provided: Every assisted living community will provide meals, structured activities, and help with activities of daily living (ADLs); however, we gave extra points to communities that go above and beyond to address the care needs of their residents.
- Amenities: From chef-prepared meals to state-of-the-art fitness centers and even on-site salons, our favorite assisted living communities provide resort-like facilities that offer a touch of luxury.
- Resident testimonials: Because we haven’t actually resided in these communities, we also took into account online reviews posted by residents and their families.
Village at Hayes Valley
Courtesy of Village at Hayes Valley
Cost: Starting at $4,200 per month
Located in a restored Victorian set in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, The Village at Hayes Valley provides residents with compassionate care in the heart of San Francisco. At The Village, residents are four blocks from Alamo Square and the adjacent Painted Ladies, and a short drive from Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente, and San Francisco Hospital.
With its 47 beds, The Village offers assisted living, memory care, and respite care services. In addition to assistance with ADLs, The Village at Hayes Valley also provides:
- In-house urgent care
- Licensed nurses on duty
- Transportation and escorting through the community
- Physician-prescribed nutrition programs
- 24-hour respiratory therapists
- Chef-prepared meals
While every assisted living community offers shared common areas, we appreciated the Village’s beautiful rooftop area, complete with a piano, bar, and patio that overlooks the city. For those looking to reside in one of the most beautiful parts of San Francisco, The Village at Hayes Valley offers an exceptionally appointed option with ample activities, both within and outside of its walls.
Online, many family members of residents praise the caregivers at this community, particularly with how they go out of their way to engage residents and keep them active.
“Anja, Community Relations Director, and Brittany, Resident Services Director, as well as their entire team of caregivers and staff at The Village at Hayes Valley have been like a second family to my brother and me. We moved our parents from Boston to the community in January and were gratified by the competent, responsive, and compassionate care our parents received.” – Len (source: Google Reviews)
Coterie at Cathedral Hill
Courtesy of Coterie at Cathedral Hill
Price: Starting at $7,200 per month
Should you walk past Coterie Cathedral Hill, you might see its elegant facade and mistake it for a chic new apartment building, replete with a rooftop pool, cinema room, and state-of-the-art fitness center. And while Coterie does in fact possess these amenities, it’s actually home to a thriving community of seniors.
Offering independent living, assisted living, and memory care, Coterie is the ideal place for those seeking a luxurious approach to custodial care. In addition to offering assistance with ADLs, Coterie provides the type of amenities you’d expect from a five-star hotel, including:
- Kitchen and pantry stocking
- Wardrobe rotation
- Event preparation
- Shoe shining and repair
- Car oil changes and washes
- Pet care
- Tech assistance
- On-site cafe, restaurant, and cocktail lounge
Located in the heart of San Francisco, Coterie is a short distance from SFMOMA, The de Young Museum, Japantown, and the Theater District. Its around-the-clock concierge can arrange transportation as well as reservations at nearby restaurants. Sadly, for younger folk, Coterie is open only to those 65 and older.
In online reviews, residents and their family members are consistently amazed by the facilities at Coterie. One visitor even mentions a Mercedes parked out front, ready to take residents on errands and trips. That said, just as many reviewers point out the kindness and professionalism of Coterie’s staff.
“This is a beautiful, modern and elegant community. It offers fresh and appetizing meals that resemble those of five star restaurants… I am ready to move in myself if only I were old enough. For now, I am assisting my neighbor with her transition into memory care but will consider Coterie in the near future.” – Michelle B (source: A Place for Mom)
Ivy at Golden Gate
Courtesy of Ivy at Golden Gate
Cost: Starting at $5,300 per month
Housed in a historic building mere blocks from Golden Gate Park, The Ivy at Golden Gate provides ample support for its residents, both in terms of care and the freedom to live safely and independently within the community. Residents are free to stroll through The Ivy’s manicured grounds and walking paths, as well as the nearby parks. Did we mention that pets are welcome here too?
As well as providing 24-hour personal care support, The Ivy offers:
- Concierge physician services
- Weekly or biweekly housekeeping
- On-site maintenance
- Scheduled transportation
- Spa services
- Indoor and outdoor lounge areas
- An on-site salon
Ivy Park at Golden Gate offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Should a resident need an escalated level of support (i.e., dressing, transfer, or dementia care), the staff can accommodate this in the same setting, making Ivy Park a place you can call home for the long haul.
If you look at online reviews of Ivy Park, you’ll find countless accounts of the care plans they develop for each resident. Mobility concerns, dietary restrictions, and activity preferences are all taken into consideration by the Ivy Park staff.
“The wellness care and social [and] health activities that are available are so impressive and ensure peace of mind knowing your loved ones are in the best hands possible. Residents get to choose from a menu of dining options which is fabulous for specific dietary needs.” – Damia F (source: Google Reviews)
Sequoias San Francisco
Courtesy of Sequoias San Francisco
Cost: Starting at $3,537 per month
Situated in Japantown, The Sequoias San Francisco puts you right in the middle of the city, near some of the best museums, theaters, and shopping it has to offer. While the emphasis of this community is on independent living, it also offers assisted living and memory care to residents who need a little extra help.
As a Life Plan Community, The Sequoias provides all residents access to the same amenities you’d expect from assisted living; however, should a person need an escalated level of support, they’ll also have access to quality medical care. This includes:
- On-site physicians
- Personal emergency response systems
- Personal care assistance
- Skilled nursing
- Dementia care
Most importantly, all of these services are included at no extra cost. A resident’s one-time entrance fee and ongoing monthly fees will cover any type of care needed, making it one of the more affordable options in the region.
