When people think of San Francisco, hills, trolley cars, Rice-a-Roni and Alfred Hitchcock (remember Vertigo?) may come to mind. Well, there’s a lot more to this city, and it has long been a popular retirement destination, especially for those who enjoy a mild – if foggy –climate and a diverse cultural experience.
Varied as the populace and cultural activities are, so are the possible living arrangements, catering to all levels of care, as well as to folks from diverse backgrounds.
What People Might Like About San Francisco
Just to make things easier for people to get out and sample what the city offers, San Francisco has long boasted the world-class BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system in addition to MUNI, their streetcar/trolley (aka light-rail) system. There’s also a highly impressive bus network.
With all these wheelchair-friendly options, hills are no problem at all. If opera isn’t your bag, and you’re into baseball or football, you’re in luck: go watch the San Francisco Giants over at AT&T Park or get over to nearby Santa Clara and grab a seat at Levi’s Stadium for a 49ers game.
The entertainment value of this city cannot be overestimated. San Francisco is legendary for its restaurants, theater, ballet, opera, symphony, and museums. Tours of all kinds abound, many adaptable for those with walking issues.
Whether fully ambulatory or not, you can explore the ghosts in Chinatown, visit local wineries or tour the culture and history-rich Castro District, one of the oldest LGBT neighborhoods in North America. What about Fisherman’s Wharf or Alcatraz? Public transportation (including boats) is geared to making getting from Point A to Point Wherever as easily and comfortably as possible.
List of Top Assisted Living in San Francisco, California
AgeSong University [formerly University Mound Ladies Home] – San Francisco 94134, CA
AgeSong University/UMLH offers Assisted Living.
Caring –13 Reviews, Average Rating 4
SeniorAdvisor – 5 Reviews, Average Rating 4
SeniorHomes – No Reviews
GoldenReviews –No Reviews
What they liked: Staff very professional, a lot of staff, very organized, insightful, encouraging, competent and caring, very attentive, residents get care and respect they deserve, visitors greeted warmly, facility very clean, spotlessly clean, no “institutional” odors, extensive grounds beautifully kept, comforting, compassionate, residents encouraged to participate, two enclosed gardens, fantastic food, individualized menus, food prepared very well, private dining areas available, feels like a home, staff is friendly and helpful, staff encourages socializing, social events, games, live music, individual rooms good size and bright, little patio with trees, private room had a bathroom, very nice view, second bed so a visitor could stay overnight, clean and cheery, large shared living space, layout of space good, dining and sunrooms and game rooms, quiet residential district, executive director is a gerontologist, many caregivers long-term employees, appropriate activities for residents of all abilities, no shareholders or parent organizations; all fees go toward provision of services for the residents, close to bus stops, staff goes out of its way to work with challenging medical issues, rooms are charming and spacious, beautiful front parlor, a nonprofit and remarkably affordable, unlike any other assisted living facility in the city, good outreach to the community,
What they didn’t like: Could be difficult for visitors relying on public transportation, very depressing and dark, small and old inside, problem with ratio of staff to residents, everything just looked like no one cared, old and outdated, not particularly clean, bathrooms need upgrading, SEVERELY understaffed, no genuine social interaction, dehydration
AlmaVia – San Francisco, CA 94132
AlmaVia offers Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, Care Coordination for Congregations
Caring –10 Reviews, Average Rating 4.2
SeniorAdvisor – 17 Review, Average Rating 4
SeniorHomes – 3 Reviews, Average Rating 4
GoldenReviews – 9 Reviews, Average Rating 4.8
What they liked: Pristine, pleasant, clean, beautiful facility and grounds, four levels of care, uncluttered, newly renovated, quiet, near St. Thomas More Church, multi-faith organization, adjacent green space, large windows, natural light, residents appear happy, pretty nice dining area, lots of fresh ingredients, good menu choices, three nutritious and creative meals, responsive to diet issues. liked ambiance, workers and administrator very nice, outpouring of attention and support for residents and families, consistent communication, prayer room, neighborhood and facility homey, gardens roomy and very clean, lots of trees and walking path, staff people very courteous and kind, helpful, caring, well-trained, staff values dignity of residents, skilled in elder issues, professional, two memory care programs and memory care rooms, Memory Care activities, food definitely tasty, whole board of planned activities, art, music appreciation, exercise, bridge groups, current events discussions, live entertainment, music, outings, Catholic community, rooms seem well thought out, rooms very nice and clean and spacious, wide halls, patios, enjoyed views from different windows, has apartment/hotel feel, Assisted Living areas like being in a large hotel, urge residents to participate, nice apartments, educational and entertaining programs, spiritual care and social services, wellness clinics, housekeeping and laundry services, transportation, beauty salon, spa, library
What they didn’t like: Salesperson kind of stuffy and aloof, private room small, no nice views, fog belt so not much sun, looked like not much communication with the other clientele, right up against freeway ramp, some residents in wheelchairs sitting in empty rooms, dining room small and nothing special, understaffed, had to hire own night caregiver, slow response time, feels more like a Skilled Nursing Facility, transportation a problem, waiting list, bathtub required stepping in to/hazardous (see manager’s response), slightly pricey, housekeeping not immaculate, found Memory Care facility somewhat claustrophobic
Kokoro Assisted Living – San Francisco, CA 94109
Kokoro offers Assisted Living with 24-hour staff.
