I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Sarasota, FL

If you’re looking for the best place to retire, look no further than Sarasota. This southern paradise was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number one place to retire in the United States, so it comes as no surprise that the city boasts a very large senior population. Just over 27% of Sarasota’s more than 58,000 residents are aged 65 years and older. Located along Southwestern Florida’s Gulf Coast, this diverse region has everything you need to enjoy aging in place with the help of home care services.

With its scenic vistas, sunny year-round weather, numerous local parks and miles of award-winning beaches, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. The city is also home to some of Florida’s top dining venues, countless shopping options and a plethora of art and cultural attractions. In fact, the area is considered Florida’s Cultural Coast. Destinations such as The Ringling Museum of Art and Sarasota Jungle Gardens make for a fun afternoon. You can also look forward to a variety of local events and festivals throughout the year, including the Sarasota Film Festival and Siesta Key Crystal Sand Sculpting Competition.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Sarasota, FL

According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, you can expect to pay $4,385 per month for home care in Sarasota. Home health care is slightly more expensive at a cost of $4,576 per month as it includes medical support, such as diabetes care and medication assistance, along with homemaker services.

These costs are based on seniors receiving 44 hours of at-home assistance per week. This translates to an average of $23 per hour for home care and $24 per hour for home health care services. These figures give you a general idea of home care costs, but what you pay may differ depending on the amount of care you require.

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

While Sarasota’s home care costs may be higher than the statewide average, they’re fairly consistent with other communities in Southwestern Florida. Home care is slightly cheaper in Tampa at a cost of $4,195 per month, but you’d pay around $200 less per month for these services in Sarasota than you would in Punta Gorda. Home health care services are consistently priced in all three of these cities at $4,576 per month. The most affordable nearby option is the Lakeland area, where home care averages $3,956 and home health care averages $4,195 per month, both of which fall below the statewide averages.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In Sarasota, assisted living costs an average of $3,888 per month. In comparison, home care and home health care costs are about $500 and $700 higher, respectively. The most expensive option in Sarasota is nursing home care. At an average cost of $9,186 per month, it’s about $4,800 higher than what you’d pay for basic homemaker services. Adult day care rates aren’t published for the Sarasota area, but based on Florida’s statewide cost of $1,408 per month, it’s likely the least expensive option available.

Note: Data for Sarasota was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, North Port, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Sarasota, FL

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 Sarasota, FL.

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 Sarasota, FL

Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL)

What You Should Know
The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization that offers resources and services that can help you continue to live safely and independently at home. Some of the services you can access through the agency include housing assistance, home care, housekeeping, meal preparation and legal assistance. The AAASWFL also functions as the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, providing seniors, family members and caregivers with information and educational resources.

Who Is Eligible?
Services offered through the AAASWFL are available to seniors aged 60 and older who reside in Sarasota and six surrounding counties.

How to Get Started
If you’d like more information about the programs offered, call the AAASWFL Elder Helpline at 866-413-5337.

Senior Friendship Centers

What You Should Know
Senior Friendship Centers are a network of award-winning centers and clinics in Sarasota and across Southwestern Florida that offer an array of programs and services to help seniors navigate their aging journey. The organization’s key areas of focus are health and wellness, social engagement, caregiving and supportive aging. Services such as in-home assistance and home-delivered meals can be arranged, as well as support for caregivers. Some of the on-site programs you can access at the locations in Sarasota include exercise classes, group meals, social activities and adult day programs.

Who Is Eligible?
You’re welcome to attend programming at the Senior Friendship Centers in Sarasota and the surrounding communities and apply for available in-home services if you’re 60 years of age or older.

How to Get Started
For more information about the services offered at each location, you can call the Senior Friendship Centers main office at (941) 955-2122.

Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP)

What You Should Know
If you’re experiencing a home energy emergency, Florida’s Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program can provide help with your heating and cooling bills. The program is administered on a seasonal basis and offers a benefit of up to $1,000 paid directly to your provider to cover your home energy costs. You may also receive vouchers to purchase items such as blankets, portable heaters and fans, as well as assistance with minor repairs to your heating or cooling system. In Sarasota, this program is administered by the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida.

Who Is Eligible?
You’re eligible to apply for the program if you’re 60 years of age or older and have experienced a documented heating or cooling emergency. You must also have a household income that’s below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.

How to Get Started
For more information about this program or to find out if you’re eligible, contact your local Senior Friendship Center. You can reach the Sarasota location at (941) 584-0065 or (941) 955-2122. For the Venice-Sarasota location, call (941) 584-0065.

Meals on Wheels of Sarasota

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels of Sarasota is a nonprofit community service organization that provides home-delivered meals right to your door. Volunteers drop off a nutritious meal, provide a friendly visit and a personal safety check. This service is intended to provide support so you can continue living at home as long as possible and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. If you have a pet, you can also apply for the organization’s PetLove Program to get pet food delivered to your home.

When you sign up, the organization asks for you to contribute a $50 service fee, and while a donation of $6 per meal is appreciated, it’s not required if you’re unable to pay.

Who Is Eligible?
These services are available if you live in Sarasota County and are homebound, recovering from a recent hospital stay, living alone or unable to prepare your own meals.

How to Get Started
You can sign up for Meals on Wheels by filling out the online application on the organization’s website or by calling MOW Sarasota at (941) 366-6693.

JFCS of the Suncoast Aging Services

What You Should Know
JFCS of the Suncoast’s Aging Services offers a range of programs to help you meet challenges that often accompany aging so you can remain healthy, happy and self-sufficient. If you’re living at home, the organization’s counseling services offers the support of licensed clinical social workers who can help you navigate life transitions, cope with loneliness and isolation, deal with finances and manage feelings of grief and loss. JFCS also provides senior outreach support services, hosting weekly group support sessions, followed by lunch and a social hour. Caregivers can access a number of support groups, informational resources and educational services, as well as a dedicated caregiver helpline.

Who Is Eligible?
You can benefit from JFCS Aging Services if you’re a senior citizen living in Sarasota County.

How to Get Started
If you have questions, would like a referral or wish to apply for one of JFCS’s programs, contact the organization’s Director of Aging Services at (941) 366-2224, ext. 112.