I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Columbus, OH

The capital and largest city in Ohio, Columbus has plenty to offer to seniors. The Scioto Mile, a string of parks on either side of the Scioto River, features gentle walking trails and different community events throughout the year. Columbus has a population of 899,000 people, 10% of whom are seniors aged 65 and older, a growing demographic who may need extra assistance in the home to avoid moving into a group housing facility.

Columbus’s OhioHealth Riverside Medical Hospital, a teaching hospital and sprawling medical facility with many different kinds of specialist care, provides seniors with one of the best places for treatment in the city. The cost of living in the city is about 15 points lower than the national average, which can benefit seniors with limited means. Ohio also offers certain tax breaks for seniors, including exemption from taxes on Social Security and some types of retirement income plus property tax breaks for homeowners who qualify.

It’s only natural that many seniors wish to age in place in their family home. Choosing to retain the services of a homemaker assistant or a traveling home health care aide can help many elderly maintain the independence they want.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Columbus, OH

According to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey 2020, seniors in Columbus can expect to pay an average of $4,576 per month for both in-home health care and homemaker services, although each provider’s individual costs can vary.

Genworth calculates the monthly average costs based on 44 hours of service per week. However, every recipient is different, and some seniors may need more or less time with a health care worker or home assistant. The average hourly cost for both services is $24 per hour, which may be helpful when you’re calculating the fees for your individual needs.

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

Seniors in Columbus can expect to pay more for both homemaker services and home health care than others in Ohio, which has state averages of $4,481 and $4,566, respectively. Columbus averages are also higher than the U.S. averages of $4,576 for home health care and $4,481 for homemaker care. Cincinnati and Toledo have higher monthly average costs for both types of services, while Cleveland is lower, averaging $4,362 per month for homemaker assistance and $4,410 for home health care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care and homemaker services in Columbus are some of the more expensive options for elder care in the area, both of which average $4,576 per month for 44 hours of care. Assisted living accommodations, including room and board, average $4,500 per month. Nursing home care is the most expensive option for seniors, although those with chronic health conditions may find this the best option. A semiprivate nursing home room is $6,996, while a private room is $8,213. Adult day care is the most financially approachable choice, at just $1,625 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Columbus, OH

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 Columbus, OH.

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 Columbus, OH

Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging

What You Should Know
The Area Agency on Aging is an organization that administers many different programs designed to enhance the lives of seniors living in the greater Columbus area. Meal delivery programs are provided for those unable to leave their homes or prepare a healthy meal. Caseworkers at the AAA can help seniors locate government benefits and health care, including navigating the online application process for Social Security and Medicare. The AAA also sponsors programs to help reduce the isolation that many seniors experience, through funding senior citizens centers and organizing community events throughout the year. Services also include assistance for those in crisis, such as help with utilities or with mental health concerns. Caregiver education and respite services are also available.

Who Is Eligible?
Each program affiliated with the Agency in Aging has different guidelines for eligibility, usually income and age-based. For many programs, the age limit is 55 years and older.

How To Get Started
Find information about each program administered by the agency online. For questions, call the main office at (614) 645-7250.

Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP)

Ohio homeowners who meet age and income requirements may receive assistance making repairs and modifications to their homes to increase comfort and livability, and to correct certain safety issues. Agents of the program inspect each home and make recommendations as to what needs to be done, such as adding insulation, sealing drafts from windows and doors, or replacing broken windows and doors. Some roof repairs may also be approved. This assistance is rendered in the form of a grant or loan, and monies must be used for the services stipulated by the inspection.

Who Is Eligible?
Most Ohio families or individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Home Energy Assistance (HEAP) are automatically eligible for the program. For those who don’t, a sliding scale of income limits based on the number of people in the household is used to determine eligibility.

How To Get Started
Applications may be completed online at energyhelp.ohio.gov or in person at 4236 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43213.

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

The greater Columbus area is serviced by the Central Ohio Transit Authority, or COTA, a fixed-route bus line that travels through the city and outlying suburbs. Some seniors may be eligible for a reduced-fare pass on the regular lines. The COTA also offers ADA and handicapped-accessible transportation via buses with lower profiles to the ground for easier entry and exiting, wheelchair ramps, and accommodations for service animals, who ride for free. Anyone with a COTA Reduced Fare Key ID Card is eligible for handicapped transportation.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors and those with a qualifying disability may be eligible for the reduced-fare pass and handicapped transportation shuttles.

How To Get Started
More information and how to apply are available online here. Request an application by calling (614) 228-1776. Once completed, the application, along with a valid photo ID and proof of disability such as a Medicare card, Social Security award letter, or veteran disability award letter, may be delivered in person to the COTA Pass Sales Office in the William J. Lhota Building at 33 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Franklin County Senior Options (FCSO)

Franklin County Senior Options, or FCSO, is a nonprofit organization serving Franklin County seniors aged 60 and older. Different programs are offered to help seniors maintain their independence and mobility in their homes. Community-based services include home-delivered meals, volunteer homemaker services, personal care, respite care for caregivers, adult day care for families caring for an elderly household member, emergency response systems, and some minor home repairs. Senior Options is intended to be a “one-stop-shop” for the elderly in need, and caseworkers can guide interested seniors to the programs that they’re eligible for.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors aged 60 and older and their families may be eligible for all services.

How To Get Started
Interested seniors may visit the website or call (614) 525-6200 to speak with a representative and receive more information about each service.