I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana’s capital city of Baton Rouge is a vibrant community with a fascinating history, a unique arts and culture scene and a wide array of age-friendly recreational amenities, making it a desirable retirement destination. The city has over 220,000 people, about 30,000 of whom are aged 65 and over. It’s an affordable place to live, with an overall cost of living that’s about 10% lower than the national average. Housing, utilities and health care costs are affordable compared to the national median, which may appeal to retirees with budgetary considerations. The city’s reliable public transportation system makes it easy for you to take care of errands and attend doctor’s appointments even if you don’t drive, and several of the city’s neighborhoods are walkable for those who prefer to set out on foot.

Despite its large population, Baton Rouge offers an inviting environment with a range of recreational amenities. It’s home to the Shaw Center for the Arts, a visual and performing arts venue where you can appreciate local talent showcased by the Manship Theatre, Forward Arts and the LSU Museum of Art and School of Art Gallery. The weekly farmers market gives you easy access to fresh produce, baked goods and handmade arts from local vendors, and attractions such as Capitol Park Museum and Ogden Museum of Southern Art provide a glimpse into the city’s dynamic history.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Baton Rouge, LA

According to senior care costs published in the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, home care agencies in Baton Rouge charge approximately $3,432 per month. This type of care includes personal care services, companionship, housekeeping, meal preparation and transportation for medical appointments and errands, depending on your needs. Home health care includes these services along with some skilled nursing care. While home health care tends to cost more than home care, in Baton Rouge, monthly fees are the same, at $3,432.

Based on 44 hours of care per week, seniors pay an hourly rate of $18. If you need part-time care or supplement home care services with adult day health services, your monthly care costs may be lower.

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

Home care and home health care costs in Baton Rouge are higher, at $3,432, than the statewide median of $3,241 for both types of care. However, compared to the national monthly rates of $4,481 for home care and $4,576 for home health care, Baton Rouge is affordable. The city is also relatively economical compared to nearby surveyed cities. In New Orleans, both types of care cost $3,909 per month, and in Hammond, seniors pay $3,575 for home-based care. Only the Houma area is more cost-effective, with both levels of care coming in at $3,337.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home-based care is among the most affordable senior care options in Baton Rouge, with both home care and home health care coming in at $3,432 per month. The only more affordable option is adult day care, which features day services in a community setting for $1,408 monthly. Assisted living has a similar scope of services to home care in a residential community environment and is a little more expensive at $3,618 per month. Nursing home care, which includes skilled nursing services in an institutional setting, is the most expensive option at $5,597 monthly.

III. How to Find Home Care in Baton Rouge, LA

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 Baton Rouge, LA.

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 Baton Rouge, LA

City of Baton Rouge Division of Human Development & Services

What You Should Know
The City of Baton Rouge Division of Human Development & Services is the designated Community Action Agency that serves those living in Baton Rouge. It oversees and administers more than a dozen programs and services to help older adults maintain their independence and age in place. Through this agency, you can get one-time help with high energy bills with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It offers the Commodity Food Program to promote food security and the CSBG medication assistance program, which can help you afford necessary prescription medications. The agency also works with community partners that provide weatherization services to help you reduce utility bills.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for services through the local Community Action Agency, you must meet program-specific criteria, which may include income limits, homeownership status, age restrictions and level of need. Eligibility requirements vary from one program to another.

How to Get Started
To get more information about eligibility requirements or to apply for a program, call the Human Development & Services office at (225) 358-4519 or email the department at [email protected].

East Baton Rouge Council on Aging

What You Should Know
The East Baton Rouge Council on Aging advocates on behalf of seniors in the parish and offers a full array of services and supports to help them continue living safely at home. Its Home-Based Care Program provides personal care services, up to 120 hours annually of respite care and one hour per week of homemaker services. The Council is the local Meals on Wheels provider and has trained Care Managers who can answer any questions you have, conduct assessments and connect you with services and supports.

Who Is Eligible?
You’re eligible for services through the COA if you are at least 60 years old and reside in Baton Rouge or a neighboring city in East Baton Rouge Parish. Depending on the program, there may be further eligibility requirements related to income and care needs.

How to Get Started
To apply for services, call the agency at (225) 923-8000 to complete the intake process and schedule an appointment for an in-home assessment with a Care Manager.

Capital Area Agency on Aging

What You Should Know
The local Area Agency on Aging operates the region’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, which serves as a single point of contact to obtain free and affordable nutrition services, personal care, transportation, financial assistance and legal aid. The AAA operates several wellness programs that support your safety and independence at home, including nutrition and falls prevention classes. It also provides direct services such as friendly phone calls, personal care, homemaker services, transportation, meals, utility assistance and prescription drug assistance.

Who Is Eligible?
Services through the AAA are available to those who are at least 60 years old and live within the agency’s 22-parish service area. Some programs have additional eligibility requirements.

How to Get Started
To request services through the AAA, you can call the main office at (225) 922-2525 or toll-free at (800) 833-9883.

Baton Rouge Vet Center

What You Should Know
The Baton Rouge Vet Center helps veterans obtain services they’re entitled to through the VA. At this local center, you can apply for pension programs and the Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefit, which you can use at your discretion to cover home care expenses.

Who Is Eligible?
Generally speaking, to be eligible for benefits through the VA, you or your spouse must have actively served in the military, naval or air service and not been discharged or released under dishonorable conditions. Some programs, including pension programs and the Aid and Attendance benefit, require a certain number of days of active duty during a period of war.

How to Get Started
To find out if you’re eligible for VA benefits that can cover home care expenses, schedule an appointment with a trained professional by calling the Vet Center at (225) 761-3140.

Property Tax Special Assessment Level

What You Should Know
The Special Assessment Level lets you freeze the value of your property, preventing your property taxes from going up if your home’s value appreciates. While this program doesn’t automatically freeze your tax bill, it does keep the assessed value from increasing.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for this tax program, you have to be at least 65 years old on January 1 of the year you’re applying. Your annual household income must be no higher than $77,030.36, and you must own, live in and receive a homestead exemption on your home. If you’re widowed and at least 55 years old, you may be eligible for this program if your deceased spouse met these qualifications. This program is also open to those who are permanently disabled or have a military service-connected disability and meet the income limit.

How to Get Started
To apply for this program, you should call the assessor’s main office at (225) 389-3920 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.