Caring – 3 Reviews, Average Rating 4.7
SeniorAdvisor – 1 Review, Average Rating 4
SeniorHomes – No Reviews
GoldenReviews – 5 Reviews, Average Rating 4.67
What they liked: In Japantown, much of community from Japan or Japanese-American, nice facility, converted synagogue now on National Register of Historic Places, pet-friendly, camaraderie between staff and residents, near bus lines, individual rooms, menus for each person, serve both Western and Japanese food, delicious Japanese food, especially suitable for ambulatory residents, many of staff speak both Japanese and English, cultural events and activities, entertainments, “HOME,” numerous activities, morning exercise program, knitting, sewing, calligraphy, movies, discussions about current events, lovely garden and patio
What they didn’t like: Kokoro doesn’t treat dementia, diet not that varied, some apartments dark
Rhoda Goldman Plaza – San Francisco, CA 94115
Rhoda Goldman Plaza offers Assisted Living, Respite Care, and Memory Care.
Caring –15 Reviews, Average Rating 4.1
SeniorAdvisor – 4 Reviews, Average Rating 4
SeniorHomes – No Reviews
GoldenReviews – No Reviews<
What they liked: Great facility, caters to all levels of need, more than clean, dementia area comfortable, well developed, very nice tour guide, kind, excellent staff, RNs on duty all the time, people lovely and humorous, residents very nice, care in assisted living fantastic, rooms with fridges, beautiful, rooms family-big, very clean, welcoming, different sized rooms available, roomy wheelchair-accessible closets, all rooms private, public library across the street, close to UCSF Medical Center and Kaiser, like a luxury hotel, mostly Jewish but all welcome, original art, food good, food and service excellent, dining room, café, order à la carte, snack bar for off-hours, lots of activities on and off-site, lectures, concerts, art classes, staff is very professional, helpful and personable, for people who are independent but need some assistance, good for socializing, elegant library, daily exercise, nutrition classes, trivia, game rooms, an entertainment coordinator, music, outings to museums or shows or symphony or ballet, movies, classes, live entertainment, gourmet-cooking, chefs, “wholefoods” mindset, fresh and healthy, lox and bagels, endless fresh juice, kosher for those who want it, hearty chicken or matzah ball soup, blintzes and many other classic kosher treats, no limit to how much you can order, downright swank, more expensive but worth it, heart of San Francisco, easy access by car and walking and public transportation, parking garage, full-service salon for both men and women
What they didn’t like: Inconsistent communication, small rooms, can’t have pets, tour guide not so friendly, small and depressing, care not as responsive as it should be, not much outside space, not adequately consulted about the move to memory care, understaffed, cost is daunting, carpet beetles, staff didn’t speak English
Sagebrook – San Francisco, CA 94118
Sagebrook provides Assisted Living and Memory Care.
Caring – 9 Reviews, Average Rating 3.4
SeniorAdvisor – 8 Reviews, Average Rating 4
SeniorHomes – 2 Reviews, Average Rating 3.5
GoldenReviews – No Reviews
What they liked: Clean but not sterile, not like a hospital, lots of natural light, new events coordinator outgoing and friendly, kind, going above and beyond, cleaning staff efficient, residents ethnically diverse, front desk and pharmacy friendly and proactive, atrium, seemed more assisted living than independent, new wing could be a plus, library, beautiful garden, big beautiful courtyard, security camera at front desk, activities calendar incredibly varied, bingo, blackjack, exercise facilities, meals nutritious and often delicious, courtyard and dining facility really nice, onsite hairdresser once a week, owners and staff could not be more professional and caring, can visit any time
What they didn’t like: Staff's lack of experience/strength/training, recent  chaos following takeover by new management and ownership, food hit-and-miss, in heart of city and could be noisy, chemical smell, too big and confusing, dining room too big, depressing (possibly due to renovations in progress), like a hospital or nursing home, staff not expecting me though I scheduled a tour, a lot of residents seemed non-ambulatory, didn’t appear to have many activities, private room boxy and a bit stark, not much of a view, carpet needed replacing
The Carlisle – San Francisco, CA 94109
The Carlisle offers Independent Living and Assisted Living.
