I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Austin, TX

Austin, the state’s capital, is home to the University of Texas flagship campus. Its slogan, “Keep Austin Weird,” reflects the diversity of the city, from arts and entertainment to college sporting events and Formula One’s Circuit of the Americas raceway, host of the U.S. Grand Prix. Around 9% of the city’s 979,000 citizens are seniors aged 65 and older, many of whom may need some extra help retaining their independence at home or light in-home medical care, and this number is expected to grow over the next decade.

There’s plenty for you to do in Austin, and with its year-round warm weather, you can enjoy a round of golf at any time at one of the city’s many courses or stroll historic 6th Street, dining in a local restaurant, or listening to music in one of the many venues in the district. The city is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, which music lovers may appreciate.

Austin isn’t just about music. It borders the Hill Country region of Texas, a rolling landscape dotted with bluebonnets and plenty of nature trails. There’s also immersive Texas history museums and a guided tour around town — ideal if you’re a history buff.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Austin, TX

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2020, seniors in Austin can expect to pay an average of $4,385 per month for homemaker services and $4,576 per month for home health care, a service that’s usually slightly more expensive due to the medical care provided.

Genworth calculates the average cost for in-home care based on a total of 44 hours per week; however, individuals may pay more or less per month depending on how much care they need each day. To further break out the costs for each service, Austin seniors receiving homemaker and chores assistance can expect to pay $23 per hour, while those receiving in-home medical care will pay, on average, $24 per hour.

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

Austin’s average costs for homemaker services are a few hundred dollars more than the Texas state average. although slightly less than the overall national average. In-home medical care in Austin is several hundred dollars more per month than Texas overall but matches the national average. Compared to the other three major Texas cities, Austin is a bit higher for both types of care, with Houston’s averages of $4,290 for both being the lowest, comparatively, and Dallas the highest, $4,385 per month for both types of in-home care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In-home care is one of the more expensive options for long term elder care in Austin, at $4,385 per month for homemaker services and $4,576 for in-home medical care. Assisted living accommodations in a board and care facility average less per month, at $4,250, while a semi-private room in a full-time nursing home averages $5,201 per month. Average monthly costs for adult day care are not provided.

III. How to Find Home Care in Austin, TX

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 Austin, TX.

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 Austin, TX

Aging Services Council of Central Texas

What You Should Know
The Central Texas Aging Services agency helps local seniors enjoy healthy, meaningful and fulfilling lives in their homes. It’s a network of volunteers and different organizations that cover many of the needs of the elderly, from meals and nutrition to companionship and education about finances. The agency offers caregiver training and support, for those caring for an older loved one, plus opportunities for respite care.

Isolation and poor socialization are issues that affect any of the elderly, and to address this, the Aging Services Council operates a program to provide seniors with smartphones and tablets, as well as for instructions on how to use social media to keep in touch with friends and family and how to avoid fraud on the internet. There is an advocacy arm of the agency, dedicated to initiating legislation to protect the interests of the elderly and those in long-term care and to protect social benefits for seniors.

Who Is Eligible?
The Agency on Aging has many different programs under its umbrella, and the eligibility for each can vary. As a general rule of thumb, if you are aged 55 or 60 and older, you may be able to participate in many programs, although some have income caps, as well.

How to Get Started
For more information about the different programs administered by the Agency on Aging, visit its website or give the agency a call at (855) 937-2372.

Central Texas Meals on Wheels

What You Should Know
Local volunteers deliver hot meals every weekday to seniors and those with a qualifying disability. Often, participants are unable to prepare their own hot, healthy meals or may be housebound and unable to obtain healthy food. Part of the delivery is also providing brief companionship and a wellness check on participants. In addition to meal delivery, this organization offers other free services for seniors to stay safely in their homes, including in-home help with the tasks of daily living, help with pet care and vet visits, home repair, including handicapped modifications and home safety repairs, and respite care to help caregivers supporting loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Who Is Eligible?
The program is free of charge, and anyone with a qualifying reason may apply for the program, as well as for other services.

How to Get Started
If you’re interested in meal delivery or other programs, fill out an application online here or call (512) 476-6325 for more information.

Austin Senior Transportation Program

What You Should Know
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department administers a senior transit program for door-to-door transportation anywhere within the greater Austin area. Seniors may reserve rides ahead of time, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Reservations may be made up to 30 days in advance. Service is curbside to curbside unless assistance getting in and out is requested. In addition to the reserve-a-ride service, the department also offers rides to area senior citizen centers for weekday lunches (there are several to choose from) and group travel arrangements.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors aged 60 and older may be eligible for this service. Further eligibility and registration guidelines are set by the Older Americans Act and confirmed by CAPGOC under the Department of Aging and Disability Services.

How to Get Started
Intake forms for service are required, and you can find them here or contact (512) 974-1464 to request a mailed copy.

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services

What You Should Know
The state Department for Aging and Disability provides support programs for seniors and those with a qualifying disability to help them remain in their own homes. Caseworkers at this agency help seniors apply for government benefits, including health care and Social Security, as well as VA benefits for those who qualify. The agency also operates training and support programs for caregivers, including respite care. Other functions of the disability services department include education about nutrition and financial planning, plus meal delivery services for those who are homebound.

Who Is Eligible?
Anyone aged 60 and older, or with a qualifying disability, will be eligible for most services, although specific eligibility for individual services can vary.

How to Get Started
You can visit the website for an overview of programs sponsored by the Aging and Disability Services department or call (855) 937-2372 for more information.

Austin Energy Winterization Program

What You Should Know
Austin Energy offers free home improvements for customers with low to moderate incomes. The program seeks to improve air quality as well as protect residents against the elements. Some improvements include adding insulation, sealing around windows and doors, and adding carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Other improvements can include adding energy-efficient LED lighting, solar panels and reflective roof coating for mobile homes.

Who Is Eligible?
Austin Energy customers who meet income guidelines for the size of their household are eligible.

How to Get Started
You can find applications and instructions for how to apply here, or you can call (512) 482-5346 for more information.