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

Nestled in Central Florida, Winter Haven offers residents a mild, sunny climate all year in a beautiful area that’s surrounded by pristine lakes. With no snowfall and temperatures that rarely drop below 50 degrees, this town is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with snow and prefers a warmer setting. Of Winter Haven’s more than 52,000 residents, seniors aged 65 or older account for 25.5% of the population, a much higher proportion than the national average of 16.8%.

As a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, Winter Haven provides essential features and services, such as walkable neighborhoods and accessible transportation, that enable its older residents to live safely and independently. The living costs in this town are lower than the Florida and national averages. A house here costs just $210,000 on average compared to the state average of $294,900 and the national average of $291,700. Combined with a lack of state income tax, Winter Haven’s low living costs can save retirees money that can be spent on home care and other necessary services while maintaining their desired living standards. With its low costs and warm climate, Winter Haven is a good option for anyone looking to retire.

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

According to Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the average costs of home care and home health care services in Winter Haven are $4,576 and $4,481 per month respectively. These prices are lower than Florida’s average of $4,767 for both home care and home health care and the national average of $4,957 for home care and $5,148 for home health care.

Genworth calculated the above figures based on an assumption of 44 hours of care per week. The price you pay could be lower or higher depending on the number of hours of care you need. On an hourly basis, you can expect to pay $24 for home care and $23.50 for home health care in Winter Haven.

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

At an average of $4,576 and $4,481 respectively, the monthly costs of home care and home health care in Winter Haven are lower than Florida’s state median and the national average. Prices are higher in Tampa where one month of home care and home health care services costs $4,767 and $4,862 respectively. In North Port, costs are even higher, averaging $5,720 per month for home care and home health care. In Orlando, seniors pay $4,767 per month for both types of in-home care.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In Winter Haven, in-home care services are more expensive than assisted living, which, at an average price of $3,300 per month, is $1,276 cheaper than home care and $1,181 cheaper than home health care. The most expensive option is nursing home care, which offers specialized clinical services, such as wound management, and costs an average of $8,745 per month for a semiprivate room.

Note: Data for Winter Haven was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Lakeland Area, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in Winter Haven, 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 Winter Haven, FL.

An infographic giving steps to finding a home care provider

IV. Home Care Resources for Seniors in Winter Haven, FL

Center for Independent Living of Central Florida

What You Should Know

This organization offers three programs to help seniors age in place safely. The Foundations to Freedom program provides customized home modifications and medical and accessibility equipment to help seniors with disabilities avoid moving into long-term care facilities. Available services include custom installation of wheelchair ramps and grab bars, access to amplified phones and clinical devices, bathroom and kitchen modifications and widening of interior doorways.

The Community Inclusion program works with clients to develop independent living plans and helps them access resources through referrals. Services include transitioning from care facilities back home, navigating government programs and community resources, applying for benefits, skills training and peer support. The FAAST program increases the quality of life of disabled seniors by improving access to assistive technology. It provides information and referrals to funding sources and disability support. Assistive equipment, such as hearing aids and wheelchairs, are available for loan on a short-term basis. This program also provides device demos to help clients choose the most suitable equipment and training classes to increase participants’ life skills.

Who Is Eligible?

Anyone with disabilities living in Winter Haven and surrounding areas can apply.

How to Get Started

To apply for the Foundations to Freedom program, fill out this form. For more information on the Community Inclusion program, complete this form. To learn more about FAAST, call (407) 961-5544.

Senior Connection Center

What You Should Know

As the Area Agency on Aging serving Winter Haven, this organization runs an Elder Helpline to provide information and referrals to appropriate senior programs and services, including home care and home health care services. Anyone who wants to report elder abuse can call a dedicated hotline. Free evidence-based health and wellness workshops on relevant topics, including chronic disease self-management, balance exercises, nutrition, stress relief and tai chi, are available. Seniors aged 60 or over can enroll for free in online classes on technology, healthy living and meeting new people.

Trained volunteers help you navigate Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurance plans. They can answer enrollment and coverage questions, provide information on Medicare Supplements and Advantage Plans, help you compare plans, resolve billing issues and assist with claims and appeals. Financial assistance programs are also available.

Who Is Eligible?

Older adults aged 60 or over living in Winter Haven and surrounding counties are eligible for this agency’s services.

How to Get Started

To reach Elder Helpline or to get assistance on Medicare and other insurance plans, call (800) 963-5337 or fill out this form. To report elder abuse, contact (800) 962-2873. Check the wellness and health workshop schedule, and take this survey to qualify for free online classes.

Homestead, Senior, Disability and Widow/Widower Property Tax Exemptions

What You Should Know

The Homestead Exemption allows Florida homeowners to discount up to $50,000 on their home’s value when calculating property taxes. Eligible seniors aged 65 and over can claim an additional exemption of up to $50,000 using the Senior Exemption. The disabled, such as those who are blind or use a wheelchair, get Disability Exemptions ranging from $500 to complete relief from property taxes. Widows and widowers are entitled to a $500 exemption.

Who Is Eligible?

Anyone living in their own home in Florida is eligible for the Homestead Exemption, while seniors aged 65 and over who meet income requirements can receive the Senior Exemption. The Disability Exemption requires a certificate of disability from a physician or optometrist, while the Widow/Widower Exemption needs a copy of the spouse’s death certificate.

How to Get Started

To apply for the Homestead Exemption or Widow/Widower Exemption, fill out form DR-501. Senior Exemption requires form DR-501SC. For Disabilities Exemptions, complete forms DR-416 or DR-416B.

Meals on Wheels of Polk County

What You Should Know

Homebound seniors in Winter Haven and Polk County can get hot, nutritious meals delivered to their homes through this nonprofit program. Deliveries take place around noon Monday to Friday. Each meal consists of a meat, a starch, two vegetables, a drink (juice or 2% milk), bread, a dessert and a soup or salad. You can check the menu online. More than a meal delivery service, Meals on Wheels provides hundreds of volunteers who serve as much-needed regular social contacts and perform safety checks for older adults who are confined to their homes.

Who Is Eligible?

This service is open to any homebound person living in Winter Haven and the surrounding areas. They may need to meet specific income and household expense requirements.

How to Get Started

Call (863) 299-1616 for more information. To apply, fill out the online application form.

Weatherization Assistance Program

What You Should Know

This federally funded program helps seniors and low-income households in Florida reduce their energy costs through weatherization with the goal of improving their homes’ energy efficiency. Services include repairing walls and ceilings, insulating attics, replacing heating and cooling units and installing solar screens, weatherstripping and caulking.

Who Is Eligible?

Any resident of Florida with a household income that’s no more than 200% of the national poverty level is eligible. Use this online eligibility checker to see if your household income meets these requirements. Anyone receiving Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families automatically qualifies.

How to Get Started

Winter Haven residents must apply through THAPgroup, this program’s local partner in Polk County. Call (813) 626-4926, Ext. 106, or download the application form.