I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Oakland, CA

Oakland is one of the more attractive cities in California for seniors looking to retire at home and still enjoy an active lifestyle. The city is laid out under hills that jut into the San Francisco Bay, and homes in the flat lands near the bridge rarely need air conditioners, due to the cool and generally misty air. Up the hill, summers are hot and dry with cool afternoon breezes, and winters are almost always very mild.

Oakland is a city of 433,000 people, 13% of whom are seniors aged 65 and over, and there’s a lot to keep them occupied within easy traveling distance. Several museums are within a short bus ride from any point in the city, and all of the dining and nightlife attractions of San Francisco are located just across the Bay Bridge, accessible by the area’s light rail system.

If you prefer the quiet of nature, a short hike up the hills above town leads to hundreds of miles of nearly untouched hiking trails and groves of leafy trees ideal for spreading a picnic blanket under. Seniors can also typically get a discount on the many recreational ferries that offer cruises of the Bay.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Oakland, CA

Home and home health care services in Oakland come at an average cost of $6,101 a month, according to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey. This price varies somewhat with the location you’re in and the services being provided, with more intensive medical care typically costing more.

Genworth’s figures assume a standard 44-hour workweek for care providers. If you need more or fewer hours, your monthly cost will, of course, depart from these averages. It may be more helpful for you to know that both home care and home health services cost an average of $32 an hour in Oakland and the surrounding communities.

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

The cost of care in the Oakland area at $6,101 is significantly higher than the rest of California, which averages $5,529 a month. Seniors in El Centro, far to the south, pay an average of just $4,195 a month for home care and home health services, which is close to the national average of $4,481 and $4,576, respectively. Riverside seniors can expect to pay $5,053 a month for home care, while those in Santa Rosa can expect costs of $6,101 for both, as well.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care is not the only option seniors in Oakland have for meeting their needs. Several other senior care options are also available, though at a different monthly cost. Assisted living is closest in price to home services, at $6,100 a month for Oakland seniors. Adult day health care averages $1,950 a month in the area, while a semiprivate room in a local nursing care home can be expected to cost $12,471 for more medically intensive care.

Note: Data for Oakland was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, San Francisco, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Oakland, CA

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 Oakland, CA.

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 Oakland, CA

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

What You Should Know
The PACE program operated by the Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI) helps Alameda County seniors develop a personalized plan for care that helps participants remain safely at home, rather than in residential or facility care. Services the center offers through PACE include medical and social services, such as nursing care, prescription assistance, home care, home health care and medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers. PACE is also active in nonmedical service areas, such as personal care assistance, recreational therapy and nutrition counseling. The program is generally able to assist beneficiaries with scheduling and paying for nonemergency medical transportation and meals on wheels food deliveries at home.

The application process requires you to speak with an intake coordinator who can visit you at home for a personal consultation and needs assessment. This worker can help you understand the steps of the application process and the standard eligibility conditions. There is no cost for any PACE services.

Who Is Eligible?
You may be eligible for help from Alameda County PACE if you’re aged 55 and older, live in the East Bay and meet the program’s income and asset guidelines. You must also need the level of care required by the California Department of Health Care Services and be able to live safely in your own home with the assistance PACE provides.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the program or start the enrollment process, you can call (844) 319-1150 to speak with a PACE care expert. CEI maintains a walk-in office in downtown Oakland for residents of the flats, and another office in East Oakland for hills residents.

Family Bridges Care Coordination Program

What You Should Know
Family Bridges is an Oakland-based nonprofit that brings together a team of expert healthcare providers to help seniors thrive in the community. Their team includes a wide diversity of specialists who can act in different ways to see to seniors’ personal care, medical and other needs. Specialists include behavioral health specialists, social workers, nurses and housing guides who offer case management for seniors and other adults facing health or social challenges, or homelessness.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for the program, you must be enrolled in one of California’s Medi-Cal managed care programs and reside somewhere in the Oakland area, though no proof of residence is required.

How to Get Started
To learn more about this program or to apply, you can call (510) 595-5588 and set an intake appointment at the program’s headquarters building in the historic Hotel Oakland building at 275 14th Street.

Oakland Paratransit for the Elderly and the Disabled (OPED)

What You Should Know
OPED offers free transportation services in the Oakland area for seniors and other adults with limited mobility. Benefits offered through the City of Oakland Human Services Department, Aging and Adult Services division include bus and taxi vouchers, assistance booking and paying for disabled rides and help with the application process for Oakland Paratransit.

Who Is Eligible?
You must be aged 18 or older with limited mobility and be eligible for Paratransit service in Oakland. Seniors aged 70 and over do not need to be eligible for or enrolled in Paratransit to participate in the OPED program.

How to Get Started
To register for the program, you can call (510) 238-3036.

Meals on Wheels

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels of Alameda County connects seniors who live independently with the nutritional support they need to stay healthy. The program’s volunteers deliver prepared meals seven days a week, including most holidays, and most are able to act as a daily check-in service to make sure you’re safe and doing well on your own.

The Oakland Meals on Wheels program doesn’t limit itself to just meals. By working with local nonprofits and volunteers and donors from the county community, the program is also able to offer pet food and other supplies from most of its conveniently located depots. Volunteers in some parts of the city can deliver these supplies with the daily meal delivery.

Who Is Eligible?
You must be over the age of 60 to sign up for the Meals on Wheels program and live in Alameda County. There is no income or asset cap for participation.

How to Get Started
To sign up and schedule meal delivery services, you can start by calling the program office main line at (510) 777-9560

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)

What You Should Know
Alameda County provides homemaker and personal care services for low-income adults through the IHSS program, a support service for seniors who live alone and need assistance with activities of daily living. Caregivers who work with IHSS can visit you at home and help with personal needs, chores, cooking and some errands outside of the home. The caregiver you choose may be a family member or friend, and the relationship is one of employer-employee, with the caregiver’s pay issued through vouchers from IHSS.

Who Is Eligible?
You must be aged 65 or older, or blind or disabled, and need assistance to remain in your own home. You must also meet the eligibility requirements for Medi-Cal or be receiving SSI benefits. Beneficiaries not on SSI may have a share-of-cost obligation for IHSS services.

How to Get Started
You can apply for IHSS by phone at (510) 577-1800 and speak with a live agent.