I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Albuquerque, NM

Despite the large size of Albuquerque — it’s the biggest city in New Mexico — its cost of living is relatively good in nationwide comparisons to cities of a similar size. The state average is slightly more affordable in most cost categories, but Albuquerque’s overall cost of living is roughly 9% below that of the United States. Homeowners in the city also pay less in property tax in comparison to the U.S. average.

For seniors in particular, the low cost of health care in Albuquerque, as well as the proximity of major hospitals and specialists, are important points to consider. The ratio of physicians per person is roughly 36% higher in Albuquerque when compared to the nation overall.

The climate can also greatly affect how seniors feel about living in a particular city. Albuquerque experiences many more sunny days than the national average — 280 per year in the city — and much less precipitation of any kind. This generally helps in maintaining a more positive outlook, which can be particularly important for seniors relying on home care providers and family members.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Albuquerque, NM

In-home help for seniors is split into two categories — home care and home health care. The main difference between the two is for seniors who require ongoing medical services in the home, who will therefore need home health care. According to the Genworth Financial 2020 Cost of Care Survey, residents of Albuquerque pay the same average amount for both types of in-home help, which is $4,385 per month. However, as this is based on 44 hours of care per week, so your costs may be significantly lower if you need less help each week. The monthly average equates to a cost of $23 per hour for in-home care services in Albuquerque.

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

Based on home care prices, residents of Albuquerque can reap substantial savings compared to most other areas of New Mexico. Although Albuquerque’s average cost for home care is slightly higher than the state overall — but only by $95 per month — home health care costs are identical. In nearby Santa Fe, costs are over $750 per month higher than in Albuquerque, and Farmington is also higher by almost $600. Las Cruces is the only area to report more affordable costs, which are roughly $900 lower.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Whether it’s for homemaker assistance or in-home medical services, the cost of in-home care ($4,385) is 7.6% higher than assisted living ($4,050) in Albuquerque. However, the comparison is much more favorable toward home care if fewer than 44 hours of weekly services are required. Albuquerque’s monthly average cost for adult day care at $2,513 is more affordable than home care, but significantly higher than the national average, making it a less attractive alternative for most. As with the state and nation overall, nursing home care is the most expensive type of senior care in Albuquerque, with a cost difference of almost $4,000 per month compared to in-home care.

III. How to Find Home Care in Albuquerque, NM

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 Albuquerque, NM.

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 Albuquerque, NM

Senior Information and Assistance Program

What You Should Know
The City of Albuquerque provides this free service for local seniors and their family members as a starting point to discover what’s available in the area. The senior information hotline is staffed by real people who know their way around the various local senior care agencies and programs, and they can provide unbiased connections with nearby service providers.

Services for seniors available locally include transportation, meal delivery, senior centers and congregate meals, home repairs and modifications, referrals and care coordination.

Who Is Eligible?
Residents of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County aged 50 or older can receive assistance from the Senior Information program staff members and representatives. However, the relevant programs and services are often reserved for those aged 60 or older due to federal funding arrangements.

How to Get Started
Seniors can call (505) 764-6400 for more information during regular business hours. Alternatively, residents can call 311 or email [email protected] at any time, or visit the website to view guides and current events.

Home Services for Seniors

What You Should Know
This is another City of Albuquerque program that offers low or no-cost help around the home for seniors. Some of the most common requests include help with regular household chores and errands, home modifications and repairs. In the case of modifications, this includes most quick additions, such as grab bars and slip-resistant surfaces. Minor repairs and some construction services are also available, including indoor and outdoor ramps and other accessibility improvements.

Who Is Eligible?
Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents aged 60 or older are eligible for most home services provided via this program. Due to funding sources that include the federal Older Americans Act, residents aren’t required to pay for these services, but small donations are appreciated.

How to Get Started
You can call the information line at (505) 764-6400 to ask questions about the Home Services program and the services it offers.

Senior Transportation Program

What You Should Know
Residents of Albuquerque who live in their own home or elsewhere in the community may benefit from transportation provided by the city. This is a free service available for anyone who meets the requirements, and it can be used for both medical and nonmedical reasons, although healthcare appointments are prioritized.

Curb-to-curb transportation is provided for eligible individuals to destinations anywhere in the city and most of Bernalillo County. However, this isn’t a private, on-demand service. Seniors must arrange rides ahead of time, according to the existing schedule for vans in the area. ADA-accessible transportation can be arranged.

Who Is Eligible?
This transportation program is for city and county residents aged 60 or older who have starting and destination points within the service area. Medical appointments are scheduled at a higher priority, but the purpose of the trip is generally not an issue beyond that.

How to Get Started
Seniors can get more information about the program by calling (505) 764-6464. Staff can also help residents begin the process of applying for and scheduling transportation services.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

What You Should Know
PACE is an alternative for people who need help at home, and prefer to stay there, instead of receiving care in a nursing home or other similar institution. It’s funded by the state and federal governments and services are provided by local organizations, such as InnovAge in Albuquerque, and approved contractors. The overall goal of PACE is to coordinate all aspects of care for seniors — including medical and social needs — and ultimately provide more effective results at a lower cost.

Depending on the individual’s health, mobility and other factors, they may receive services in their home, remotely, at local providers or the PACE center itself.

Who Is Eligible?
PACE is available to residents aged 55 and over who would require a nursing facility level of care if not for the assistance provided by the program. The individual must live within a PACE service area — InnovAge covers the Albuquerque area — and they must be assessed as able to safely live outside of residential care with provided support.

Most participants in the Albuquerque PACE area are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, which means they have little or no out-of-pocket costs for this program. Applicants must meet the medical and functional requirements of PACE regardless of their payment arrangements.

How to Get Started
Albuquerque seniors and family members can read more about PACE on the website, including a list of frequently asked questions and more details on eligibility. Albuquerque residents can call InnovAge at (505) 924-2650 to learn more or apply.

Senior Citizens’ Law Office

What You Should Know
SCLO provides free legal assistance and services to eligible residents. The most common requests include assistance with Medicaid and other state programs, guardianship issues, healthcare benefits and grievances against local service providers or city/state agencies.

Who Is Eligible?
You must be a resident of Bernalillo or the surrounding counties and aged 60 or older.

How to Get Started
Visit the website or call (505) 265-2300 to ask questions and begin the application process.