I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Federal Way, WA

Set on the banks of the Puget Sound just north of Tacoma, WA, Federal Way is a diverse community of 99,037 residents — 13.5% of whom are at least 65 years old. Retirees in Federal Way experience a family-oriented vibe and a high quality of life and the state’s senior property tax exemption is another welcome perk. If you’re considering home care, local providers offer personal services and in-home health care to ensure that all your needs are met.

Federal Way is close to big-city amenities in Seattle and Tacoma, but it offers a slower pace of life that’s perfect for retirement and the home care services that enable you to age in place. The climate is relatively mild, with above-average levels of rain and pleasant summers. Residents enjoy the city’s many parks, small lakes and selection of restaurants. If you’re feeling social, the Federal Way Community Center hosts a regular series of events and free meals for seniors.

Federal Way is home to the highly rated St. Francis Hospital, which offers both primary and specialty care. Within 30 miles, you’ll find the best hospitals in Seattle, including the University of Washington Medical Center and the Virginia Mason Medical Center.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Federal Way, WA

Senior residents of Federal Way see monthly bills of $6,673 for full-time home care, according to data from the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Home health care, which may add services such as skilled nursing and physical therapy, will coat an average of $7,007. These figures are based on 44 hours of care each week; if you need more or less assistance, your charges could be different. On average, home care aides typically earn $35 per hour, while home health workers charge $36.75. Different providers have varying rates, but these averages can help you get a rough idea of costs.

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

Rates for home care in Federal Way are comparable to those in nearby cities. Seniors pay an average of $6,673 per month in Federal Way — the same as in Olympia and $4 more than in Seattle. Home health care tends to be more expensive: Olympia residents pay $334 less while Seattle residents pay $238 less. Yakima is far less expensive, as both services average $5,958 a month. Home care and home health care costs in Federal Way are higher than both the national and state averages.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care is only one option for seniors in Federal Way. Assisted living facilities are often a more affordable option; seniors pay about $5,750 monthly. Home care is $923 more, and home health care costs $1,257 more. Still, many seniors choose home care because it allows them to stay in their homes with all their familiar routines and belongings, while they still receive appropriate levels of care. Nursing homes offer 24/7 supervision and ready access to skilled nurses and are the most costly option, averaging $10,479 for a semiprivate room.

Note: Data for Federal Way was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Bremerton, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Federal Way, WA

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 Federal Way, WA.

An infographic giving steps to finding a home care provider

IV. Home Care Resources for Seniors in Federal Way, WA

City of Federal Way Housing Repair Assistance Program

What You Should Know

The City of Federal Way Housing Repair Assistance Program can give you up to $20,000 for home repairs. Projects that are eligible for coverage include situations that put your health and safety at risk. This can include emergency fixes for your hot water heater, furnace, electrical system or plumbing.

Technically, the program provides you with a no-interest loan. However, the loan is deferred until you sell the home or pass away, so you won’t see any out-of-pocket costs if you intend to stay in your house.

Who Is Eligible?

If you own a home within the Federal Way city limits and you make less than 80% of the median income for King County, you are eligible to apply for the Housing Repair Assistance Program. The city will also request proof that you are paid up on your property taxes and that you carry homeowners insurance. Staff members approve or deny applications based on the severity of the issue.

How to Get Started

Call the Human Services Commission at (253) 835-2401 with questions; you can also send an email to [email protected] or print and complete the application.

Property Tax Deferral Program

What You Should Know

If you own a home in Federal Way, you may qualify for Washington state’s property tax deferral program. As long as you meet the criteria, you can defer your property taxes every year; they aren’t due until you sell your home, move to a different primary residence or pass away. Given the high home values in Federal Way, this program may help you save a significant amount of money.

Who Is Eligible?

To claim the tax deferral, you must be 60 or older and own a primary residence in Washington. If you’re younger, you can also qualify if you have a disability. The combined disposable income of the adults in your household must fall below the deferral threshold for the county. In 2022, that amount is $49,435 in King County. For 2023, it’s $58,423. This threshold is based on the median income in the county.

How to Get Started

To find information about property tax deferrals, call the King County Department of Assessments at (206) 296-7300. Alternatively, you can complete the application form online.

Multi-Service Center Energy, Water, Sewer and Cooling Assistance

What You Should Know

The Energy, Water, Sewer and Cooling Assistance program provides financial support to help you cover your utility bills. The initiative is part of the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Home Energy Lifeline Program (HELP); it’s administered to Federal Way residents by the Multi-Service Center.  If you qualify, payments are usually made directly to the utility provider.

Who Is Eligible?

Residents of certain zip codes in South King County can apply for assistance; most of Federal Way is located in the service area. You’ll also need to make sure your income is within the program’s limits. For 2022-2023, the upper limit for energy assistance is $5,563 per month for one person and $6,354 for two. If you need help with water and sewer bills, the income limits are $1,699 for a one-person household and $2,289 for homes with two people.

How to Get Started

The Multi-Service Center usually requires applicants to come in for an appointment. If you’re 65 or older, on a fixed income and unable to travel to the office, you may be able to get an application form in the mail. Call (253) 517-2263 for more information.

Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation

What You Should Know

If you need help getting to medical appointments, Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation can be a valuable resource. The program works with volunteer drivers who can pick you up, drive you to your appointment and drive you back home. Services are free, and you can even bring a caregiver or family member along if you notify the organization in advance. Transportation is available during business hours on weekdays.

Who Is Eligible?

Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation is available to residents of King County who are at least 60 years of age. You should be able to get in and out of a vehicle with little to no help. In general, Sound Generations offers transportation services to people with limited means of getting around.

How to Get Started

To schedule a ride or learn more, call (206) 448-5740.

Community Living Connections Respite Care Service

What You Should Know

The Community Living Connections Respite Care Service helps people who provide ongoing care for a senior or a person with a disability. If you have a friend or family member who helps you with errands, yard work, food preparation, transportation and other tasks, they may be able to get extra support. Community Living Connections can help your caregiver find training, counseling or support groups, advice for elder care and other helpful information. In addition, the organization can provide respite care. This service is available on a sliding scale, but all other services are free.

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible, your caregiver must be at least 18 and must be your primary support system, helping you free of charge

How to Get Started

Learn more about caregiver support and respite care by calling (855) 567-0252. You can also take the caregiver survey.