Government guidelines state that an annual income of $17,667 or less for a one-person household is considered low income for seniors in New York. A two-person senior household earning a monthly income of $1,984 or less is also a low-income household. Low-income seniors aged 60 years or older can still benefit from the services of home health agencies in New York through Medicaid and other government-funded services for seniors.

Low Senior Income in New York

According to data from the New York state government, one in five, or around 21%, of people aged 65 years and older in New York live below the poverty level. While the severity of poverty among other sections of the population has decreased since 2010, senior poverty has continued to rise.

High poverty levels reduce seniors’ ability to meet their basic needs, including paying for food, housing and transport. Low-income seniors are also unable to meet the costs of their increasing health needs, experiencing worse health outcomes, poor personal care, reduced home hygiene and increased social isolation as they age.

Cost of Home Health Care in New York

Home care or in-home services help seniors age in their homes and communities. Home health care aides are certified professionals who assist seniors with health issues. They can provide wound care after injuries or surgeries and various forms of physical and occupational therapy to support healing after a stroke or cardiac arrest. A health care aide can also provide medication reminders to ensure the senior keeps up with their prescriptions and maintain medical equipment such as catheters, oxygen tanks and feeding tubes.

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the monthly cost for a home health aide in New York is around $5,720 and $68,640 annually. Low-income seniors should contact local authorities to find resources to reduce the financial burden of home health care. In New York, the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) provides in-home care services to eligible seniors. Local governments and the State fund the program, but seniors still have to contribute to home health care costs depending on their financial capabilities. Low-income seniors in New York may find EISEP and similar programs a better path for affording home health care.