I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Pensacola, FL

Warm weather, beautiful beaches and an affordable cost of living make Pensacola an attractive place to age in place at home. As of the 2020 census, Pensacola is home to more than 54,000 people, and 17.3% of them are aged 65 and older. The census also shows that this elderly population is the fastest-growing age group in the entire state, and the trend is likely to continue for many years.

Many of the seniors who live in Pensacola decide to age in place at home rather than move into assisted living or other types of senior communities. Thankfully, the cost of both home care and home health care in the city is about average for the state of Florida and less expensive than the national average. In addition, the cost of living is 12.7% less than the national average. Gulf Breeze Hospital, only 7 miles from Pensacola, is one of the highest-ranking hospitals in Florida.

Seniors in Pensacola who are aging in place at home have access to many services that can improve their lives, including meal delivery, home modifications and community centers. In addition, the state and local governments provide financial incentives for staying at home, so seniors benefit from greater affordability than in many other parts of the country.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Pensacola, FL

According to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey for 2020, the average cost of home care in Pensacola is $4,277 per month. The average cost of home health care in Pensacola is $4,324 per month. Home health care costs slightly more than regular home care because it offers some light medical services delivered by trained professionals.

The monthly figures for both home care and home health care are based on 44 hours of service per week, so Pensacola families can expect different rates based on their own needs. To help determine this expense, families can use the hourly rate for care, which is $22.43 for home care and $22.68 for home health care.

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

The cost of care in Pensacola is similar to the Florida state average cost, which is $4,195 per month for in-home care and $4,290 for home health care. It’s about $200 less per month than the national averages, which are $4,481 for in-home care and $4,576 per month for home health care. Crestview and Panama City are also in the panhandle region of Florida, but their home care costs are higher than those of Pensacola. Daphne, just across the border in Alabama, has significantly lower home care costs at $3,432 per month for both in-home care and home health care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Seniors and families in Pensacola can choose care options that are more or less expensive than home care. The median price for assisted living is $3,805 per month. There is no data for adult daycare in the city, but the state average is $1,408 per month, making this care option the least expensive for full-day care. The most expensive senior care option in Pensacola is nursing home care, which costs an average of $8,517 per month for a semiprivate room.

III. How to Find Home Care in Pensacola, FL

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 Pensacola, FL.

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 Pensacola, FL

Meals on Wheels

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels helps seniors at home who are unable to prepare or obtain their own cooked food to get the nutrition they need. This program offers government-funded and private-pay meal deliveries. Deliveries consist of a third of calories normally required by older adults, so this service is not intended to fulfill all of a senior’s food requirements. The Meals on Wheels program that delivers food to seniors in Pensacola is operated by the Council on Aging of West Florida, which is the Area Agency on Aging for Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

Who Is Eligible?
In order to qualify for meal deliveries, you have to participate in an assessment to determine your needs. Dining sites throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties are available to all adults who are aged 60 and older.

How To Get Started
Seniors and families who want to apply for home meal deliveries can contact the Elder Helpline locally at (850) 494-7100.

Homestead Exemptions For Senior Citizens

What You Should Know
In addition to Florida’s regular homestead exemption, seniors who are responsible for paying property taxes on their homes in Pensacola may be eligible for an additional exemption. The exemption amount for Escambia County is $50,000, and the amount for the city of Pensacola is $25,000. For seniors who have lived on their homestead for 25 or more years, and whose properties have a market value of $250,000 or less, a complete exemption from property taxes may be available.

Who Is Eligible?
If you are aged 65 and older and who meet certain income requirements, you may be eligible for the homestead exemption. Youmust provide proof of income to the county tax auditor.

How to Get Started
To apply for the homestead exemption, visit the county Property Appraiser’s website, or call the office at (850) 434-2735.

Bayview Senior Citizens Center

What You Should Know
Bayview Senior Citizens Center hosts regular activities and special events for older adults in Pensacola, whether they live at home or in a community setting. Activities include dancing, billiards, arts and crafts, educational seminars and exercise classes. A well-stocked library helps visitors obtain the information they need, and the kitchen provides meals for seniors who stay through lunch. Bayview Senior Citizens Center also hosts support groups for home caregivers and families dealing with dementia or other cognitive diseases. Free assistance with taxes is available during the first quarter of the year.

Who Is Eligible?
Bayview Senior Citizens Center is open to all with no admission fee. Some special activities or excursions may have a fee.

How to Get Started
Get answers to questions and learn more about the services offered at Bayview Senior Citizens Center by calling (850) 436-5190.

Home Rehabilitation Program

What You Should Know
Seniors in Pensacola who require repairs to their home in order to age in place comfortably may be eligible for assistance through the City’s Housing Rehabilitation program. The city can fund everything from major structural, electrical and plumbing repairs to minor modifications, such as hand railings in bathrooms and other handicap accessibility upgrades. Repairs and improvements to a home’s cooling system can save seniors money on their bills in the long run. The funds for these repairs are delivered as a low-interest loan that may be supplemented by a grant for seniors with low incomes.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for Pensacola’s Home Rehabilitation Program, applicants must own and reside in the homes they want to be rehabilitated, be unable to obtain funds for repairs elsewhere and meet income requirements that are unique to each area.  Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-qualified basis. When approved, the city will send a skilled estimator and repair specialist to evaluate the property and determine which repairs are needed.

How to Get Started
Homeowners in Pensacola can call the city’s Housing Office at (850) 858-0350 to learn more about the Home Rehabilitation Program.

Caregiver Support

What You Should Know
Caregivers who provide help for their senior family members living at home can get help from the Council on Aging of West Florida’s caregiver support services. Older adults with special needs can spend the day at The Retreat while caregivers get the rest they deserve. Seniors who visit The Retreat can participate in social and recreational activities. The Council on Aging also hosts monthly support groups where caregivers

Who Is Eligible?
Attendance at caregiver support groups is free and open to everyone, but reservations may be required for certain sessions. The Retreat is available for any older adults experiencing cognitive impairments. Seniors may have to go through an assessment process before visiting The Retreat.

How to Get Started
Families can schedule a tour of The Retreat or learn more about the caregiver support groups available in Pensacola by calling (850) 266-2503.