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

Part of North Carolina’s Triangle region, Durham offers a dynamic environment where you can enjoy a high-quality retirement lifestyle. This fast-growing city has seen a population increase of more than 21% over the last 10 years and is currently home to roughly 279,000 residents. Durham’s low cost of living, tax friendliness and affordable, world-class health care have made it an increasingly popular destination for retirees who make up 11.6% of the population. In fact, it’s not only listed as one of the best places to retire in North Carolina, but it’s ranked as one of the best places to live across the entire country.

One of the city’s most appealing features is its plethora of beautiful green spaces. You can benefit from over 200 local parks and a 152-mile greenway system, which are perfect for afternoon strolls. Durham is a culturally vibrant community, with draws such as the Durham Performing Arts Center and Nasher Museum of Art, one of the southern United State’s hottest foodie scenes and the most live music venues in all of North Carolina. The city offers a number of fun, family-friendly ways for you to enjoy an afternoon with visiting grandchildren, such as a trip to the Museum of Life+Science or attending a local sports game.

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

According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of home care in Durham is $4,385 per month. Home health care services, which include light medical support, are more expensive at an average cost of $4,767 per month.

These figures are based on an average of 44 hours of at-home assistance per week. Using these numbers, the estimated hourly rate for home care services is $23, and the hourly rate for home health care services is $25. Your monthly costs may be higher or lower depending on the type and number of hours of care you need.

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

While North Carolina tends to have very affordable home care costs compared to the national average, both home care and home health care costs are quite high in Durham compared to nearby cities. Greensboro is the least expensive option, with costs of $3,956 for home care and $4,004 for home health care. Burlington is also inexpensive with an average cost of $4,004 for both types of service. Home care also costs $4,004 in Raleigh, and home health care is only slightly more expensive at an average of $4,195.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Compared to other types of senior care in Durham, home care is on the more expensive side. Adult day care is the least expensive option you can choose, with an average cost of $1,333 per month. Assisted living costs an average of $4,050 per month, which is over $300 less than home care and over $700 less than home health care services. The most expensive option in Durham is nursing home care, which at $7,270 per month is nearly $2,900 higher than the cost of basic home care services.

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

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 Durham, NC

Durham County Social Services Division of Aging and Adult Services

What You Should Know
The Durham County Social Services Division of Aging and Adult Services provides a wide range of in-home services and community programs that can help you continue living safely and independently at home. These include personal care assistance, help with household tasks and home-delivered meals. Division staff can also help you access nonemergency transportation to medical appointments. The AAS is responsible for managing adult day care programs in the county, which provide social opportunities and caregiver respite. Additional offerings include adult protective services, crisis services, guardianship and care placement coordination.

Who Is Eligible?
The programs offered by the AAS are available to all Durham County residents. Certain programs may require a needs assessment to determine your eligibility.

How to Get Started
For more information about these services and programs, you can call the Durham County Social Services main office at (919) 560-8000 and ask to be put through to the Aging and Adult Services Division.

HopeLine Reassurance Program

What You Should Know
In addition to its 24/7 crisis line, HopeLine operates a reassurance program that can provide you with extra support if you’ve chosen to remain living independently in your own home. Trained volunteers and staff will make daily short phone calls to check in on you and ask if you need help accessing local resources.

Who Is Eligible?
This service is completely free of charge if you live in North Carolina.

How to Get Started
To enroll in this program, you can fill out this online application form. Once submitted, you’ll be contacted by the program coordinator to discuss your enrollment in the program.

Durham Center for Senior Life

What You Should Know
The Durham Center for Senior Life is an organization that offers a wide range of services and programs to help you enjoy a healthy, active and independent lifestyle. These include a monthly calendar of social activities and events, educational classes, information and counseling services. There’s also a pantry service that can provide you with food and personal care products, and a congregate nutrition program, which serves healthy meals at three sites in Durham. If you don’t have access to a vehicle, complimentary transportation is available to these locations. The DCSL also offers a number of caregiver support services, including a monthly support group, respite care, a lending library and community referrals.

Who Is Eligible?
You’re welcome to visit the Durham Center for Senior Life and participate in its programming if you’re aged 55 or older and a resident of Durham or the surrounding communities. The center’s information and options counseling service and congregate nutrition program are also available to you if you’re aged 60 or older.

How to Get Started
For more information about the center and the programs it offers, call (919) 688-8247.

Senior CommUnity Care of North Carolina 

What You Should Know
Senior CommUnity Care of North Carolina is the region’s PACE program, which provides comprehensive medical care and social services to help you enjoy a safe, healthy retirement in the comfort of your own home. At-home services include personal care, medication assistance, meal preparation and light housekeeping. You can also benefit from a range of medical services such as nursing care, primary care, specialist services, lab work and prescription assistance. Additionally, the program provides nonmedical services such as therapy programs, transportation, congregate meals and weekly scheduled programs and events that you can participate in at the PACE center.

Who Is Eligible?
This program is open to residents of Wake and Durham counties, as well as certain areas of Granville County who are aged 55 and older. To be eligible, you must require a nursing home level of care as established by the state of North Carolina’s Department of Health Care Services and be able to live safely in your own home with the assistance of PACE services.

How to Get Started
If you’re interested in enrolling in this program or want more information, you can call (919) 425-3050 to speak directly with a PACE enrollment specialist.

Meals on Wheels Durham

What You Should Know
If you’re homebound, have limited mobility and are unable to safely prepare your own meals, you can benefit from the services offered by Meals on Wheels Durham. The program provides you with a nutritious meal, safety check and friendly greeting so you can remain living safely and independently at home and limit feelings of isolation. Meals are delivered by volunteers right to your door five days a week around lunchtime. There’s also a frozen meal option if you have afternoon medical appointments or aren’t usually at home during regular meal delivery hours. Additional services are available through the program’s partners, including pet food delivery, toiletries, clothing, electric fans and special holiday meals. The service is provided free of charge through donor funding, although you can skip the application waitlist by contributing $5 to cover the cost of each meal.

Who Is Eligible?
You’re eligible to apply for this program if you live in Durham County and are homebound due to age, disability or illness and unable to prepare your own meals. As long as you meet these requirements, there’s no age restriction or income limit to qualify for the program.

How to Get Started
To find out more about the services available in your area, you can call the Meals on Wheels office at (919) 667-9424.