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

Situated in the Charlotte region of south-central North Carolina, Gastonia is a vibrant city with a dynamic arts and culture scene, plenty of shopping and dining options and age-friendly recreational amenities. It has nearly 80,000 residents, and about 16% of the population is aged 65 and over.

The Gastonia region is home to a broad array of indoor and outdoor recreational options. The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, which provides discounted admission for those aged 60 and over, features 380 acres of gardens, fountains and a conservatory with tropical blooms. History buffs won’t want to miss the Schiele Museum of Natural History, a Smithsonian affiliate with galleries of natural history exhibits and outdoor replicas of a Catawba Indian Village and an 18th-century farm. The city also has two golf courses, including Catawba Creek Golf Course and Gaston Country Club, and the sprawling Eastridge Mall, which houses 70 stores, salons and restaurants.

Gastonia’s overall cost of living is about 15% lower than the national average and 5% lower than the state median, which may enable older adults to maintain their standard of living throughout their retirement years. The area has a very comfortable year-round climate, with warm summers and very mild winters, and residents see just 2 inches of snowfall annually.

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

Home care features personal care services, companionship, medication reminders, meal preparation and help with physician-directed exercises, depending on the individual’s needs. Home health care is similar but also includes some skilled nursing services such as physical or occupational therapy and wound care. According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, in the Charlotte area, seniors pay $3,813 for home care and a slightly higher monthly rate of $4,004 for home health care.

These rates are based on 44 hours of care per week at a rate of $20 per hour for home care and $21 for home health care. Those with live-in attendants may pay a considerably higher monthly rate, while those who supplement home-based care with free and low-cost services in the community may pay less.

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

Gastonia’s home care and home health care rates are equal to the state median and low when compared to the nation’s respective averages of $4,481 and $4,576. While a few North Carolina cities are more economical for seniors, such as Greenville where both types of care cost $3,623 per month, most cities have higher home-based care costs. In Jacksonville, home care and home health care cost $4,099. In the Durham area, seniors pay $4,385 for home care and $4,767 for home health care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home-based care is among the most affordable senior care options in Gastonia, with local seniors paying $3,813 for home care and $4,004 for specialized home health care. Seniors who live at home but want cheaper care may consider adult day care, which features personal care, meals and recreational activities in a daytime community setting. Assisted living offers a comparable scope of care in a residential setting and is costlier than home-based care at $4,649 per month. Nursing homes provide the most intensive care and are the priciest option at $7,817.

Note: Data for Gastonia was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Charlotte Area, was used instead.

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

Gaston County Senior Center

What You Should Know
Gaston County Senior Center is situated in Gastonia and offers a broad range of recreational programs and services for area seniors. Its monthly calendar helps members track upcoming activities, such as line dancing, Zumba, table tennis, game nights and Lunch & Learn sessions. Services for older adults include help with obtaining housing, nutrition services, legal assistance and insurance counseling. The center can help seniors connect with resources in the community that provide home repairs and modifications, transportation and adult day health services.

Who Is Eligible?
Membership for the senior center is open to those aged 55 and over. In some cases, the director may approve participation in activities for those under 55 on a case-by-case basis.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the senior center’s programs and activities, seniors in Gastonia can call the center at (704) 922-2170.

Centralina Area Agency on Aging

What You Should Know
The Centralina Area Agency on Aging serves older adults in Gastonia and the surrounding region, providing them with the support and care they need to maintain their independence. It serves as a single point of access for those seeking services in the community such as durable medical equipment loans, transportation for medical appointments and health insurance options counseling. Two wellness programs, including Healthy Living and Healthy Living with Diabetes, help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the agency provides free emergency response systems to enable participants to stay in their homes safely. The agency also administers Extra Help, a program for those who have difficulty affording their prescription medications.

Who Is Eligible?
The AAA’s programs and services are open to those aged 60 and over. Certain programs may have additional eligibility guidelines based on income and need.

How to Get Started
For more information on the AAA programs, including eligibility information and cost, seniors can call the agency at (704) 372-2416 or toll-free at (800) 508-5777.

Meals on Wheels Gaston

What You Should Know
The local Meals on Wheels agency delivers fresh, healthy meals to seniors in the community who are at risk of malnutrition. Hot meals are delivered every weekday by friendly volunteers who also perform safety checks to ensure the individual isn’t experiencing a medical emergency. The organization also serves congregate meals for those able to leave their homes with transportation assistance, giving older adults the opportunity to build relationships while enjoying a healthy meal.

Who Is Eligible?
The Meals on Wheels program is for those aged 60 and over whose limited mobility makes it difficult for them to shop for and prepare food.

How to Get Started
To arrange home-delivered meals, seniors should call the program’s intake specialists at (704) 862-7540. The specialist asks questions to assess the individual’s level of need and schedules an in-home consultation to determine their eligibility.

Gaston County Aging and Adult Services

What You Should Know
The county’s Aging and Adult Services Division serves older adults in the community through a broad range of programs, helping them avoid or delay assisted living or nursing home placement. The Family Caregiver Support Program provides unpaid caregivers with referrals to community agencies, education and financial assistance for respite or supplemental services, home modifications and adaptive equipment. Through the county’s Special Assistance In-Home Program, Medicaid-eligible seniors can obtain a package of personalized services to enable them to live at home safely. The county also provides guardianship services for those without a family member able to fill the role, along with in-home aide services.

Who Is Eligible?
Services through the county are available to those aged 60 and over. Depending on the program, there may be additional income or need-based criteria.

How to Get Started
To speak to an intake specialist and get more information on eligibility criteria, seniors can call (704) 862-7540. For confidential assistance resolving issues such as elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, individuals can call (704) 862-7575.

Gaston County Veterans Service Office

What You Should Know
Gaston County’s Veterans Service Office, which is situated in Gastonia, helps veterans and their families file claims for local, state and federal service-related benefits. It helps veterans complete application forms for treatment at VA hospitals and facilitates travel to and from VA medical appointments via Gaston County ACCESS buses. It helps veterans obtain benefits that may help cover their in-home care, including disability compensation and pension programs, insurance and the Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefit. The office can also aid veterans in obtaining wheelchairs and other mobility aids that may enable them to maintain their independence.

Who Is Eligible?
Veterans’ services are open to all veterans who served in the U.S. military. Some programs have additional eligibility criteria based on age, wars fought, income or level of need.

How to Get Started
To obtain services through the county’s VSO, seniors can call the office at (704) 866-3606. The office is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.