I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Harker Heights, TX

Harker Heights is a city of about 32,000 residents in the heart of Texas, about 70 miles north of Austin. While the city has a relatively young population, with older adults making up about one in 10 residents, it offers a wealth of benefits to retirees seeking affordability, a comfortable climate and access to outdoor amenities.

Harker Heights is a budget-friendly option for retirees with an overall cost of living that’s about 10% below the national median, which may let you maintain your standard of living throughout your retirement years. The state doesn’t have a state income tax, letting retirees keep a higher portion of their income, and while property taxes tend to be very high, you may be eligible for homestead exemptions to reduce the financial burden.

Harker Heights has six public parks, providing you with an abundance of walking trails and bird-watching and fishing spots. Summers tend to be hot and humid, but temperatures are very comfortable throughout the rest of the year, which may make the city a good fit if you enjoy outdoor activities such as gardening. These factors make Harker Heights a prime retirement destination and a great option for older adults who want to remain at home throughout their golden years.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Harker Heights, TX

According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Harker Heights pay $3,623 per month for home care. This care option includes services such as companionship, meal planning and preparation, personal care services and transportation for medical appointments. Home health care is similar but includes specialized skilled nursing services such as wound care, medication administration and medical monitoring. This level of care is a little pricier at $3,813 per month on average.

These monthly rates are based on hourly rates of $19 for home care and $20 for home health care, and they assume 44 hours of care per week. How much you pay for services may differ depending on how many hours of weekly care you need and whether you supplement services with community-based options or adult day services.

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

With home care coming in at $3,623 per month and seniors paying $3,813 for home health care, the Harker Heights region is among the most affordable in Texas for home-based care. Statewide, both levels of care cost $4,195 per month, and nationally, agencies charge an average of $4,481 for home care and $4,576 for home health care. In the Austin area, the respective care types cost $4,385 and $4,576. In the Houston area, both levels of care cost $4,290, and in San Antonio, residents pay $4,290 for home care and $4,385 for home health care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Harker Heights is an affordable city for senior care. On average, seniors pay $3,623 for home care and $3,813 for home health care. Assisted living is cheaper at an average of $3,387, and nursing home care costs $5,191 per month. Adult day care is generally the cheapest option. Cost data isn’t available for Harker Heights, but statewide, seniors pay $698 per month for those services.

III. How to Find Home Care in Harker Heights, 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 Harker Heights, TX.

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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 Harker Heights, TX

Senior Recreation Program

What You Should Know
The Harker Heights Recreation Program offers social and recreational opportunities for older adults to prevent boredom, isolation and loneliness. Its full calendar features pinochle, age-friendly stretching and cardiovascular fitness classes, line dancing, watercolor classes, pickleball, granny basketball and creative paper projects. Classes are open to all levels of experience.

Who Is Eligible?
The city’s Senior Recreation Program is open to those aged 50 and up.

How to Get Started
You are required to register before attending programs and activities by printing, filling out and submitting a Participant Registration Form to the Activities Center. While most onsite programs are free, monthly trips and a few classes have small fees. To get information on the Senior recreation Program or register for activities, you can call the main office at (254) 953-5493.

Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas 

What You Should Know
The Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas is a local nonprofit organization that administers services and benefits to older adults and informal caregivers in Harker Heights and the surrounding region. The agency’s Short-Term Care Services Program includes care coordination, which connects older adults with services they need to stay in their homes and avoid nursing home or assisted living placement, along with homemaker services, personal assistance and emergency response systems. Its Health Maintenance program features counseling services and helps with obtaining prescription drugs, glasses, hearing aids and nutritional supplements.

Who Is Eligible?
Services through the Area Agency on Aging are open to those aged 60 and over who live within the agency’s service area. Some programs have additional income- or need-based guidelines.

How to Get Started
You can speak with a representative for help with connecting with the programs that best fit your needs by calling the local office at (254) 770-2330 or toll-free at (800) 447-7169.

Central Texas Aging, Disability and Veteran Resource Center

What You Should Know
The Central Texas Aging, Disability and Veterans Resource Center serves as a single point of access for services and support in the community. This nonprofit organization administers the Central Texas Care Transitions Program, which provides programs for seniors transitioning out of a hospital or skilled nursing setting. This program includes medication reviews and safe management counseling, medical follow-up and filling gaps in care. Its Bridge Model Call Center provides at least three daily phone calls to each individual in a 30-day period and home visits as necessary. The center also has specialists who help veterans obtain benefits that may cover home-based care.

Who Is Eligible?
Services are available to those aged 60 and over, those with disabilities and veterans. You may have to meet additional eligibility requirements to benefit from certain programs.

How to Get Started
Connect with community-based services by calling CTADVRC at (855) 937-2372. The office is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Texas Health Information, Counseling and Advocacy Program 

What You Should Know
HICAP is a statewide program that offers free, unbiased health insurance options counseling for seniors. It’s staffed primarily by trained volunteers who aren’t licensed to sell insurance or affiliated with any insurance companies. These volunteers provide advice and assistance in community settings and through one-on-one phone calls and in-person meetings. They can help you understand your Medicare benefits and determine whether any home-based care services are covered, as well as compare Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans and long-term care insurance. HICAP counselors can also help you review and understand your medical bills, resolve billing issues and denied health insurance claims and protect yourself from health insurance fraud.

Who Is Eligible?
Anyone who qualifies for Medicare can get free help through HICAP.

How to Get Started
To obtain HICAP services, you can call the toll-free line at (800) 252-9240 or visit the program directory to locate offices near Harker Heights.

Meals on Wheels Central Texas

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels Central Texas is a nonprofit organization that provides hot noontime meals to older adults and those with disabilities. Recipients receive one meal per weekday, and frozen meals for the weekends are available. The agency has a Breakfast Meals program for those identified as food insecure, and it has a grocery delivery service for those unable to shop for food. It also offers programs to help seniors age in place, including in-home care, a pet food and veterinary care program, home repairs and respite services.

Who Is Eligible?
Meals on Wheels is available to Harker Heights residents unable to shop and prepare nutritious meals themselves due to a disability, age or an injury or illness. Participants must be primarily housebound, and they must not have regular daytime assistance from a paid or informal caregiver who could prepare meals. Individuals must also be available to accept meals during the delivery timeframe.

How to Get Started
Before obtaining services, you must be screened for eligibility by a supportive case manager. To begin the process, you must fill out and submit the online client interest form. More information on the program is available by calling (512) 476-6325.