I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Alexandria, VA

Situated just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C., Alexandria is a welcoming community near Smithsonian museums, performing arts centers, shopping and dining amenities and historic sites. It has nearly 160,000 residents and a senior community that makes up a little over 12% of the population. It’s been named among the best small towns in the United States and is listed on the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. The city features red-brick sidewalks, 18th- and 19th-century row houses, unique shops and restaurants and a walkable downtown region, contributing to its charming small-town feel. Two hospitals are located within the city, including Inova Alexandria Hospital and Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, providing easy access to emergency, primary and specialty care.

Alexandria has low property and violent crime rates, which may provide peace of mind for older adults who live alone. As is typical of Northern Virginia, Alexandria’s overall cost of living is relatively high, but the city’s tax relief programs for seniors and the state’s retirement-friendly income tax laws may make it a financially feasible option for those with budgetary considerations. These are among the many features that make Alexandria well-suited for older adults who want to age in place.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Alexandria, VA

The Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey reports that you can expect to pay $4,601 per month for home care in Alexandria. This amount is based on an hourly rate of $24.13 and 44 hours of weekly care. If you arrange home health care that includes some medical services, the cost is higher at $25 per hour for a monthly average of $4,767. Your cost may be lower if you need fewer hours of professional care each week or you’re eligible for certain services through local nonprofit programs. On the other hand, your care expenses may exceed the average if you need more than six hours of daily care.

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

In Alexandria, you can expect to pay $4,601 per month for home care and $4,767 for home health care, making this among the most expensive cities in Virginia for home-based services. Nationally, seniors pay $4,481 for home care and $4,576 for home health care, and statewide, respective costs average $4,195 and $4,385. In Harrisonburg, both types of care cost $4,671. In Charlottesville, residents pay $5,148 for home-based services, regardless of care type. Lynchburg seniors pay $3,432 for home care and $4,195 for home health care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

You have several senior care options available in Alexandria depending on your budget and preferred living environment. Home-based care is popular for those who want to age in place and costs $4,601 for home care and $4,767 for home health care. For a more affordable alternative, you might attend adult day care for approximately $1,744 per month. Assisted living offers a similar scope of care in a residential setting and costs $6,000 per month. Nursing home rates are the highest at $11,726 for semiprivate accommodations.

Note: Data for Alexandria was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Washington, D.C., was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Alexandria, VA

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 Alexandria, VA.

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 Alexandria, VA

Senior Services of Alexandria

What You Should Know
Senior Services of Alexandria is a local nonprofit organization that helps older adults maintain their comfort, safety and independence through a range of free and low-cost programs. It operates the Friendly Visitor Program, which matches screened, trained volunteers with socially isolated older adults in the community. Volunteers visit with program participants for at least an hour per week. The agency operates Meals on Wheels and AniMeals on Wheels programs to provide healthy, home-delivered meals to those unable to shop for and prepare meals for themselves, as well as meals for their pets. The agency also has transportation services and grocery delivery for those who don’t drive, and it offers online information and education programs that cover age-related topics with local experts.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for services from this agency, you must be at least 60 years old and live in Alexandria. The agency serves those living in zip codes 22301, 22302, 22304, 22305, 22311, and 22314. Specific programs may have additional guidelines related to need or income.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the agency or arrange services, you can call the main office at (703) 836-4414.

City of Alexandria Tax Relief Programs

What You Should Know
Alexandria residents have access to several tax relief programs to help them lessen the financial burden of homeownership. If your property taxes are higher than you can afford, you may qualify for the Real Estate Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled Persons Program, which provides full and partial tax exemptions depending on your income. The Personal Property Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled Persons Program reduces the taxes you pay on one personal vehicle. Additional programs are available to older veterans and their surviving spouses.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re at least 65 years old or disabled and you’re a permanent resident of Alexandria, you may be eligible for the real estate tax relief and personal property tax relief programs. These programs also have income and asset limits. The city’s tax relief program for veterans is open to veterans with total and permanent service-related disabilities and their surviving spouses. The tax exemption is also available to spouses of veterans who were killed in action.

How to Get Started
You can call the city’s Revenue Division at (703) 746-4800 for more information on tax relief programs and their eligibility guidelines. Applications are available online, or you can request one by mail by contacting the Tax Relief Program at 301 King Street, Room 1700, Alexandria, VA 22314. All applications must be submitted by April 15th for the following calendar year.

Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program

What You Should Know
VICAP is a statewide program that provides free health insurance options counseling for Medicare beneficiaries. Through VICAP, you can get up-to-date information on your Medicare benefits, including any coverage it has for home-based care. VICAP counselors can help you determine what Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans are available in Alexandria or assist you in comparing long-term care insurance policies. You can also speak with a counselor about how to qualify for Medicare Savings Programs or Medicaid, which can help you cover medical and home-based care.

Who Is Eligible?
You qualify for health insurance assistance through VICAP if you’re eligible for Medicare and a resident of Virginia.

How to Get Started
You can schedule an appointment to speak with a VICAP counselor by calling the toll-free line at (800) 552-3402.

Aging and Adult Services

What You Should Know
Aging and Adult Services is the Area Agency on Aging for Alexandria. This local nonprofit organization offers numerous programs to those aged 60 and over in the community to enhance their independence and help them obtain the services they need to remain in their home. These include the Homemaker Personal Care Services Program, which provides in-home assistance to older adults unable to complete certain household chores due to age or disability. The agency also provides information on subsidized housing, a home modification program and financial assistance such as rent relief and utility assistance.

Who Is Eligible?
Services through the local Area Agency on Aging are available to everyone in Alexandria who’s at least 60 years old. To benefit from certain programs such as in-home care, housing assistance, financial assistance or nutrition services, you may be required to meet further need- and income-based guidelines.

How to Get Started
You can learn more about available services and supports by calling the agency at (703) 746-5999.

Home Rehabilitation Energy Efficiency Loan Program

What You Should Know
If you have low- to moderate-income, you may be eligible for a loan that covers energy efficiency improvements to your home. This loan can be used to pay for insulation or purchase and install energy-efficient appliances and heating and cooling equipment. No interest is charged on the loan, and payments are deferred for 99 years or until the property is sold or the owner moves, whichever comes first.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for this loan, your household income must be below 80% of the area median income by family size. In 2021, the median income for a single-person household was $65,680, meaning that single applicants may have an annual income of no more than $52,544.

How to Get Started
For more information on this program, contact the main office at (703) 746-3091.