I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Laurel, MD

Laurel rests on the banks of the stunning Patuxent River, providing natural scenery and a small-town atmosphere for seniors seeking peaceful tranquility. Yet, it’s just 20 miles northeast of Washington, D.C., and 22 miles southwest of Baltimore and all their big-city amenities. Laurel has a population of about 29,500 residents, with nearly 11% of its community aged 65 and over.

Although there isn’t a local hospital, Laurel has 10 hospitals within close range. The city’s former community hospital, the University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center, now serves as a standalone full-service 24/7 emergency department and outpatient clinical and surgical center. Seniors also have access to numerous Medicare-registered doctors to manage their ongoing medical care.

Other perks of living in Laurel include home care services at lower-than-average costs and relatively mild summers. It also boasts various tax benefits for seniors, including untaxed Social Security benefits. Seniors aged 65 or older also may qualify for exclusions on their pension and 401(k) distributions based on their income. Maryland’s median property tax rate is comparable to the national average, and sales taxes are on the low end. Plus, Laurel and Prince George’s County don’t add local sales taxes to the state rate.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Laurel, MD

Seniors have two types of in-home care available. Home care assists with activities of daily living, while home health offers personal care and limited medical services. Aging adults needing some assistance to remain in their homes benefit from both. Per Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of Laurel’s home care is $4,957 per month, and home health care is $5,053.

Genworth arrived at its average by multiplying the hourly cost by 44 hours of care per week. Thus, your actual price could be lower or higher depending on required care hours. Calculate your cost by multiplying the hours you expect to need services by the hourly rate of $26 for home care or $26.50 for home health care.

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

Seniors seeking in-home care in Laurel benefit from the city’s lower-than-average costs. Home care and home health care costs are below the state average and most nearby cities. Cumberland’s average cost of home care mirrors Laurel’s price, but its home health care drops to $4,862, making it nearly $200 less per month. However, Hagerstown and Hyattsville both have higher average costs, with both types of in-home costing $5,148 and $5,339, respectively.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Compared to other senior living options, Laurel’s home care cost of $4,957 and home health care cost of $5,053 are higher than all but nursing homes. Adult day care is the lowest cost option at only $1,927, but services are only available during regular business hours. Assisted living is only slightly lower at $4,750 and requires seniors to leave their homes. Nursing homes are the most expensive option at $10,798 per month and require moving to congregate housing, with even more restrictions.

Note: Data for Laurel was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Baltimore, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Laurel, MD

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 Laurel, MD.

An infographic giving steps to finding a home care provider

IV. Home Care Resources for Seniors in Laurel, MD

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

What You Should Know

Meals on Wheels (MOW) of Central Maryland serves seniors in Laurel and provides nutritious meals and support services, including wellness and safety checks, crisis intervention, pet food delivery, phone pals and friendly volunteer companions. Services help sustain health, promote independence and improve seniors’ overall quality of life. Qualified recipients receive up to two meals daily, including a hot lunch and cold supper, five days a week. Meals are all low in concentrated sugar, fat and salt. MOW also caters to special diets, such as no fish or pork, pureed foods and Kosher meals. It also offers a Grocery Assistance Program in which volunteers shop for and deliver groceries to clients who can’t shop for themselves.

Who Is Eligible?

MOW services are available regardless of age or economic status on an ongoing or temporary basis. It bases meal services on a sliding scale to serve various income levels.

How to Get Started

Get started by completing an Application for Service online or call (410) 558-0827 for assistance.

Prince George’s County ADSD Telephone Reassurance Program

What You Should Know

Prince George’s County, Aging and Disabilities Services Division provides a Telephone Reassurance Program operated by volunteers who place daily calls to seniors throughout the county, including Laurel. The program strives to alleviate concerns over homebound seniors who live alone while reducing their loneliness and social isolation. The program benefits seniors and relatives who live too far away to check up on them more frequently.

Who Is Eligible?

You must be at least 60 years old and a Prince George’s County resident to sign up. You must also be homebound and/or isolated and enjoy a friendly voice checking up on you.

How to Get Started

Call (301) 265-8450 to enroll in the Telephone Reassurance Program or request more information.

Maryland Energy Assistance Program 

What You Should Know

The federally funded Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) is nationally known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). MEAP helps low-income households, especially those with seniors, cover their home energy bills. Its Electric Universal Service Program helps eligible clients with electric bills, even if they currently don’t have service. The Utility Service Protection Program protects clients from utility cutoffs and creates monthly payment programs.

Who Is Eligible?

All OHEP program eligibility is income-based and available year-round. You don’t need a shutoff notice to qualify for help. To determine eligibility, you must provide a photo ID, proof of residency and copies of Social Security cards for all household members. You must also provide proof of gross income over the last 30 days and your most recent utility bill, termination notice and/or heating fuel bill or receipt.

How to Get Started

To apply for any energy assistance programs, contact the Office of Home Energy Programs at (800) 332-6347 or visit the Office of Home Energy Programs website for more information. You can also contact Prince George’s County Dept. of Social Services in Landover, which serves Laurel residents, by calling (301) 909-6300 or emailing [email protected].

City of Laurel, Division of Senior Services 

What You Should Know

The City of Laurel, Department of Parks & Recreation, Division of Senior Services offers a Transportation Program to provide rides to seniors and disabled individuals. Its Senior Van Service offers curb-to-curb transportation for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and trips to numerous locations within the Laurel City Limits. However, it can’t transport participants experiencing a medical emergency.

Who Is Eligible?

Seniors must be aged 55 or older, but disabled adults can be of any age. All riders must have independent mobility and live in the City of Laurel. Personal assistants aged 21 or older with a valid work ID stating their profession may ride with you at no extra charge. 

How to Get Started

Riders also must complete a Transportation Application and submit a $30 annual fee. However, payment plans are available. You must be registered and paid or have made payment arrangements for the annual fee before making any appointments for rides. You must schedule appointments for rides at least 48 hours in advance by calling the transportation hotline at (301) 323-8096.

Maryland Department of Housing Accessible Homes for Seniors 

What You Should Know

The Accessible Homes for Seniors Program, operated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, provides home improvements to aging adults. These improvements help make their homes safer and more accessible. Modifications may include grab bars, ramps and rails and widening doorways. Maryland DHCD considers other modifications or first-floor bathroom additions on a case-by-case basis. You may receive a grant or a 0% interest deferred loan with a 30-year term if approved.

Who Is Eligible?

You must be a Maryland resident aged 55 or older who meets income requirements. You must also own and occupy the home being renovated, but the Department may consider a home owned by a relative you live with. Your home must also qualify by being structurally sound without any health or safety hazards. It also can’t be subject to any tax lien, bankruptcy or foreclosure.

How to Get Started

Start by completing an Accessible Homes for Seniors Rehabilitation Application available online at the County Housing Office or Maryland Access Point Agencies. If needed, MAP agencies assist with filling out the application, or you can schedule in-home assistance. Call the Special Loan Programs at (301) 429-7409 or email [email protected] with questions.