I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Las Cruces, NM

More than 15% of Las Cruces residents are aged 65 and over, according to census estimates, and the total population is growing three times faster than the state. This growth improves access to services, activities and major infrastructure, which becomes increasingly important for older residents. There are at least five major hospitals within a few miles of the city, including the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico, which ranked among the top 10% nationwide in rehabilitative care.

The overall cost of living in Las Cruces is another strong point — residents pay roughly 15% less than the national average. The biggest savings are in housing and transportation, which are more than 25% cheaper than average. Health care is cheaper by 13%. These three cost categories are important if you’re receiving in-home care, and you’ll also benefit from the property tax rate that’s lower than the state and nationwide averages. WalletHub ranked Las Cruces as the 9th best-run city in America for 2021, which is determined by the quality of services compared to the per-capita budget.

Health and finances are good reasons for anyone to consider living here, and seniors who enjoy a hot, dry climate are also in luck. These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider living in Las Cruces if you need in-home care.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Las Cruces, NM

Home care services are much more affordable in Las Cruces when compared to most other areas, according to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey. The city average is $3,457 per month for home care, which provides help with chores and everyday tasks, and home health care costs an average of $3,695. These rates are based on a need for 44 hours of care per week. You’ll pay much less if you don’t need full-time help, naturally, and the average hourly rate is between $18-$20.

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

Las Cruces is the most affordable surveyed city for in-home services in New Mexico. The state averages for home care and home health care are higher by around $700-$800 per month, and the U.S. averages climb even higher, with increases of $900-$1,000 over Las Cruces. Santa Fe is the most expensive city for home care, with an average monthly cost of $5,148. Farmington residents pay an average of $4,957 per month and the cost in Albuquerque is $4,385.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care and home health care are among the more affordable options in Las Cruces and are generally the first levels of care experienced by seniors. Adult day care is the only cheaper alternative, and its average cost of $1,733 per month is roughly half that of in-home services. Assisted living costs around $550-$800 more than home care and nursing home care costs roughly twice as much, at an average of $7,336 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Las Cruces, NM

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 Las Cruces, NM.

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 Las Cruces, NM

Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)

What You Should Know
Seniors, people with disabilities and caregivers can contact the ADRC to access many services and find solutions to aging-related concerns. The ADRC is operated by the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department and its main focus is to help people remain independent. As such, it can be a great source of help if you’re looking for in-home care, financial assistance and other services designed to prevent or delay the need for nursing home placement. This organization manages intake for the state Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver and provides counseling and information on public benefits and long-term care options.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for the vast majority of programs and services provided by the ADRC begins at age 60 (or 55 for tribal programs). Some services are prioritized or only available for people based on their income, medical needs and functional requirements, such as the Medicaid waiver services and prescription drug discounts.

How to Get Started
Las Cruces residents should call (800) 432-2080 to ask about services available in the area or visit the website for more information and a directory of resources.

Las Cruces Senior Nutrition Program

What You Should Know
The City of Las Cruces provides nutritious lunches at five congregate dining sites every day of the week. These locations are senior centers, which are listed on the website, and this gives seniors a chance to meet new people, socialize and take part in activities.

If you’re homebound and can’t get to any of the congregate dining sites because of a disability and/or lack of transportation, and you can’t prepare your own meals, you may be eligible for home-delivered breakfasts and lunches. The suggested donation is $2.50 for congregate dining and $3 for home-delivered meals. Free pet food is available via the Food 4 Paws program.

Who Is Eligible?
Residents aged 60 or over and their spouses are eligible for congregate dining for a suggested donation of $2.50 per meal. If you bring guests aged under 60, their suggested donation is $7.50. Home-delivered meals are provided only if you can’t get to a congregate dining site and you’re approved by a case manager. Transportation to congregate dining sites is free for seniors and people with disabilities via the Dial-a-Ride program.

How to Get Started
You can find the list of congregate dining locations on the website as well as a menu for the month and contact details for the nutrition program. Reservations should be made 24 hours in advance by calling (575) 528-3012 or emailing [email protected].

Senior Centers in Las Cruces

What You Should Know
There are five senior centers in Las Cruces that are managed by the city and provide a wide range of activities, services and resources for the older community. In addition to the nutrition program, seniors can come in for dance and fitness, billiards, crochet, cards and other games. You can also take part in classes, take advantage of the computer lounge or chat with other locals in the gardens.

Staff can help seniors gain access to various local services and resources. The main location with the most services and support is the Munson Center, located at 975 S. Mesquite, and you can call (575) 528-3000 with any questions. Locations and contact details for the other centers are listed on the website.

Who Is Eligible?
Services and activities are generally available if you’re aged 60 and over and/or have a disability.

How to Get Started
Anyone interested in participating should check the website for scheduling and any special requirements, but you’re welcome to visit any time during open hours for most activities and resources. Lunch reservations should be made 24 hours in advance by calling (575) 528-3012. You can call a case manager with general inquiries and requests for meal delivery at (575) 528-3000.

Legal Resources for the Elderly Program (LREP)

What You Should Know
Many seniors and their families need legal assistance with various issues, and help is available from attorneys statewide via this program. LREP can provide eligible residents with assistance for most civil legal issues, with some of the more common requests including bankruptcy, debt and other financial matters, guardianship, powers of attorney, estate planning as well as eligibility for and access to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security Disability.

Who Is Eligible?
LREP is available for New Mexicans aged 55 and over, regardless of income level, and help is available in English or Spanish. Services are only provided for civil (noncriminal) legal issues.

How to Get Started
The statewide helpline can be reached at (800) 876-6657. Staff will ask for your contact information and details about the legal issues you’re facing. One of LREP’s attorneys will contact you and let you know what to do next.

Home Repairs, Modifications and Accessibility

What You Should Know
You may be eligible for free or low-cost services to make your home safer and easier to navigate. Services include minor repairs, accessibility and safety evaluations, yard maintenance and weatherization.

Who Is Eligible?
Most programs are for people with a low or moderate income who live within the service areas. You can view the requirements on the website.

How to Get Started
Each program varies based on location and needs, so you should check the website to find more information and contacts.