I. What You Should Know About Home Care in New Bern, NC

Rich in history and small-town charm with a picturesque setting by the Trent and Neuse rivers, New Bern is an attractive yet affordable coastal haven for retirement. On top of its Swiss heritage, this former North Carolina capital and birthplace of Pepsi is a culturally diverse community with plenty of sights for retirees to explore. Over 6,500 seniors aged 65 and older make up nearly 22% of New Bern’s population, and they enjoy the city’s clean air, warm climate, short commute times and quality health care. CarolinaEast Medical Center is one of North Carolina’s top hospitals and is nationally ranked in the rehabilitation field.

New Bern has no shortage of leisure, arts and entertainment offerings for discerning seniors. In addition to the Craven Arts Council and numerous other art galleries, there’s a monthly ArtWalk event. The New Bern Civic Theatre and Masonic Theatre are both long-running venues for live productions, while a variety of quaint downtown shops and dining establishments cater to different tastes. Outdoor-loving seniors can choose from among New Bern’s many golf clubs and visit the six-acre Union Point Park for relaxing riverside strolls, fishing and boating activities, and various community events.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in New Bern, NC

New Bern’s average costs for home care and home health care are the same at $4,004 per month, according to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey. In many locations, home health care costs more than home care due to the additional medical support it provides, such as medication management and skilled nursing services.

The monthly average in-home care costs in the Genworth survey are based on 44 hours of service per week. Your actual costs may vary, depending on the number of hours of care you need. You can estimate your expected monthly costs using New Bern’s home care or home health care rate of $21 per hour.

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

The cost of both types of in-home care in New Bern are on par with the North Carolina home health care average of $4,004 per month, but higher by nearly $200 than the state’s average home care cost of $3,813. Compared to the national averages, New Bern is more affordable by around $500 to $600. Some other Coastal Plain areas are cheaper than New Bern by about $400 to $600 per month, notably Goldsboro and Greenville, where the respective in-home care costs are $3,449 and $3,623. In-home care in Jacksonville costs $4,099 per month, which is only slightly higher than in New Bern.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

At $4,004, in-home care isn’t the most affordable community-based care option in New Bern. Although local cost data for adult day care services isn’t available, based on the statewide average of $1,278 per month, it’s likely the least expensive option. Assisted living averages $3,400 per month, or about $600 less than in-home care services. Nursing homes, which provide 24-hour skilled care for those with complex medical needs, are the most expensive option in the area. The average rate for a semiprivate room in a New Bern nursing home is $6,996 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in New Bern, NC

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 New Bern, NC.

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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 New Bern, NC

Craven County Adult Services

What You Should Know
The Adult Services unit of Craven County Department of Social Services locally administers state programs that support the welfare and long-term needs of seniors in New Bern. These programs include case management, in-home aide services, personal care services and State/County Special Assistance In-Home Program (SA/IH) cash supplements. This agency also provides information and referral services on county resources, and it handles Adult Protective Services, guardianships and Special Needs Registry services. In addition to Adult Services, Craven County’s Social Services department receives Medicaid applications and determines the applicants’ eligibility for medical assistance programs. It also administers the state’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program, which grants one-time heating bill payments to eligible households.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re aged 60 or older with functional impairments, you may be eligible for Craven County’s case management and in-home support programs. To qualify for the LIEAP program, you must be aged 60 plus or disabled and receiving benefits from the state’s Division of Aging and Adult Services.

How to Get Started
You can call (252) 636-4900 for more information or to apply for programs offered by Adult Services.

Eastern Carolina Council – Area Agency on Aging

What You Should Know
ECCAAA coordinates Older Americans Act programs which help preserve the quality of life of seniors in its nine-county service area. You can access its options counseling program for information and free one-on-one decision-making support about long-term care. This LCA program also receives referrals on behalf of skilled nursing facility residents who want to transition back to their own home or community-based care. ECCAAA also administers evidence-based health promotion programs, the Family Caregiver Support Program and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

Who Is Eligible?
Options counseling services are provided at no charge, regardless of your income. Respite and other FCSP services are available to caregivers of frail seniors aged 60 or older.

How to Get Started
For general inquiries about AAA services or to speak with an options counselor, you can contact ECCAAA at (252) 638-3185, ext. 3011.

Craven County Senior Services

What You Should Know
Craven County Senior Services administers the home-delivered meal program in New Bern and the congregate nutrition program at the local senior center. You can also visit the center to participate in a variety of recreational, social and fitness programs. Additionally, the center hosts health promotion programs and support groups and offers volunteer opportunities in the community.

Who Is Eligible?
All older area residents are welcome to visit the senior center, and you’re qualified to receive home-delivered meals if you’re homebound and aged 60 or older, with frail or at-risk conditions, and unable to prepare meals for yourself.

How to Get Started
To sign up for home-delivered meals or for more information on other senior services, call (252) 638-1790 or visit the Craven County Senior Center at 811 George Street in New Bern.

Coastal Community Action – Weatherization, HAARP and Senior Programs

What You Should Know
Coastal Community Action provides weatherization assistance to improve the energy efficiency of homes occupied by low-income residents, while its Heating and Air Repair and Replacement Program helps ensure the safety of a household’s primary heating system. This agency also administers the Senior Companion program, where volunteers aged 55 and older assist homebound seniors with basic daily living tasks, including grocery shopping and transportation to medical appointments.

Who Is Eligible?
To receive weatherization assistance and HAARP services, your annual income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. The Senior Companion program is available to frail, homebound seniors, as well as to those qualified for the Family Caregiver Support Program.

How to Get Started
You can call Coastal Community Action at (252) 223-1630 for more information about the services available to New Bern seniors.

Food Bank CENC – Commodity Supplemental Food Program

What You Should Know
CFSP is a federal program that’s administered locally by the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina to help qualified New Bern seniors. Through the program, you can receive a monthly food package containing vegetables and fruits, whole grains, protein and dairy products to supplement your nutritional needs.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re a low-income senior aged 60 or older, you may receive monthly CFSP benefits.

How to Get Started
For more information or to sign up for the CSFP, you can contact the New Bern branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina by calling (252) 577-1912.

Catholic Charities – Senior Pharmacy Program

What You Should Know
The Senior Pharmacy Program administered by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh provides financial assistance to low-income seniors with certain chronic illnesses to help cover the cost of prescription medications and specific medical supplies.

Who Is Eligible?
You may qualify for SSP assistance if you’re aged 60 or older and have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, and you’re not eligible for Medicaid. Additionally, you must have a chronic illness such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, COPD, cancer or clinical depression.

How to Get Started
Contact the Catholic Charities’ New Bern office at (252) 638-2188 to inquire about SPP and other available assistance programs.