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How Much Does Home Care Cost? A State-by-State Guide

Written by Chloe Clark
 about the author
8 minute readLast updated July 10, 2023
Reviewed by Todd AustinTodd Austin is a 40 under 40 winner and healthcare expert with deep experience in sales, marketing, and operations. He is a sought-after speaker and innovative thinker in health care who is passionate about delivering resonant messages, growing businesses, and helping others achieve their potential. He heads Home Care Pulse, a leading home care agency software solution.

As your parents age, it’s likely they will need more assistance with day-to-day activities. Most older adults want to stay in their own homes, and home care services can be a safe and affordable addition to help them realize this goal. Understanding the costs of in-home care and the factors that affect it can help you and your parents create a financial plan for their future needs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Home care allows your parent to remain in their own home while receiving the help they need. Services can range from light housekeeping to assistance with personal care tasks like bathing and dressing.
  2. The cost of home care varies by state. However, the national median hourly rate is $26 for homemaker services and $27 for a home health aide.
  3. Seniors and their families can choose between hiring a provider independently or through a home care agency. There are pros and cons to both options.
  4. Talking to a Senior Care Advisor may be helpful. They can help you find a local agency and understand potential costs.

What is the cost of home care?

According to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey conducted in 2021, the median cost of in-home care per hour is $26 for homemaker services and $27 for a home health aide.[01] Home care’s hourly pricing structure grants families a great deal of flexibility when it comes to scheduling and working within a set budget.
If your parent only needs a couple hours of care per day, such as for transportation for errands or light housekeeping, then they might only need 14 hours of care per week. Their weekly cost would be approximately $364, totaling around $1,456 per month.
Keep in mind that these are ballpark figures and there are factors that can drive home care costs higher or lower. One of the biggest factors is the type of care a senior needs.

What types of home care are available?

Home care is a catchall term for care that is performed in a senior’s residence. This type of care can be personalized to include only the services your parent actually needs.
The three general types of home care are listed below in order from least expensive to most expensive.
  1. Homemaker services are nonmedical in nature and may include assistance with household chores, meal preparation, transportation, and companionship.
  2. Home health aide care may also be referred to as personal care or custodial care and includes assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, mobility, and incontinence care. A home health aide might provide some homemaker services as well.
  3. Home health care is medically necessary care, such as wound care, catheter care, physical therapy, and medication administration, provided by skilled professionals like nurses and therapists.

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How much does home care cost in each state?

Home care costs also vary considerably by location. The following table breaks down the median hourly costs of homemaker services and home health aide services in 2021 for each state.[01]
StateHomemaker servicesHome health aide services
District of Columbia$28.00$28.00
New Hampshire$31.50$32.50
New Jersey$29.00$29.95
New Mexico$24.15$24.40
New York$28.00$29.00
North Carolina$23.00$23.00
North Dakota$29.84$29.84
Rhode Island$30.00$31.25
South Carolina$23.25$23.50
South Dakota$31.00$31.00
West Virginia$18.50$18.75

What other factors affect the cost of in-home senior care?

In addition to where your parent lives, there are other factors that may affect home care costs.

Level and amount of care needed

As the level and amount of care (in hours) a senior needs increases, so does the cost. One of the best ways to assess your parent’s needs is to discuss it openly with them. Ask what they still feel comfortable doing and what tasks they may need help with. It’s important to recognize, though, that you or your parents may be in some denial about their health.
Fortunately, home care providers should conduct an objective needs assessment and develop a plan of care prior to beginning services. This initial care plan can be updated at any time to reflect your parent’s changing needs and abilities.
As mentioned above, homemaker services are the least expensive type of home care. While companionship and household support are important for a senior’s health and overall quality of life, these services aren’t medically necessary and may only require a few hours of help per week. Instead, many seniors rely on adult day care, meal delivery or grocery delivery services, or a weekly housekeeper.
However, when a parent struggles with ADLs, they are likely to need personal care on a regular basis. This is often true for older adults with chronic health conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease who require increasing amounts of hands-on assistance and supervision.
Depending on what needs your parent has, they may require homemaker services, home health aide services, or a combination of both. These types of home care are often paid for privately. Short-term home health care may be beneficial if they need skilled care provided by a nurse and/or therapist while recovering from an illness or injury. This type of medical care tends to be more costly but may be covered in some part by insurance.

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Hiring Method

Seniors and their families can choose to hire an independent caregiver or work with a home care agency to begin services. Both choices have some positives and some negatives, so it’s essential to understand each option fully.
One of the primary benefits of hiring independently is that caregivers may be more flexible when it comes to scheduling and negotiating rates. Families often consider this route to save money on home care costs, but there can be some drawbacks. Independent aides may not be licensed or insured, and those who are may be more difficult to find or charge considerably more.
Additionally, an independent aide is a direct employee of whoever is paying for their services. This means that you or your parent is in charge of scheduling, arranging coverage if a cancellation occurs, ensuring payroll and taxes are handled correctly, and more.
Hiring home care through an agency tends to be more expensive, but it does come with some perks. Agencies typically have thorough processes for vetting, insuring, training, certifying/licensing, and scheduling caregivers. Usually their vetting process will include background checks, drug screening, and occasional onsite quality reviews. Additionally, an agency will ensure that if a worker has to cancel for some reason, a suitable replacement will be found to cover their shift.
In addition to higher hourly rates, an agency may also require a minimum of between two and four hours for each home visit. So, for example, if your parent only needs two hours of care per day, the agency may require that the caregiver is scheduled and paid for the agency’s three-hour minimum, even if it isn’t needed.

How to find home care

Finding home care may seem stressful at first, from navigating how to pay to ensuring that you find someone that you and your loved one trust. One of the most important elements is working with someone who both you and your parents feel comfortable with. Interviewing potential providers together is a great way to ensure this.
Asking around your network for recommendations and reading reviews and testimonials online can be a great place to start your search. Talking to a Senior Care Advisor can also be beneficial, as they can connect you with home care providers near your parents and discuss potential costs.


  1. Genworth. (2022, June 2). Cost of Care Survey.

  2. A Place for Mom. (2023). A Place for Mom Proprietary Senior Living Price Index.

Meet the Author
Chloe Clark

Chloe Clark is a copywriter for OurParents. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, with a background in education and publishing. She has over a decade’s experience in writing for print publications and websites.

Reviewed byTodd Austin

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