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How Is In-Home Care Paid For & How To Calculate Costs?

How Is In-Home Care Paid For & How to Calculate Costs?

Arguably the most difficult life component to lose for seniors is their freedom and independence. In fact, throughout our lives we all grow extremely fond of those two daily companions. In later years, in-home care is one of the best ways to maintain a semblance of that lifestyle while remaining in familiar surroundings. This can be especially comforting and beneficial for elderly people suffering from such conditions as Alzheimer’s or loss of vision.

However, even with all of the obvious advantages, many seniors simply cannot live in their homes alone without long-term care or regular assistance. To that end, many families opt for in-home care and the benefits are many, including personalized care, help with daily tasks, a daily companion, assistance with dietary and medication needs, and care administered by a qualified professional.  Naturally this all comes with a monthly charge and families must closely review and discuss costs and create a strategy for meeting them.

How Much Does In-Home Care Cost?

Ultimately, the cost of in-home care depends on how much time a care worker spends in the home, as well as types of required services and supplies. Every state’s cost is different but the national average is roughly $5,000 per month, broken down to an average of $25 per hour. With a grand total in hand, the next step is calculating in-home care costs. This starts with a thorough assessment of you and your loved one’s needs and the assessment will be carried out by a licensed care worker or agency.

With such a significant monthly cost in play, it is important to find a service that is right for you. Keep the following in mind when selecting in-home care:

  • How long has the service been in business?
  • What are the staff’s qualifications? Staff is almost always trained and certified nurses and related professionals trained in elderly care, but always be sure to review credentials and background.
  • Is the staff insured and bonded? This is important for your own protection and easy to verify.
  • Is the service reputable and do they have references? A solid care provider will be proud to share this information with you and speaking with past clients is one of the best ways to “get a feel” of the provider before working with them.
  • Will they work with a doctor to create a specialized care plan? This of course depends on the kind of care required but a qualified doctor is invaluable to help caregivers create a specialized plan, especially in cases where more intensive medical care or rehabilitation therapy is needed.

Calculating In-Home Care Costs

In-home care costs are generally calculated in one of three ways: hourly, daily, and overnight.

  1. Hourly rates are the most common method to gauge total cost. For example, relatively independent seniors likely will not need around-the-clock care and in fact many sprightly seniors only need attention and assistance a couple of hours a day, meaning a lower end cost depending on the service company. Note that most care companies have a two- or four-hour minimum.
  2. Daily rates are arranged for seniors needing 24-hour care, and rates are typically calculated for a full day staffed by a caregiver with averages ranging from $200-350 per day depending on the amount of care needed and cost of living in your region of the country.
  3. Overnight rates are an option for seniors who tend to get up frequently during the night for bathroom visits or those with dementia leading to bouts of wandering off. The caregiver is there to offer assistance in this regard as well as safety at night, while family members generally step in during the day. Since hours required and activity provided is lower than daily, overnight rates are less expensive, typically running $120-200 for a 10-12 hour shift.

How is In-Home Care Paid For?

Choosing how to pay for in-home care is ultimately up to you but several methods are available.

Given that basic insurance policies generally don’t cover in-home health care, out of pocket is the most common payment method. You and/or family members handle all costs individually.

Third-party payment is an option in some situations, where in-home care is paid for by organizations such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Veterans’ Administrations. Some managed health care plans may also cover the cost.

In rare cases, donations or related giving scenarios can help pay for care, including NGOs, church groups, or friends.

Plan Ahead

Don’t wait to seek in-home care until you need it. If you’re in your 50s and healthy as ever, that’s great. But being proactive will help ensure the same positive outlook as you cruise into older age. Check out long-term care insurance policies and other in-home care benefits to best meet your needs.


If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater San Diego, and now Oregon, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices in Campbell, CAPleasanton, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CASan Mateo, CA, and Portland, OR.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.