I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Omaha, NE

Omaha is a great retirement location that offers a low cost of living, a comfortable four-season climate and short commutes to shopping, sports, dining, cultural and educational venues. Located in the heart of America, it’s one of the country’s best places to live and retire, with plenty of amenities and Midwestern charm. Out of Omaha’s estimated 478,000 residents, 12.6% are aged 65 and older, and the city’s senior population is projected to grow to 31.5% by 2030.

Home to Berkshire Hathaway, Conagra Foods and, of course, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha is the nation’s 23rd most walkable large city, which provides easy access to entertainment at the Orpheum Theater and Durham Museum. A Riverfront Revitalization Project is creating even more exciting features for seniors and their families here. Omaha’s two rivers, five lakes, trails and wooded areas offer plentiful scenic spaces for biking, birding, boating and fishing. Sports fans can get their fill of college ball, too.

Seniors have access to Nebraska’s best healthcare at facilities such as Nebraska Medicine – Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Methodist Hospital and Creighton University Center – Bergan Mercy. You can also rely on a strong network of community services to help you remain in your home for as long as you can.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Omaha, NE

According to the Genworth Financial 2020 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Omaha pay an average of $4,767 monthly for home care, which is slightly less than what the average Nebraskan pays. Residents here pay $4,957 for home health care services, sharing the statewide average cost. The additional cost is due to the medical services provided with home health care, in addition to basic homemaker services.

These figures are based on 44 hours of weekly care, which translates to an hourly rate of $25 for home care and $26 for home health care. Your costs can vary depending on the number of hours and type of in-home care you need each month.

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

Home care costs in Omaha are $95 below Nebraska’s statewide average but exceed the national median by $286. While home health care rates here are on par with the statewide median, they’re $381 higher than the national average. Rates are higher in Lincoln, where home care and home health care services cost $4,957 and $5,529, respectively. In Sioux City, Iowa, residents pay $5,005 for both services. However, the cost drops in Topeka, Kansas, where the median is $4,099 for either home care or home health care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In Omaha, home care ($4,767) and home health care ($4,957) fall about midrange on the cost spectrum of senior care arrangements. Adult day care is the least expensive option, with an average monthly cost of $1,625. Assisted living costs slightly less than either home care or home health care, with an average rate of $4,523 per month. Nursing homes have the most expensive type of senior care in Omaha, with an average cost of $8,182 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Omaha, NE

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 Omaha, NE.

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 Omaha, NE

Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA)

What You Should Know
ENOA administers and coordinates programs to help you remain independent at home for as long as possible. Care managers work with you and your family to assess your needs, create a personalized care plan and connect you with community resources. They also continually monitor your situation and adjust care and services as needed. You may be eligible for help with personal care, housekeeping, transportation and meal delivery. The Caregiver Support Program provides respite, counseling and emotional support. ENOA also offers multiple volunteer opportunities that can help you stay engaged with the community. Fees for some services are based on a sliding scale.

Who Is Eligible?
ENOA’s services are available to frail adults aged 60 and older. Some programs have specific qualification criteria, and a care manager can determine your eligibility through an assessment interview.

How to Get Started
To request services or refer someone, you can call ENOA’s Information & Assistance line at (402) 444-6536.

Volunteers Assisting Seniors (VAS)

What You Should Know
VAS is the SHIP office for Douglas and surrounding counties. They host free Medicare presentations with unbiased information on eligibility, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, prescription drug plans, Original Medicare and other insurance. SHIP volunteers offer private, confidential counseling to help you determine your best Medicare options. The agency also holds a basic estate planning workshop which covers advance directives, wills and alternatives, estate taxes and common errors. Additionally, VAS staff can help you file for a homestead exemption on your property taxes.

Who Is Eligible?
VAS serves individuals who are eligible for Medicare, so you must be at least aged 65, have been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for at least two years or be living with ALS, ESRD or permanent kidney failure. To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must be aged 65 before January 1st of the year you apply.

How to Get Started
To receive assistance through VAS, you can call the office at (402) 444-6617 or the hotline at (800) 234-7119. You can also email [email protected].

Project Houseworks & Brush Up

What You Should Know
Project Houseworks arranges home enhancements and critical repairs at no cost to low-income seniors. The Home Repair Program can replace your roof, fix gas leaks and repair toilets and plumbing systems. Project Houseworks’ Home Modification Program installs safety modifications to increase accessibility. The agency collaborates with Warm the Metro to offer free furnace maintenance checks and repairs or replacements and works with Powering Hope to furnish electrical repairs. It also collaborates with Brush Up, a volunteer-led program that paints homes of low-income elderly residents.

Who Is Eligible?
Douglas or Sarpy County residents aged 60 and older can qualify for Project Houseworks programs. To qualify, your income must be 50% or less of the area median income, and you must own or live in the single-family home that needs modification.

How to Get Started
For more information about Project Housework, contact the office at (402) 965-9201, or email [email protected], You can also download an application.

Habitat for Humanity of Omaha

Habitat for Humanity of Omaha administers programs to help you save on energy costs and make your home safer and more comfortable for aging in place. The Energy Efficiency Assistance Program provides free financial help with your monthly utility bills and up to $2,000 in energy-saving improvements. As a contractor for this service, Habitat Omaha conducts an energy assessment to identify areas for upgrades and arranges the needed enhancements for you at no cost. The Weatherization Program performs free repairs, such as air sealing, insulation and appliance and HVAC system upgrades.

Who Is Eligible?
To participate in Habitat Omaha’s energy-saving programs, your household income can’t exceed 200% of the federal poverty level. For the EEAP, you must be an Omaha Public Power District customer and a homeowner in the OPPD service area.

How to Get Started
To request an assessment on your home and determine eligibility for Habitat Omaha’s programs, you can call (402) 457-5657 or send an email to [email protected].

Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership (ENCAP)

What You Should Know
ENCAP offers a variety of programs to help you age in place. A certified instructor teaches chair yoga, chair Pilates, tai chi and mobility/balance classes that can help you stay fit. You can visit the ENCAP garden and participate in a cooking class with the vegetables grown in it. You can join the sewing/craft group, or participate in a monthly cell phone training session. Food is available for pickup twice a week through Senior Pantry OMAHA, and USDA commodities are distributed on a monthly basis. ENCAP can also provide you with transportation to and from its center.

Who Is Eligible?
ENCAP welcomes seniors aged 60 and older. For the monthly food distribution, your monthly income must not exceed $1,383.

How to Get Started
To learn more about ENCAP’s programs or sign up, call the Senior Wellness Coordinator at (402) 453-5656, ext. 230.