Known for its vast desert landscapes, snow-capped mountains and world-renowned gaming and entertainment, Nevada offers budget-conscious seniors a number of affordable retirement options. Of Nevada’s 3,143,991 residents, 16.1%, or over half a million, are seniors aged 65 and older.

The average cost of assisted living care in the state is just $3,750, but despite the low cost of long-term care, Nevada ranked 50th overall on The 2022 Senior Living Report. Nevada’s low score is based on a number of factors, including the above-average crime rate, traffic congestion in urban areas and the fact that the state has only 57 physicians per 100,000 residents, 20 fewer than the nationwide average. Fortunately, assisted living facilities have around-the-clock staff and high-tech security systems to keep residents safe, and most senior living communities are located well away from the crowded streets of Nevada’s bustling cities.

This guide provides an overview of assisted living in Nevada. There’s information on long-term care costs and a summary of financial aid programs designed to help low and moderate-income seniors who need assisted living care. Also included is a list of free resources for older adults and a plain-language guide to Nevada’s assisted living rules and regulations. 

The Cost of Assisted Living in Nevada

According to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, Nevada’s average monthly assisted living rate is $3,750, which is $750 below the nationwide average. Median rates are much higher in neighboring California, where assisted living care costs an average of $5,250 per month. Just south of Nevada in Arizona, the same type of care costs around $4,000 per month, while in Utah, the median assisted living care rate is $3,500. Northwest of Nevada, fees are significantly higher in Oregon, where assisted living residents pay an average of $5,045 per month. 

$3750

Nevada

$4500

The United States

$5250

California

$4000

Arizona

$3500

Utah

$5045

Oregon

Within Nevada, assisted living rates vary depending on the location, facility and amenities. Median rates are the lowest in Las Vegas, where assisted living care costs an average of $3,650 per month. In Carson City near the California-Nevada state line, seniors who need assisted living care can expect to pay around $3,820 per month. At $4,250 per month, Reno has the highest median assisted living rates in the state.

$3650

Las Vegas

$3820

Carson City

$4250

Reno

There are a number of long-term care options available to seniors in Nevada, ranging from community-based day programs to around-the-clock skilled nursing care. Adult day health care services are the least-expensive option, with rates running around $1,788 per month. Assisted living, which includes room and board, recreational programming and help with activities of daily living, costs an average of $3,750 per month. Seniors who opt to age in place in their own home can expect to pay around $5,148 for either home care or home health care, and this cost is in addition to their ongoing living expenses. As is typical in most states, nursing home care is the costliest senior care option in Nevada: A semiprivate room in a skilled nursing facility is about $9,216 per month, and a private room is approximately $10,007. 

$3750

Assisted Living

$5148

Home Care

$5148

Home Health Care

$1788

Adult Day Health Care

$9216

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate)

$10007

Nursing Home Care (private room)

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Nevada?

Nevada’s Medicaid program does not cover room and board costs for beneficiaries who need assisted living care, but enhanced personal support services for eligible assisted living residents are available through two Medicaid Waivers: the Assisted Living (AL) Waiver and the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver for the Frail Elderly (FE).

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Nevada? 

Nevada Medicaid beneficiaries may be eligible for Medicaid-funded services that are delivered in an assisted living facility. These services are assigned on an as-needed basis, and may include: 

  • Professional case management
  • Adult day care
  • A medical alert system
  • Augmented personal care delivered within an assisted living facility

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Nevada

Assisted Living (AL) Waiver

The Assisted Living (AL) Waiver is a nursing home diversion program designed to help eligible seniors remain as independent as possible while avoiding placement in an institutional setting such as a skilled nursing facility. Services that may be funded through this program include: 

  • Case management through a state-licensed social worker
  • Enhanced personal care services, including help with bathing, toileting, feeding, ambulating and grooming

Home and Community Based Services Waiver for the Frail Elderly 

Nevada seniors who are at risk of institutionalization and who can be supported in an assisted living facility with enhanced supports may be eligible for enrollment in the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver for the Frail Elderly (FE). This Waiver program covers a number of services that are assigned on an individual basis, such as: 

  • Professional case management
  • Placement in an adult day care program for at least 4 hours daily, one or more times per week
  • Non-medical care, supervision and socialization on a one-on-one basis
  • A wearable medical alert device
  • Augmented personal care provided within an assisted living facility 

To qualify for either AL Waiver or the HCBS FE Waivers, applicants must be at least 65 years old, be at risk of placement in a nursing home and meet current income limits. 

