I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Atlanta, GA

As one of the biggest cities in the United States, Atlanta boasts a population of over 506,811, with 11.4 of the population aged 65 or older. The city appeals to budget-conscious seniors as the average cost of living is low compared to national totals. This, coupled with low home healthcare costs and higher household income means that finances go a long way for Atlanta seniors living in their homes.

Senior homeowners of Fulton County, where Atlanta is located, can take advantage of the county’s Homestead Exemptions, which allows seniors to be exempt from certain state taxes, such as a school tax exemption for low-income seniors, exemptions for veterans or their spouses and other county or state taxes along with various income levels.

There is no shortage of activities for mobile seniors to enjoy in the city. Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation recognizes the value of engaging the city’s senior community, with various senior centers and activities available across the city. The Prime Time Seniors program allows participating adults aged 55 and over to engage in social activities like arts and crafts, educational seminars and organized local and regional day trips to theaters, state landmarks, parks and festivals in the area.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Atlanta, GA

The cost of home care in Atlanta is expected to be approximately $94 an hour. Typically, the minimum amount someone would require home care services is about 1-2 hours a day, 5-7 days a week. Though specific needs may vary from person to person, according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average need is about 44 hours a week. This would be approximately $4,147 a month in home care costs in Atlanta. Home health aides charge a little more each month, since their services include medical-based assistance, such as bathing, dressing, medication management, or therapy services. Those costs are slightly higher, at $4,195 a month on average. Per hour, home health aide services cost about $95.

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

Atlanta’s cost of home care and home health care is slightly higher than the state’s average by around $120 a month. Surrounding cities, like Macon and Athens have lower totals than Atlanta. However, Atlanta’s prices are quite a bit lower than national averages, saving Atlanta residents about $400 a month compared to the average cost in the U.S.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

The 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey estimates that adult day health care and assisted living facilities in Atlanta are more affordable than home care or home health care costs per month. These prices, however, do not consider concerns such as transportation to and from the day care center or limited visiting and operational hours. Nursing homes may provide more tailored care but are significantly more costly than home care or home health care and do not take into account the logistics or emotional toll of moving a senior resident from their home into a facility.

III. How to Find Home Care in Atlanta, GA

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 Atlanta, GA.

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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 Atlanta, GA

Meals on Wheels Atlanta (MOWA)

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels Atlanta was established in 1965 and serves the city’s senior community by providing them with meals delivered to their homes or served in a communal style dining center in the city. For those who choose the delivery option, an added benefit is a chance to see a friendly face each day which serves as a wellness check and an opportunity to socialize. These foods can also be tailored to specific dietary needs like soft foods or diabetic-friendly meals.

Who Is Eligible?
Fulton County residents aged 60 or older and considered low-income may qualify for this service. Residents must live in one of the listed ZIP codes found on the organization’s website (see link below), which encompass Buckhead, East Point, Hapeville and the city of Atlanta.

How to Get Started
Interested residents should visit the Meals on Wheels website and click on the “Apply for Meal Services” link on the page. The contact card requests a name, email and message, where seniors or their caregivers can list specific needs, and be contacted by a volunteer.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

What You Should Know
The Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program that provides residents with assistance in paying energy bills, energy crisis assistance, or weatherization-related home inspections. This helps reduce life-threatening scenarios like a lack of energy in a home due to a shortage of funds, illnesses or fires and expensive repairs down the line.

Who Is Eligible?
Residents of Atlanta who are attempting to secure LIHEAP assistance must be considered U.S. citizens or legal residents, earn a gross annual income that is at or below 60% of the state’s median income, and the applicant must be the one bearing the full responsibility of paying for the energy bill.

How to Get Started
Individuals who are interested in seeing if they qualify for this program must contact the Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority at(404) 320-0166. More information can be found at Georgia’s Department of Human Services page.

Home Repair Services 

What You Should Know
Elder homeowners in Atlanta in need of home repair services have two services that they can choose from: The Minor Home Repair Program for seniors and the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program for low to very low-income seniors, funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Minor repairs can include plumbing, accessibility modification, structural issues and exterior maintenance. The Rehabilitation program offers services that may help extend a home’s livability for at least 10 years, with a focus on problems that impact a resident’s safety or health.

Who Is Eligible?
Homeowners must have lived in the home for at least one year and earn 80% or less than the state’s median annual income. Though there is not a specific age requirement for the Rehabilitation Program, seniors must be 60 years or older to qualify for the Minor Home Repair Program.

How to Get Started
Residents who want to see if they may qualify for these services must request to be added to the Interest List, where priority will be determined based on the applicant’s need and the condition of the home. They can contact Fulton County’s STARLine at (404) 613-6000 or find more information at the program’s website.

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

What You Should Know
GeorgiaCare facilitates the state’s SHIP counseling services for qualifying Medicare recipients and their families. GeorgiaCare’s goal is to provide free, unbiased counseling services to Medicare recipients, their caregivers, friends and loved ones regarding questions about Medicare coverage, information on Medicare preventive services, chronic care management and Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia’s state plan.

Who Is Eligible?
Though anyone can call with questions regarding Medicare coverage, additional assistance about programs or services provided through Medicare are only available to those who have already applied and qualified.

How to Get Started
Callers should be ready with their Medicare cards and additional insurance information on hand, home addresses, access to their gross annual income totals and a list of prescribed medication. They can call the Georgia Legal Services Program (Atlanta Area) at 1-800-498-9469. Additional information is available at the GeorgiaCares website.

Senior Transportation Services 

What You Should Know
The Health Force of Georgia has partnered with Uber Health to provide seniors a convenient, affordable and safe way to travel using Uber’s transportation services. This service is completely free, and seniors can also ride with a caregiver provided by Health Force of Georgia. Transportation can be nonemergency medical, grocery runs, or simply local outings. Seniors are not required to make any payment directly to the driver and do not have to have the Uber application downloaded onto a smartphone. They can simply schedule transportation via a phone call and request a pick up when they are ready by calling the same number.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors must be at least 60 years old and not require emergency transportation at the time. Additional requirements may need to be met.

How to Get Started
In order to confirm that you qualify, contact the Health Force of Georgia at (770) 458-8500. The provider will take care of all arrangements necessary if the passenger qualifies. The passenger then simply calls this same number when they are ready to be picked up again. Those interested in learning more about this program can also visit the Health Force of Georgia website.