Seniors citizens aged 65 and older account for about 14.2% of Colorado’s approximately 5.7 million residents. The Centennial State offers unparalleled scenery and an active, outdoorsy lifestyle for older adults wishing to age in place, which can more than compensate for the $4,967 average monthly cost of in-home care. Residents can also take advantage of a wide range of senior-centric programs and services offered by the Colorado Department of Human Services and Division of Aging and Adult Services. The assurance that the state strictly regulates home care agencies is another big benefit for seniors who want to continue living in their own homes as they age.

This guide provides information about in-home care costs in Colorado and programs that may help cover the cost of care, along with free and affordable resources for seniors who want to age in place.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Colorado

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019, home care costs 4,957 per month in Colorado, on average. This is $667 above the $4,290 national average and $382 below the monthly rate paid in nearby Wyoming. Costs drop steadily in other surrounding states, starting with Nebraska, where the average is $4,671 per month. The monthly rate in Utah is about $100 less at $4,576 and falls a further $567 to an average of $4,004 in Kansas.

$4957

Colorado

$4290

United States Average

$5339

Wyoming

$4671

Nebraska

$4576

Utah

$4004

Kansas

Cost of Other Types of Care in Colorado

There are significant differences and surprising similarities in senior care costs in Colorado. The average monthly rates for nonmedical home care and skilled home health care services are identical at $4,957. Around-the-clock skilled care in a nursing home costs substantially more, at $8,197 per month. Compared to the monthly average for in-home services, assisted living in a residential setting costs approximately $900 less, at $4,095. Weekday-only adult day care services are the least costly of all the available care types, with an average of $1,625 per month.

$4957

In-Home Care

$4957

Home Health Care

$1625

Adult Day Care

$4095

Assisted Living Facility

$8197

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of In-Home Care in Colorado’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Colorado

The cost of home care can vary greatly within Colorado, and this is evident in the range of prices charged in the state’s most populous cities. Home care costs are highest in Denver, Colorado’s largest city, at $5,577 per month, and with an average monthly rate of $5,339, Boulder is a close second. Seniors in Fort Collins pay an average of $5,053 and enjoy savings of almost $300 per month. Colorado Springs and Pueblo are the two least expensive cities for home care, with average monthly costs of $4,662 and $4,471, respectively.

Comparing Costs Across Colorado

$5577

Denver

$4662

Colorado Springs

$5053

Fort Collins

$4471

Pueblo

$5339

Boulder

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Colorado

Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled

The state Medicaid program, Health First Colorado, offers the Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled, which provides eligible seniors with in-home assistance to help them avoid premature admission to a nursing facility. The waiver covers adult day services, respite care, personal emergency response systems, home modifications and nonmedical transportation.

The EBD waiver also includes two optional programs that provide specific benefits. The Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services program offers enrollees greater flexibility to self-direct their care, including hiring friends and relatives as caregivers. The In-Home Support Services program covers health maintenance services, assistance with personal care and help with in-home tasks, such as house cleaning and laundry.

Who Is Eligible?
To receive services through the EBD waiver, individuals aged 65 and older must meet Health First Colorado’s financial guidelines. They must also have a functional impairment and meet the Medicaid criteria to qualify for nursing home admission.

How to Apply
Interested seniors can contact their local Single Entry Point agency to apply for the EBD waiver.

Home Care Allowance Program

The state- and county-funded Home Care Allowance provides eligible Colorado seniors with the means to pay for care and household expenses, so they can continue living independently. Approved applicants may use the allowance to cover the cost of personal and respite care, housekeeping services, assistance with money management, household upkeep and maintenance, personal emergency response systems and other approved expenses.

Who Is Eligible?
Elderly Colorado residents must meet the state’s current financial and functional criteria to qualify for assistance through the HCA program.

How to Apply
To apply for HCA benefits, seniors may contact their local Department of Social Services office.

Colorado Old Age Pension

The Old Age Pension program offers financial assistance to provide elderly Colorado residents with a minimum monthly income. This program supplements a beneficiary’s income to the state’s current acceptable minimum, rather than providing a set monthly benefit amount. The OAP may also provide medical and dental care for applicants who cannot qualify for Health First Colorado coverage.

Who Is Eligible?
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents and aged 60 or older to qualify for the OAP. They must also have income and resources below the state’s established limits. As part of the application process, seniors must apply for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits.

How to Apply
Interested seniors can contact the Department of Social Services office in their county to learn more about the OAP and apply.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

Seniors with limited incomes who need help to continue living at home may qualify for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), offered by Medicare and Health First Colorado. PACE programs provide care planning and coordination, comprehensive medical services and a broad range of supportive social, home health and personal care services. The six PACE organizations in Colorado deliver services in enrollees’ homes and community-based PACE centers in 12 counties.

Who Is Eligible?
To enroll in a PACE program, individuals must be aged 55 or older and meet Health First Colorado’s financial criteria. They must also live within a PACE provider’s service area and be assessed as requiring the level of care provided in a nursing home, and they must be able to live at home without any risk to their health or safety.

How to Apply
To learn more about the PACE program and begin the Health First Colorado application process, interested seniors should contact their local Single Entry Point agency. Those already enrolled in Medicaid can contact the Health First Colorado Member Contact Center.

