I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Memphis, TN

While just 12.8% of the city’s population is aged 65 and over, Memphis offers an abundance of health care providers, arts and culture locations and recreational options for seniors. Methodist University Hospital has a high patient satisfaction rating, and a high number of Medicare-registered physicians are available for appointments.

Memphis also offers a lot of opportunities for seniors to get out and enjoy the city. The Memphis Zoo is rated one of the top zoos in the United States, according to U.S. News, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside Park is just one of the dozens of parks that offer great views and miles of walking trails. Seniors who appreciate music will find a lot to love at Sun Studio, BB King’s Blues Club and the Beale Street Music Festival.

By combining great health care and recreation with a reasonable cost of living, Memphis offers an appealing location for seniors who want to remain independent at home. Tennessee does not tax any retirement income, making living even more affordable.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Memphis, TN

According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, families can expect to pay $3,813 per month for both in-home care and homemakers services in Memphis. Not everyone searching for home care in Memphis will find identical prices for both services, as in-home care typically costs a little more due to the additional medical assistance it provides.

The actual cost for home care in Memphis varies from senior to senior depending on need. The Genworth survey calculates its average based on 44 hours of care per week, but this may not match each family’s unique situation. To estimate the actual cost of service, seniors may want to use the hourly average for in-home care, which is $20 for Memphis.

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

The average monthly cost for home care in Memphis is lower than both the national and state averages. The least expensive city in the state for home care is Jackson, where homemaker services average $3,670 per month and home health care has the same average as Memphis. Nashville, the state’s capital and largest city, has an average cost of nearly $400 more than Memphis for both types of home care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care and home health care are neither the least nor most expensive types of care for older adults in Memphis. Due to the high level of assistance and skilled medical services, nursing home care costs the most at a monthly average of $7,300. For seniors who only need supervision during the day, adult day care is the most affordable option at a cost of $1,679. Assisted living is nearly $600 more expensive per month than home care, but this includes housing, meals, supervision and other amenities.

III. How to Find Home Care in Memphis, TN

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 Memphis, TN.

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 Memphis, TN

MIFA Meals on Wheels

What You Should Know
Seniors living at home in Memphis who are unable to prepare or obtain their own meals can get home deliveries of hot lunches provided by the Aging Commission of the Mid-South. For those who are able to leave their own homes but still have trouble getting their own meals, there are congregate meal sites located throughout the city that provide hot lunches every weekday.

Meals on Wheels America awarded this local program its highest possible accreditation. It relies on help from more than 100 local volunteers and donations from the city and community.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for home delivery or meals at congregate sites, applicants must be aged 60 or over and be at risk for malnutrition due to a diagnosed illness or injury. Recipients must also be a resident of Shelby County.

How to Get Started
Seniors at home who want to apply for Meals on Wheels or learn more about the program can contact (901) 222-4111.

Aging in Place Program

What You Should Know
In order to help seniors live in safe and comfortable conditions long into retirement, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis offers home modifications and repairs for older adult homeowners in need. The program offers accessibility improvements, including wheelchair ramps and handlebars, and other mobility modifications. They also make weatherization enhancements to increase comfort and lower energy bills. Critical home repairs ensure that the property remains habitable for as long as possible. Work is carried out by trained volunteers or local companies.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for the Aging in Place Program is limited to seniors, aged 60 and over, who have a home in Shelby or Fayette County. The homeowner must live in the property full time and not own any other property. If they are the single occupant in the home, they must not have an income of more than $28,560. All taxes and mortgage payments must be current.

How to Get Started
Homeowners can call the AIP hotline at (901) 322-3500 to start the application process.

Senior Tax Relief

What You Should Know
Low-income seniors who own their own homes in Shelby County may be able to get relief from their property taxes to pay for home care or other services. This relief is delivered as a tax credit and does not need to be repaid. As of 2020, the maximum tax relief was $258.62. For eligible applicants, tax relief is available for both Memphis and Shelby County property taxes.

Seniors may also want to look into the Tax Freeze Program.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors, aged 65 and over, who live in the home they own may be eligible for tax credits. For disabled veterans or surviving spouses of veterans, there is no income limit to participate in the tax relief program. All other applicants must not exceed an income threshold of $30,700.

How to Get Started
To request an application, homeowners can contact Trustee Customer Service at (901) 222-0200.

iTN Memphis Senior Transportation

What You Should Know
This senior transportation program provides affordable rides for seniors in Memphis who don’t drive or have access to other means of transport. Drivers help clients get to medical appointments, run errands and perform other tasks. Any senior who lives at home within the I-240 loop can get a ride to anywhere in the Greater Memphis area. Rides are paid for through a personal ITN transportation account. This is a non-profit organization that strives to keep rides as affordable as possible. Tipping is not required.

Who Is Eligible?
To be a rider, seniors must be 60 or older or have a visual disability. They must also apply for membership of the program.

How to Get Started
Prospective members of iTN can fill out an application online or print and mail a completed application to the local iTN office.

OPTIONS for Community Living Program

What You Should Know
Operated by the Aging Commission of the Mid-South, this program is designed to help seniors access the services they need to live comfortably and safely within their own homes. It also aims to give relief to family caregivers so that they can continue to deliver a high level of care for their loved ones. OPTIONS offers homemaker services, personal care and home-delivered meals. The specific services provided are determined by an in-home evaluation.

Who Is Eligible?
Applicants for the OPTIONS program must demonstrate that they are aged 60 or older, a resident of Tennessee and unable to perform certain activities of daily living. While there is no income threshold for this program, seniors with higher incomes are expected to contribute to some of the expenses.

How to Get Started
To learn more about OPTIONS or request an application, contact Information & Assistance at (901) 222-4111 or send an email to [email protected].