I. What You Should Know About Home Care in West Palm Beach, FL

West Palm Beach is a popular choice for seniors in Florida. Currently 18.6% of the population is over 65, which is 2.1% above the national average. Proximity to beaches and the opportunities for water recreation are just two of this area’s best features.

Seniors interested in the outdoors can visit the many natural parks in the West Palm Beach area, including Frenchman’s Forest in Palm Beach Gardens and Grassy Waters Preserve in West Palm Beach. You can even go on a safari from the comfort of your car at Lion Country Safari, a 20-minute drive from downtown West Palm Beach.

The weather is one of the main attractions for the area. December, February and March are very pleasant months, while July and August can be hot. Hurricanes are a potential risk from June to December. Compared to the rest of the country, the cost of living is high, but the cost of health care overall is less expensive than the national average. Seniors who receive care in their own homes may also be eligible for the Florida Homestead Tax Exemption on their property if their income is below a certain threshold every year.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in West Palm Beach, FL

If you’re interested in-home care services in West Palm Beach, you’ll pay slightly less than the national average. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2020, home care services cost about $4,147 a month, while a home health care runs about $4,242. Nationally, those costs are $4,481 a month for home care services and $4,576 a month for home health care.

Genworth bases its calculations on a figure of 44 hours a week for in-home care services. In West Palm Beach, the average for home care services is $21.75 an hour, while a home health aide is $22.25 an hour. Nationally, the cost is $23.50 an hour for home care services and $24 an hour for home health aide services.

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

West Palm Beach falls roughly in the middle when compared to in-home care costs in nearby cities. Miami home care services are $3,623 a month or $19 an hour, while home health care costs are $3,813 a month or $20 an hour. In nearby Naples, home care services cost $4,767 a month or $25 an hour, and home health care costs are $4,957 a month or $26 an hour. Finally, in Punta Gorda, both types of home care cost $4,576 a month or $24 an hour.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In-home services are only one of the options available to seniors in the West Palm Beach area. Other options include staying in an assisted living facility, which costs $4,399 a month. Adult daycare is the least expensive option at $1,517 per month. The most expensive option is nursing home care, which carries a semi-private room rate of $8,341 a month.

III. How to Find Home Care in West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach, FL

Meals on Wheels of Palm Beaches

What You Should Know
Meals on Wheels of Palm Beaches delivers hot meals every day to homebound seniors. It has continued to help them stay in their homes even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization delivers hot meals that provide one-third of a recipient’s daily nutritional needs.

Meals on Wheels provides two meals for senior caregivers who are responsible for the care of another senior: one meal for the senior and one meal for the caregiver.

Who Is Eligible?
The program serves homebound seniors 65 and older who are living alone or with an eligible spouse or partner. Seniors who have difficulties shopping or cooking for themselves are eligible. Seniors who have assumed responsibility for the care of their spouse or partner can also qualify.

How to get started
Visit the Meals on Wheels of Palm Beaches website to get more information on how to set up a visit so that you or your loved one can enroll in the program. You can also call [571] 802-6979, ext. 6, to learn about meal delivery, specific service areas and program requirements.

Home Care for the Elderly Program

What You Should Know
The program, run by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, provides all eligible seniors with a basic stipend of $160 a month to help with the costs of remaining at home rather than seeking care in an assisted living facility or a nursing home.

Some seniors may be also eligible for a special subsidy that can be used for wheelchairs, home accessibility modifications, a home health aide and other services designed to help the senior remain at home.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors who are 60 years of age and older, whose income is less than the Institutional Care Program standard, whose assets meet its limitations, who are in danger of being placed in a nursing home and who have an approved adult caregiver living with them are eligible.

How to get started
Individuals or their caregivers who believe they may qualify for the program should visit the Home Care for the Elderly Program website for more details on how to apply. They can also call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) or visit the Aging Resource Center in their area.

Serving Our Seniors (SOS) Program

What You Should Know
The SOS program was created to provide temporary assistance for low-income seniors who have critical needs in the West Palm Beach area. It is a one-time emergency grant not to exceed $600. The program is designed to assist seniors when they are confronted by an emergency or financial hardship for eligible activities.

Those activities include assistance for utilities, prescriptions, transportation, handicap accessibility or reimbursement of the city’s Fire Assessment Fee. The program only supports costs not covered by Medicare/Medicaid, insurance or other resources.

Who Is Eligible?
Senior residents of the West Palm Beach area who can demonstrate they have a critical need.

How to Get Started
If you have a critical need, believe you may be eligible, or want to know more about the program, visit the Serving Our Seniors Program website or call the city of West Palm Beach at (561) 804-4970.

Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Palm Beach

The AAA exists to help seniors and adults with disabilities and their caretakers connect with important resources and activities in the West Palm Beach area. Those resources include information on Medicare and Medicaid, guidance on where to find help and care in dealing with seniors who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and help with programs administered by the AAA, including homemaker service and home-delivered meals.

The AAA also works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provides a reimbursement for each congregate and home-delivered meal consumed by seniors.

Who Is Eligible?
Individuals who are 60 years of age and older who have a live-in caregiver and who meet the asset and financial income criteria are eligible for many of the AAA’s programs.

How to Get Started
If you’re interested in learning more about the AAA’s programs, visit the Area Agencies on Aging website or call the organization’s helpline at (561) 684-5885.

Palm Beach County Senior Services

What You Should Know
The county’s Senior Services branch runs a series of programs of interest to seniors, including activities such as quilting and couples dancing, day trips to local restaurants or venues, and lessons on how to prepare taxes.

Who Is Eligible?
Seniors and their caregivers can take part in these programs. There is no membership fee, although a confidential registration is required. Minimal fees may be required for some programs.

How to Get Started
Contact Director of Senior Services Faith Manfra at (561) 355-4750 or call (561) 355-4746. You can also stop by one of the Division of Senior Services Senior Centers in your area.