Caring – 11 Reviews, Average Rating 4.4
SeniorAdvisor – 3 Reviews, Average Rating 3.5
SeniorHomes – 1 Review, Average Rating 5
GoldenReviews – No Reviews
What they liked: Loved everything, very impressive, continuing care condominium tower, beautiful common areas, big but not too big, very upscale, food great, excellent food, people wonderful, staff lovely, excellent staff, staff very close to residents, loved the condos – small but very nice, very welcoming and gracious, very friendly, beautiful, lots of activities, guests can stay over, beautiful dining room, dining room has dress requirement, dining room very elegant and beautiful, two daily meals part of package/can buy a third, nutritious, well-lit and wide hallways, buying can change room and bathroom to suit self, studio to 2-bedrooms, big balconies, big refrigerators, big elevator with seats, walking distance to entertainment, free transportation up to 5 miles, afternoon tea with musicians playing, small movie theater with popcorn, “wonderful underground area,” just a few blocks from grocery stores and Japantown, common areas seemed well-maintained
What they didn’t like: Much too expensive, tour guide interested only in selling, food wasn’t great, activities just “all right,” a lot of turnover, very cold and uncomfortable feeling
Coventry Place [Formerly Coventry Place San Francisco] – San Francisco, CA 94109
Coventry Place provides Assisted Living, Retirement Communities, and Alzheimer’s and Memory Care.
Caring –< 9 Reviews, Average Rating 4.2
SeniorAdvisor – 16 Reviews, Average Rating 3.5
SeniorHomes – No Reviews
GoldenReviews – No Reviews
What they liked: Staff excellent, loving and caring, wonderful, very knowledgeable and friendly and welcoming, caregivers and technicians were above standard, licensed caregivers, assisted living and two levels of dementia care, dementia care excellent, sophisticated and secure dementia area, exercise room, nice living room, [facility] lovely, well maintained and tastefully appointed, about 140 residents, good access to bus lines and walkable, small but nice apartments, huge facility, clean and well-organized, nice dining room, good food, lots of [menu] choices, lots of activities, geared for all levels, encouraged to participate, poker nights, desserts good, three meals a day, coffee, snacks, can dine with others or alone, seems well-run, activities good with a focus on music, bridge, poetry reading, a van for outings
What they didn’t like: Price too high, management was inflexible, housekeeping not so great, desserts good but food average, some concerned about Vintage takeover (sacrificing residents’ needs for making money)
Cypress at Golden Gate [Formerly Vintage Senior Living at Vintage Golden Gate] – San Francisco 94122, CA
Cypress at Golden Gate offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care.
Caring – 16 Reviews, Average Rating 4.5
SeniorAdvisor – 13 Reviews, Average Rating 4
SeniorHomes – No Reviews
GoldenReviews – 6 Reviews, Average Reviews 4.33
What they liked: Less expensive than some, really nice facility, beautiful outdoor garden spaces, tranquil and relaxing environment, excellent, lovely, like a deluxe 5-star hotel, the director really great and available, really clean, pets allowed, independent living, assisted living, memory care, two levels dementia care, short-term care, big, terrific staff, attentive, staff is the best, near Golden Gate Park, lots of trees, excellent dining and activities, staff exhibited old-fashioned politeness, rates high but not incredibly high, location very nice, very well-maintained, very well-run, nice apartments, big dining room and a “special dining room,” licensed chef, varied food choices, guests welcome, well-lit rooms, nice views, weekly housekeeping and laundry, library, personally designed activity plans, education classes, art-making, exercise therapy, bridge classes, card games, bingo, outings, will take you to visit loved ones, very San Francisco, good food, fresh ingredients, nourishing food, dinner with live band, a good mix of people from all over, workout room, effective memory care program, overwhelmingly positive atmosphere, clean and homey, not at all like a hospital, a warm and friendly environment, public transportation available, facility offers transport, an onsite beauty salon
What they didn’t like: Not enough outdoor space for walking, too big, rooms smaller than expected, workout room not impressive, very expensive, coordination between departments sometimes lacking, apartments not as nice as some other facilities, not as self-contained as it could be, fee increases of 3% – 6% annually, hilly area around facility could make walking difficult, parking problematic during the day, garden not used much because windy and cold
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