I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Portland, OR

The 26th largest city in the U.S., Portland has a population of over 653,000, of which 17% (111,000) are aged 62 or older. Portland is well known for fine dining but perhaps the most interesting culinary experiences can be found in the many food trucks scattered throughout the downtown area. Portland features a variety of attractions for nature lovers. The Portland Japanese Gardens is a traditional Japanese garden located in Portland’s Washington Park area and the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which is open year-round, is an authentic Ming Dynasty style garden. Those who appreciate the idea of a pleasant afternoon stroll can enjoy Forest Park, which contains 70 miles of easy trails within the city. Sports fans will enjoy rooting for the Portland Timbers, the city’s MLS soccer team. Seniors who enjoy a more laid-back outing can take in the Portland Saturday Market, the largest arts and crafts fair in the U.S.

While the city’s cost of living is higher than the national average, there are many community-based organizations and public resources available to those living here which aim to help seniors who wish to age in place.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Portland, OR

Home care in Portland, Oregon costs $5,815 a month according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2020. Home health care, which includes medical care, costs almost an extra $100 a month at $5,911. These prices are several hundred dollars more than the state average and quite a bit more expensive than the national averages. It’s important to remember that the Genworth cost figures, which the company has been compiling for 17 years, are based on an average of 44 hours a week. Home care costs equate to $30.50 an hour and home health care costs work out to $31 an hour. Your expenses may be higher or lower depending on how often you need to use home care or home health care services.

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

The monthly average of home care costs in Portland are about $350 higher than the state average, while the monthly cost of home health care is just under $400 a month more. The price difference is even more pronounced when looking at the national averages. Home care costs are about $1,300 more a month while home health care averages roughly the same difference. When you examine costs around the state of Oregon, they are lower in Eugene and Albany but are higher in Bend, Oregon.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

While home care ($5,815) and home health care ($5,911) in Portland cost more than residing in an assisted living facility ($4,831), these services can be tailored to meet seniors’ needs. Homecare’s flexibility means that seniors and their caregivers can cut or expand services to meet their needs and budget. Adult daycare ($3,510) is another option that costs less but to participate, seniors need to travel to a senior center or other location where the program is offered. Home care and home health care are both several thousand dollars less expensive than a semi-private room in a nursing facility ($10,083).

III. How to Find Home Care in Portland, OR

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 Portland, OR.

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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 Portland, OR

Friendly House

What You Should Know
This nonprofit neighborhood community center serves residents of all ages but has specific resources and assistance for seniors. Their professional staff will provide assistance in selecting and contacting the resources that you need, whether it be for legal affairs, tax help, transportation or aging at home. All services are provided free of charge.

Who is Eligible?
There are no eligibility requirements for any of the free services that Friendly House offers.

How to Get Started
You can visit Friendly House at 1737 NW. 26th Avenue in Portland or call them at (503) 228-4391.

Hollywood Senior Center

What You Should Know
Built to help seniors in Portland aged 55 and older, the Hollywood Senior Center offers fitness programs, educational opportunities, socialization and other activities designed to help enrich the lives of seniors in the area. One of its important programs is Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) which helps seniors, family members and caregivers navigate their insurance benefits and advocates on their behalf with Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurance providers.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors over the age of 55 can use the services offered by the Hollywood Senior Center.

How to Get Started
Seniors and others interested in finding out more about the SHIBA program should call (503) 288-8303 for an appointment. Appointments are only available by phone and only on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Oregon Department of Human Services/Seniors and People with Disabilities

What You Should Know
The Seniors and People with Disabilities branch of the Oregon Department of Human Services offers many different programs and resources, including several designed specifically to aid seniors who wish to age in place. This includes programs through the 16 Area Agencies on Aging in Oregon which help seniors remain in their homes and the Home Care Commission, which provides training opportunities for individuals who wish to become home care or home health care practitioners.

Who is Eligible?
Each of the programs may have different eligibility requirements, so it is best to check with the department.

How to Get Started
You can call the department at (503) 945-5600 or visit their offices at 500 Summer St. NE. E 15 in Salem, OR.

Meals on Wheels/Portland

Meals on Wheels is a well-known, community-based organization that delivers nutritious meals to older adults. In some cases these meals are delivered at community dining centers or for seniors who are unable to travel, the meals are delivered to their homes.

Who is Eligible?
Any senior, aged 60 or older and their spouse (even if they are not 60) are eligible for meals. The cost of each meal is $7.39. You’re asked to donate what you can afford but no eligible person will be turned away because of their inability to pay for the meal.

How to Get Started
To sign up for Meals on Wheels call (503) 736-6325 or fill out the required form on the Meals on Wheels website.

Unlimited Choices

What You Should Know
This nonprofit community-based corporation provides repairs and rehabilitates seniors’ homes. Its team fixes leaky roofs, addresses mobility issues to reduce the chances of slipping or falling and undertakes other critical home repairs. It works with seniors using Community Block Development Grants (CBDG) from Multnomah County and the city of Portland.

Who is Eligible?
Any senior (no specific age requirement) whose home needs rehabilitation or would like to take advantage of their Adapt-a-Home program, which repairs homes to make them safer for seniors, can contact Unlimited Choices.

How to Get Started
If you would like to find out more about the programs offered by Unlimited Choices please call (503) 234-6167.

Independent Choices Program (ICP)

What You Should Know
The program helps qualified Medicare recipients in Oregon with cash payments designed to help them self-direct or manage their own care rather than receive state care services. Under the ICP, spouses, family members or friends can be hired to provide care. Eligible participants receive cash payments from the state which they can use to pay their spouse, family member or friend for caregiving services. The provider must work for the established Medicaid rate.

If a senior is unable to manage the payments because of health issues, a legal guardian or a third party can be named on their behalf. The program is available across the state.

Who Is Eligible?
The ICP is administered by the Department of Human Services. Applicants must be eligible for the state’s Medicare HCBS services, be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the state. Applicants must also be able show that they have had a stable living situation the past three months, including the ability to manage money for their personal care needs or a trusted third party who can manage money on their behalf.

How to Get Started
To apply for the ICP, you should contact the office that serves seniors in your area. Or you can call (800) 282-8096.