To apply for AL Waiver or HCBS FE Waiver services, seniors or their representative must: 

  1. Contact the nearest Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) office at (702) 486-6930 (Las Vegas/Clark County) or (888) 729-0571 (all other areas) to make a referral. 
  2. Meet with a social worker to review eligibility and complete a comprehensive needs assessment. 
  3. Once the individual is approved for enrolment in either waiver, they’ll remain in contact with the social worker to monitor service delivery. 

How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Nevada

Eligibility for Medicaid is determined either through the Social Security Administration or the Nevada Division of Health Care Financing and Policy. Seniors who qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits automatically qualify for Medicaid enrolment. 

Medicaid applicants need to be:

  • Aged 65 or older, or
  • Be blind or have a qualifying permanent disability, and
  • Meet income and asset limits 

As of 2022, the gross income limit for single applicants is $17,131 and for couples at $23,169. The asset limit for an individual is $2,000, and it doubles for couples. In the case of a one spouse applying for coverage, the non-applicant spouse has a much higher asset limit of $137,400 as stipulated in the Spousal Impoverishment Act

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Nevada

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$17,131

$2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Person Applying)

$23,169

$2,000 for applicants

$137,400 for non-applicants

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$23,169

$4,000

*Per year

How To Apply for Medicaid in Nevada

Seniors can apply for Medicaid through the Access Nevada website or by calling 1-800-992-0900. 

Information You Will Need 

Before applying for Medicaid, individuals need to have the following documentation on hand:

  • Proof of age
  • Proof of citizenship and permanent residency in Nevada
  • Verification of all income, including wages, investment dividends, state and federal benefits and rental income
  • Verification of all assets held either solely by or jointly with one or more other individuals
  • Social Security number
  • The cash value of any insurance policies held by the applicant
  • Copies of any burial or prepaid funeral contracts held by the applicant

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid 

Nevada seniors who need help applying for Medicaid can take advantage of numerous services; some are described below.

Resource 

Contact 

Description 

(800) 992-0900 

Access Nevada is the state portal for all public benefits, including Medicaid. Seniors can call Access Nevada for information on Medicaid eligibility, coverage and assistance with the application process. 

2-1-1 or (866) 535-5654

Operated by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Nevada 211 is a statewide program that helps residents connect with local health, human and social service agencies and programs. Seniors can call 2-1-1 from anywhere in Nevada to learn about local health insurance counseling services. 

(702) 386-0404 or 

(866) 432-0404

Nevada Legal Services is a statewide nonprofit legal services organization that offers free information and support to low and moderate-income seniors. Staff at NLS can help seniors apply for Medicaid and assist those who require guardianship services. 

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Nevada?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Nevada. Assisted living facilities are considered to be a “residential setting” and not a “clinical setting,” (think nursing homes). While Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of care received in an assisted living community, it does still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for senior living in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Nevada.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Nevada

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Assisted Living affordable.

How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at va.gov.

Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Assisted Living.

Reverse Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Assisted Living. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Assisted Living. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Assisted Living will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Nevada

There are a number of free and low-cost resources available to Nevada seniors who need long-term care services, community-based supports and financial assistance. The following agencies offer free case management services for older adults, Medicaid counseling and advocacy for veterans and their dependents. 

