499 Assisted Living Communities in Washington
Merrill Gardens At First Hill
Fairwinds Brittany Park
Brookdale Montclair Poulsbo
Highgate Senior Living
Sunrise Of Bothell
Aegis Of Marymoor
Aegis Of Queen Anne At Rodgers Park
Sunrise Of Edmonds
University House Issaquah
Washington State is unofficially known as the Evergreen State, but it's still one of the few U.S. states that never got around to ratifying an official nickname. Official or not, "evergreen" is an excellent one-word description of Washington. Much of the state is covered with vast pine forests that make the place smell like a freshly scrubbed kitchen, and they are crisscrossed with endless hiking trails and campgrounds where seniors can enjoy one of America's last completely unspoiled wildernesses. Between the natural areas, Washington has three major cities. Seattle and Tacoma are very close together and form a unified urban area, while state business is conducted farther west in the capital of Olympia.
Washington's state flower was chosen in an unusual way. Before women's suffrage, the contest for state flower was thrown open to a vote by the women of the state. The winner wound up being the Pacific rhododendron, which only became official after the men of the state legislature ratified the choice in the 1950s. The American goldfinch is Washington's state bird, but this time the Washington Federation of Women had to overrule a similarly unofficial choice by the state's schoolchildren, the meadowlark.
What Is Assisted Living?
The State of Washington considers assisted living to be a level of nonmedical residential care, where seniors can enjoy 24/7 assistance with the necessary activities of daily living (ADLs) but not received skilled nursing or other medical care. It is not to be confused with in-home care, which involves a caregiver making home visits, or inpatient care, which is usually for aging citizens who need medical interventions.
Assisted Living Washington Statistics
Seattle and Tacoma take the cake for virtually every metric in the State of Washington. Together, the two cities are large enough that they typically have more of everything than any other place in the state. Olympia is also popular with aging citizens, as are some of the less-rainy eastern regions of the state, which are jokingly known as "west-west Texas."
Average Monthly Cost in Washington for Assisted Living
The cost of assisted living varies in Washington with how built up the surrounding area happens to be. In the more rural parts of the state, low-end prices range upward from $1,800 a month. This is far below the national median cost of $3,750, according to the 2015 Genworth Financial cost of care survey. Closer to the cities, basic assisted living rises to a more typical cost of $4,625. Some high-end living can be found in the state's more luxurious communities, where the monthly tab may rise as high as $9,750.
Washington currently has over 820,000 aging citizens, and the number is projected to increase to over 1 million by 2030. Unlike most states, Washington's senior demographics show a very steep drop-off at the age-65 mark. The state has over 380,000 adults between 60 and 64, for instance, but only 270,000 or so in the 65 to 69 age cohort. This is likely the result of native citizens of the state moving out at retirement, leaving a perceptible gap.
Assisted Living Washington State Laws, Taxes and Other Facts
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services oversees senior services in the state, including the long-term residential care facilities that offer assisted living as a care option. In addition to regulatory services and licensing, this state department provides information for seniors and their families from a user-friendly public website.
The state gets closely involved with how care is delivered at assisted living facilities in the state. Unlike many other states, Washington allows some medical care to be provided at the assisted living level, such as mental health care and dementia management, though these take special licensure. Assisted living communities in Washington are allowed to charge Medicaid, but those that do are contractually required to provide three service packages of steadily increasing care. This requirement is why most of the state's assisted living communities offer independent living for active seniors alongside memory care units, where dementia and Alzheimer's patients can be more closely monitored.
When you work with our Seniorly Guides to find a home to love, this is always a free service for families. The Seniorly Guide is compensated directly from the community you eventually select in Washington State.
Washington State Tax info for Seniors
Washington State is a dream-come-true for low-tax advocates and retired citizens. Not only are Social Security and retirement income not taxed, neither is any other income — Washington has no income tax of any kind. This is a huge benefit for aging citizens who do not own any property anymore but who receive regular payments from a pension fund or retirement account.
Income tax aside, Washington raises revenue from other sources. Property taxes here are somewhat higher than the national average, rising as high as 1.06 percent for properties in some areas. Seniors who still own their homes might qualify for some relief from this, however, since those who earn less than $40,000 a year and live in the home they're claiming can write off some fraction of their home's total value. Applying for this exemption is tricky, and it doesn't apply to seniors who've moved out of their homes and into assisted living, so it's best to consult a tax professional before making any major decisions. Sales tax in the state is considered very high. The state's 6.5 percent maximum rate is one of the 10 highest rates in the nation.
Politics in Washington State
Washington is a sterling example of "Left-Coast" politics. A regular supporter of Democratic Party candidates, Washington falls into the typical American pattern of having a very conservative rural landscape that completely surrounds deep-blue cities with huge populations. These city votes run 3-to-1 for the liberal candidates, which shifts the entire state leftward in each and every election cycle.
At the state level, Washington is just as Democrat-friendly. The Evergreen State holds the national record for going the longest without electing a Republican governor — the last one was John Spellman, who served a single term between 1981 and 1985. This liberal slant reaches right down to ground level, where popular referendums made Washington one of the first states in the Union to adopt legal assisted suicide, cannabis for recreational use and same-sex marriage.
Fun Facts About the State of Washington
- The largest building in the world is an airplane hangar in Everett, WA. It's owned by Boeing, which uses it to build the company's signature 777 airliners.
- Before statehood, Washington was called "Columbia." Incredibly, the name was changed to "Washington" in order to avoid confusion with the nation's capital.
- Aberdeen, WA — the birthplace of legendary rock star Kurt Cobain — earned its name as “The Hellhole of the Pacific." The town's reputation for gambling and prostitution was so legendary, it was off-limits to military personnel until the 1980s. Today, the city where Kurt Cobain lived under a bridge as a runaway uses his song title "Come as You Are" as its motto.