I. What You Should Know About Home Care in El Paso, TX

El Paso is situated in the westernmost region of central Texas, less than 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. This large city has nearly 680,000 residents, and seniors aged 65 and older make up about 13% of the population. Numerous local amenities make this city favorable for older residents, including several senior centers and city-sponsored financial assistance programs, making it a good option for obtaining in-home care. El Paso is also home to some of the best hospitals in the state, including University Medical Center of El PasoSierra Medical Center and Las Palmas Medical Center. On average, local health care costs come in about 10% below the national median, which may save you money on primary and specialty care services.

Aside from medical costs, El Paso is an affordable place to live, with an overall cost of living that’s almost 20% below the national median. Housing costs are especially low here compared to the rest of the state and nation as a whole, which may help you maintain your standard of living throughout retirement. Year-round temperatures are warm, and the city sees very little snow, making it ideal for those who enjoy outdoor activities.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in El Paso, TX

El Paso is among the least expensive cities in the nation for receiving home care. On average, seniors in the city pay $2,860 per month for services such as personal care, housekeeping and meal preparation. Home health care, which also includes limited skilled nursing services, such as wound care or chronic disease monitoring, has the same monthly rate of $2,860.

These rates are based on 44 hours of care per week and an annual median cost of $34,320 divided by 12, which results in an estimated rate of $15 per hour. Your costs may be more or less than the average, depending on the amount of assistance you require on a weekly or monthly basis.

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

Seniors in El Paso pay $2,860 per month for either basic home care or specialized home health care services. This is about $1,500-$1,700 lower than the rates in the Austin area, where seniors pay $4,385 for home care and $4,576 for home health care. In San Antonio, residents pay $4,290 for home care and $4,385 for home health care. In Corpus Christi, rates are more affordable but still pricier than in El Paso, with seniors paying $3,928 for both levels of care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

El Paso is a cost-effective place to obtain senior care, with median costs for all options coming in well below the national averages. Seniors who age in place pay $2,860 per month for home care and home health care services. Older adults who want to remain in their homes but have restrictive care budgets may opt instead for adult day care, which costs $628 per month, on average. Assisted living facilities provide comparable services to home care and charge an average of $2,950 per month. Nursing homes have the highest monthly care fees of $5,232.

III. How to Find Home Care in El Paso, TX

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 El Paso, TX.

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 El Paso, TX

Housing Rehabilitation Program

What You Should Know
El Paso offers housing rehabilitation programs that provide funds to assist with repairs to help you keep your home safe and comfortable. Through the Minor Home Repair Program, you can get up to $4,999 to use toward repairs that are an immediate threat to your health or safety or to install modifications to help the house meet accessibility standards, which may help you age in place. The Single Family Housing Rehabilitation program provides no-interest loans up to $65,000. The loans can be repaid or deferred up to 30 years. Seniors may qualify for an additional $20,000 for accessibility improvements through this program.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for the city’s housing rehabilitation programs, you must have owned and occupied your home for at least 3 years, and it must be in repairable condition. You must also meet the program’s income guidelines. Additionally, your home’s value can’t exceed the program’s set maximum.

How to Get Started
To learn more or enroll in this program, seniors should call the Housing Programs office at (915) 212-1667. The office is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Project BRAVO

What You Should Know
Project BRAVO is the local Community Action Program and provides a broad array of services to income-eligible individuals in El Paso and the surrounding region. Its Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program provides emergency assistance to help qualifying individuals pay burdensome energy bills to avoid disruptions in service. Through the Patient Assistance Program, seniors without prescription drug coverage get help obtaining necessary medications. This program provides you with referrals and applications for community health clinics, pharmacy discounts for medications, as well as free eye exams and eyeglasses.

Who Is Eligible?
Services through Project BRAVO are generally available to those who meet income guidelines, although exact eligibility criteria varies depending on the program. The organization gives priority to seniors and those with disabilities.

How to Get Started
You can learn more about these programs and the application process by calling Project BRAVO at (915) 562-4100 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can also fill out and submit an online application for services.

Senior Nutrition Program

What You Should Know
El Paso County meets the nutritional needs of its older population through congregate meals. Noontime meals provide a third of your daily nutritional needs and are served at 20 sites throughout El Paso. Congregate meals include milk and feature main dishes such as beef patty melts, country-fried steak and sliced turkey with gravy. Home-delivered meals are also available if you can’t leave your home. A professional vendor prepares and delivers all meals.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for meal services through the county, you must be at least 60 years old. Home-delivered meals are available to those unable to obtain healthy, fresh meals themselves due to age or disability.

How to Get Started
You can get more information about El Paso’s congregate and home-delivered meal programs by calling (915) 546-8167.

Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging 

What You Should Know
The Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging offers a variety of services and supports for older adults in the El Paso region. Through this local nonprofit organization, you can work with a care coordination staff member who assesses your needs and connects you with free and low-cost services that may help you reduce what you pay for in-home care. Available services depend on your unique needs and may include home-delivered and congregate meals; adult day health services; durable medical equipment loans; financial assistance for prescription drugs and dental, hearing and vision services; and in-home services such as personal care, respite and homemaker services. The agency offers wellness programs to help you protect your overall function and well-being, such as A Matter of Balance, an eight-week course, and the six-week Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. It also has benefits counselors who help you understand your health insurance coverage and identify ways to pay for home care.

Who Is Eligible?
The Area Agency on Aging offers services for those aged 60 and over. Outside of age requirements, some programs have additional need-based eligibility criteria.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the services available through the AAA, including availability, scope and eligibility requirements, you can call the main office at (915) 533-0998.

Property Tax Exemptions

What You Should Know
El Paso offers a variety of partial and total exemptions from appraised property values, which may help reduce how much you pay in property taxes for your home and leave more money in your budget for care expenses. All city homeowners are eligible for exemptions on their primary residence, but additional exemptions are available to older adults, veterans and those with disabilities.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for reduced property taxes through additional exemptions, you must be at least 65 years old, a veteran or surviving spouse or have a qualified disability. You must also live in the house you’re requesting an exemption on.

How to Get Started
You can learn more about El Paso’s homestead exemptions by contacting the appraiser’s office at (915) 780-2131. You can also submit the exemption form online or download, print and submit it along with supporting documentation to 5801 Trowbridge Drive, El Paso, TX 79925. The general deadline for filing an exemption application is May 1.