In addition to singling out the location of The Sequoias, many family members of residents appreciate the community’s variety of activities, including art classes, speakers, concerts, and excursions through town.
“[My mother] was a little reluctant moving in because it symbolized the end to a certain way of living, i.e. on her own. But within a few months, she became an integral part of the community. She loves the Sequoias for so many reasons: elegant decor, diverse and friendly community, staff who pamper her and show genuine caring, resident involvement, spectrum of cultural programs, fitness activities, volunteer opportunities, gourmet dining with sit-down and self-serve options.” – Liana T (source: Yelp)
Heritage on the Marina
Courtesy of Heritage on the Marina
Cost: Starting at $3,504 per month
Set in a beautiful building designed by Julia Morgan (the architect behind Hearst Castle), Heritage on the Marina is one of the most picturesque senior care communities in San Francisco. And did we mention that it’s situated mere blocks from the bay, Fort Mason, and Fisherman’s Wharf?
Similar to The Sequoias, Heritage is also a Life Plan Community, wherein residents pay a one-time entrance fee as well as a monthly fee that covers their continuing care needs, whether this means light assistance with personal care, skilled nursing, or memory care. Heritage also has its own Medicare-approved health center with registered nurses who can help residents take care of short-term health issues.
Regardless of the care level needed, Heritage residents can all take advantage of housekeeping, laundry, and chef-prepared meals. Heritage also possesses a state-of-the-art fitness center, as well as private gardens, multiple patios, an art studio, a library, and an on-site beauty salon. To help residents take advantage of the surrounding attractions, the Heritage staff also regularly organizes outings to the nearby museums, landmarks, and restaurants.
Online reviewers consistently praise the Life Plan element of this community. Many family members of residents note the ease with which their loved ones were able to receive additional care without being subjected to much additional cost.
“We moved my grand-father into an independent apartment almost five years ago now, with a most recent move into the next level of care, where he now gets the assistance he requires at the young age of 98. We contribute his happiness and health to the care of not only the professionals that work with pride at the facility, but the other community members that live there.” – Laurel F (source: Google Reviews)
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of long-term senior care community for those who need daily nonmedical assistance. As well as providing help with personal care needs, these communities generally also offer housekeeping, laundry, and meals to residents, as well as a variety of activities and amenities that will vary by location. The result is a setting that provides older adults with care, community, and safety.
Who Should Consider Assisted Living?
Assisted living is an ideal choice for those who need help with ADLs. These include:
- Ambulating: The extent of an individual’s ability to move from one position to another and walk independently
- Feeding: The ability of a person to feed oneself
- Dressing: The ability to select appropriate clothes and to put the clothes on
- Personal hygiene: The ability to bathe and groom oneself and maintain dental hygiene and nail and hair care
- Continence: The ability to control bladder and bowel function
- Toileting: The ability to get to and from the toilet, use it appropriately, and clean oneself
Most assisted living communities require that a person need help with two or more ADLs in order to qualify for residency; however, some communities (often called Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs) provide multiple levels of care.
In a CCRC, residents often enter with no care needs. Upon entering, they’ll take advantage of meal, housekeeping, and laundry services, and — should they eventually need a heightened level of care — the CCRC will be able to provide these services as needed.
Assisted Living vs. Memory Care and Independent Living
While many styles of living are often housed under the same roof, assisted living is a completely different environment from independent living and memory care.
Independent living generally provides similar amenities to assisted living, such as access to housekeeping, laundry, and dining services; however, independent living does not include assistance with ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, transfer, walking, and toileting. When independent living is hosted in the same building as assisted living, however, upgrading to these care services is usually a simple matter of cost.
Memory care provides a similar type of care as that of assisted living; however, memory care is geared toward those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In addition to assistance with ADLs, memory care residents will be guided through structured routines that stimulate cognitive development. These communities also have a heightened level of security to prevent residents from wandering.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
In 2021, the national median cost of assisted living was $4,500 per month; however, costs vary greatly depending on both location and the type of community.
How Does Pricing Work?
When paying for assisted living, you’ll generally have to account for three factors. First, there will be a one-time entrance fee. For most communities, this fee is between $1,000 and $5,000. However, in CCRCs, it can be upwards of $100,000.
Next, you’ll have to pay the monthly rent. This will cover room, board, and access to the amenities of the community. Personal care services, however, are not usually included in this fee. Laundry, housekeeping, and assistance with individual ADLs will generally come with additional monthly fees. Generally speaking, the more care you need, the more you’ll end up paying.
Cost of Assisted Living in San Francisco
According to Genworth, the average cost of assisted living in San Francisco is about $6,319 per month. The average cost for California as a whole is $5,250, while the national average is $4,500. That said, you’ll find great variations in pricing for assisted living communities, based on amenities, room size, and the level of care needed.
How to Choose an Assisted Living Community
To find the right assisted living community for your needs, the first step is to begin touring them. Most communities have contact information on their website so that you can call and arrange a tour.
On these tours, be sure to check out different apartments, try a sample of the food, and even talk to the residents. Assisted living is more than a collection of care services and amenities; rather, it’s a community. If you notice that residents are active, partaking in various activities, and friendly, then you’ve likely found a good community.
You’ll also want to inquire about pricing. While most communities will be cagey about providing pricing information over the phone, they’ll happily explain their pricing structure in person. Be sure to inquire about all of the fees (care fees, entrance fees, and amenity fees) and how a monthly fee might change should a person need an increased level of care.
Remember, a transition to even the most beautiful assisted living can be scary for many people. Because of this, it’s best to begin having conversations with your loved one before a community is desperately needed. Many communities have a waitlist, so it’s best to have an idea of your ideal community before a fall or other incident forces you to make a hasty decision.
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