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

Charlotte’s sprawling metropolis, the largest in the state, is also home to over 90,000 seniors ages 65 and older. A city whose population is in the rise, Charlotte’s combination of amenities, healthcare and lower living costs earned it a spot in the U.S. News and World Report’s list of best cities for retirement in 2020. The city offers senior residents plenty of activities through its many senior programs, and sports fans will appreciate being able to watch both NFL and NBA games if they so choose. There are also a number of beautiful parks, including Freedom Park, which earned a 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award for its consistently high ratings and reviews. Residents can visit the park’s Nature Museum, see a live performance, or have a picnic with family. Golf courses, downtown shopping and dining offer more opportunities for recreation and leisure, and you can easily get around town via Mecklenburg Transportation System’s Elderly General Purpose program, which offers discounted rates to seniors.

You or your loved one can rest assured that quality care is readily accessible as well. Charlotte is home to the Carolinas Medical Center, which is ranked third out of all hospitals in the state and nationally recognized as one of the best places for cancer care. And by living here, you can save in several ways, including paying less for property taxes and keeping your Social Security earnings tax-free.

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

According to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, home care in Charlotte costs $3,813 per month on average, or $20 an hour. Receiving care from home health aides who deliver medical services costs $4,004 per month, or $21 per hour. These figures are based on 44 hours of service per week, and your costs may be higher or lower depending on the number of hours needed. For instance, if you or your loved one needs only 15 hours of assistance per week for light housekeeping or meal prep, home care would cost on average $1,300 per month. If a home health aide is needed instead for the same number of hours, the cost would be $1,365.

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

At $3,813 per month for homemaker services and $4,004 for home health aides, home care in Charlotte is equal to the state average and well below the national averages of $4,481 and $4,576. In some cities, home care costs are lower, while in Asheville, costs are much higher, with homemaker services costing $4,576 and home health aides costing $4,671 per month. In Hickory, costs are slightly lower, at $4,000 for both types of care, and prices drop further in Fayetteville, where home care costs $3,623 per month.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

At $3,813 for homemaker services and $4,004 for home health aides, home care in Charlotte is much more expensive than adult day care, which averages $1,408 per month. However, adult day care may not be feasible for those who are homebound. Adult day care also doesn’t provide assistance with household chores or daily living activities. Assisted living is also higher at $4,649, and requires moving from your home and its comforts to an unfamiliar environment. Nursing home care is approximately double the cost of home care at $7,817 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Charlotte, 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 Charlotte, NC.

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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 Charlotte, NC

Centralina Area Agency on Aging

What You Should Know
Serving a nine-county area including Mecklenburg County, the Centralina Area Agency on Aging’s mission is to help seniors, their caregivers and loved ones access services, programs and support systems to maintain or improve their overall quality of life. For those in need of home care, Centralina AAA can help determine if you qualify for financial assistance to help offset the cost. A number of evidence-based programs are offered, such as Healthy Living with Diabetes and A Matter of Balance. The Family Caregiver Support Program coordinates with local service providers to offer respite care, in-home modifications and assistive technology. Counseling and support is also provided as part of the program.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors aged 60 and older are generally eligible to receive assistance through the Centralina AAA, however, some services, such as the Family Caregiver Support Program, have specific eligibility criteria.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the resources offered by the Centralina AAA, call (704) 372-2416 or toll-free at (800) 508-5777.

Mecklenburg County Senior Services

What You Should Know
Under the umbrella of the Health and Human Services Agency, Mecklenburg County’s Senior Services department helps connect individuals and their loved ones with varying forms of assistance, social work services, medical assistance and more. The department’s in-home aide program provides respite services as well as assistance with daily living activities and chores to those who may otherwise be placed in nursing home. Calling its Just 1 Call helpline is the first step toward receiving information and counseling regarding all available resources, such as nutrition services, home health aide assistance and transportation services. If you don’t qualify for public assistance, you may still be eligible to receive help through the Community Social Work program, which provides case management and additional programs.

Who Is Eligible?
Most seniors residents of the County can qualify for Senior Services programs, but some, such as Food and Nutrition Services, are only available to those with limited financial means.

How to Get Started
To begin, call Just 1 Call at (704) 432-1111, and a trained staff member will answer any questions and provide information about pertinent resources.

Friendship Trays 

What You Should Know
Friendship Trays delivers two meals each day around noon to seniors who can’t prepare or cook for themselves. If you or a loved one is living at home and has a chronic illness, Alzheimer’s or is recovering from a recent hospitalization, you might benefit from Friendship Trays’ services. Diets are accommodated to fit prescriptions, including low-sodium and kosher, and meals are delivered cool so they may be easily reheated or frozen with assistance from the visiting volunteer if needed. Deliveries also include a short visit, providing companionship and needed conversation.

Who Is Eligible?
Aside from being unable to prepare or cook meals, there are no other eligibility requirements. Meals cost between approximately $0.65-$4.50, depending on ability to pay.

How to Get Started
Applications can be completed online, but you can also reach Friendship Trays by phone at (704) 333-9229.

Mecklenburg Transportation System Elderly Transportation

What You Should Know
The Mecklenburg Transportation System has several programs for seniors. Those receiving Medicaid qualify for Medicaid Transportation for rides to and from medical appointments. Elderly General Purpose is available for shopping, medical appointments and visits to Senior Centers, and Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities offers the same services for those aged 65 and older. Additionally, transportation is available specifically to and from senior citizens nutrition sites for congregate meals.

Who Is Eligible?
Any senior aged 60 and older has some option available to them. EGP is available to those between 60 and 65, and those aged 65 and older can utilize the Enhanced Mobility program. All seniors aged 60 and older can also use the transportation service to and from congregate dining sites.

How to Get Started
To register for the programs described above, individuals should call the Transportation Services Line at (704) 336-4547.

Legal Aid NC Senior Law Project

What You Should Know
Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Senior Law Project projects free legal counsel to seniors 60 years of age and older. Assisting individuals with a range of issues and concerns, the Senior Law Project can help seniors obtain the benefits they deserve or get issues pertaining to home repairs resolved. In addition to a free senior legal helpline, where you can find out if the Senior Law Project can assist you, the organization maintains a list of valuable articles to help raise awareness about legal rights.

Who Is Eligible?
Although all seniors aged 60 and older are eligible, the Senior Law Project prioritizes individuals with limited financial resources.

How to Get Started
Call the senior legal helpline at (877) 579-7562 for more information and answers to your legal concerns.