I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC, is a very attractive retirement destination for seniors. This small city, which offers scenic views of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, is a wonderful home base for adventurous seniors who enjoy getting out in nature as much as possible. Asheville was ranked as the best place to retire in North Carolina. Of the more than 92,000 people living in this eclectic town, 18.1% are aged 65 and older. The city of Asheville attracts many creative types, such as artists, craftspeople and writers.

Seniors looking to escape winter blizzards and hot, humid summers relish the mild climate in Asheville. With four distinct seasons, you can enjoy wonderful outdoor activities year-round at the 2,165-foot elevation the Blue Ridge Mountains provide. The Asheville Transit System has 16 local bus routes, making getting around town convenient, with discount fares available to seniors. Dozens of regional and neighborhood parks dot the town, in addition to a municipal golf course, tennis center, and nature center. Three public swimming pools add to your summer enjoyment in Asheville. You can enjoy the comforts of your own living space with the help of home care services in Asheville.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Asheville, NC

According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care, the average cost of home care in Asheville, NC, is $24.00 per hour or $4,576 per month. For a home health aide, the costs are slightly higher at $24.50 per hour or $4,671 monthly. Home health care fees are a bit more expensive due to the extra medical-based services provided, though both the average home care and home health care costs in Asheville are very similar overall.

The home care average cost estimates provided by Genworth are based on 44 hours of care per week. The actual number of care hours you require each week may differ from these estimates. In that case, use the average hourly rate to estimate your care cost needs.

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

The cost of home care and home health care in Asheville is higher than what seniors pay in the nearby cities of Hickory, Charlotte and Winston-Salem. The average monthly cost for home care and home health care in Hickory is $4,000. Charlotte seniors pay an average of $3,813 per month for home care and $4,004 for home health care. Both types of home care cost the least in Winston-Salem, at an average of $3,909 a month.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Compared to other types of senior living options available to Asheville seniors, home care and home health care costs fall about midway between community and assisted living costs and nursing home facility rates. Adult day health care is the least expensive option in Asheville at an average cost of $1,383 per month. The costliest choice is a nursing home care facility at $8,000 monthly, which costs $3,239 more per month than opting for home health care. Paying for assisted living in Asheville at $2,750 per month is less expensive than either home care option.

III. How to Find Home Care in Asheville, NC

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 Asheville, NC.

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 Asheville, NC

Senior Companion Program

What You Should Know
The Senior Companion Program (SCP) provides extra assistance to older adults who wish to remain living at home for as long as possible. The program is run by staff who each spend an average of 20 hours per week helping out seniors in their homes. The volunteers are paid stipends to provide companionship to local seniors who may feel lonely or socially isolated. They also help out with transportation needs, perform chores such as light housekeeping and some meal preparation, and offer some respite support to family members or informal caregivers. No personal care assistance is administered. The program hours run from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 pm.

Who Is Eligible?
Adults aged 55 and over can participate in the Senior Companion Program. This program is funded by the federal government to give seniors in Asheville an opportunity to directly help other seniors while making a difference in their own community. The services provided to seniors are free of charge.

How To Get Started
To access the Senior Companion Program, contact the program’s manager, Dee Heinmuller, at the Land of Sky Regional Council, 828-251-6622, Extension 1107.

Manna Food Bank Meals on Wheels

Delivering nutritious meals to elderly individuals who are homebound is the focus of this program that operates in a number of Western North Carolina counties, including Asheville’s Buncombe County. Volunteers deliver healthy meals to seniors’ homes every weekday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. On Thursdays, they bring frozen dishes for seniors’ use during the weekends.

Who Is Eligible?
To receive home-delivered meals from the Manna Food Bank, you must be 60 years old or over. You also must be homebound, meaning you are unable to drive or your driving is severely limited. You also must be unable to shop or cook for yourself. If you’re in recovery from a recent illness or hospital stay, you may be able to receive temporary services from the Meals on Wheels Program.

How To Get Started
If you qualify for this service, you can submit an application form found on the website or call your local Buncombe County office. The contact for Asheville residents is Becky Blalock, who can be reached via telephone at 828-253-5286.

Call a Ride

The Council on Aging’s Call a Ride Program provides seniors with transportation to various community destinations. Volunteers drive seniors who either cannot drive themselves around any longer or who aren’t able to access public transportation. Rides to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, hair salons, and other local places are available free of charge.

Who Is Eligible?
To be able to utilize the Call a Ride Program services, an in-home assessment must first be conducted to determine your eligibility. You’ll then be referred to a Service Coordinator, who will schedule your transportation needs based on volunteer availability and the service’s guidelines.

How To Get Started
Contact the Council on Aging at 828-277-8288 for more information on how to participate in this program.

The Social Bridging Project

Seniors who feel isolated at home may need someone to talk to or a friendly check-in every so often. Student volunteers from The Social Bridging Project visit older adults to engage them in conversation. They also bring along their technological devices, such as computer tablets, to help seniors socially engage with friends and loved ones remotely, take advantage of online fitness classes, and connect with medical professionals via telehealth apps.

Who Is Eligible?
Homebound senior citizens can participate in this program, which is run by the Western Carolina Medical Society.

How To Get Started
Call and leave a voicemail at 828-771-3445 to express interest in The Social Bridging Project. You can also send an email to [email protected] and include your phone number and when you’d like to receive a return phone call.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program

This program, also known as CSFP, is run in conjunction with the MANNA Food Bank. It’s a federally funded program that distributes food provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Seniors and others who are eligible can access a variety of food packages to help ensure a nutritious diet. Some of the foods on offer include nonfat dry milk, juices, ready-to-eat cereals, rice, pasta, peanut butter and many other healthy fresh and canned meats, fruits and vegetables.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors who are at 130% of the poverty guidelines or less are eligible to apply for the CSFP.

How To Get Started
You can download an application from the Council on Aging of Buncombe County website, which can then be returned via FAX or scanned and emailed to [email protected]. Applications can also be mailed directly to the Council at 46 Sheffield Circle, Asheville, NC 28803. Seniors who need assistance with the application can call for help at 828-277-8288.