More Ways to Pay for In-Home Care

While the above programs help many people finance in-home care, they will not cover all costs for everyone. There are other ways to pay for in-home care, including out-of-pocket arrangements with siblings, annuities, reverse mortgages, private insurance and more. Read Caring.com’s Guide to In-Home Care Costs to learn more about these alternative payment options.

Free and Low-Cost In-Home Care Resources in Colorado

There are a number of free and affordable resources available to help Colorado seniors age in place. These include nutrition services, home-delivered meals, in-home support services, legal assistance and wellness programs, among others. Seniors may need to meet specific functional and financial criteria to qualify for some programs or services.

ContactArea ServedServices Provided
Older Adult Nutrition Services

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to locate or sign up for servicesEntire stateColorado’s older adult nutrition program provides a range of services for seniors, including nutritional assessments, counseling and education, as well as congregate and home-delivered meals.
Colorado Housing Connects

Call 844-926-6632 to speak with a representativeTwenty-nine countiesThis Edgewater-based nonprofit provides low-income Colorado seniors with free or low-cost options for completing home modifications to improve safety and accessibility.
Senior Support ServicesCall 888-866-4243 or contact the Area Agency on Aging serving your areaEntire stateAAAs throughout Colorado provide various supportive services to help seniors maintain their independence. Eligible seniors may benefit from information and assistance accessing resources, transportation services, care coordination, homemaker services, home health care and volunteer telephone and in-person reassurance.
Legal Assistance

Contact your Area Agency on Aging to speak with a local legal assistance providerEntire stateFree legal assistance is available for residents aged 60 and older for a range of civil issues through Colorado’s AAAs. Help is prioritized for those with the greatest economic or social need.
Volunteers of America Healthy Aging Wellness Classes

To learn about available programs and scheduled classes, call 303-297-0408Various counties including Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas and JeffersonThe VOA’s Healthy Aging Department actively promotes the wellness of Colorado seniors. The organization offers exercise and balance classes, as well as nutrition education and diabetes prevention programs.
Caregiver Support

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or call 888-866-4243Entire stateThe caregiver support program provides low-cost and free services to aid family members who care for seniors, including counseling, support groups, training and respite care assistance. Limited supplemental benefits may be available as well, including home modifications and assistive technologies.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Colorado

In Colorado, home care agencies are regulated and licensed by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF). Home care providers that offer nonmedical personal care services are licensed as Class B agencies. The HCPF also investigates consumer complaints and conducts initial and periodic inspections of all licensed HCAs to ensure compliance with state regulations. This table outlines the regulations that home care agencies in Colorado must abide by.

Scope of CareColorado HCAs with a Class B license may provide various nonmedical personal care services to clients so they can safely and comfortably remain in their homes. These services may include providing help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, continence care, transferring, ambulation and eating. Personal care workers employed by HCAs may also perform housekeeping, laundry and meal preparation tasks, provide companionship and assist clients in completing activities outside the home, such as shopping and attending appointments.
Care Plan RequirementsHome care agencies must evaluate new clients within 48 hours of an initial service visit and develop a care plan to meet their needs. This personalized plan should detail the care services to be provided and tasks to be completed by the agency’s PCWs. It must also specify when visits will occur and their length. Each client’s care plan must be reevaluated and updated annually and whenever any change occurs in the individual’s needs or condition.
Medication Management RequirementsPCWs employed by HCAs may not manage or administer medications to clients. A PCW may provide clients with medication reminders if this service is included in the individual’s care plan.
Staff Screening RequirementsHCAs must have criminal background checks conducted on individuals seeking employment as PCWs who will have direct contact with clients.
Staff Training RequirementsPCWs hired to provide direct care to clients must receive initial training on the agency’s policies and the services it provides. Staff must also receive ongoing training on 12 relevant topics every 12 months.
Medicaid CoverageHealth First Colorado covers the cost of in-home care and supportive services through the In-Home Support Services program, which is offered under the Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled.
Reporting AbuseConcerned parties may report abuse, mistreatment or neglect of a senior to Colorado Adult Protective Services by calling the agency’s intake number in the county where the at-risk individual resides.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Colorado Medicaid Pay for In-Home Care?

Health First Colorado, the state Medicaid plan, currently covers in-home care through the In-Home Support Servicesprogram, which is an option under the Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled. Enrollment in the waiver is capped, so applicants may have to wait to receive coverage, depending on availability.

Are There Programs to Cover Home Modifications in Colorado?

Assistance for improving safety and accessibility is available for Medicaid-eligible seniors through the home modification benefit, included under Health First Colorado’s Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled. Help is also offered through the Colorado Housing Connects program, which is available in 29 counties and through the Caregiver Support program, in some instances.

How Much Does In-Home Care Cost in Colorado?

Home care averages $4,957 per month in Colorado, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019. This is identical to the monthly average for home health care services in the state and significantly more than the $4,290 national median rate for in-home care.

What Are Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are the routine self-care related actions that individuals normally complete on a daily basis. The six ADLs are bathing, elimination, grooming, dressing, eating and mobility. ADLs are not the same as instrumental activities of daily living, which require more complex actions.

Does Medicare Pay for In-Home Care?

Medicare pays for in-home care services in certain situations. It covers intermittent nursing and home health aide services and a certain number of occupational or physical therapy sessions. To qualify, beneficiaries must be under a doctor’s care and recovering from an illness, injury, surgery or in-patient hospital stay.

Home Care Services in Colorado (124)