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Ocean views, sandy beaches, and a vibrant, healthy lifestyle await seniors in San Diego, California. Active seniors ready for the next independent stage in their retirement can find a variety of senior apartments in San Diego — senior-specific housing options that offer maintenance-free living, desirable amenities, and fulfilling activities both in and out of the community. Enjoy a quiet retirement in a private beachfront studio, get involved in a community of peers, or explore San Diego’s endless popular attractions. San Diego has so much to offer that it might be difficult to decide which senior apartment community is right for you.
Let A Place for Mom assist you, with our 20+ years’ experience in the senior living industry and over 14,000 partner senior living communities. This all-inclusive guide scores San Diego senior apartments based on reviews from real seniors and their families. We also rank senior apartments based on features that are important to residents, from private community pools to affordable rent. You’ll also find average senior apartment costs, a review of common payment methods, and California’s laws and regulations for these communities.
Typically, San Diego senior apartments don’t provide senior care services. While some seniors may receive on-site home care services from a third-party, others may want to check out other types of senior living communities in San Diego. For example, assisted living and memory care communities are designed to provide care and assistance with activities of daily living.
Types of care available in San Diego, CA
Not a great place or luxury place but very convenience, great location close to everything schools, shopping centers, trolley. Apartments are big, only one bedroom for two people. The manager is a very responsible person and like any other human, she tries very hard to keep up with everybody in the complex. Nice place to live.
Dear Canterbury Court Staff, Thank you so much for making Canterbury a wonderful place for my husband and I to call home we truly love it here. Staff is always helpful and friendly. We love living here! We appreciate everything . Thank you again.
I have lived here for 7 years. i would never (if possible) move. The working staff is wonderful and everyone is caring and eager to help and certainly would recommend ones coming here to live!
5219 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92117
We are very happy with Brookdale. Especially with the care. Bingo is the only activity that my mom has done. That's by her choice. She's still weak but getting stronger and will enjoy other activities they...
Redefine your independence with more time for what you want to do.Here at our assisted living community, you get to redefine your independence, pursue your favorite hobbies and live your life your way. Whether that’s connecting with new friends or trying something new like yoga, you have choices...
2835 Clairemont Dr, San Diego, CA 92117
Cerro Pueblo in San Diego, CA is ready for you to call it home. These apartments are located on Clairemont Ct. in San Diego. From availability to location, the leasing staff is ready to assist you in finding...
7720-7780 Belden Street, San Diego, CA 92111
My tour of the facility went well. It is a nice community with kind people. They offer many great activities for their residents. The room we were looking was a semi-private room. My only problem with the...
6132 Gullstrand Street, San Diego, CA 92122
4633 Governor Drive, San Diego, CA 92122
4226 Utah St, San Diego, CA 92104
3912 Albatross, San Diego, CA 92103
With so many distinctive features, the simple elegance of Santa Fe Villas offers the ideal combination of stylish comfort, conveniences and detailed custom amenities.Santa Fe Villas Apartment homes for seniors 55+ offer roomy, carefully designed living spaces that embody all the elegant features...
3630 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
2865 55th St, San Diego, CA 92105
4040 Hancock St, San Diego, CA 92110
Features like the floor plan, built-ins, and location typically affect the cost of San Diego senior apartments. You can expect monthly rent and fees of senior apartments to cover maintenance, landscaping, security, some utilities, and senior-specific amenities or services. Senior apartment costs are typically reflected in three different pricing tiers: affordable, market-rate, and luxury. Each of these options can be found in San Diego.
The following figures reflect starting costs for San Diego’s senior apartments. Keep in mind that starting costs don’t always include add-ons, such as pet rent or other on-site services.
Similar to regular apartments, seniors can use their personal assets, VA benefits, or explore some housing assistance resources to cover the cost of rent on their senior apartment. For seniors in need of in-home care services, they can check out some Medi-Cal resource information.
Private pay methods, or personal finances, can include a variety of sources. Social Security benefits, pensions, investment returns, and more can be used to cover rent in a senior apartment.
Seniors should note that long-term care insurance won’t cover rent in senior apartments. This is because senior apartments don’t provide the care services found in communities such as assisted living or memory care facilities.
Read the following resources for other ways people tend to pay for their senior living lifestyle:
To feel confident in your choice of a senior apartment, it’s important to know the laws associated with renting a senior apartment in San Diego, California. Below we’ve outlined several points of interest to prospective tenants of senior apartments in San Diego. For a complete guide to all of the laws regarding renting in California, check out the California Tenants Guide published by the California State Department of Real Estate (also known as DRE).
San Diego senior apartment renters and their landlords have many local and federal laws they need to follow, in order to maintain the interests of both parties. To start, senior apartments have an age minimum requirement stating that at least one person living in the apartment must be at least 55 years old. It’s also important to know that all renters have the right to on-site services, such as continued maintenance and fully functioning utilities.
