Home care services can provide a safe and affordable solution for many seniors and their families, allowing them to remain in the comfort of their own homes and communities.
The cost of home care and home health care varies greatly across the country and even within the same city. The monthly national average for Homemaker Services is around $3,721.
Fortunately, there are numerous organizations that help free in-home care for seniors, and you will find a comprehensive list of programs that can assist you below.
Free In Home Help for Seniors - Veterans
This program is for Veterans who need personal care services and help with activities of daily living. This program is also for Veterans who are isolated, or whose caregiver is experiencing burden. A Homemaker or Home Health Aide is a trained person who can come to a Veteran's home and help the Veteran take care of themselves and their daily activities.
Veteran Directed Care gives Veterans of all ages the opportunity to receive the Home and Community-Based Services they need in a consumer-directed way.
VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits provide monthly payments added to the amount of a monthly VA pension for qualified Veterans and survivors. If you need help with daily activities, or you’re housebound, find out if you qualify.
Free In Home Help for Seniors - Government Programs
Many local governments have programs to help seniors with in home care.
For example, TennCare CHOICES is a program for adults (21 and older) with a physical disability and older Tennesseans (65 and older) who need help with everyday activities. CHOICES services include care in a nursing home, as well as services in the home. You must be Medicaid eligible.
Similarly, the Department of Family Services in Fairfax County provides two in home care programs for seniors to stay at home: Adult Services and ElderLink.
Check with your local government to see if they have any similar programs.
The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is a state-designated government or private non-profit agency that addresses the needs and concerns of all older people. AAA offers in-home care services such as transportation, meals on wheels, and assistance with bathing, cleaning, cooking, and laundry. They can also point you in the direction of other in-home care programs in your area. Find your local AAA chapter here.
Depending on your state, Medicaid, or Home Care Waiver may cover in home care. For example, the Ohio Home Care Waiver allows individuals with physical disabilities and unstable medical conditions to receive care in their homes and communities instead of nursing facilities, hospitals, or rehabilitation facilities.
In general, Medicare does not cover the cost of non-medical home care; however, there are some circumstances in which Medicare provides some coverage for medical home care, known as "Home Healthcare."
Qualified individuals can manage their health services depending on the state. They may be able to hire family members as caregivers to provide in-home care and house cleaning.
The Volunteer Chore Program trains volunteers to assist the elderly (60 and up) and adults with functional disabilities in remaining independent in their own homes. Housekeeping, grocery shopping, laundry, yard work, transportation to doctor appointments, minor household repairs, mail reading/bill paying assistance, and other tasks are performed by volunteers.
Through a network of caring community members, Linking Cowlitz County's Volunteer Chore Services is dedicated to assisting elders and adults with disabilities in remaining independent in their own homes. Housework, cooking, laundry, communications, shopping/errands, household repairs, transportation, monitoring, yard work, wood provision, respite, some types of personal care, minor home repair, protective supervision, moving assistance, and other services are provided.
Free In Home Help for Seniors - Charities
Many Catholic Charities chapters have home care services.
For example, Catholic Charities has been providing In Home Support Services in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties to older adults and adults with disabilities for over 25 years. In home Support Services provides appropriate home care to people in order to delay institutional placement by providing light housekeeping, laundry assistance, companionship, meal preparation, grocery shopping, errands, transportation to doctor appointments, companionship, and socialization.
Catholic Charities West Virginia provides comprehensive in home services for as little or as long as the seniors need them. They will develop a plan of care that is tailored to their needs and is cost-effective, helping them stay in familiar surroundings when they most want to be “at home.”
Contact your local Catholic Charities chapter to see what kind of programs they offer.
Community Action Agencies are locally controlled non-profit organizations that work to improve the lives of low-income individuals by creating opportunities for increased self-sufficiency and greater participation in the Community. Typically, the programs and services offered include in home care for the elderly. For example, the Gogebic Ontonagon Community Action Agency provides services including Personal Care, In home care, Respite care, and more. Find your local CAA here.
Elder Helpers is an easy-to-use web-based service. They believe that the best kind of compassion is free. Volunteers sign up to offer their services because they genuinely want to help the elderly. The Elder Helpers program aims to connect these dedicated, passionate volunteers with elders in their communities in a safe and convenient manner. Seniors can find a volunteer who is willing to assist with in-home care.
Cleaning for a Reason provides free home cleaning to patients battling cancer. Since its founding in 2006, Cleaning for a Reason and its partners have provided free home cleaning for more than 44,750 cancer patients and their families across all 50 states and Canada.
Easterseals’ plan to Stay at Home services available to seniors and caregivers make it possible for many older adults to stay in their homes while receiving care. These services can include Transportation, Cooking and meal preparation, Therapy treatments, Housekeeping, Social and recreational opportunities, Creating routines, and more. Find your local Easterseals here.
Love INC is a non-profit organization founded by volunteers from a local church to help those in need. Volunteers make home visits to the elderly and provide communication, companionship, financial counseling, after-school child care, clothing, food, transportation, and visitation. Helpers provide in-home care, house cleaning, snow shoveling, yard work, moving heavy objects, equipment repair, general house repairs, home weatherization, plumbing, carpentry, electrical wiring, and auto repair to the elderly and disabled.
Catholic Community Services (Western Washington)
Catholic Community Services provides non-medical assistance to aging persons and those with disabilities living in their homes – in every county in western Washington. Homecare workers do everything from housework, such as grocery shopping, laundry, and dishes, to personal care such as dressing, bathing, and helping to transfer from the bed. Care may be just a few hours a day, or around the clock.
CareLink (Central Arkansas)
CareLink provides programs that can help fill the void for those elders who do not qualify for services through Medicaid, VA, or private insurance programs. They provide in home care for individuals with varying levels of benefits and resources, offering Medicaid-reimbursed services as well as HomeCare Choices, a private-pay option.
Faith in Action Steuben County is a coalition of congregations, civic groups, and individuals working together to serve older adults in need of little assistance to continue living independently. The services they provide include In home care.
Bergen Volunteers’ CHORE program provides a helping hand to seniors and those with disabilities to enable them to live safely and independently in their homes. Volunteers visit weekly to help home-bound seniors with tasks such as grocery shopping and light errands such as prescription pick-up, library book returns, or the post office.
Bridges’ CHORE program helps people to maintain the independence of living at home by providing free minor household repairs and home improvements that make living at home safe.
VANTAGE Home Wellness Solutions is dependent on money from charitable foundations and government sources to provide services free of charge to those meeting income qualifications. VANTAGE services include Light housekeeping, Errands (prescription pick-up, dry cleaning, etc.), Laundry/Ironing, Escorting to appointments and social events, and Meal preparation: planning, shopping, preparation, and cleaning up.
The In Home Care Program provides clients with general non-medical support, personal care, and daily living chores. Such services include assisting with self-administered medication, performing/assisting with bathing, dressing, shaving, light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, etc.
Catholic Charities Eastern Washington’s Home Care Assistants provide non-medical aid to seniors and people with disabilities, including children with disabilities. The assistance HCAs provide to our clients allows them to remain independent and in their own homes.
Hendricks County Senior Services (HCSS) helps older adults and Baby Boomers live independently. Homemaker Attendants provide basic, light housekeeping; laundry, and change of bedding; assistance with meal planning, food preparation, and grocery shopping.
Seniors First offer a vital support system to vulnerable, older adults aged 60 and up and adults of all ages living with disabilities. They help with activities of daily living through a case-managed package of services in Orange, Seminole, and Polk Counties.