Is San Francisco Senior-Friendly?

The cosmopolitan city of San Francisco, famous for its tech-forward culture and iconic landmarks, often comes under scrutiny from a less-discussed demographic – the seniors. Is San Francisco senior-friendly? This question captures the essence of today’s exploration. Our company, having served as a leading entity in moving and storage San Francisco industry for years, witnesses first-hand the concerns and considerations of older citizens pondering their golden years in the Golden Gate City. So, without further ado, let’s see what we have found out!

San Francisco’s aging population

San Francisco’s population is becoming increasingly aged, with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting a steady growth in residents aged 65 and above. Between 2010 and 2019, this age group experienced a surge of approximately 33.7%, outpacing the city’s overall population growth rate. As a result, the city is making strides to meet the evolving needs of this demographic.

Picture of a seated senior person
The population of SF is aging.

Healthcare in San Francisco

Healthcare is a top concern when assessing if San Francisco is senior-friendly. Speaking of, the city boasts a healthcare system that is globally respected. It hosts renowned institutions like UCSF Medical Center, recognized for its exceptional senior care, neurology, and orthopedics departments, and St. Francis Memorial Hospital, known for its advanced cardiac services. These facilities ensure elderly have access to specialized medical care.

Furthermore, services tailored for seniors are increasingly emerging. The Institute on Aging, for instance, offers an extensive array of services, from general healthcare to mental health counseling and even adult daycare programs, all designed with this population in mind.

San Francisco also offers various home healthcare options, catering to seniors who prefer at-home care. As per the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, home health aide services in San Francisco average around $6,864 per month. This might seem high, especially compared to the national average, but the superior quality and the personalized care plans often justify the cost.

In terms of overall healthcare costs, San Francisco stands above the national average. However, the elevated prices often correlate with the high standard of care, the wide range of available services, and the city’s ongoing efforts to cater specifically to the needs of its aging population.

Housing options for seniors

Residential options play a significant role in gauging a city’s friendliness towards seniors. Residential movers San Francisco has to offer can attest to the rising trend of seniors moving into retirement communities and assisted living facilities. These communities often provide comprehensive care, recreational activities, and a chance for social connection – factors essential to seniors.

However, cost poses a challenge. The average monthly price for assisted living in San Francisco is around $6,300, which is significantly higher than the national average. Despite the high costs, many seniors find the benefits of assisted living in the City by the Bay, such as proximity to world-class healthcare and various recreational opportunities, attractive.

Picture of an elderly woman telling her family that San Francisco is senior-friendly
Housing options for seniors exist, but they come at a price higher than the national average.

Is San Francisco senior-friendly in terms of public transportation and walkability?

In addition to healthcare and housing, the accessibility and convenience of public transportation significantly influence whether a city is equipped to handle the elderly population. Fortunately, San Francisco boasts an extensive public transportation system. The Muni, BART, and various ferry services ensure that most parts of the city are easily accessible. Importantly for seniors, Muni and BART offer reduced fare programs for riders 65 and older, making daily commutes more affordable.

Moreover, San Francisco’s Paratransit program provides door-to-door transit services for seniors and persons with disabilities, ensuring that mobility limitations don’t hinder access to the city’s offerings. As anyone involved in packing and unpacking services San Francisco has to provide can attest, this assurance of comfortable transportation can be a significant deciding factor for seniors contemplating a move to the city.

Recreational opportunities

San Francisco doesn’t disappoint when it comes to opportunities for recreation.

  • The city is home to various senior centers, each offering unique programs to keep seniors engaged. Golden Gate Senior Services, for instance, offers wellness and exercise classes, nutritional services, and even home-delivered meals. Then, there’s the On Lok 30th Street Senior Center, which hosts events ranging from tai chi classes to art workshops and provides shuttle services for easy access.
  • San Francisco also boasts beautiful parks, like the serene Golden Gate Park, which offers senior-friendly activities such as guided botanical walks. With the city’s efficient public transportation, reaching these places is relatively straightforward. For instance, seniors can take the Golden Gate Park Shuttle.
  • Historical and cultural sites also abound. Museums like the de Young offer senior discounts, while the Palace of Fine Arts is a must-visit for its stunning architecture and peaceful surroundings.
  • Cultural events, such as the Fillmore Jazz Festival or performances at the San Francisco Symphony, offer seniors a chance to enjoy the city’s arts scene.

Many of these centers and venues offer programs and services tailored to seniors’ interests and abilities, reinforcing the notion that San Francisco is senior-friendly. In fact, many people organize a senior relocation in San Francisco to take advantage of these enriching opportunities, ensuring an active and fulfilling retirement life.

Is San Francisco senior-friendly when it comes to safety and security?

Safety and security are paramount considerations for anyone, especially seniors. According to data from the San Francisco Police Department, rape and human trafficking crimes are on a steep downward trend, which can be comforting news for seniors and their families. Neighborhoods such as Sea Cliff, Presidio Heights, and St. Francis Wood are particularly known for their safety, peaceful surroundings, and senior-friendly amenities.

However, like any urban area, San Francisco has neighborhoods with higher crime rates. Seniors are advised to research and select neighborhoods that prioritize safety. Local initiatives, such as the Walk San Francisco, aim to make the city safer and more accessible to all, including seniors, further demonstrating San Francisco’s commitment to its elderly population.

Picture of a person with hancuffs
Is San Francisco senior-friendly? In terms of the safety that some of its neighborhoods offer, yes.

Does the City by the Bay favor seniors?

Taking everything that was previously said into consideration, it’s time to answer the question of is San Francisco senior-friendly. Well, when looking at everything that is important to seniors on a wider scale, SF meets their needs. So, yes, we can say that the city is suitable for its elderly residents. But as always, the answer here also comes down to personal preference. While the City by the Bay is capable of catering to the various needs of senior citizens, everybody has a different lifestyle. Therefore, only you can provide a definitive answer to the dilemma.



Molloy, Ryan. “The 5 Best Assisted Living Communities in San Francisco.” SFGATE, 16 Feb. 2023, www.sfgate.com/senior-living/article/senior-assisted-living-retirement-communities-17489223.php/.

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