I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Rochester, NY

The vibrant city of Rochester is situated in the eastern part of New York and offers a diverse culinary scene, numerous year-round festivals and a broad range of age-friendly attractions. Over 12,000 acres of parkland and 60 public golf courses provide hours of entertainment for those who enjoy being outdoors, and several suburban malls and shopping plazas feature unique home furnishings, clothing and gift ideas.

Rochester is home to over 200,000 residents, making it the third-most populous city in the state, and about 11% of residents are aged 65 and over. The city has a low cost of living and affordable housing and transportation, making it a good option for retirees with fixed income. New York’s income tax laws are friendly towards retirees, further increasing the region’s affordability. Summers are pleasant but winters are chilly, and the region receives nearly 80 inches of snow annually, which may be a consideration for those with mobility challenges.

With its low living costs and recreational amenities for older adults, the age-friendly city of Rochester promotes seniors’ quality of life and a high standard for retirement living.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Rochester, NY

According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Rochester pay approximately $4,814 per month for home care. This rate assumes that you’re obtaining 44 hours of care per week at an hourly rate of $25.25. If you need more care or if you supplement home care services with community-based adult day care or county-subsidized services, your monthly cost may be considerably lower.

Home care is also referred to as homemaker services and includes personal care, basic chore and housekeeping services, grocery shopping, meal preparation and companionship. Home health care is similar but also includes some skilled nursing services. As a result, it exceeds the cost of home care at $5,243 per month or $27.50 per hour.

The Cost of Home Care & Home Health Care in Nearby Cities

Home care costs in Rochester are consistent with the statewide median at $4,814 per month, whereas home health care fees are almost $300 higher than the $4,957 New York average at $5,243. Utica and Buffalo are more affordable options for home care, with average monthly fees of $4,648 and $4,767, respectively. In both cities, seniors pay $4,957 per month for home health care. Binghamton is among the priciest cities in New York for home-based services, with average costs of $4,934 per month for both levels of care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care is among the most economical senior living options in Rochester, making it a good choice for older individuals who need help with some daily living activities. The only option with lower monthly fees is adult day care, which provides comparable services in a group setting. Home health care, which costs $5,243 per month, is an option for seniors who wish to remain in their homes but require some skilled nursing services. Assisted living provides personal care in a residential setting and costs $5,180 per month, and nursing home care is the highest level of care available outside of a hospital and costs $12,380 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Rochester, NY

Finding a home care provider for yourself or a loved one can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we explain the process of how to find a home care provider in 5 simple steps. Use the infographic below to help guide your search for in-home care in Rochester, NY.

An infographic giving steps to finding a home care provider

Remember that there’s not necessarily a right or wrong choice – it comes down to choosing a provider that you feel comfortable with and who’s capable of meeting your specific needs. No matter which provider you choose, you should always have a formal arrangement with your expectations and the payment rate in writing. Doing so will prevent confusion or potential disagreements down the line so that the focus remains on helping the person receiving care.

IV. Home Care Resources for Seniors in Rochester, NY

Office for the Aging

What You Should Know
The Monroe County Office for the Aging is the designated Area Agency on Aging serving seniors in Rochester. It administers a dozen programs to enhance seniors’ independence and promote access to home- and community-based services. It provides adult day and respite care through the Rochester Regional Health System, as well as information and referral services via caseworkers who identify solutions to short-term problems and gaps in care. The agency also helps seniors access financial and legal assistance and provides unbiased health insurance options counseling, which may help older adults identify options for covering in-home care.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for services through the Office for the Aging, individuals must be at least 60 years old and reside within the county. Specific programs and services may have additional eligibility requirements related to income and needs.

How to Get Started
The county’s Office for the Aging is headquartered at Monroe Community Hospital. To learn more about the available programs and services and apply for help, seniors can call (585) 753-6280.

Meals on Wheels

What You Should Know
The region’s Meals on Wheels program is administered by University of Rochester Medical Center and delivers nutritious meals to seniors unable to otherwise obtain or prepare meals. Each meal is designed by a registered dietitian and provides a third of seniors’ daily nutrition requirements, including an entrée, starch, vegetable, beverage and dessert. The program accommodates those with special dietary considerations with low sugar, low lactose, puréed and kosher options. Meals are delivered by screened volunteers who provide friendly visits and safety checks. Several service options are available, and while most recipients qualify for free meals, there’s a suggested donation of $3.50 per meal.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify, seniors must be unable to shop for or prepare meals themselves due to age, injury or illness. They must be at least 60 years old and reside within the program’s service area.

How to Get Started
Seniors can apply for home-delivered meals by submitting the online form. Due to high demand, applications may not be processed for several days. For more information, they can call (585) 787-8397.

Veterans Service Agency

What You Should Know
The Monroe County Veterans Service Agency serves local veterans and their families through advocacy, outreach and benefits assistance. It helps veterans obtain local, state and federal benefits they’re entitled to, including benefits that may help cover home care expenses, such as the VA pensions and Aid and Attendance or Housebound Allowance benefits. The agency can also help veterans obtain transportation services and medical care.

Who Is Eligible?
The MCVSA serves all honorably discharged veterans, as well as their dependents and surviving spouses. To be eligible for pension programs, disability compensation and the Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, veterans must meet additional requirements related to service, income and level of need.

How to Get Started
Veterans can get more information about available services by calling the agency at (585) 753-6040.

Weatherization Assistance Program

What You Should Know
The Home Weatherization Program is funded through the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services. It provides services to income-qualifying Rochester homeowners and renters to help them improve their home’s comfort while reducing utility expenses. Some services available through the program include sealing leaks to reduce drafts, installing insulation, replacing freezers and refrigerators, installing energy-efficient lighting and health and safety checks for appliances and smoke detectors.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors must meet income-based eligibility requirements to enroll in this program. As of 2021, a single-person household can have an annual income of up to $31,318, and a two-person household has an income limit of $40,954.

How to Get Started
The program has a six-step process, which includes submitting an intake form, being placed on a wait-list, applying, undergoing an energy audit, the weatherization service and a follow-up inspection. To submit an intake form and begin the process, seniors can follow this link or call (585) 442-2030, extension 202.

Residential Property Exemptions

What You Should Know
Seniors in Rochester can reduce some of the financial burdens of homeownership by enrolling in one of the city’s residential property exemption programs. The Enhanced STAR for Seniors program reduces the amount seniors pay for school property taxes, and the Senior Citizens Tax Exemption provides an exemption of 5-50% on property taxes, depending on the applicant’s income.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for the city’s senior exemptions, applicants must be at least 65 years old or a surviving spouse who’s at least 62 years old. The property they’re seeking the exemption for must be their primary residence. Those applying for the Enhanced STAR for Seniors program can have an annual income of up $90,550, and those applying for the Senior Citizens Tax Exemption can have an annual income of up to $37,400. All applicants must enroll in the New York State Income Verification Program.

How to Get Started 
For more information on these programs or to begin the application process, seniors can contact the Bureau Assessment Exemption Hotline at (585) 428-6994. Alternately, applicants can obtain in-person assistance by visiting the office at City Hall, 30 Church Street, Room 101A.