I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Clearwater, FL

Clearwater, which is located on the western coast of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area. The city has a population of 117,292, and seniors aged 65 and older comprise 22.5% of that total, a figure well above the national average of 16.5%.

The cost of living in Clearwater is only slightly below the national average. However, Clearwater offers additional financial incentives. Florida does not have a state income tax, so there is no tax on retirement income of any kind. Seniors 65 and older may also be eligible for the Homestead Exemption, which eliminates property taxes on their homes.

Clearwater has a pleasant climate with mild winters, although summers can be hot and humid. There’s more rain, no snow and three additional weeks of sunshine as compared to national averages. Clearwater scores 6.8 out of 10 on the Best Places Comfort Index.

Many beautiful beaches await senior residents in Clearwater, including those in nearby St. Petersburg. Tampa, which is across the bay, features top-flight sports teams, many fine dining establishments and world-renowned museums. All of this makes Clearwater an ideal place to age in place.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Clearwater, FL

Most costs associated with aging in place fall into two categories: home care and home health care. Home care involves activities of daily living (ADL) such as cooking, grocery shopping, personal care and cleaning. Home health care, which involves some nursing care and perhaps additional medical help, is often more expensive.

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2020, home care in Clearwater averages $4,195 a month while home health care averages $4,576 a month, an additional $381 per month. These costs are based on an average of 44 hours a week of care, so prices may fluctuate depending upon the number of hours that you need and the services required. In Clearwater, home care costs an average of $22 an hour, while home health care is $24 an hour.

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

Home care is more expensive in the North Port area, at $4,385 a month, while home health care is similar to Clearwater averaging $4,576 a month. In Sebastian, home care is about $140 a month more expensive, costing $4,338. Home health care is approximately $190 a month less expensive at $4,385. Finally, home care in Lakeland is almost $240 a month less expensive than Clearwater, averaging $3,956 a month, while home health care is approximately $380 a month less expensive averaging $4,195 a month.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

If you decide to age in place, your costs may not be much more expensive than if you selected an assisted living facility. Assisted living in Clearwater averages $3,225 a month. Adult Daycare is the least expensive option at $1,993 a month. Requiring care in a nursing home facility in a semiprivate room is the most expensive option, averaging $9,946 a month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Clearwater, FL

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 Clearwater, FL.

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 Clearwater, FL

Area Agency on Aging (AAA) of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

What You Should Know
The AAA coordinates services with other organizations in Pinellas County. If any gaps in coverage are found, the AAA works to close them. The AAA can help you in several ways, including delivering nutritious meals for you and your spouse if you are homebound, providing you with transportation to medical appointments and local senior centers and helping you find financial assistance to ameliorate the cost of aging in place.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for the different plans offered by the AAA may vary. For instance, seniors need to be aged at least 60 to participate in the meals for homebound seniors program.

How to Get Started
You can contact the local AAA at (727) 570-9696. Staff members can then provide you with information on the various programs offered.

Aging Well Center

What You Should Know
The center provides activities, events and programs aimed at older residents in the Clearwater area. You can find fitness, cooking, meditation and yoga classes, regular opportunities for socialization and sessions on how to do geological research. The center can also help you find information on financial assistance for utility bills, down payments and closing costs assistance on houses for income-eligible seniors, and it provides the county smoke alarm protection program. Transportation for seniors to the center is available.

Who Is Eligible?
While there is no set age limit to who is considered a senior, in most cases those aged 50 and older are eligible. Some programs may have specific age limits, such as those for financial assistance which may only be available to those aged 65 and older.

How To Get Started
You can contact the Aging Well Center at (727) 562-4904 to register for classes or for information on the availability of programs.

Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (DFVA)

What You Should Know
The DFVA provides veterans with many valuable services including information and support on education, housing, mental health care and employment. If you’re a senior veteran, the department can help ensure that you or your dependents receive all the benefits on the local, state or federal level for which you are entitled. If you or any other honorably discharged veteran in Florida owns real estate that you use as a homestead, you do not have to pay property taxes nor does a surviving spouse.

Who Is Eligible?
Any honorably discharged member of the United States military is eligible for the benefits offered by both the DFVA and the state of Florida.

How to Get Started
To find your local DFVA office, check the link above or call (727) 518-3202.

Florida Elder Law

What You Should Know
The Florida Elder Law Project can help you in civil law matters such as long-term care visitation rights, questions about health care expenses, powers of attorney, the steps to take after a loved one has died, living wills, medical directives and issues with landlords. The project cannot answer questions that concern personal injury cases, criminal law or divorces.

Who Is Eligible?
The Elder Law Project works with low-income seniors aged 60 and older. Callers are screened, and only those who meet income guidelines are scheduled for an appointment.

How to Get Started
You can call the Florida Senior Legal Helpline at (888) 895-7873.

Florida SHINE

What You Need to Know
The trained, volunteer counselors at SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) assist seniors and their caregivers. If you have questions about Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Advantage programs, prescription drug programs, Medigap or long-term care insurance, the counselors can help you decide on your best options. Counselors can also help you find financial assistance to help pay for prescription drug plans and other medical costs

Who Is Eligible?
Medicaid-eligible seniors and their caregivers are eligible to use the services of SHINE.

How to Get Started
Call (800) 963-5337 to arrange a one-on-one session with a counselor either in person or over the phone.

Department of Elder Affairs

What You Need to Know
One goal of the Department of Elder Affairs is to help seniors remain as independent as possible, including staying in their homes. The department offers information and resources about programs in the community designed to help seniors age in place. The department also offers financial assistance to low-income seniors who wish to remain at home and avoid being placed either in nursing care or in an assisted living residence.

Who Is Eligible?
The many programs and activities offered by the Department of Aging often have different age limits. Your best bet is to check with the department about a specific program to see if you are eligible

How to Get Started
To locate a program in which you are interested or to speak with a staff member at the department, call (850) 414-2000.