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About Caring For A Senior is committed to making in-home care accessible to all care seekers. We do this by providing informative articles and resources that can help you understand the options available to you in a time of need. And once you're ready to seek care assistance, we offer a directory of nearby care providers.

Paying for Senior Home Care in California

When deciding between in-home care and nursing home care for a senior, an important element in the decision is the relative cost of the two options. Also, if in-home care is chosen, it must be decided whether the caregiver will be part-time, full-time, or live-in full-time. There are two aspects of care: medical and non-medical, and both of these must be planned for if in-home care is the chosen option. In California, the average cost per hour to hire non-medical caregivers is $20, and medical caregivers, $21, ranking California 6th in the nation for home care affordability, after adjusting for state median income.

State-Sponsored In-Home Care Assistance

The California program, In-Home Supportive Services, provides assistance with in-home care. The program is open to all those 65 years of age and/or disabled. Medicare eligibility is not a requirement; those persons not on Medi-Cal (the state version of Medicaid) must meet Social Security income limitations in order to receive the service for free; otherwise, they are expected to pay for a portion of the service’s cost. IHSS provides non-medical assistance for senior care including bathing, dressing, transferring, transportation services, laundry, meal preparation, adult supervision, etc.

Federal Medicaid Program Options

Many states have Medicaid “diversion programs,” the purpose of which is to use Medicaid funds to provide in-home care for seniors when the other option would be to spend those funds on providing nursing home care. As these are federally-funded (though state-administered) programs, recipients are usually required to meet federal Medicaid eligibility guidelines, such as income limits.

California offers the Multipurpose Senior Services program (MSSP), which allows a Medicare waiver and use of Medicaid (Medi-Cal) funds to pay for in-home care in lieu of nursing home care. The MSSP is administered at the county level, and not all California counties offer it. The monthly income limit after medical expenses is $850, and there are other restrictions such as asset limitations.

Additional Information on Home Care

The stay-at-home option instead of a nursing home can be much better for the senior’s happiness and well-being. The decision has to be made in terms of cost as well as preference though, and it is important to know what funding options are available. You should inform yourself regarding all the benefits and challenges of in-home senior care. Please investigate our website to learn about our free service and have a look at the informative articles there. The articles may provide you with a perspective you had not considered on the implications and possible benefits to the senior of hiring a part-time or full-time caregiver.