I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Seattle, WA

Located on the scenic Puget Sound just south of the gorgeous Cascade Mountains, Seattle is the crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest. Home to some of the nation’s largest corporations, the city has more than 724,305 residents, and approximately 4 million people live in the surrounding metropolitan area. If you’re 65 or older, you’re part of a group that includes 90,000 residents.

Despite the area’s high cost, you may be wise to choose Seattle as a retirement destination. Older adults are minutes from world-class attractions, including four professional sports leagues, the iconic Space Needle and one of the nation’s largest Ferris wheels. If needed, you’ll have access to cutting-edge medical care at the Virginia Mason Medical Center or the University of Washington Medical Center, one of the nation’s top research institutions. On top of all that, you can choose from more than 130 licensed in-home services agencies that are based in the city.

As a member of the community, you have access to several senior centers and a number of nonprofit and volunteer-based organizations that can help with personal care, grocery shopping, errands and other everyday needs. These amenities and supports make Seattle an ideal location for anyone who wants to age in place while retaining maximum independence.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Seattle, WA

In-home care in the greater Seattle area costs $6,670 per month, according to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey. You can expect to pay $35 per hour for in-home care, which is $11 higher than the national average. Home health care, which includes expanded medical services and skilled therapy, costs about the same each month. Genworth assumes that seniors require 44 hours of weekly care. However, in most cases, you have the freedom to personalize your schedule.

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

Seattle is a very expensive area for in-home care. Average rates are $2,190 higher than the U.S. median of $4,481 and $730 higher than the state median of $5,941. Differences in the cost of home health care are slightly less pronounced since rates for both services are similar in the Seattle area. In-home care is also more expensive than average in nearby Bremerton, where seniors pay $6,340 for home care and $6,435 for home health care. Home care in Spokane, the state’s second-largest city, costs $729 less than Seattle, and average rates are $1,150 lower in Yakima at $5,520.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In-home care is just one option for you to consider. With average rates of $6,670, it costs about $100 less per month than assisted living. However, you must continue paying for housing, utilities and upkeep. Home health care costs about $4,000 less than a semiprivate room in a nursing home, and home care agencies can provide many of the same services, including help with IV medications. Adult day care provided at community-based centers costs just over $2,000 per month. However, for the same price, you could receive 60 hours of in-home care or about 15 hours of assistance per week.

III. How to Find Home Care in Seattle, WA

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 Seattle, WA.

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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 Seattle, WA

Sound Generations

What You Should Know
Established in 1967, Sound Generations is a one-stop shop for an array of supportive services, including information, assistance and referrals. It delivers meals, provides accessible transportation and coordinates a long list of supportive services, including minor home repairs, health insurance counseling, legal advice and geriatric needs assessments. Free Meals on Wheels deliveries are available if you’re 60 or older or have difficulty shopping or cooking. Sound Generations’ Mobile Market provides pantry staples, including fresh milk and cheese, if you’re in the city. You can also contact Sound Generations if you’re interested in volunteer opportunities.

Who Is Eligible?
Sound Generations serves seniors and families in King County, including Seattle, Bellevue and Renton. You must be 60 or older and meet other program-specific requirements to qualify for some services.

How to Get Started
Call the main office at (206) 448-5757 to learn more. Information about specific programs, including eligibility requirements and their hours of operation, is available online.

Seattle Home Repair Program

What You Should Know
If you need help with home repairs or accessibility modifications that are critical for your health and safety or for the structural integrity of your property, Seattle’s Home Repair Loan Program may provide an affordable interest-free loan. Loans are designed for significant repairs valued at $3,000 or more. You may also qualify for a Home Repair Grant or a deferred loan with waived payments.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for the Home Repair Program, your monthly income must not exceed $5,150 or 80% of the area median. Repairs are approved on a case-by-case basis.

How to Get Started
Call (206) 684-0244 to learn more or to request an application. You can also email your questions to [email protected].

HomeWise Weatherization Program

What You Should Know
HomeWise may provide free weatherization assistance if you’re a low- or moderate-income homeowner or qualifying renter. Although the program covers air sealing and insulation, it can also pay for energy-efficient appliances, new HVAC equipment, replacement windows, ductwork repairs and other upgrades. Covered services are tailored to your property and are based on the results of an energy audit performed by a HomeWise specialist.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for free energy efficiency upgrades, you must live in Seattle and earn no more than $61,800 annually for a one-person household. Limits are based on the area’s median income.

How to Get Started
Call (206) 684-0244 to learn more about the program. Printable applications are also available online.

Aging and Disability Services of King County

What You Should Know
As the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle and King County, this organization can connect you with a variety of programs funded by the Older Americans Act. ADS works to build a more age-friendly community and serves more than 48,000 individuals annually, including seniors, caregivers and disabled adults. It funds recreational programs at local senior centers, offers case management services and sponsors a variety of other support, including door-to-door transportation and home-delivered meals. These services can help you remain in the community, access essential services and avoid institutionalization.

Who Is Eligible?
You must live in King County and be at least 60 years old to qualify for most ADS programs. Caregivers and disabled adults are also eligible for assistance.

How to Get Started
To reach Aging and Disability Services, call (206) 684-0660.

Home Care Association of Washington

What You Should Know
The Home Care Association of Washington represents in-home service agencies, hospice providers and adjunct professionals. It sponsors continuing education events and engages in advocacy to promote health care reform with the goal of increasing service quality, improving medical outcomes and reducing costs. The association also offers a variety of other resources to help you understand your long-term care options.

Who Is Eligible?
This association serves industry professionals and consumers in Washington State.

How to Get Started
If you live in Seattle, call (425) 775-8120 for more information. You can also find consumer resources on the association’s website.

Community Living Connections

What You Should Know
Community Living Connections is sponsored by Aging and Disability Services and is part of a federal initiative designed to increase access to senior services. You can contact this agency for unbiased information about services available to seniors, families and caregivers. It has a large network of community partners, and it hosts a variety of outreach events to empower you and help you understand age-related health issues such as Alzheimer’s. Trained advocates employed by Community Living Connections can connect you with information about Medicaid, long-term care benefits, home repairs, free transportation and other support.

Who Is Eligible?
If you live in King County, this informational service can help you and your family members. Resource guides are available in 16 languages.

How to Get Started
For assistance, call the Community Living Connections hotline at (844) 348-5464.