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

Florida has long been a popular retirement destination, and of Tampa’s nearly 400,000 residents, 12.3% are seniors aged 65 and older. The city is the seat of Hillsborough County, the forth-most populous county in the state and home to a number of beautiful beaches, green spaces and amusement parks.

Tampa retirees enjoy long, hot summers and comfortable, snow-free winters, and there are about 246 sunny days each year. The overall cost of living in Tampa is comparable to the nationwide norm and just slightly higher than the state average. Housing, utility and health care costs are lower in Tampa than U.S. averages, and that includes home care costs. The Tampa Bay area is known for being a health care hub, and local hospitals include AdventHealth Tampa, Memorial Hospital of Tampa and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.

If you’re a sports fan, there’s plenty of local pro teams to cheer for. There’s also a number of modern performing arts venues in the area that host concerts, Broadway shows and musicals. Organized day trips and group excursions are offered by many area senior centers, including the city-run David M. Barksdale Active Older Adult Center and the Hillsborough County’s Town N’ County Senior Center.

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

According to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of home care in Tampa is $4,195 per month. Home health care, which includes home care services as well as some limited in-home medical care, costs $381 more at $4,576 per month.

These monthly averages are based on 44 hours of care each week, which may be more or less in-home care than you require. To estimate your home care costs, you can multiply the average hourly rate, $22, by the number of hours of care you need each week. For home health care, the average hourly rate in Tampa is $24.

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

Tampa’s home care costs of $4,195 per month match the state average, while at $4,576, the city’s monthly home health care costs are slightly higher than Florida’s average of $4,290. In nearby North Port, seniors pay an average of $4,385 per month for home care, and $4,576 for home health care. Orlando seniors pay around $3,813 per month for either type of in-home care, while in The Villages, in-home care rates run around $4,124 per month.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In-home care rates are less than half the average cost of a semiprivate nursing home room, which is $9,946 per month in Tampa. At an average of $3,225 per month, assisted living rates are lower than either home care or home health care costs, while adult day care services are the least-expensive option at $1,993 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Tampa, 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 Tampa, 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 Tampa, FL

Meals on Wheels of Tampa

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can be difficult, especially if you’re a senior who has trouble getting to the grocery store or preparing your own meals. Meals on Wheels of Tampa can provide you with a low-cost hot lunch every weekday, delivered to your home by a volunteer driver.

When you enroll in Meals on Wheels, you’ll also receive a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables on the third Saturday of each month through the Produce on Wheels program. If you’re a pet parent, you can sign up for Animeals, which provides you with free dog or cat food supplied in partnership with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for Meals on Wheels, you need to be a Tampa senior aged 62 or older; a caregiver or spouse of a senior; or an adult who is homebound due to an illness, injury or disability. You’ll be asked to pay $5.50 per meal, but if you’re unable to cover this cost, subsidized meals are available.

How to Get Started
To learn more about Tampa’s Meals on Wheels service, call (813) 238-8410.

Sunshine Line Door-to-Door Transportation

Sunshine Line’s Door-to-Door Transportation program provides free, wheelchair-accessible transportation to seniors who need rides to reach medical appointments, run errands or attend worship services and social engagements throughout Hillsborough County.

Rides are available Monday through Saturday, and reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Priority is given to riders traveling to medical and social service appointments.

Who Is Eligible?
Hillsborough County seniors, people with disabilities and low-income individuals can apply to use the Door-to-Door Transportation service.

How to Get Started
You need to enroll prior to making a reservation. To enroll, call the Sunshine Line at (813) 272-7272 to complete a phone survey and request a written application form.

Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program

The Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP) helps seniors aged 60 and older pay their past-due energy bills to prevent termination of service. This program is federally funded and administered through Hillsborough County’s Community Resource Centers.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for EHEAP, you need to be a low-income resident of Hillsborough County who is either a U.S. resident or a legal alien, and you need to qualify for federal benefits.

You or a member of your household must be at least 60 years of age, be responsible for paying your household energy bills, and have either received a past-due or final notice from your utility provider.

How to Get Started
To apply for help through the EHEAP, call (813) 272-5220 to connect with your nearest Hillsborough County Community Resource Center.

Senior In-Home Services

Hillsborough County’s Aging Services department provides non-medical in-home assistance for eligible seniors. Services are delivered on an individual basis depending on need, and each client is evaluated by a case manager.

Services offered through this program include homemaking and personal care, caregiver respite and companionship for housebound elders. Case managers can also provide free medical alert systems and consumable medical supplies, as well as lock boxes that allow first responders to enter a client’s home in the event of an emergency.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for Senior In-Home Services, you must be aged 60 or older and need help with everyday activities in order to continue living independently in the community.

How to Get Started
To learn more about Senior In-Home Services, call Hillsborough County’s Aging Services at (813) 272-5250 or the Elder Helpline at (800) 963-5337.

Habitat for Humanity Home Preservation Program 

Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County’s Home Preservation Program helps low-income homeowners who need minor home repairs and exterior upgrades. Services are performed by volunteers who use donated materials to construct wheelchair ramps; repair handrails and damaged steps; paint and pressure wash exterior surfaces; and complete minor roof, soffit and fascia repairs. Volunteers can also clean up exterior debris, caulk windows and doors, and do minor landscaping projects.

Program participants need to contribute at least six hours of “sweat equity” toward their project, or on other Habitat for Humanity projects. This could mean working alongside volunteers, providing the volunteers with snacks and beverages or volunteering in the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If you’re unable to offer any assistance due to disability, you can ask a friend, neighbor or family member to fulfill your “sweat equity” requirement for you.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for no-cost exterior home repairs and upgrades through the Home Preservation Program, you must meet current program income guidelines. You must also occupy the home for at least 12 months prior to receiving assistance, and you may not sell your home for at least three years after work is completed, except under exceptional circumstances.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the Home Preservation Program, call (813) 239-2242, extension 106.