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

The picturesque Ivy League college town of age-friendly Princeton presents many reasons why it’s a great place to retire. Its tree-lined neighborhoods and remarkable safety offer a perfect setting for aging in place, and quality health care is within reach at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center. Once home to Albert Einstein for 20 years, this diverse and affluent town now has over 31,000 Princetonians, and approximately 17% are aged 65 and older.

Any point within Princeton is just a few minutes from the walkable downtown. You can shop and dine at charming Palmer Square after visiting the Princeton Public Library or the free Princeton University Art Museum. For live world-class entertainment, the McCarter Theatre Center hosts sensory-friendly performances and has wheelchair-accessible seating and hearing assistance receivers available. Many of the town’s tranquil parks have ADA-friendly trails, including portions of the Princeton Battlefield and Delaware-Raritan Canal state parks. Fascinating historic sites are also everywhere, aside from the university’s architectural landmarks.

Princeton’s ideal location in Central New Jersey is especially convenient for seniors and their visiting loved ones. Its proximity to state capital Trenton keeps Mercer County and state government offices easily accessible. It’s also an easy commute from bigger cities like Newark, Philadelphia and New York City.

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

According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, home care in Princeton has an average cost of $4,910 per month while home health care costs slightly higher at $4,957. Actual charges by some home health care providers may cost more, depending on the extent of professional care services to be provided, such as skilled nursing and medication assistance.

Genworth’s monthly cost calculations for home care and home health care are based on a fixed weekly schedule of 44 service hours. You may pay more or less than the monthly average, depending on how many hours of care you need per week. The average hourly rates are $25.75 for home care and $26 for home health care.

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

In-home care costs in Princeton are around $400 higher than the national averages of $4,481 for home care and $4,576 for home health care. They’re almost on par with the New Jersey and New York City average, both with similar home care and home health care costs around $4,957 per month. New Jersey’s most affordable area is Vineland, with in-home care costs below $4,000 saving almost $2,000 per month. Philadelphia is also affordable with similar home and in-home care costs at $4,767, cheaper than Princeton by up to $200.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care and home health care are considered cost-effective when compared to most other senior care options. They’re less than half the cost of nursing home care, which is the most expensive at $10,783 per month. Assisted living, at $7,478, is also significantly costlier than in-home care options by approximately $2,500. The most affordable option is adult day care, at $1,788, which may also be cost-effective if you require minimal health-related care.

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

III. How to Find Home Care in Princeton, 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 Princeton, NJ.

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 Princeton, NJ

Princeton Senior Resource Center

What You Should Know
PSRC is the go-to resource for seniors in the greater Princeton area. Its Partners in Caring program provides free assistance with navigating health and social services, care planning, benefits applications and starting family conversations on life transitions. Homebound seniors may also benefit from family caregiver support, Crosstown door-to-door transportation and the HomeFriends program where volunteers do weekly home visits for companionship and friendly activities. PSRC’s trained staff can provide free Medicare counseling, social benefits assistance and AARP tax assistance. Other services include recreational activities, support groups, volunteer opportunities and enrichment programs for lifelong learning. PSRC also issues monthly newsletters and maintains a comprehensive community resources directory.

Who Is Eligible?
Most of the services offered by PSRC welcome 55+ adults. The HomeFriends program prioritizes seniors 60 and older who have no other local sources of support. Crosstown transportation services are offered to frail Princeton residents aged 65 and older.

How to Get Started
You may call (609) 751-9699 for inquiries on PRSC’s support services or visit the senior center at Suzanne Paterson building on 1 Monument Drive. PSRC’s Medicare/SHIP counselors are available by appointment at 179 Spruce Circle.

Mercer County Office on Aging / ADRC

What You Should Know
The Mercer County Office on Aging is the Aging and Disability Resource Connection office for older Princetonians. As an Area Agency on Aging, it develops and administers senior programs in compliance with the Older Americans Act and as recommended by the county’s Advisory Council on Aging. Its Mercer County Nutrition Project for Older Adults serves complete lunch meals at 12 sites, including the Princeton Firehouse Cafe for Older Adults at 13 Chestnut Street. ADRC functions include eligibility screening and assistance with applications for community services in addition to information and referrals on long-term care options, public benefits, nutrition programs, caregiver support and other available social and private-pay services for seniors.

Who Is Eligible?
ADRC services are available to seniors 60 and older, adults with disabilities and their caregivers and families. The Mercer County Nutrition Project is open to seniors 60 and older and anyone married to 60+ seniors.

How to Get Started
For information and assistance by the ADRC staff, you may call (609) 989-6661 or send inquiry emails at [email protected]. Registrations for Nutrition Project meals may also be done through this email or by calling (609) 989-6650.

Meals on Wheels Mercer County

What You Should Know
Mercer County’s MOW volunteers deliver nutritious, low-cost hot meals daily from Monday to Friday. Aside from regular home-delivered meals, which are diabetic-friendly and with no added sodium, there are accommodations for vegetarian, preferred protein and therapeutic diets. MOW also delivers bi-weekly pet food, monthly non-perishable groceries, holiday meals and blizzard boxes for inclement weather conditions. Other supportive services include friendly visits, safety checks, nutrition counseling and farmers market vouchers.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligible MOW participants include homebound 60+ seniors and disabled veterans of any age who are unable to prepare meals. Low-income applicants may benefit from subsidized meal programs through Medicaid and other forms of government assistance. There is no waiting list for applications.

How to Get Started
To sign up for meals and other supportive services, you may call MOW Mercer County at (609) 695-3483. For assistance with requests for subsidized meals, contact the Mercer County Office on Aging at (609) 989-6661.

LIFE at St. Francis – PACE Center

What You Should Know
LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) St. Francis is the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) center that serves Mercer County and select areas in northern Burlington County. PACE provides a comprehensive range of services including medical care, nursing services, case management, rehabilitative therapy and recreational programs. Participants also benefit from in-home care, drug coverage, medical equipment and supplies, family/caregiver support and hospice care. LIFE’s care teams include geriatricians, nurses, therapists and certified home health aides, as well as nutritionists, social workers and pastoral care counselors. This program also coordinates hospitalizations and nursing home stays whenever necessary, and participants have 24-hour access to their care teams.

Who Is Eligible?
PACE participants at LIFE St. Francis must be seniors 55 and older and be certified for nursing home level of care but able to live at home with support. Medicaid-only and Medicaid/Medicare recipients benefit from full coverage for PACE services while Medicare-only recipients pay monthly premiums. Private-pay participants are also welcome.

How to Get Started
Contact LIFE St. Francis at (609) 599-5433 to enroll for PACE or for inquiries on eligibility. An intake coordinator may schedule a home visit with a certified Level of Care nurse for a thorough initial discussion about the program and for an eligibility assessment.

Mercer County LIHEAP and Weatherization Assistance Program

What You Should Know
The Housing and Community Development Office of Mercer County administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance with paying heating and medically necessary cooling costs. This agency also partners with PRAB for the weatherization assistance program, which covers energy-efficient home modifications that help reduce energy costs.

Who Is Eligible?
LIHEAP applicants must be low-income individuals (up to 200% FPL) who are responsible for paying healing and cooling costs, whether directly or as part of the monthly rent. Cooling assistance recipients must have a medical condition that requires air conditioning as recommended by a doctor. Low-income households with SSI, SNAP and/or TANF benefits are automatically qualified for weatherization assistance.

How to Get Started
You may call (609) 989-6959 to apply for LIHEAP, which is open for applications from October 1 to July 31. For weatherization assistance, call PRAB Mercer County at (609) 323-7200.