Renters also have the right to at least 30 days’ notice before their landlord increases the cost of rent, which can happen up to twice a year. However, California has a rent cap law that keeps landlords from increasing rent more than a certain amount. Some housing does fall outside of California’s rent-cap law, like low-income housing and corporate-owned housing.
Not all senior apartments in California are required to be licensed or regularly inspected. However, apartments with residents who receive Section 8 housing rental assistance are subject to inspections every two years. California also has a requirement that senior-specific apartment complexes must have at least 35 units. And each apartment must include the following elements:
Seniors with disabilities have protections under the law when renting apartments, which include but are not limited to the following rights:
Accommodations involve changes to access and tasks:
Modifications involve changes to the apartment itself:
The ability for renters to have a service animal is included as a reasonable apartment accommodation. Service animals are trained to help in different ways depending on the person’s needs, often including physical and emotional support. Seniors who rent apartments that fall under the Unruh Civil Rights Act may find the following information useful if they want to live with a service animal:
California Department of Public Health contact information
California Department of Public Health
1616 Capitol Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
The most current San Diego County recommendations include staying up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and getting tested if you have symptoms of the virus. Wearing a mask in public isn’t required unless you have COVID-19 symptoms, had a recent positive test, or have been exposed to the virus.
Read the most recent San Diego County COVID-19 guidelines here.
Masking. Masks aren’t required in public unless you have COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or are visiting an at-risk setting, such as a senior care facility.
Senior apartments in San Diego offer a range of affordable options and high-end communities, making it a location that can meet many seniors’ needs. You’ll also find many apartments located near local beaches and in a wide variety of unique San Diego neighborhoods.
Anywhere in San Diego, you can achieve the ultimate coastal retirement. Several senior apartments are placed near the shores of Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and the San Diego Bay, giving you convenient access to the surf and sand. Spend idyllic evenings on the shores with family and new friends from the community. Take advantage of sunset views from your private balcony, and make walks along the beach a part of your daily routine.
San Diego’s senior apartments are located in a variety of suburbs and niche neighborhoods, allowing seniors to choose a precise location that matches their personalities. If you want to stay as near as possible to the Pacific Ocean yet live in a quieter area, there are options in Mission Bay and Pacific Beach. Find your new favorite laid-back surfing spot, walk to nearby restaurants and cafes, and enjoy the privilege of living near the ocean.
For those who want to rent a senior apartment in a vibrant, bustling neighborhood, consider choosing one of the many apartments in the Gaslamp Quarter or La Jolla. The Gaslamp Quarter is right in downtown San Diego, and La Jolla is located to the north of Pacific Beach, right along the coast. Unique stores, local coffee shops, popular restaurants, and historic buildings are at the heart of these neighborhoods.
A bit farther inland are the Logan Heights and Lemon Grove areas. You’ll enjoy quieter San Diego living away from the heart of the city. Schools, public parks, and local shops make daily living in these areas the perfect balance of eventful and tranquil.
Bankers Hill is another inland option. Nestled between Balboa Park and the Pacific coast, this neighborhood has historic homes and is known as an affluent area. Near the park, popular restaurants, and a variety of cafes, Bankers Hill is a wonderful place to consider renting a senior apartment.
Several senior apartments sprinkled throughout San Diego are geared towards seniors of low-income status. And many of these communities have a minimum age requirement of 62 years.
These affordable apartments still offer features such as on-site laundry, pet-friendly policies, and private patios and balconies. Some are also gated to provide an extra level of security. Seniors who rent these apartments can typically choose between studio and one-bedroom apartments at an affordable monthly rate, allowing them to pick an option that best suits their current needs.
In San Diego’s high-end senior apartments, unique outdoor amenities await. From heated saltwater hydrotherapy pools and heated spas to cozy outdoor fireplaces and spacious dog parks, seniors can take full advantage of their new homes. Pick up a new hobby in the on-site art studio or take a cooking class. Spend time in the exclusive clubhouse or start a bocce ball tournament with your new neighbors.
Some apartment complexes also offer high-end indoor features, such as hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, and large walk-in closets. It’s also common for these communities to have access to sprawling walking trails, resident-only gardens, pet parks, and inviting courtyards. You’ll find some apartments that even have convenient access to the heart of downtown and other popular areas of San Diego. And, many communities are fully gated, bringing peace of mind to those who want to feel secure in a large city. Many of A Place for Mom’s partner communities offer these kinds of amenities.
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Percentage of the San Diego population that is 55+, according to the U.S. Census Bureau
Senior residents in San Diego, California, have access to several nationally ranked hospitals and senior health care centers.
UC San Diego Health – La Jolla and Hillcrest Hospitals are teaching hospitals that provide general and surgical care. They’re nationally ranked for several areas of adult care, including cancer surgeries, cardiology, and their geriatric clinic.
Seniors have many options for exploring the coastline, running errands, and enjoying memorable experiences. While San Diego has many areas that are easily traveled to on foot, many residents rely on the city’s public transportation system.
