I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Ocean County, NJ

Nestled along the iconic Jersey Shore about 25 miles north of Atlantic City, Ocean County is a popular retirement destination due to its proximity to New York City, endless entertainment options and beautiful beaches. Ocean County is the sixth most-populated county in New Jersey, with 607,186 residents. Adults aged 65 and older make up a significant percentage of the population at 22.8%, while statewide, 16.6% of New Jerseyites are seniors.

The county is home to a number of well-known attractions including Six Flags Wild Safari, a sprawling drive-through park that’s home to over 1,200 exotic animals. If you’re a history buff, you’ll enjoy exploring the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum, while nature-lovers will appreciate the county’s 27 parks and conservation areas.

Given its location along the Atlantic coast, it’s not surprising that Ocean County receives an average of 46 inches of rain and 15 inches of snow each year. During the winder, temperatures can dip to around 23 degrees, while summertime highs run about 84.6 degrees. Thankfully, there are plenty of indoor activities in the area that are perfect for those wet, chilly days, including shopping at the Ocean County Mall, catching at play at the Exit 82 Theater, or spending time with friends at one of the area’s senior centers.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Ocean County, NJ

According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, in Ocean County you can expect to pay an average of $4,910 per month for home care services. Home health care, which adds some limited medical care such as medication management to the services provided through home care, costs slightly more at $4,957 per month.

The average rates listed by Genworth are based on 44 hours of care per week, which may be more support than you require. To estimate your actual home care costs, you can multiply the average hourly rate, $25.75, by the number of hours of assistance you need. For home health care, the average rate is $26 per hour.

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

At $4,910, the average rate for home care in Ocean County is slightly below the New Jersey average of $4,957, while the cost of home health care matches the statewide median of $4,957. Further south, home care in Atlantic City costs about $4,767, while home health care costs $4,957. In Ocean City, both types of in-home care average $4,362 per month, while seniors in Vineland pay the lowest rates in the state at $3,718 for home care, and $3,956 for home health care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

At $4,910 and $4,957 per month, the respective costs of home care and home health care in Ocean County are well below the average monthly rate for assisted living, which is $7,478. In-home care rates are also significantly lower than the average nursing home cost of $10,783. Only adult day care, which runs around $1,788 per month, is less costly than in-home care.

Note: Data for Ocean County was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Trenton, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Ocean County, NJ

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 Ocean County, NJ.

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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 Ocean County, NJ

Meals on Wheels of Ocean County 

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels of Ocean County can help you maintain a healthy diet by providing you with hot, home-delivered lunchtime meals that include at least one-third the daily nutritional requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The program uses a network of screened volunteers to distribute meals to participants every weekday, and frozen meals are available for use on weekends and holidays. When the drivers drop of the meals each day, they also take a moment to check in with participants and offer extra assistance through community agencies.

Who Is Eligible?
If you or your spouse are aged 60 or older and homebound, and you’re struggling to prepare your own meals, you can request Meals on Wheels service. You may also qualify if you’re a senior who supports a disabled dependent child.

How to Get Started
To apply for Meals on Wheels service, call (609) 978-6868. There are no financial requirements for program participants, but you will be asked to contribute $2 per meal to help offset food and delivery costs.

Reserve-A-Ride

What You Should Know
Reserve-A-Ride is an on-demand, wheelchair-accessible transportation service operated by Ocean Ride, Ocean County’s public transit provider. You can use Reserve-A-Ride to travel anywhere within the county, although priority is given to those traveling to and from medical appointments.

Trips are booked on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can reserve your ride up to four weeks in advance. Because this is a shared-ride service, you might not travel directly to or from your destination as you would with a taxi service.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors aged 60 and older, as well as adults with a qualifying disability, can use the Reserve-A-Ride service. If you have a Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged & Disabled Card, also known as a PAAD card, you’re eligible for half-price Reserve-A-Ride fares.

How to Get Started
As long as you meet the Reserve-A-Ride eligibility requirements, you don’t need to preregister. Simply call (732) 736-8989, then press “1” to book your trip.

Hands for All 

What You Should Know
Hands for All is a free emergency home repair program designed to help low- and moderate-income Ocean County homeowners who can’t afford to hire a contractor to complete urgent home repairs.

You may be able to use this program to have your roof fixed, replace burst or leaking pipes, repair or replace your furnace, or fix unsafe floors in your home. If you live with mobility issues, this program can also help make your home safer and more accessible by installing grab bars in your bathroom, building a wheelchair-accessible ramp or lowering the height of light switches.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for free assistance from Hands for All, you need to be a low-to-moderate income homeowner in Ocean County. You also need to be up-to-date with your property taxes, or if you own a mobile home, your land rent must not be in arrears.

How to Get Started
To apply for help from Hands for All, call (732) 286-7929. Note that there may be a waiting list when you apply, as this service is in high demand.

Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau

What You Should Know
The Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau provides free assistance to veterans, their family members and survivors. Services include support with VA benefit applications and appeals, including applications to the VA’s Aid and Attendance and Housebound Allowance enhanced pension benefit programs, which may help you pay for in-home care and allow you to age in place.

VSB staff can also help vets access VA health care services, arrange for transportation to and from VA medical centers, and provide free loans of mobility devices, such as walkers and wheelchairs.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re a veteran, dependent or survivor, you’re eligible for free assistance through the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the services offered by the Bureau, or to schedule an appointment with a VSB staff member, call (732) 929-2096.

Ocean County Office of Senior Services

What You Should Know
The Ocean County Office of Senior Services works to help older adults remain as independent as possible. The office provides seniors and their families with information on local senior services and programs such as nutrition sites, legal aid clinics, and emergency rental assistance. Representatives can also help you connect with Medicaid counseling, access housing assistance and learn about home care resources.

Who Is Eligible?
You, your loved ones or your caregivers can contact the Ocean County Office of Senior Services to learn about local resources. Representatives can answer your questions over the phone, or you can visit County Connection in the Ocean County Mall, or one of the Satellite Resource Centers in Lakewood, Manahawkin, or Toms River, for an in-person consultation.

How to Get Started
To speak with a representative from the Office of Senior Services, you can call (732) 929-2091.