I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Allentown, PA

In 2021, Allentown ranked 11th on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best places to retire in the United States. Although the city only had an overall score of 6.2, it scored a 9.8 for health care, making it the ideal location for aging in place. Residents enjoy convenient access to Lehigh Valley Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital, both of which are considered high-performing in multiple specialties.

If you decide to retire in Allentown, you’ll be in good company. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 12% of the city’s population is 65 or older. In addition to high-performing hospitals and lower-than-average costs of living, you’ll have access to private and public golf courses, multiple senior centers and clubs specifically for older adults, making it easier to stay active and get the care you need to age in place.

Allentown also has many attractions you can enjoy with younger family members, from canal boat cruises and wineries to hiking trails and farmers markets. If you need a little downtime, check out one of the city’s shopping malls, visit a funky boutique or search for unique finds at an antique shop.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Allentown, PA

The Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey shows that the average monthly costs of home care and home health care services in Allentown are the same, coming in at $4,576 per month. Home health care sometimes includes skilled nursing and therapy services, so it may cost a little more than home care in some areas.

Genworth’s methodology uses 44 hours of care per week as the standard, so your total costs will vary based on how many hours of care you need. To help you estimate your costs, you can expect to pay an average of $24 per hour for home care and home health services in Allentown.

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

Depending on the type of care you need, Allentown may be more or less expensive than other cities in the region. The monthly cost of home care is higher in Allentown than in Scranton ($4,385) or Reading ($4,481), but it’s lower than the cost of home care in Philadelphia ($4,767). When it comes to the cost of home health services, Allentown has the same average costs as Reading, costs more than Scranton’s average of $4,385 per month and is less than Philadelphia’s average of $4,767 per month.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care and home health services are some of the most expensive care options in Allentown; however, they can help you stay in your home as you age, making them a worthwhile investment. The least expensive option is adult day care, which averages $1,625 per month in Allentown. Assisted living costs an average of $3,550 per month, but you’d have to move out of your home and into an assisted living facility to use this type of care. At almost three times the average cost of home care, nursing home care is the most expensive option at $12,471 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Allentown, PA

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 Allentown, PA.

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 Allentown, PA

Community Action Lehigh Valley

What You Should Know
Community Action Lehigh Valley aims to help residents of Allentown and surrounding areas improve their living circumstances. The organization serves people of all ages, but several programs are of interest to seniors, including home weatherization, food assistance and home renovation. CALV hires contractors to make home improvements and educates residents on how to reduce their energy costs. If needed, the organization will even repair or replace a broken heating system.

CALV also operates Second Harvest Food Bank, giving local seniors access to nutritious foods they wouldn’t be able to afford on their own. For seniors who own their homes, CALV can help arrange modifications to make each home safer.

Who Is Eligible?
Each program has different eligibility requirements, but CALV services are generally available to Lehigh Valley residents who meet certain income requirements. For example, eligibility for home modifications and repairs is limited to residents with incomes up to 80% of the area’s median income.

How to Get Started
To learn more about programs of interest and find out the eligibility requirements, call CALV at (610) 691-5620.

Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services

What You Should Know
Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services operates the Home Modification Program, which helps seniors in the Lehigh Valley remain in their homes for as long as possible. Approved contractors install handrails, add wheelchair ramps and make other non-cosmetic modifications to make each home safer and easier to navigate.

Aging and Adult Services has several other programs designed to help seniors stay healthy and maintain their independence, such as the Caregiver Support Program. CSP assists unpaid adults who provide care to functionally dependent seniors and adult relatives with disabilities.

Who Is Eligible?
Senior citizens who meet the agency’s financial requirements are eligible for the Home Modification Program. Every request is reviewed carefully to determine if the applicant meets the criteria regarding income, assets and expenses. The Caregiver Support Program is available to unpaid caregivers who are responsible for functionally dependent seniors (age 60+). You may also qualify for CSP if you’re 55 or older and care for an adult with a disability. The income limit for CSP is 380% of the federal poverty level.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the Home Modification Program or Caregiver Support Program, contact Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services at (610) 782-3200.

Lehigh County Office of Assessment

What You Should Know
The Lehigh County Office of Assessment is responsible for collecting property taxes from homeowners in Lehigh County. Under the Taxpayer Relief Act, some seniors qualify for rebates to reduce their overall tax burden. Qualifying homeowners typically receive a rebate of $650.

Lehigh County homeowners may also qualify for a homestead exemption, reducing the amount of property tax they must pay each year. The exemption is only available for a primary residence, not an investment property nor a vacation home.

Who Is Eligible?
In most cases, you must be at least 65 years old to qualify for the senior property tax rebate; however, widows and widowers qualify once they turn 50. The annual income limit is $35,000 per year for homeowners. To get the homestead exemption, you must fill out an application and file it with the assessment office each year.

How to Get Started
To get the homestead exemption, download a copy of the application on the Lehigh County website. If you have questions about the application, call (610) 782-3038 for assistance. To learn more about the senior tax rebate, visit the PA Department of Revenue website.

Meals on Wheels of Greater Lehigh Valley

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels of Greater Lehigh Valley works to ensure that seniors and adults with disabilities have ongoing access to nutritious meals. For seniors who can still cook their own meals but have trouble getting out of the house, volunteers shop for groceries and deliver them. Seniors who need a little more help can have ready-to-eat meals delivered to their homes.

Meals on Wheels also offers Chef Packs for seniors who are unable to prepare their own meals and would like to stock up on several meals at a time. Each pack comes with 15 frozen entrees and four soups, ensuring each recipient has plenty of food on hand.

Who Is Eligible?
Meals on Wheels sets meal prices based on a senior’s financial situation. To qualify for assistance, you must provide proof of your income, assets and expenses.

How to Get Started
To request assistance from Meals on Wheels, fill out the inquiry form on the organization’s website. You can also call (610) 691-1030 to get more information.

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley

What You Should Know
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley partners with several local organizations to ensure residents are safe and healthy. The organization aims to help seniors maintain their independence and stay at home instead of moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

United Way has partnerships with Age-Friendly Lehigh Valley, Healthy Aging Partners and Gatekeepers, all of which provide services to local seniors. The organization also provides direct support to dependent seniors and funds health prevention programs to help older adults maintain their health for as long as possible.

Who Is Eligible?
You must live in Lehigh County or Northampton County to qualify for services. The specific eligibility requirements depend on which program you need and which partner agency provides the needed services.

How to Get Started
Contact the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley at (610) 758-8010.