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

One of San Jose’s nicknames is the Capital of Silicon Valley, and recent growth in the technology sector has contributed to San Jose’s success. It’s the largest city in Northern California — in population and landmass — and one of the nation’s wealthiest.

As a result of these and other factors, the cost of living in San Jose is relatively high. However, the most considerable differences are found in housing and transportation fees, being the least significant cost categories for retired seniors. Health care expenses are becoming increasingly important, especially for retirees who don’t qualify for Medi-Cal or other forms of financial assistance. Fortunately, San Jose is 6.3% lower than the national average for health-related spending. The ratio of physicians to population is also better than the U.S. overall by roughly 22%.

Many seniors who own their home and no longer need to battle with commute times and rush hour traffic will find few reasons to consider relocating for retirement. More affordable in-home care and residential communities for seniors can be found elsewhere, an unavoidable result of a booming city, but in many cases, the savings aren’t enough to force locals out of San Jose.

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

The difference of in-home care costs is less extreme than other care expenses. According to the Genworth Financial 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly fees in San Jose are $6,197 for in-home care and $6,292 for home health aides. The slight difference in cost is due to the increased training and capacity to provide medical services of home health aides.

It’s also important to remember that the figures used as examples here are assuming 44 hours of care per week. The costs calculate to roughly $102 and $104 per hour, depending on the type of care required.

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

San Jose’s costs aren’t much higher than most in this region, but the difference is significant when compared to the state and national averages. California’s prices are approximately 10% lower on average, while the United States is less expensive by 27%. The closest surveyed alternatives offer little to no savings. San Francisco residents pay $96 less per month equally for both care options, while seniors in Santa Cruz pay $95 more for in-home care and home health aide costs. However, in Modesto, the difference in average fees is just over $1,000 per month.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In cost comparisons that assume 44 hours per week for in-home care and home health aide care, San Jose’s assisted living communities cost 6.6% less. Adult day care is roughly 70% less expensive than in-home care, and this is generally the most appropriate comparison for seniors who don’t need the 24/7 services of assisted living and nursing home facilities. The most in-depth level of care is also the most expensive; nursing care costs are double the average for home care in San Jose.

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

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

What You Should Know
On Lok is a nonprofit organization that’s responsible for managing the PACE program in San Jose. PACE is an ideal choice for many seniors who want to remain independent but need some help in various aspects of life. As the name suggests, it’s designed as an all-inclusive model of care, including medical, meals, transportation and home care. Regional PACE programs each have their own day centers for seniors to come together for social activities, events and health management.

The On Lok PACE program covers all services from Medi-Cal (Medicaid) and Medicare while also managing care services from a central point. These factors help make PACE a more cost-effective and therefore attractive choice for the state, which means it’s generally easier to qualify for financial assistance programs.

Who Is Eligible?
You must live in the service area of a PACE program, which is On Lok for San Jose residents aged 55 or over. On Lok’s assessment team will determine assistance based on requirements from the Department of Health Care Services. The primary qualifications are that you need nursing attention and can continue to live safely at home with PACE services.

How to Get Started
Applicants can visit the On Lok website for more information or call (855) 973-1110 to ask questions and begin the enrollment process.

On Lok 30th Street Senior Center

What You Should Know
Managed by the nonprofit organization On Lok, this center gives seniors many opportunities to meet new people over lunch, join in on various games and entertainment, or explore new interests, such as gardening at the on-site garden. The senior center also hosts regular fitness classes that are appropriate for elderly residents as well as educational and creative pursuits, such as art classes, lifelong learning and group outings.

Who Is Eligible?
You must be aged 60 and over to be eligible for community meals (or 55+ via PACE). There are no other specific requirements for the senior center and the majority of on-site services and activities are provided at no cost, although donations are appreciated.

How to Get Started
The senior center can be reached at (415) 550-2210 during regular weekday business hours.

Meals on Wheels (Sourcewise)

What You Should Know
Residents of Santa Clara County may be eligible for home-delivered meals or congregate dining provided by Sourcewise. All meals are made specifically with senior nutritional needs in mind as well as variety and freshness, and staples, such as milk, bread and fruit, are also included in deliveries. Sourcewise is a nonprofit agency; all eligible residents are served regardless of their ability to pay. No money changes hands at the time of delivery, but monthly contributions are encouraged.

Who Is Eligible?
You must be aged 60 or over, homebound or lack family or friends in the area who could provide similar assistance. Individuals recovering from a rehabilitation or hospital stay may also qualify.

How to Get Started
Seniors and family can visit the website for more details or call (408) 350-3200, option 1, to speak with Sourcewise community resource specialists during regular weekday business hours.

Santa Clara Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS)

What You Should Know
Santa Clara County is the first in the nation to receive the age-friendly designation from the World Health Organization. The county DAAS is largely responsible for this, and its many services and initiatives focus on serving the aging population. These services include home-delivered and congregate dining, in-home supportive services (IHSS), adult protective services and various legal issues affecting seniors. At last count, there was close to 25,000 residents in the county receiving IHSS.

Who Is Eligible?
The requirements vary depending on the individual program or service requested, and some have no conditions. Adult Protective Services is available for everyone, while in-home services are provided to those most in need. Eligibility is based on income, health and mobility factors.

How to Get Started
General inquiries can be made over the phone at (408) 755-7600. Contact information for individual programs is listed on the website.

Senior Adults Legal Assistance

What You Should Know
SALA provides educational materials, assistance and legal services at no cost to local seniors. In most cases, SALA attorneys meet with clients at a senior center or the client’s own home, while some issues can be handled via phone. The most common requests for legal assistance include issues with Social Security (including SSI), Medi-Cal, Medicare and long-term care institutions or service providers. Urgent assistance is available for cases deemed to be an emergency, such as abuse, evictions and canceled benefits.

Who Is Eligible
Residents of San Jose and Santa Clara County qualify for free legal services beginning at age 60, regardless of financial status. However, SALA prioritizes residents who are most in need when scheduling a case. As such, seniors with few resources and/or urgent health-related concerns are served first.

How to Get Started
Seniors and family members can call the central office in San Jose at (408) 295-5991, which is open during regular business hours.