I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Mobile, AL

Between its low cost of living, pleasant winter climate and financial incentives for older property owners, Mobile should be on everyone’s short list of ideal retirement destinations. In addition to the beach and water-related activities, numerous golf courses ensure you have plenty of recreation options, and if you’re a nature lover, several state parks and nature preserves are only minutes away. When the weather makes outdoor adventures less appealing, there are plenty of shops, restaurants and cultural attractions to explore in the area.

In Mobiles’ senior centers, you can socialize, take up new hobbies and improve your physical fitness through a variety of exercise classes and specialized wellness programs. If you need medical care, Mobile Infirmary Health Center and several other area hospitals are only moments away. With the city’s financial benefits, comfortable winter weather and many opportunities to socialize and stay active, you and the city’s other 30,861 seniors would likely agree that Mobile is a prime location to age in place with the assistance of home care services.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Mobile, AL

Assuming care services are provided for 44 hours per week, the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2020 reports that Mobile’s seniors pay an average of $3,432 per month for in-home care, which is on par with the statewide average. This breaks down to about $19.50 an hour for in-home care.

For home health care, the city’s seniors pay a few hundred dollars more each month, which is typical considering that most home health care providers offer a range of medical services and rehabilitative care in addition to home care services.

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

At $3,432, the cost of home care in Mobile is right in line with the statewide average, but for home health care ($3,813), you can expect to pay $381 more than the Alabama average. Compared to the respective national medians, Mobile is about $750-$1,050 more affordable. Seniors in Daphne pay $3,432 for both home care and home health care, while Montgomery’s seniors spend less at $3,238 and $3,337, respectively. In nearby Gulfport, Mississippi, costs average $3,623 for home care and $3,838 for home health care services.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Costs vary depending on the type of senior care chosen. Nursing homes are the most expensive option at $6,540 per month, but they’re best suited to those who need 24-hour medical supervision. Home health care services provide limited medical services at an average cost of $3,813, while basic home care costs $3,432. Assisted living facilities charge about $100 less at $3,318 per month. Adult day care is the most affordable option in Mobile at an average monthly cost of just $433, but it’s typically provided on weekdays in a group setting.

III. How to Find Home Care in Mobile, AL

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 Mobile, AL.

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 Mobile, AL

Weatherization Assistance Program

What You Should Know
Through the Weatherization Assistance Program, low-income seniors in Mobile can save money on their heating and cooling bills by having energy-efficient upgrades completed on their homes. Some of the most common services performed include installing insulation in walls and attics, sealing air leaks with caulking and weather stripping, replacing broken windows and replacing some appliances with more efficient models. Although the weatherization assistance service is free, its availability depends on funding. So even if you qualify, there’s a chance you may not receive services.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for WAP services, you’ll have to meet income guidelines as well as own or be in the process of purchasing your home. Additionally, you can’t have received weatherization assistance in the past, and you must reside within the Mobile Community Action coverage area.

How to Get Started
You can apply for the program online or at one of the local community service centers. To complete your application, you’ll need a photo ID, proof of your income and homeownership and a copy of a recent energy bill. If you have any questions, you can call the program’s staff at (251) 457-5700.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

What You Should Know
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that’s designed to help residents with limited incomes keep their homes comfortable during the hottest and coldest periods of the year. Locally, the program is administered by Mobile Community Action. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for two forms of assistance. If you’re facing imminent disconnection of your utilities or your service has already been disconnected, you can apply for the LIHEAP crisis assistance program. Otherwise, you can apply for the regular assistance program, which makes a one-time payment directly to your energy provider to help offset your yearly heating and cooling costs.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re a Mobile resident whose income falls below the LIHEAP program’s annually updated limits, you’ll most likely qualify. However, only the head of a household or their spouse may apply.

How to Get Started
To apply for the program, you’ll need to submit a copy of a recent energy bill and documentation proving your income and identity. You can get more information about the documentation requirements and assistance with the application process by calling (251) 457-5700.

Homestead Exemption

What You Should Know
Mobile County offers a homestead exemption that may help you save money on your property taxes. As a senior homeowner, you may be eligible for a $2,000 to $5,000 reduction in your tax bill, depending on your annual income. The exemption also applies to mobile homes, but you must also own the land the home sits on to qualify.

Who Is Eligible?
To claim the homestead exemption, you must own and reside in a single family residence that sits on no more than 160 acres of land. You’ll also need a signed assessment sheet.

How to Get Started
You can apply for the Homestead Exemption by downloading and printing the application form from the county’s website, then mailing or bringing it to the Mobile County Revenue Commission. The office can be reached by calling (251) 574-8530 if you have questions.

South Alabama Regional Planning Commission Area Agency on Aging

What You Should Know
The local AAA serves adults aged 60 and older and those with disabilities in Mobile and a three-county area of southwest Alabama. Through the AAA, you can get help accessing various programs and services, such as home-delivered meals, wellness classes, legal assistance, Medicare counseling and in-home assistance, among others.

Who Is Eligible?
The eligibility criteria varies between programs, but generally, you’ll need to be at least 60 years of age and have a fairly low income to qualify for the majority of programs available through the AAA. However, some programs don’t have income limits.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the programs offered through the AAA and whether you qualify, call (251) 706-4680.

Aging & Disability Resource Center

What You Should Know
Working in conjunction with the AAA, the ADRC assists seniors across Mobile County and beyond with questions about their long-term care options and ways to pay for care. Staff at the ADRC can help you fill out Medicare and Medicaid applications, recommend low-cost home care providers and connect you with lawyers who specialize in elder law. The center also assists caregivers by helping them arrange respite care, and it maintains a directory of all the free and discounted transportation options.

Who Is Eligible?
The ADRC provides counseling, provider referrals and information to all seniors in Mobile as well as all the other areas served by the local AAA.

How to Get Started
You can get in touch with the ADRC by calling (251) 706-4680.