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

There are many places of interest to explore in the lively city of Milwaukee. If you’re a sports fan, you can catch a game from two major sports teams. The Riverwalk, which winds through Milwaukee, is the perfect spot for taking leisurely walks while you discover the city. If you have a green thumb, you can visit Alice’s Garden Urban Farm, a community garden built on land that was part of the Underground Railroad.

In addition to various recreational amenities, city seniors have access to quality medical services. Milwaukee is home to the Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, which is rated as high performing in geriatrics and ranked as the second-best hospital in Wisconsin, and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.

Milwaukee has a population of 590,157, and over 10% of its residents are aged 65 and older. According to AARP’s Livability Index, Milwaukee came in fifth among top-performing large cities in the nation. According to U.S. News, Milwaukee’s cost of living is lower than other major metropolitan areas in the country, which paired with all its other amenities helps make Milwaukee an attractive option if you want to retire at home.

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

Milwaukee seniors pay an average of $5,053 per month for home care and $5,243 for home health care, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2020. These figures are based on 44 hours of care per week, and prices may vary depending on your care needs. To get a better idea of Milwaukee’s costs, you can expect to pay $26.50 per hour for home care and $27.50 per hour for home health care services. Home care provides help with activities of daily living, while home health care includes light medical care services, which accounts for the price difference between the two types of care. However, this price variation can differ from city to city.

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

The average costs for home care services in Milwaukee are about $90-$600 higher than the state and national medians. Compared to other cities in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is one of the more expensive home care options. Madison seniors pay the most for in-home care, with premiums of $286 for home care and $96 for home health care. In Sheboygan, located north of Milwaukee, both types of in-home care cost $5,005 per month. Racine’s home health care cost is cheaper than Milwaukee’s, but home care is $95 more expensive.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Out of Milwaukee’s senior care options, adult day care is the least expensive, averaging $1,322 per month. While home care is the second least-expensive option at $5,053, home health care costs $170 more than assisted living, which averages $5,073 per month. However, since you pay for in-home care on an hourly basis and you only pay for the hours of care you need, it can still be one of the more affordable care options in the city. Nursing home care is the most expensive type of senior care available, costing $9,429 per month for a semiprivate room.

III. How to Find Home Care in Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee, WI

Meals on Wheels

What You Should Know
Goodwill operates a Meals on Wheels program for older adults in Milwaukee. Every day, over 1,000 wellness checks and meals are delivered to seniors throughout Milwaukee County. The program provides both general and therapeutic meals to meet individuals’ dietary and medical needs.

Who Is Eligible?
If you want to receive home-delivered meals, you must be at least aged 60 or older or living with a disability. You must also be homebound, unable to participate in dining center programs, lack the necessary resources to prepare meals, and be able to feed yourself or have someone available to feed you.

How to Get Started
If you want to receive home-delivered meals, you can reach out to the Aging Resource Center at (414) 289-6874.

GO Pass Program

What You Should Know
The Go Pass program, operated by the Milwaukee County Transit System in partnership with the Department on Aging, allows eligible seniors or persons with disabilities unlimited rides on transit buses for $2 per day. The pass works on all bus routes and lasts for four years. Once your pass expires, you’ll need to reapply if you’re still eligible.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for the GO Pass, you must be a Milwaukee County resident. If you’re over 65 years old, you can qualify if you’re receiving Medicaid or FoodShare benefits. If you’re under 65, you can apply for the program if you’re receiving SSI or SSDI benefits or are a veteran with a disability. You must also be receiving Medicaid or FoodShare benefits. If you don’t meet any of the requirements, you may be eligible for a reduced fare of $1.10 per ride.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the program or to speak with someone to discuss your eligibility, you can call (414) 289-5800. If you meet the requirements, you can sign up for the GO Pass at the Milwaukee County Aging and Disability Resource Center located at 1220 West Vliet Street in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee County Senior Centers

What You Should Know
The Milwaukee County Department on Aging operates senior centers across the county. These centers offer social, fitness, educational and recreational activities for senior residents. You can take part in yoga classes, gardening, Bible studies, nature walks and dance for fitness or fun. The senior centers also host dining sites that serve hot lunches. Before you can sit in for a meal, you need to register for a diner card and make reservations 24 hours in advance. The city of Milwaukee has four senior centers: Clinton Rose, McGovern Park, Washington Park and Wilson Park.

Who Is Eligible?
Anyone over the age of 50 is welcome to visit and participate in the senior centers’ programs and activities, while those aged 60 and above can join the senior dining program.

How to Get Started
Call (414) 289-6874 to learn more about the senior center nearest you or (414) 289-6995 for more information about the senior dining program.

Senior Companion Program

What You Should Know
The Senior Companion Program offered by the Social Development Commission connects vulnerable seniors with volunteers who provide companionship and socialization. The program, which was created in 1974, aims to help older adults remain independent at home. The trained volunteers are aged 55 and older, and they can help with household chores, assist with errands such as grocery shopping and provide transportation to medical appointments.

Who Is Eligible?
You can be eligible for this program if you’re homebound, live alone, or at risk institutional placement.

How to Get Started
For more information about the Senior Companion Program and how to apply, call (414) 906-2700.

Revitalize Milwaukee Home Repairs

What You Should Know
Revitalize Milwaukee offers many home repair services to help low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities live in their homes as comfortably as possible. The nonprofit organization has been providing these free services in Southeast Wisconsin since 2000. The program can help with emergency repairs, accessibility modifications and more. The chore program can provide services such as changing smoke detector batteries and flipping mattresses. If you exceed the income limit but meet all the other requirements, you can still receive Revitalize Milwaukee’s services but will have to pay a fee on a sliding scale.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for these free home services, you must own your home and have lived in it for the past five years, be current on your property taxes and not be in foreclosure or bankruptcy. You also must be at least aged 60 or older, living with a disability or a veteran and be unable to complete home repairs on your own.

How to Get Started
If you have any questions about Revitalize Milwaukee’s home repair program, you can call (414) 312-7531. To apply for services, you can print out an application and mail it to 840 N. Old World 3rd Street, Suite 600, Milwaukee, WI 53203.