I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Madison, WI

Named after the fifth president of the United States, Madison is the state capital and second-largest city in Wisconsin. It’s home to more than 30,000 adults aged 65 and over, a 29% growth over the demographics of the 2010 census. The growth of the senior population in Madison is expected to continue outpacing rises in the rest of Wisconsin and the United States as a whole.

Madison features recreational opportunities that cater to a wide range of interests, both indoor and outdoor. In addition to being named one of the most walkable cities in the United States by PBS, the area has five large lakes for boating and swimming, beautiful parks with space for picnics and concerts, and attractions such as the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, with more than 10,000 square feet of flora to explore. The Overture Center for the Arts, Wisconsin Historical Museum and Chazen Museum of Art are available to visit throughout the year.

Madison is a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, meaning local leaders have made a commitment to making the city a great place for seniors to live. This focus on senior livability, combined with friendly tax policies and low violent crime, makes Madison a very attractive place for seniors to live at home and get the care they need.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Madison, WI

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey for 2020, both home care and home health care have the same estimated costs, $5,339 per month, in Madison. This number is based on a 44-hour workweek, which not every senior might require. The hourly rate is $28, so if a family only needed 10 hours of home care per week, their monthly cost would be about $1,120. While Genworth’s figures are the same for home care and home health care in Madison, families typically pay a bit more for home health care, as it offers additional medical services. The actual cost of care may vary by neighborhood within Madison.

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

Madison is relatively expensive for home care compared to the Wisconsin average, which is $4,957 per month, and the national average, which is $4,481 per month. It’s also more expensive than nearby cities, including the more populous Milwaukee, where the monthly averages are $5,053 per month for home care and $5,243 per month for home health care. Janesville, which is just to the south of Madison, is nearly $1,000 less expensive for home care. To the northeast in Fond du Lac, home care is also about $1,000 less expensive than in Madison.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Depending on the number of hours required per month, home care may be less or more expensive than other types of senior care available in Madison. At 44 hours per week, home care costs about $400 more per month than assisted living, which has an estimated cost of $4,959 per month. Adult day care is a more affordable option for seniors who only need minimal supervision during the day. This service has an estimated monthly cost of $2,019. Nursing home care is the most expensive type of senior care in most cities, including Madison, where families can expect to pay $8,790 per month for a semiprivate room.

III. How to Find Home Care in Madison, WI

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 Madison, WI.

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 Madison, WI

Madison Senior Center

What You Should Know
Located right in the heart of downtown, the Madison Senior Center hosts a variety of events and programs that can enrich the lives of seniors. Crafts classes, musical performances and artistic presentations are all part of the regular schedule. Many local seniors participate in continuing education at the center to keep their minds sharp.

At Madison Senior Center, you’re free to use the facility’s resources without joining any clubs or groups. Tablets are available for rental daily, and the computer lab is open during normal hours for your business or personal needs. The senior center is open for regular activity Monday through Friday.

Who Is Eligible?
Everyone is welcome to visit the senior center regardless of age or income. Certain clubs and programs may have their own eligibility requirements, so seniors are encouraged to visit the website or call the center to learn about specific groups.

How to Get Started
To learn about an event or program at Madison Senior Center, you can call (608) 266-6581 or email the facility at [email protected].

Wisconsin Homestead Credit

What You Should Know
Seniors in Madison who own the real estate where they live may be able to save money on their property taxes by applying for the Wisconsin homestead credit. This program can put money back in your pocket so that you can pay for the home care services you need. The amount of credit you can receive depends on your income and the value of your property. The maximum allowable credit is $1,168, but property owners may receive no credit if they have an income at or above $24,680 per year.

Who Is Eligible?
While there are some income and disability requirements for younger adults, seniors qualify for the homestead credit at age 62 and older. To find out if you may be subject to other restrictions, check out the homestead credit fact sheet.

How to Get Started
Senior homeowners who wish to receive a credit need to fill out Wisconsin Homestead Credit Claim, Schedule H or Schedule H-EZ. Claims can be filed electronically or by mail. Call the Customer Service Bureau at (608) 266-2486 to learn more.

Project Home

What You Should Know
Project Home makes it possible for low-income seniors to make the repairs, modifications and improvements they need to stay at home safely and comfortably. They can perform weatherization for energy savings, home repairs to meet local building codes, modifications to improve accessibility and installation of water conservation features. They also offer major rehabilitation projects with funding from the Dane County Rehabilitation Program (DCRP), which provides interest-free, deferred payment loans to seniors who need lots of work done on their properties. Project Home services seniors in Madison as well as families in need throughout Dane and Green Counties.

Who Is Eligible?
To find out if you qualify for service, you need to contact Project Home online or over the phone. They will speak with you to find out if you qualify for one of their publicly or privately funded programs. If you’re not eligible for free service, they will send you a free estimate.

How to Get Started
Find out if you qualify by calling (608) 246-3737. You can also send questions to [email protected].

Senior Nutrition Program of Dane County

What You Should Know
Living at home may isolate some seniors from accessible meal options, but Dane County’s Senior Nutrition Program can help solve this problem by providing free or affordable meals at 29 locations throughout Madison and Dane County. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance, and mealtime usually takes place around noon. Some sites provide evening meals Monday through Friday. The program also offers meal delivery to homebound seniors through the Meals on Wheels program at Home Health United. These services are made possible with funding from the local Area Agency on Aging, donations and time from volunteers.

Who Is Eligible?
The only requirement for participation is to be aged 60 or over. You are only expected to pay what you can afford for meals.

How to Get Started
To sign up or learn more about home-delivered meals in Madison, you can call the Home Health United location at (608) 276-7598. Contact the Dane County Area Agency on Aging at (608) 261-9930 to learn more about meals at local sites.

Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)

What You Should Know
The ADRC of Dane County works with adults at home and their caregivers to ensure a good quality of life. Experts are available to help families with adaptive equipment, in-home personal care, nutrition programs, prescription drug coverage, energy assistance and transportation. Seniors in Madison who need help with Medicare or other government programs can contact the benefits specialist to ensure they are getting what they deserve.

Who Is Eligible?
Any older adult, or a person who cares about them, can reach out to the ADRC for assistance. Some specific programs may have their own eligibility requirements.

How to Get Started
Contact the ADRC in Dane County at (608) 240-7400 to sign up for a program or learn more about their services. Their office is located in the Northside Town Center in Madison.