Home Care in Homer, AK
Also called the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World, Homer is known for its friendly small-town charm, rugged natural beauty and picturesque views of Kachemak Bay. Nearly 20% of Homer’s 5,922 residents are 65 and up, which is higher than Alaska’s percentage of seniors for the state overall (12.5%). Homer residents can get cutting-edge geriatric care and specialty services at South Peninsula Hospital, which is the largest medical facility serving the Kenai Peninsula area. According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, home care in Homer costs an average of $5,434 per month, which is slightly higher than prices for Alaska as a whole.
Below we’ve compiled a comprehensive directory of every home care provider in the Homer area – complete with services offered and reviews from families who’ve actually used the service. In addition to our in-depth provider listings, we’ve compiled resources to help seniors and their families to access all the tools they need to age in place safely and gracefully.
Directory of Home Care Services in Homer, AK
440 W Benson Blvd, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK, 99503
1601 E. 84th Ave, Suite 201, Anchorage, AK, 99507
35557 Kenai Spur HWY, Soldotna, AK, 99669
332 E. Pioneer Ave., Suite 2, Homer, AK, 99603
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Paying for Home Care in Homer, AK
The Cost of Home Care in Homer, AK
At a monthly average of $5,434, Homer’s home care prices are approximately $100 more than Alaska’s average of $5,339 and $953 more expensive than costs for the nation overall, which is $4,481. Fairbanks is located almost 600 miles to the north of Homer and shares Alaska’s home care costs of $5,339. Prices can be higher in other major cities of the northwestern United States. In Seattle, Washington, rates go up to $6,670, and in Portland, Oregon, they average $5,815.
The United States
The Cost of Home Care vs. Other Senior Care Options in Homer, AK
Seniors in Homer have several options for their long-term care. Adult day care, which provides supervision and activities during the daytime only, is the cheapest choice at $1,915 per month. Home health care costs $5,533, or $99 more than regular home care does. This service is more expensive because it also includes skilled nursing and other medical assistance. Seniors who require more supervision may choose assisted living, which costs $6,045. Nursing home care is the most expensive at $31,664 for a semiprivate room.
Home Health Care
Adult Day Health
Nursing Home Care (semi-private room)
Note: Data for Homer was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Anchorage, was used instead.
Financial Assistance for Home Care in Homer, AK
Given the high cost of in-home care, many people use one or more forms of financial assistance to cover the expenses. Below, we explain some of the most common sources of financial help for paying for in-home care. If none of these options are available to you, you can reach out to your Area Agency on Aging or Aging and Disability Resource Center to learn about local resources.
Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-Term Care Insurance covers expenses related to senior care, including in-home care. Depending on the policy type, beneficiaries may receive a cash payment to use towards long-term care or reimbursement for qualifying long-term care expenses. Note that there are limitations- typically a maximum benefit of $150 per day- and exact coverage terms vary depending on the exact policy, so always check the details.
Medicare: Medicare does not cover in-home care because it is classified as custodial, or non-medical, care. However, some Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, which offer expanded benefits, may cover in-home custodial care.
Medicaid: Medicaid coverage of in-home care varies between different states because it is not a federally mandated benefit. Currently, all states cover some in-home care either through their standard Medicaid or a waiver program. The specific coverage rules are set individually by each state.
Veterans’ Benefits: The Aid and Attendance benefit is a monthly cash payment that beneficiaries can use to pay for senior care, including in-home care services. To qualify for A&A, Veterans must already receive the VA pension and meet several additional requirements, including needing assistance with the activities of daily living.Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more.
Reverse Mortgages: Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) are federally insured loans that are available to homeowners age 62 and over. Reverse mortgages allow you to access a portion of your home’s equity in cash, tax free. Many seniors use reverse mortgages to finance their care expenses, including in-home care. Note that although there are no monthly payments due on reverse mortgage loans, borrowers do have to repay the loan once the last surviving homeowner passes away, moves, or sells the home.