Resource 

Contact 

Service 

See website 

There are four Care Connection Resource Centers located throughout Nevada that provide seniors and adults with disabilities one-on-one assistance in accessing long-term care services and programs. Services vary between each of the centers and may include Medicaid counseling, case management, caregiver support groups and medical equipment loans.

(775) 688-1653 (Reno)

(702) 486-3830 (Las Vegas) 

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services provides free information, support and advocacy to veterans and their eligible dependents. Veteran Service Officers can help veterans apply for government benefits that can be used to offset assisted living costs, such as Aid and Attendance and Housebound, two enhanced VA pension plans. 

(888) 282-1155

The Nevada State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a federally authorized, state-operated program that helps to protect the rights of long-term care residents. LTC Ombudsmen work to resolve complaints regarding long-term care services, and when warranted, the Ombudsman will forward concerns to local law enforcement agencies. Ombudsmen conduct regular information sessions at LTC facilities throughout the state, and they also make surprise visits four times a year to monitor care conditions. 

(800) 772-1213 

There are four Social Security offices in Nevada where seniors can learn about Social Security benefits, apply for Social Security and request their Social Security card. These offices are located in Reno, Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. 

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Nevada

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including cdc.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 4/23/22, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Nevada Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Nevada Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Nevada Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Nevada

Assisted living facilities in Nevada are licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with state laws and regulations. These regulations help to ensure facilities are safe for vulnerable seniors and that care is provided in a way that meets or exceeds residents’ needs. 

NEVADA LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Assisted Living Admission Requirements 

Nevada assisted living facilities are licensed to either accept only Care Category 1 residents (ambulatory) or Care Category 1 and 2 (non-ambulatory) residents. Facilities cannot admit individuals who require 24/7 nursing care, have behavioral or health issues that could endanger others or require restraints. Also excluded are those with unmanageable incontinence and individuals who cannot self-manage care of life-sustaining medical routines such as catheterization or the use of supplemental oxygen. 

Facilities can retain residents suffering from a short-term illness or injury who are expected to regain their prior level of functioning within 14 days of symptom onset. 

Assisted Living Scope of Care 

Assisted living facilities provide room and board, at least 10 hours of social and recreational programming per week and 24/7 protective supervision.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy 

Nevada's Medicaid program covers enhanced personal care services delivered within participating assisted living facilities under the Assisted Living Waiver

Assisted Living Facility Requirements 

Assisted living facilities must provide three meals daily. Accommodations may consist of either private or shared rooms, and no more than two residents can be housed in a single room. All rooms must include ensuite toilet facilities. 

Medication Management Regulations 

Residents can self-administer prescription and over-the-counter medications. Unlicensed staff can administer oral medications upon successful completion of an approved medication management course. Residents who require insulin injections can self-administer their injections, and those who cannot draw their own insulin can use pre-filled insulin pens. 

Staffing Requirements 

In Nevada, there are no minimum staffing ratios. Facility administrators must ensure that at least one caregiver is on duty at all times, and in facilities with 20 or more residents, caregivers must remain awake while on duty. Facilities with 50 or more residents need to employ a full-time activity coordinator, and volunteers may be used to supplement, but not replace, paid staff. 

Staff Training Requirements 

Facilities must be managed by an administrator licensed by the Nevada State Board of Examiners. Within 30 days of commencing employment, administrators and caregivers need to complete an approved first aid and CPR course. 

Within 60 days of hiring, caregivers must complete at least 4 hours of inservice training related to resident care, followed by at least 8 hours of continuing education annually. 

Background Checks for Assisted Living 

Assisted living employees must successfully pass a criminal background check with fingerprints conducted by the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the FBI within 10 days of hire. Anyone found to have prior convictions related to the abuse or exploitation of vulnerable persons is excluded from employment in an assisted living facility. 

Requirements for Reporting Abuse 

Anyone who believes a senior is being abused or exploited is obligated to report their concerns by calling Adult Protective Services. In Las Vegas and Clark County, the local reporting number is (702) 486-6930. Callers from all other areas of the state may call (888) 729-0571.