I. What You Should Know About Home Care in San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is one of the most populous cities in California and ranks 16th in population in all of the United States. The city is home to 881,549 people, with 15.4% of the population being seniors 65 and older. Though California is notoriously known for a high cost of living, San Francisco is also now recognized as the city with the highest salary and highest disposable income in the world. City sales tax exceeds the national average by almost 2 percentage points, but this is reinvested into beautifying the City by the Bay tremendously, making it a beautiful place for you to call home.

Above-average air and water quality, as well as sunny, balmy summers and short winters, make San Francisco a prime location for vulnerable populations. This ideal climate is best enjoyed in one of the city’s over 220 parks. In fact, in 2017, San Francisco became the first city in the United States where all residents are within a 10-minute walk to a local park, thanks to San Francisco’s commitment to increasing and improving recreational parkland in the city.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in San Francisco, CA

The median cost of home care in San Francisco is $6,101 a month, around $32 an hour, according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. This is based on a 44-hour week, which is just over 6 hours a day, seven days a week.

Home health aides sometimes cost a little more each month, since their services include medical assistance such as therapy services or diabetes and medication management. However, in San Francisco, the estimated hourly and monthly costs for both types of care are the same.

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

Home care and home health care costs in San Francisco are high, exceeding state averages by almost $600 a month, and national estimates by about $1,600 a month. However, Santa Cruz is even more expensive, at $6,292 a month for both types of care. Prices drop heading north towards Redding or further inland toward Sacramento, both in the mid to high $5,000s.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

The 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey reports that adult daycare is the most affordable monthly option for senior care. The next most affordable options include home care, home health care or an assisted living facility, all comparable by only a $1 difference. However, for some seniors, the convenience and stability of aging in place may far outweigh the benefits of assisted living, while for others, living in a community where there’s 24-hour care and on-site amenities can be a major plus. Nursing home care offers specialized medical care for those who need it 24-hours a day, yielding a more expensive bill of $12,471 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in San Francisco, CA

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 San Francisco, CA.

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 San Francisco, CA

Home Repair and Renovations

What You Should Know
The San Francisco chapter of Rebuilding Together provides local homeowners and renters in San Francisco with home repair and renovations, creating a safer environment to encourage people to live in their homes longer. Rebuilding Together provides year-round assistance that strives to increase the safety and mobility of seniors or those with disabilities. Some larger home safety repairs may also be provided, such as stairlifts, bath or shower modifications or more intensive plumbing or electrical needs.

Who Is Eligible?
If you are a homeowner or renter living in San Francisco and are current on mortgage payments and property taxes, you may qualify if you fall within certain income parameters. You may be required to show proof of gross income and household size, though priority is given (or income thresholds are adjusted) if a senior or disabled person lives in the home.

How to Get Started
To review additional qualifications and to download the application packet, go to https://rebuildingtogethersf.org/apply/home-renovations/. You can also call Rebuilding Together directly at (415) 905-1611 to learn more.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

What You Should Know
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP is aimed at assisting low-income families to meet their energy needs. There are various services that the program offers. One service provides one-time financial assistance to help balance or cover an eligible household’s utility costs. A crisis intervention program can help in an emergency situation, such as a 24-48 hour disconnection notice. Weatherization services provide energy-efficient upgrades to homes, helping lower costs and improving safety.

Who Is Eligible?
LIHEAP eligibility is primarily considered on a sliding monthly income scale based on the number of people in the home, with income requirements beginning at a one-person household earning no more than $2,296 a month to a 10-person home with a $6,360 a month income. Priority is given to dire situations or more vulnerable populations.

How to Get Started
If you’re interested in learning more about this program, contact the San Francisco Peninsula Energy Programs number at (415) 416-6660, ext. 402. They can also visit the city’s website directly at http://www.sfpes.org/.

Meals on Wheels – San Francisco

What You Should Know
Established in 1970, Meals on Wheels of San Francisco has provided over 4,300 clients with nutritious meals tailored to their specific dietary needs. It remains the only senior nutrition service in the city that provides two separate meals a day, seven days a week, to local seniors. In addition to the assurance of home-bound seniors knowing they can rely on healthy meals every day, the visits from volunteers who deliver the meals serve as a wellness check that helps reduce a senior’s risk of falls, depression or loneliness. Other services provided by Meals on Wheels in San Francisco include nutrition counseling services, home-delivered groceries, case management services and even some minor home repair services to eligible participants.

Who Is Eligible?
San Francisco seniors aged 60 and older may qualify for this service if they are homebound, unable to prepare or shop for themselves, live on their own or with a caregiver or have ongoing medical problems.

How to Get Started
Seniors, their families or their caregivers can apply for the home-delivered meals program by calling the San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services at (415) 355-6700.

Paratransit Services for People With Disabilities

What You Should Know
San Francisco Paratransit is provided everywhere within San Francisco County and extends northward into San Mateo County. This service provides non-emergency travel to seniors or people with disabilities, and vans are equipped to handle medical equipment such as wheelchairs. The rides are $2.50 each way and can be paid in cash, or you can purchase a Single Ride ticket prior to their trip. Companions or caregivers can also ride for the same fee.

Who Is Eligible?
Guidelines for eligibility are provided by the Americans With Disabilities Act. To be eligible for San Francisco’s Paratransit service, seniors or disabled persons must be unable to use public or accessible buses, trains or streetcars some or all of the time without the aid of someone else accompanying them.

How to Get Started
To learn more about eligibility and to make a ride reservation, please call (415) 285-6945, option 2. You can also email general questions to [email protected].

Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS)

What You Should Know
Facilitated by the San Francisco Human Services Agency, the DAS Benefits & Resources Hub is a hotline established in 2008 to help provide access for seniors and disabled persons to social services. Older adults or those with disabilities can learn about services and even apply via a phone call. This hub supports the San Francisco Adult Protective Services program, In-Home Supportive Services and the Office on Aging Case Management Program. Service is provided in various languages, including English, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Tagalog.

Who Is Eligible?
The DAS Hub services all older adults and adults with disabilities across all of San Francisco, with no income requirements and regardless of receipt of federal or public benefits.

How to Get Started
To learn more, download the comprehensive resource guide at https://www.sfhsa.org/file/1891/download?token=JvJYRUjF, or contact (415) 355-6700.