What Is Home Care & What's the Cost?

Aging in place has become a priority for many older adults. According to a 2018 AARP survey, 3 and out 4 Americans over the age of 50 hope to remain in their current home as long as possible. Some may want to age in place due to an emotional connection to their home or community, while others do so out of a desire to keep their independence. In other cases, it may be a financial necessity to age in place rather than move to a residential senior community.

But, there can be some disadvantages to aging in place, especially for seniors living with chronic health conditions, acute injuries or illness, reduced mobility, and other ailments. For people in these situations, it can be hard to decide whether to age in place and risk their health or safety, or give up their independence to live in a community where assistance will be available.

Home care can be essential for seniors who find themselves in this challenging situation. Obtaining the services of a home care aide or home health care aide can enable seniors to retain their independence and age in place while still having access to the assistance and care that they need. Home care can make aging in place more manageable and safe for older adults of all ability levels.

There are many home care providers for seniors and their families to choose from, as well as different types of home care. In this guide, we explain what services are available with a home care aide, the different types of home care, the cost of home care, and financial assistance options. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find frequently asked questions about home care and a directory of home care providers in your area.

What is Home Care?

Home care is non-medical caregiving and assistance provided in the client’s home. Care may include assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, transferring, and meal preparation; transportation; companionship; and more. It does not include medical care or therapies. Depending on the client’s needs, they may receive assistance from a home care aide anywhere from one hour a week to 24-hours a day.

Many seniors and their families choose home care as a way for the senior to remain in their own home as their needs and abilities change, rather than moving to a residential care community. Home care, combined with any necessary home modifications or assistive technology, can enable seniors to live out their Golden Years in the comfort of their own homes. Family caregivers may also seek home care services as a respite to make caregiving more manageable.

Who is a Good Fit for Home Care?

Home care oftentimes serves as an alternative to assisted living for seniors who wish to live independently. It can be a good care option for those who meet the following criteria.

  • Seniors who struggle with mobility and need assistance safely moving throughout their home

  • Seniors with impaired motor skills who need assistance with daily household tasks

  • Seniors who no longer drive and need transportation to appointments, the grocery store, friends’ houses, and more

  • Seniors who are isolated and desire the companionship of a caregiver

  • Seniors who need assistance with ADLs including meal preparation, bathing, and more

  • Seniors in need of housekeeping services such as cleaning and grocery shopping

  • Seniors in the early stages of memory impairment

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