Free & Low-Cost Home Care Resources in Homer, AK
The following free resources are provided by government agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout Homer, Kenai Peninsula Borough and the state of Alaska. These resources provide utility bill assistance, weatherization, property tax breaks and other services that can make it easier and more comfortable for seniors to live in their home.
This nonprofit organization provides free home weatherization and accessibility improvements for seniors in Kenai Peninsula Borough. Weatherization includes wall and roof insulation, ventilation, sealant of air leakages, heating appliance repairs and other improvements that can make seniors' homes more comfortable during the winter months. Its Housing Accessibility Improvement Program pays for wheelchair ramps, barrier-free showers, stairlifts and adaptations for people who are hard of hearing or blind.
In association with the Homer Senior Center, Meals on Wheels delivers hot, freshly prepared food to seniors who can't leave their homes to grocery shop or cook for themselves. Volunteers can prepare meals to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions, such as low in fat or salt-free. Meals are low-cost, and no one will be turned away based on their ability to pay.
Alaska's Heating Assistance Program provides grant money to low-income households that are struggling to afford their utility bills. Funds can be used to pay for gas, electric and wood heating costs. This program is open to residents with a household income at or below 150% of the poverty level and a minimum of $200 in heating costs per year. Both homeowners and renters are eligible.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough offers several property tax exemption programs to residents of Homer and surrounding areas. Residents 65 years of age or older can receive the Senior Tax Exemption, which exempts up to $300,000 in assessed value of their primary residence and residential land use. Other tax breaks include the Disabled Veterans Exemption and the Disabled Residents Tax Credit.
Provided by the state of Alaska, this program pays monthly cash benefits to low-income residents who are 65 and up. Benefits could be $76, $175 or $200 per month, depending on income. Seniors can use these benefits to pay for groceries, bills or help around the home.
Determining Your Loved One’s Need for In-Home Care
Aging can be a difficult process, and loved ones may not always ask for help – oftentimes it’s up to their family to evaluate their need for help around the house. While no two situations are exactly alike, this checklist can help you and your loved ones determine when it’s time to start the search for a home care provider.
Guidelines for Talking About In-Home Care
If you’ve determined that your loved one needs the assistance of a care provider in their home, it may be time for a difficult conversation. Handled correctly, however, this process can bring a family together and ensure that everyone’s concerns are addressed. Use this PDF as a starting point to help the conversation stay as positive and productive as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for in a good home care agency near me?
Before settling on a home care agency, it’s important to know the agency’s background, staff qualifications and what services you’ll get for the cost of care. Ask questions about caregiver training, screening, billing and financial assistance that may be offered. It’s also smart to ensure that the agency employs caregivers whose availability and personality will be a good fit for the one receiving care. Ask the agency for caregiver references and check them thoroughly before hiring.
What is the difference between in-home care and home health care?
In-home care provides nonclinical services, including meal preparation, transportation to appointments, help with chores, companionship and assistance with grooming, eating and other activities of daily living. In-home care aides offer help with medication management and reminders but aren’t able to administer medication. Home health care provides medication administration, skilled nursing, wound care, health monitoring and physical/occupational therapy services.
How do you pay for senior care at home?
Many people pay for senior care out of their own personal funds, but costs can add up quickly, so it’s not an ideal option for everyone. Alaska offers a Home and Community-Based Waiver program that can cover the cost of care for eligible individuals. Medicare Advantage plans may also pay for home care and other services, such as meal delivery (Original Medicare does not cover these or other nonmedical benefits).
What is a home care assessment?
All home care agencies should conduct an initial assessment before starting service to determine the specific level of care each senior needs. Agencies assess a senior’s physical and mental condition, the challenges they face at home and their overall ability to perform their activities of daily living. This assessment lets agencies estimate how many hours of care a senior requires. Some may only need help for a few hours per week during the daytime, for example, while others require 24/7 care or a live-in assistant.
What is in-home respite care?
Respite care provides short-term relief for family members or others who serve as the primary caretaker for someone. It’s intended to give the primary caregiver a break so they can rest, mentally recharge, run errands or take care of chores around the home. Respite care includes many of the same services as regular home care, such as companionship, medication reminders and help with activities of daily living.