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

Salem is a historic riverside city located in the heart of Oregon’s scenic Willamette Valley. The community dates back to the mid-1800s when it became the capital of the Oregon Territory. Today, Salem is a thriving community with 169,259 residents, and about 14% of the population is aged 65 and older.

In 2019, Livability named Salem one of the nation’s 100 most livable cities, and for good reasons. The city has an impressive parks and recreation system with 46 properties ranging from the expansive Wallace Marine Park to the 12-by-20-foot Waldo Park, which protects a single sequoia tree planted in 1872. Salem is home to a multitude of museums, and the community stands out for its unique cultural attractions, including the Salem Saturday Market, World Beat Festival and the Oregon State Fair.

With so many great amenities, it’s not surprising that many local seniors want to age in place. If you depend on a fixed income, you may appreciate the area’s reasonable cost of living, which is on par with the national average. The climate is also senior-friendly, with just four inches of average annual snowfall and temperate summers that can increase your comfort while reducing health and safety concerns.

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

Home care agencies in Salem charge $5,291 for nonmedical services, such as help with shopping, cleaning and personal care. Medical services provided by certified nurse aids and other professionals cost $5,472 per month, on average. These figures break down to hourly rates of $27.75 and $28.70, which are slightly higher than the national averages. Monthly estimates are based on Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey and assume that seniors require 44 hours of weekly care. If your needs vary, you may spend more or less for home care services.

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

Home care and home health care costs in Salem are $800 and $1,000 higher than the national averages of $4,481 and $4,576. However, they’re lower than the state medians and rates in other major cities in northwest Oregon. Seniors in Portland spend $525 more for home care and $439 more for home health care services. In Corvallis, the average rate for both levels of care is $5,425 per month. Seniors in Albany pay $48 more for home care than their peers in Salem, and $248 more for home health care services.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

As a senior in Salem, you can choose from several types of long-term care at various price points. In-home care rates are about $900-$1,100 higher than assisted living, which averages $4,398 per month. However, both these options cost significantly less than skilled nursing care. Long-term care facilities that provide this advanced medical support typically charge $10,646 per month. Although local rates for adult day care services aren’t available, based on the statewide average of $2,582, they’re likely the least expensive type of care available in Salem by a wide margin.

III. How to Find Home Care in Salem, 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 Salem, 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 Salem, OR

NorthWest Senior & Disability Services

What You Should Know
NorthWest Senior & Disability Services is the Area Agency on Aging serving Salem and five surrounding counties. It’s been coordinating social services and distributing state and federal funding for older Americans since 1982. If you want to age in place, the agency can provide more information about long-term care options, nutritional services and ways to receive in-home care through the Family Caregiver Support Program, Oregon Project Independence and similar sources.

Who Is Eligible?
Families and seniors are eligible for free long-term care consultations and referrals. Most programs cater to adults aged 60 or older, although there may also be financial and medical eligibility requirements.

How to Get Started
To learn more about how NorthWest Senior & Disability Services can help you age in place, call the ADRC hotline for Marion County at (503) 304-3420, or dial (503) 304-3400 to reach the Salem office.

Cherriots Senior Transportation Programs

What You Should Know
This public transit agency offers several programs for seniors and disabled adults living in the 76-square-mile Salem-Keizer urban area. Dial-a-Ride provides curb-to-curb transportation to any destination within the agency’s service area. Rides cost $3.20 for a one-way trip. The Shopper Shuttle travels to specific stores on certain days of the week based on the rider’s neighborhood. This service costs just $1.25 each way. Rides can be scheduled the day before or up to two weeks in advance, and medical appointments receive priority. Disabled adults may also qualify for Cherriots LIFT, an ADA-accessible paratransit service.

Who Is Eligible?
Special transportation programs are available to seniors aged 60 and older and Salem residents with permanent disabilities. The agency also offers training to help seniors and other riders use its services more effectively.

How to Get Started
You can reach the Cherriots call center at (503) 315-5544 to learn more or to schedule a ride. Applications are only required for LIFT services.

Marion Polk Food Share

What You Should Know
This local nonprofit has been working to end hunger in Marion and Polk counties since 1987. It collects and distributes emergency food boxes sourced from nearly 100 partners. In addition to supporting community gardens, sponsoring 4H initiatives and feeding vulnerable adults, children and families, it operates the Meals on Wheels program in Salem and Keizer. This service provides a hot daily meal, including sides and a dessert, for just $5. More than 46,000 people in the Mid-Valley benefit from the organization’s services every year.

Who Is Eligible?
Food pantry items and meals are available to adults who are in need. Meals on Wheels eligibility is based on age, disability and income. Sliding-scale options may be available, and no senior is turned away based on their inability to pay.

How to Get Started
If you’re interested in receiving Meals on Wheels deliveries or if you know someone who would benefit from these services, call Marion Polk Food Share at (503) 364-2856 for more details.

Salem Senior Services and Center 50+

What You Should Know
The City of Salem sponsors a number of senior activities and services through Center 50+. You can contact the center to learn more about Meals on Wheels, fitness classes, healthy aging programs, library deliveries and medical transportation provided by Wellness on Wheels. The Center’s Home Help program includes multiple offerings for seniors who are living independently. The Fix-it Brigade offers free home repairs, excluding electrical work and ramp building, to homeowners aged 50 and older who supply the required materials. If you live alone, you may be interested in signing up for free friendly home visits or daily wellness calls. The city also provides low-cost respite care to qualifying adults.

Who Is Eligible?
Center 50+ serves all residents over the age of 49. Some services, such as Meals on Wheels, are only available to seniors who are aged 60 and older, homebound and unable to prepare their own meals. Eligibility may also depend on income and physical need.

How to Get Started
For more details, you can call (503) 588-6303 or visit the center online.

South Salem Seniors

What You Should Know
Founded in 1989, South Salem Seniors is a nonprofit, independently funded senior center that’s more than 800 members strong. It offers recreational activities, volunteer opportunities and social events that help residents over 50 make new friends and stay connected to the community. It’s a congregate dining site offering meals through Marion-Polk Food Share and the private company Soup’R Lunch. The center has an art group, garden club and events for card players, and it hosts senior-friendly fitness classes, such as yoga and tai chi. The center also has a library and computer lab.

Who Is Eligible?
South Salem Seniors serves area residents aged 50 and older. There’s a $20 annual membership fee to join.

How to Get Started
To learn more or to join, call (503) 588-0748 or visit South Salem Seniors at 6450 Fairway Avenue Southeast. Additional information about the center’s programs and services is available online.