I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Philadelphia, PA

As the largest city in the state with more than three million residents, 13% of whom are seniors ages 65 and older, Philadelphia offers retirees the best in amenities, services and health care. Its rich culture and history are complimented by its diverse communities, food and variety of world-class arts and entertainment options. Beyond the well-known historical spots such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, the City of Brotherly Love is also home to national treasures such as the National Museum of American Jewish History and Bartram’s Garden, North America’s oldest botanic garden. The city also features numerous tours, and you can easily get around town for some sightseeing of your own, thanks to the free rides available on all SEPTA forms of transportation (for those 65 and older).

Somewhat surprisingly, despite its many offerings, the city has an average cost of living, making it a desirable retirement location, especially considering that Pennsylvania seniors can keep their Social Security and retirement income tax-free. In addition to all the city offers in terms of its amenities-to-expenses ratio, it also provides its seniors with some of the best health care both state and nationwide, with two of the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania close at hand.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Philadelphia, PA

If you or a loved one is considering home care, you can expect to pay $4,767 on average each month, according to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey. How much care you need greatly determines the overall cost of care. For example, the average monthly cost is calculated using a 44-hour week model at a rate of $108 an hour, but if, say, only 20 hours per week are needed, the cost drops to $2,167 a month, still at the same $108 hourly rate.

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

Philadelphia’s home care rates ($4,767) are higher than neighboring cities, between $95 and $286 more per month. These rates also reflect a slightly higher per month cost than national averages ($4,481 for homemaker services and $4,576 for home health aides). Nationwide, costs for home health aides are higher, due to the medical care they provide, and this is true in Lancaster ($4,576/$4,671) and Reading ($4,481/$4,576), where home health aides cost $95 more per month. However, Allentown, which, like Lancaster, is roughly $191 less per month than in Philadelphia, has the same costs for both forms of care, as does Philadelphia.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

At $4,767 per month for 44 hours of care per week, home care in Philadelphia costs less each month than any other form of care. Assisted living, at $5,550, is approximately $780 more each month, but this difference may be much greater if fewer home care hours are needed. For instance, if just 25 hours of home care are needed each week (5 hours 5 days a week), the difference for assisted living care increases to $2,840 each month. And adult day care may be affordable as a once-in-a-while option but the cost can quickly skyrocket if other services are needed. Both assisted living and nursing care options are more expensive and require moving away from home, where surroundings and routines are both familiar and comforting, into a new community, requiring changes in schedules, food and relationships.

III. How to Find Home Care in Philadelphia, PA

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 Philadelphia, PA.

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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 Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

What You Should Know
As the local Area Agency on Aging, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging provides a broad range of services and supports for older adults. If you need home care, an assessment can be scheduled to determine your need and eligibility for services, which include modification installations and homemaker services. You can also find Insurance counseling, assistance applying for benefits and caregiver support. A listing of free or reduced-fare transportation services is provided, as are home-delivered meals and meals at local senior centers. PCA also offers programs and workshops to help improve health and manage chronic conditions, such as Diabetes Management and Walk with Ease.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors ages 60 and older or their caregivers can access the programs and services offered.

How to Get Started
Begin by calling the PCA Helpline at (215) 765-9040, where you can receive assistance that addresses your individual needs and concerns.

Philadelphia Recreation Programs for Older Adults

What You Should Know
Run by Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department, a number of recreation programs are offered which have been designed specifically with older adults in mind. Six older adult centers throughout the city offer a mix of exercise/health classes, life-long learning, games, camps and art / cultural programs. You can participate in drawing classes, go on a day trip, watch a play or take classes in conversational Spanish or creative writing. Also available is Senior Games, an annual Olympic-style sports and fitness event, which is held over a weeklong period each June. And if you’re looking to volunteer, you’ll find opportunities to do that here as well.

Who Is Eligible?
Anyone 55 and older can participate in all that the centers have to offer. The Senior Games is open to anyone 50 and older.

How to Get Started
To find older adult activities near you, or learn more about the programs offered, visit the website or call (215) 685-2736.

Catholic Housing and Community Services 

What You Should Know
Providing senior services in the Philadelphia area, Catholic Housing and Community Services connects individuals with in-home support programs and senior centers. Its In Home Support, offered in South Philadelphia, provides assistance to homebound seniors that includes personal care, companionship, light housekeeping and minor home repairs. Transportation and home-delivered meals are also available. Those in parishes throughout the city have access to eldercare programs that provide in-home assessments for safety and mobility as well as an individualized plan to address concerns. Five local senior centers are also available for finding a wide variety of classes, programs and activities to keep you or your loved one engaged, active and social.

Who Is Eligible?
Any senior aged 60 and older, regardless of specific age or income, is eligible to receive in-home support services or connect with one of the senior centers. To participate in the Eldercare Programs, individuals must be members at one of the Philadelphia Catholic parishes.

How to Get Started
To find out more about the in-home support program, call (215) 732-1140. To find the appropriate Eldercare programs or a listing of senior centers, visit the website. For general inquiries, contact Catholic Housing and Community Services at (215) 587-3663.

Philadelphia Regional VA Office

What You Should Know
The Philadelphia Regional VA Office, one of the largest in Pennsylvania, offers a variety of services for senior veterans and their loved ones, including benefits counseling. Individuals can receive one-on-one attention from a trained service officer regarding VA health benefits, pensions and life insurance benefits. Assistance is also provided for filing disability claims or requesting military records.

Who Is Eligible?
Any veteran is eligible to receive the services offered by the Philadelphia Regional VA Office.

How to Get Started
To learn more, including making an appointment for counseling, call (800) 827-1000 between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

SeniorLAW Center

What You Should Know
Providing education, advocacy and legal representation to low-income elderly living in the Philadelphia area, the SeniorLAW Center offers, among other services, a Homeowners Assistance Program. This program is designed to help those living at home lead safe and dignified lives. Individuals seeking free and confidential legal advice can call the SeniorLAW Helpline, where attorneys are available to offer legal information and referrals for a variety of issues including pensions and health care. Life planning, including living wills, are provided, as is MLP for Life, a program helping seniors who are aging in place at home to receive any social, medical or legal services to which they are entitled.

Who Is Eligible?
Although anyone 60 and older can contact the SeniorLAW Center, services are prioritized for those with the greatest economic and social need.

How to Get Started
You can learn more by calling the Intake Line at (215) 988-1242 Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9 and 1 or by making an in-person appointment at one of their community clinics held throughout Philadelphia.