I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Birmingham, AL

The largest city in Alabama and the 25th largest city in the South, Birmingham has undergone a revitalization since 2000 that has renovated its historic downtown buildings into hotels, restaurants and a theater while giving retirees plenty to see and do in this vibrant city. You can catch a live performance at the Alabama Theatre, watch the history of the Industrial Revolution unfold at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark walking tour or spend the day shopping at The Summit.

The city’s low cost of living and savings on Social Security and pension taxes means more money in your pocket to enjoy the many amenities, and you’ll save on home care too since costs are moderately lower than the national average. There are also no less than six senior centers that offer a wide array of free or low-cost activities, events and programs. And dozens of parks offer more than enough open space for you to enjoy the warm year-round weather by picnicking, walking or relaxing. For all of these reasons, Birmingham is a great place to receive home care during your retirement years.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Birmingham, AL

According to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, home care is approximately $3,718 per month, and home health care is $3,813 or $95 more. This difference is due to the medical services provided by home health aides. These figures are based on 44 hours of weekly care, which amounts to roughly six hours of assistance per day. Home care costs $19.50 per hour, and home health care costs $20 per hour. Depending on how much care you need each week, costs will vary.

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

Costs for home care and home health care are higher in Birmingham than in Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Anniston. The price of both types of care are lowest in Montgomery where home care costs $3,238 per month and home health care costs $3,337. Tuscaloosa is next at $3,552 for both kinds of care followed by Anniston with an average of $3,356 per month.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care in Birmingham is moderately more expensive than other forms of long-term care. Adult day care is the least expensive option at $813 per month. Assisted living is approximately $650 less than home health care at $3,156 per month. Nursing home care, on the other hand, is the most expensive option with an average cost of $6,388 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Birmingham, AL

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 Birmingham, AL.

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 Birmingham, AL

United Way Area Agency on Aging

What You Should Know
The United Way Area Agency on Aging is the first stop for accessing senior-relevant services and programs. The hotline is staffed by caring and knowledgeable staff who can help you identify what services or supports you need and provide referrals. If you live alone and need help with two or more activities of daily living, UWAAA’s homemaker program can connect you with local health care agencies that will provide assistance with dressing, bathing, laundry or light housekeeping. You can also find out more about the Elderly Nutrition Program, which provides meals at local senior centers or deliveries through Meals on Wheels. Customized counseling and information about Medicare as well as appeal assistance is available as is information about SeniorRX, a program that offers financial assistance for prescription drug costs.

UWAAA also runs Alabama Cares, a program that provides support for caregivers. This may come in the form of respite to give caregivers a break from their responsibilities or supplemental services ranging from emergency response systems and incontinence supplies to nutritional supplements.

Who Is Eligible?
Anyone 60 or older may contact UWAAA to find out what services are available; however, to qualify for the homemaker program, you must be at least 60 years old, live alone and require help with at least two ADLs for a minimum of two hours each week. Alabama Cares is available to all caregivers for frail elderly individuals aged 60 and older who need assistance with three ADLs, such as bathing, dressing or cooking.

How to Get Started
To learn more about homemaker services or other programs offered through UWAAA, contact the agency at (800) 243-5463 or by completing the online form.

United Way Meals on Wheels

What You Should Know
Providing once-a-day meals to homebound seniors throughout Jefferson County, United Way Meals on Wheels also educates its clients about nutrition to help empower them to live their healthiest lives. A monthly bulletin includes details regarding the most nutritionally dense foods, the importance of daily water intake and more. Meals include a variety of proteins, fruits and grains and come with a beverage and dessert. Frozen meals may also be available to certain areas outside regular delivery routes. Meals on Wheels is free of cost to any qualifying senior.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for Meals on Wheels, you must be homebound and isolated with limited access to transportation.

How to Get Started
To apply for Meals on Wheels, call (205) 592-0413 or contact the United Way Area Agency on Aging at (800) 243-5463.

Jefferson County Senior Services

What You Should Know
Jefferson County Senior Services provides many resources to Birmingham seniors, including transportation and a variety of health and wellness programs. Transportation is available from your home to several senior centers Monday through Friday as well as local field trips. A yearly health fair along with workshops and seminars are provided on topics ranging from heart disease and dementia to fall prevention and senior fraud. Case management may also be available for those without transportation, and Social Security employees will determine whether meals, home care or other services are needed. Low-income seniors who live at home and don’t have access to a caregiver may also qualify for incontinence supplies.

Who Is Eligible?
Any senior 60 and older living in Jefferson County is eligible to contact Senior Services, utilize the senior centers or attend a workshop or seminar.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the available programs and events offered by Senior Services, contact the Information Specialist at (205) 325-5567.

Travelers Aid Birmingham Senior Ride

What You Should Know
Travelers Aid, a nonprofit organization, partners with United Way of Central Alabama to offer a Senior Ride program that drives low-income elderly to and from all medical appointments. These include, but are not limited to, doctor or dentist visits, chemotherapy or other medically related appointments. Rides are not available for exercise classes, counseling or anything nonmedical in nature. They must be scheduled in advance and are available Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for Senior Ride, you must be low income and 72 or older. You must also not have access to rides either through public transportation or family members.

How to Get Started
You can apply for Senior Ride by completing the application and mailing the required documents to the Birmingham office. More information can also be found by calling (205) 322-5426.

Jefferson County Housing Programs

What You Should Know
Jefferson County has several housing programs that may help those receiving home care. If you’re in need of emergency repairs and have a low or very low income, the Housing Emergency Grant Program may be able to help. Lower income residents may also qualify for Volunteer Based Housing Programs for minor home repairs, and the Housing Accessibility Program can create modifications for the elderly who are also disabled, such as adding grab bars in bathrooms or installing ramps if needed.

Who Is Eligible?
Birmingham city homeowners who meet income requirements may be eligible for these programs.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the specific eligibility criteria and provided services, contact the City of Birmingham Housing Division at (205) 254-2312.