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

There are many reasons why Vancouver is an ideal location to age in place with the help of home care services. The city sits just across the river from Portland, Oregon, and has significant river frontage lined with shops and tourist attractions that are exceptionally pedestrian friendly, even if your mobility is limited. Home to 185,000 people, 16% of whom are seniors aged 65 and over, Vancouver is the fourth-largest city in Washington. The combined Vancouver-Portland metro area has numerous world-class hospitals and outpatient health care facilities you can access. The climate in Vancouver is less rainy than some other parts of the Pacific Northwest, with mild summers and winters that generally produce no more than an inch or two of snow.

Multiple museums, historic sites and other indoor attractions are also available to Vancouver residents, many of which offer senior discounts on admissions. You can easily get to and from these venues using the local public transportation company, C-TRAN, which offers paratransit and ADA-compliant services and a shopping shuttle specifically for older adults.

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

Seniors in Vancouver pay an average of $5,819 per month for both home care and home health care services, according to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey. In some locations, home health care may cost more because it includes therapy and nursing services, such as medication management and wound care, in addition to assistance with activities of daily living.

Genworth’s cost figures are based on a standard 44 hours of care services per week. Your cost may be different if you need additional or fewer hours of assistance. In Vancouver, the hourly rate for both home care and home health care is $30.52. You can estimate your monthly cost by multiplying this rate by the number of hours of help you need.

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

At $5,819 a month for both home care and home health services, costs in Vancouver are below the respective state averages of $5,941 and $6,031. Vancouver’s in-home care costs are also lower than what seniors pay for similar services in other cities in Western Washington. Olympia seniors pay $6,101 for both types of care, while their peers in Seattle can expect to pay $6,670 for home care and $6,673 for home health care. In Bremerton, the average monthly costs are $6,340 and $6,435, respectively.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

Home care and home health care services aren’t the only care options you have in Vancouver. You can obtain accommodations and care in an assisted living facility for an average of $5,100 a month, while weekday-only adult day care provided in a group setting averages $3,640 a month. A semiprivate room in a local nursing home costs an average of $8,213, making it the most expensive care option in the city. Prices may vary somewhat based on the services and amenities offered by each care provider.

Note: Data for Vancouver was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Longview, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Vancouver, 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 Vancouver, 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 Vancouver, WA

Energy Bill Assistance

What You Should Know
If you’re behind on your household gas or electric bills, Clark Public Utilities offers payment plans to help you avoid disconnection. The utility authority also partners with Clark County and local nonprofits to administer the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which can provide a grant to help you cover your home heating fuel costs. Additionally, the utility may provide referrals for emergency furnace repairs or replacement and assistance weatherizing your home with better insulation and weather stripping to cut waste and reduce your monthly energy bills.

When you call the utility’s public assistance line, a customer service rep can give you information about available programs and eligibility standards. They can also send out an information packet with an application that you can complete and return by mail.

Who Is Eligible?
To get help through the Clark Public Utility assistance programs, you must own or rent the home you live in and be the person principally responsible for paying the utility bills. You must also meet the income and asset limits for the program.

How to Get Started
To learn more about home energy assistance through Clark Public Utility, call the program office at (360) 992-3000. This is a 24-hour customer service number, so you can call at any time.

Villages Clark County

What You Should Know
Villages Clark County is a Vancouver-based nonprofit that offers unique volunteer services and educational programs to help you thrive in your own home. Services offered by Villages Clark County include classes for caregivers and seniors on abuse prevention, nutrition and financial issues common to older adults. Volunteers with the project conduct home visits, provide limited caregiver assistance and offer companionship for those experiencing isolation. Other services you can obtain through the organization include referrals for free and low-cost home accessibility modifications and needed repairs.

Who Is Eligible?
Participation in the Villages Clark County program is limited to seniors and adults aged 18 and over with a disability. Membership fees apply, but you may qualify for financial assistance based on your income.

How to Get Started
To get information about the types of assistance offered through Villages Clark County, or to sign up for services, you can email [email protected] or call (360) 553-1520.

Meals on Wheels People

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels People is a nonprofit nutritional support organization based in Portland, Oregon, that serves people on both sides of the Oregon-Washington border, including those in Vancouver. When you enroll in the program, volunteers visit you each day to deliver prepared meals, including on holidays. They can act as a check-in service if you need someone to make sure you’re okay from time to time. Pet food and supplies are also available through the MOW program. As a participant, you can gather with other seniors for meals at more than a dozen congregate meal locations across four counties on both sides of the Washington-Oregon border.

Who Is Eligible?
You may be eligible for nutritional support from Meals on Wheels People if you are over the age of 60 and have a need for home-delivered meals. There’s no income requirement for participation in the program, but you’re asked to contribute to the meal cost.

How to Get Started
Contact the program office in Portland by calling (503) 736-6325, or by filling out an online meal request to set up service.

Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of Southwest Washington

What You Should Know
You can access information, referrals and helpful caregiver assistance through the regional Area Agency on Aging. Serving Clark and the surrounding counties, the agency provides expert case management services that begin with a full assessment so staff can connect you with programs to address your specific needs. Information and assistance is available about nutritional support, caregiver training and health and wellness classes you may benefit from.

Initially, an intake coordinator meets with you to determine what kind of support you need to remain safely at home. The agency can then review your financial status and other factors to establish your eligibility for free caregiver support, food assistance, home improvements or modifications and other available services. Agency staff can also consult with you about your eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid, go over some of your coverage options and refer you to free legal aid if you need it.

Who Is Eligible?
You’re eligible for assistance through the Area Agency on Aging if you’re an adult aged 60 or older, or if you are over age 18 and living with a disability. Assistance is also available for caregivers and family members of an at-risk senior.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the programs and services available through the AAA, you can submit an online inquiry, or call (888) 637-6060 to speak with a staff member.