I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Elizabeth, NJ

Funding for community-based services that support healthy, independent aging has increased steadily since the federal government created the Older Americans Act in 1965. If you live in Elizabeth, you may be surprised by the number of programs that provide low-cost meals, transportation and in-home care.

Although the cost of living in Elizabeth is 17.7% higher than the national average, it’s slightly lower than in other parts of the Garden State. Seniors benefit from healthcare costs that are 11.3% lower than the U.S. norm. Plus, the local medical system is very robust. Elizabeth is home to the Trinitas Regional Medical Center, and 120 hospitals are located within 25 miles, including top-performing Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark and nationally ranked Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange.

Seniors in Elizabeth benefit from a strong public transportation system, and many cultural attractions are within easy reach, including the Boxwood Hall State Historic Site, Newark Museum of Art, Statue of Liberty and over 200 shops and restaurants. Home care agencies can assist with transportation, errands and recreational outings to ensure you can access everything the local area has to offer.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Elizabeth, NJ

According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the median cost of in-home care in Elizabeth is $4,957 per month. This breaks down to $26 per hour, which is $2-$2.50 higher than the national average. Interestingly, homemaker services and in-home health care have the same average rates, although the latter includes limited medical services such as help with medications, wound dressing and nursing care. Another benefit of in-home care is the high level of flexibility. These average rates are based on 44 hours of weekly care, but you can request fewer hours of assistance and pay less depending on your needs.

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

Prices for in-home care in Elizabeth are on par with the state median of $4,957 and $381-$476 higher than the national averages of $4,481 and $4,576. Homemaker services cost $47 less in Trenton and $190 less in Atlantic City although home health care prices remain stable at $4,957. Costs are much lower in Ocean City. Rates in this area are about $200 below than the national medians for home care and home health care and $595 lower than the average in Elizabeth.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Long-term care costs in Elizabeth start at $1,950 for community-based adult day health care. In-home assistance costs $4,957 per month. This is about $1,000 cheaper than assisted living, which averages $5,991 per month. Home health care may be a low-cost alternative to skilled nursing, which costs approximately $11,771. If you opt to receive skilled care in your own home, you could save $5,780 per month, or nearly $70,000 per year, and Medicare may help with these costs.

Note: Data for Elizabeth was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, New York, New York, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Elizabeth, NJ

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 Elizabeth, NJ.

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 Elizabeth, NJ

Union County Division on Aging and Disability Resource Connection

What You Should Know
The Union County Division on Aging is the Aging and Disability Resource Connection for seniors in Elizabeth and surrounding communities. It administers a wide range of entitlement programs that are funded by the Older Americans Act. The ADRC can help you apply for farmers market vouchers, access local transportation or sign up for low-cost meals served at one of the county’s Senior Cafes. Respite care grants and supportive services are available to unpaid caregivers, and the organization’s mobile Aging Services Kiosk provides information and referrals to help you access in-home care, adult day health care and various community-based supports. A comprehensive directory of state and local resources is available on the ADRC’s website.

Who Is Eligible?
As part of a federally mandated service network that includes more than 600 regional partners, Elizabeth’s ADRC serves family caregivers, disabled adults and seniors aged 60 or older. Additional benefits may be available if you’re over age 62 or 65.

How to Get Started
To learn more about these programs, call the ADRC at (908) 527-4870.

Central Jersey Legal Services

What You Should Know
Central Jersey Legal Services is dedicated to serving low-income families and older adults in Elizabeth and surrounding areas. Attorneys and support staff can help you with issues related to housing, healthcare, financial assistance, government benefits and consumer rights, which can be barriers if you want to age in place. The organization’s elder law division focuses on wills, estate planning, Social Security benefits, Medicare/Medicaid and senior housing. Multilingual assistance is available in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic and other languages.

Who Is Eligible?
This nonprofit law firm serves low-income residents in Elizabeth and three counties in central New Jersey. Income limits are waived for seniors aged 60 and older and certain individuals who need urgent assistance. CJLS can help you with most noncriminal legal matters, excluding small claims and lawsuits seeking a financial recovery.

How to Get Started
From Union County, you can call (908) 354-4340 to speak with an intake representative at the organization’s Elizabeth office. You can email your questions to [email protected].

City of Elizabeth Office on Aging

What You Should Know
This municipal Office on Aging offers a variety of programs and services to help you age in place, access affordable medical coverage and manage your finances. Case managers can help you apply for property tax exemptions, utility bill assistance and weatherization services. Depending on your income, you may qualify for state and federal programs that can lower your Medicare premiums and help you pay for prescription medications. The office can help you obtain a Vial of Life that gives first responders an overview of your medical history in case of an emergency, and it can help you apply for half-price fares through New Jersey Transit. The city operates four local senior centers that offer recreational activities, social services and opportunities to make friends and stay involved in the community.

Who Is Eligible?
Most services are available to Elizabeth residents aged 60 and older. Age, disability status and income may be considered for property tax exemptions and programs that provide financial assistance.

How to Get Started
If you want to learn more about these services, call the Office on Aging at (908) 820-4044. Contact details for the city’s senior centers are available online.

Union County Department of Human Services Accessible Transportation

What You Should Know
Union County operates a curb-to-curb paratransit service that serves seniors aged 60 and older, disabled adults and economically disadvantaged residents who don’t have access to other forms of transportation. Fares cost $3 each way, and waivers are available if you meet the low-income guidelines. Vehicles operate Monday through Friday with limited service on Saturday. Rides are available for shopping, medical appointments and recreation, and the service can help you make various bus and rail connections. The program covers Elizabeth and all of Union County plus destinations five miles outside its borders. Out-of-county rides are available on Mondays and Wednesdays, and trips can be scheduled up to three weeks in advance.

Who Is Eligible?
Union County’s paratransit service and Route 22 Shuttle are available to seniors, disabled adults and other residents who have limited transportation access. Veterans qualify for rides to several local medical centers.

How to Get Started
You can reach the Union County Paratransit System by calling (908) 659-5001.

Meals on Wheels Union County

What You Should Know
Based in Linden, Meals on Wheels Union County distributes more than 400,000 nutritionally balanced meals to area seniors every year. The program offers weekday meal deliveries to eligible individuals, and boxed lunches are available for pickup at several congregate dining sites in the city. Meals feature a hot entree with sides, a dessert and a drink. Menu items include classic American fare, such as barbeque chicken, lasagna, ravioli, salmon burgers and Salisbury steak. A donation of $1.75 is suggested, but you won’t be turned away for financial reasons.

Who Is Eligible?
Meals on Wheels serves individuals and couples aged 60 or older and are unable to prepare their own food due to a disability, illness or recent hospital stay. The program conducts in-home assessments to screen new clients, and case managers can refer you to various partners that can help you age in place.

How to Get Started
To learn more about this program or to request an in-home evaluation, call (908) 486-5100.