San Diego Public Transportation has a program called PRONTO that enables riders to buy their tickets online through an app. Their trolleys, trains, and buses are wheelchair accessible via ramps and lifts. In addition, public transportation options in San Diego have discounted fares for seniors 65+.
Browse the following transportation options for San Diego residents:
San Diego also has transportation options designed with seniors in mind.
The scores below are based on San Diego’s accessibility of different transportation methods. The highest and best possible score is 100, meaning that higher numbers indicate a popular and easy-to-use method of getting around San Diego.
Endless entertainment awaits seniors in San Diego, California. Lounge on sandy beaches, visit your new favorite cafes and restaurants, and experience unique public programs, including cruises, through the Port of San Diego. From exciting activities, world-renowned museums, landscapes, and food to peaceful, laid-back living — this city truly has something for everyone.
From popular and unique restaurants to senior centers and sports arenas, you’ll find something to make each day of your new lifestyle as fulfilling as you’d like. Find every cuisine imaginable in San Diego’s popular restaurants. Seafood fine dining experiences can be found in Top of the Market — one of San Diego’s most popular restaurants. ANIMAE is another popular option that offers a unique steakhouse environment. Or, you can visit Little Italy and enjoy a wonderful Mediterranean dish at Herb & Wood.
San Diego is also home to a lively sports scene. Participate in America’s favorite pastime by attending a San Diego Padre’s baseball game in Petco Park. View the latest professional football or soccer games at Balboa Stadium, or even catch a rugby or lacrosse game at Snapdragon Stadium. You can also join in on the fun yourself at one of many local recreation centers and golf courses. For example, at the Ed Brown Center for Active Adults, you can enjoy senior-specific access to boxing, tai chi, and dance parties. For golf lovers, Torrey Pines Golf Course, Balboa Park Golf Course, and dozens more offer remarkable landscapes to perfect your swing.
Active senior apartment residents can also take advantage of the scenic biking and hiking trails throughout San Diego. Mission Trails Regional Park and the San Diego River Trail lend themselves to both activities, offering mountainous coastal views and wildlife. Visit a popular ocean-side hiking path via the scenic Sunset Cliffs Coastal Trail.
For more laid-back enjoyment, San Diego’s public library is internationally recognized for its programs and offers 35 locations to choose from. In fact, almost every suburb has its own branch of the public library, making it incredibly easy for you to find your favorite authors or access educational resources. The Mira Mesa Senior Center is another place where you can enjoy exclusive senior activities, socialize with peers, and sign up for continuing education programs and community college classes.
Of course, you also have an abundance of gorgeous beaches to choose from, including La Jolla Shores and Cove. Natural beauty, stunning ocean views from the rocky cliffs, unique shops and restaurants, and marine life sightings await. Day trips to Coronado Island are also popular, where coastal cafes, sandy beaches, and more are available to visitors.
Old Town San Diego is another popular attraction. Home to delicious outdoor dining, shops, and historic landmarks, this area is perfect for spending the day when you’ve had your beach fix. Perhaps the most popular destination in San Diego is Balboa Park — a historical site that stretches over a thousand acres and is home to several main attractions. The Comic-Con Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, breathtaking gardens, tropical trails, and much more are all located in the park. Balboa Park is also home to a senior lounge, where seniors can socialize and relax while sipping warm beverages.
The San Diego History Center is another popular museum about local history and doesn’t have an admission fee. San Diego also has its own Natural History Museum, where seniors can find ever-changing exhibits, weekly events, and a discounted admission fee.
Seniors who are new to the area won’t want to miss out on San Diego’s most popular attractions. SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo, and the USS Midway Museum are just a few among many must-see places. Many of San Diego’s tourist attractions are also wheelchair accessible and make accommodations for people with disabilities. Most of them offer wheelchair rentals, tour scripts, and accessibility guides.
The average cost of Senior Apartments in San Diego is 1,260 per month. This cost may vary based on location, amenities, floorplan, level of care and other factors.
United States Census Bureau. (2021). Sex by age by veteran status for the civilian population 18 years and over (B21001) [Data set]. American Community Survey.
Social Security Administration. Supplemental security income.
Intergenerational Housing for Senior Citizens, California Civil Code § 51.3.5 (1988 & rev. 2017).
Tenant Protection Act of 2019, Assembly Bill No. 1482, Chapter 597 (2019).
San Diego Housing Commission. Rental housing unit inspection.
Iger, D. (2022). New definition for senior housing requirements. The California Association of Homeowners Associations, Inc.
San Diego Housing Commission. (2022, November 9). Housing inspection checklist.
California Department of Justice. (2003, November). Legal rights of persons with disabilities, 4th edition.
ADA Solutions. (2022). California ADA requirements. SureWerx.
Disability Rights California. (2022, December 1). Fact sheet: Rights to assistance animals in housing.
United States Census Bureau. (2021). Age and sex (S0101) [Data set]. American Community Survey.
Weather Spark. (2022). Average temperature in San Diego.
U.S. World and News Report. (2022). Best hospitals in San Diego, California.
Walkscore. (2022). Living in San Diego.
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