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In-Home Care in Delaware

Delaware may be one of the smallest states in the country, but it’s also home to a large senior population. As of July 2021, nearly 195,000 of the state’s just over 1 million residents were aged 65 and over. Besides the miles of coastline, one of the main attractions for seniors retiring in Delaware is the state’s senior-friendly tax policies. Seniors can enjoy tax-free shopping, low property taxes and a state income tax exemption on the first $12,500 of retirement pay. Delaware is also home to several fine hospitals, including the ChristianaCare Hospital and Beebe Healthcare – Lewes.

Delaware offers a variety of senior care options, including in-home and home health care. Both of these care options allow seniors to remain in their homes longer. The difference is that in-home care provides non-clinical services, while home health care does offer medical care provided by a licensed professional, such as an RN, physician or physical therapist. In Delaware, the average cost for both in-home and home health care is $5,339 per month.

This guide provides more information regarding in-home care costs and Medicaid and Medicare coverage. It also provides a list of free and low-cost resources for seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Delaware

In-home care costs in Delaware are slightly higher than the national average and costs in most of its nearby states. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, average in-home care costs in Delaware are $382 higher per month than the national average of $4,957. Average monthly in-home care costs in Delaware are also more expensive than in the following neighboring states, Virginia at $4,767 per month, Pennsylvania at $4,957 and Maryland at $5,148 per month. The state’s average monthly in-home care costs are exactly the same as those in New York at $5,339 and $190 cheaper per month than in New Jersey at $5,529 per month.

Delaware

$5339

The United States

$4597

New Jersey

$5529

New York

$5339

Maryland

$5148

Pennsylvania

$4957

Virginia

$4767

Average in-home care costs in various cities in Delaware and neighboring states vary based on location. In-home care costs in Dover are $5,339 and are, on average, $190 cheaper per month than the average costs in the New Jersey cities of Ocean City at $5,529 and Atlantic City at $5,529 per month. Dover’s average in-home costs per month are just $10 higher than the average costs in Philadelphia at $5,329. Additionally, Dover’s average in-home care costs are $382 higher than several nearby cities in Maryland, including Baltimore at $4,957 and Salisbury at $4,957 per month.

Dover

$5339

Ocean City

$5529

Atlantic City

$5529

Philadelphia

$5329

Baltimore

$4957

Salisbury

$4957

At $5,339 per month, In-home care and home health care costs are among the state’s most affordable senior care options. Only adult day health care services at $1,661 are less expensive. On average, assisted living costs are $5,995 per month, or $656 more expensive per month than in-home care. Nursing home care is $12,273 per month, which on average is $6,934 more expensive per month.

In-Home Care

$5339

Home Health Care

$5339

Adult Day Health Services

$1661

Assisted Living

$5995

Nursing Home Care

$12273

Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Delaware?

Medicaid in Delaware doesn’t directly cover in-home care costs for seniors. However, the state does offer a Medicaid waiver program, called Home and Community-Based Services, designed to help seniors remain living in their homes longer. This waivers program may cover some costs associated with in-home care.

Home Care Waiver Program in Delaware

Home and Community-Based Services

Home and Community-Based Services is a Medicaid waiver program designed to promote aging in place. It covers both attendant services and personal care services to provide seniors with in-home support. The waiver program may also cover the costs of congregate or home-delivered meals, home modifications, personal emergency response systems, respite care and assistive devices. This waiver program is specifically for seniors aged 65 and over who without these in-home services would require care provided by a nursing home.

How to Know if your Eligible for Medicaid in Delaware

Eligibility for Medicaid is based on income guidelines. So, seniors must meet income eligibility guidelines to qualify for Medicaid coverage. For instance, single applicants must have an annual income level of $25,230 or lower, whereas married couples can have an income up to $50,460 to qualify for benefits.

Applicants also must meet the asset limit of $2,000 for single applicants and $3,000 for married applicants. In cases where only one spouse is applying for benefits, the non-applying spouse can have assets up to $137,400. Seniors should check their state’s website for more information about qualifying assets.

Delaware residents applying for Medicaid must also meet a variety of other requirements. Applicants must be:

How to Apply for Medicaid in Delaware

The fastest and easiest way to apply for Medicaid benefits in the state of Delaware is to use the state’s online portal Delaware ASSIST. This portal takes seniors step-by-step through the application to make the process as easy as possible. Seniors can also apply for benefits in person by visiting their local Division of Social Services or they can call (866) 843-7212 to request an application by mail.

What Information You Will Need

Before starting the application process, seniors should gather all required information, including:

  • State-issued driver’s license or ID card
  • Date of birth for all applicants
  • Social security numbers for all applicants
  • Proof all income for all applicants

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

There are several agencies within the state of Delaware that can assist seniors in completing their Medicaid applications.

ProgramContactAreaServedServices provided
The Elder Law Center(302) 300-4390Entire StateThe Elder Law Center is sponsored by the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. and offers legal advice and services to seniors aged 60 and over who live in the state of Delaware. It can assist seniors with the Medicaid application process and help them file an appeal if necessary.
Delaware Consumer Assistance(800) 282-8611Entire StateThe Delaware Consumer Assistance program operated through the Insurance Commissioner and Department of Insurance Office can help seniors residing in the state of Delaware determine their Medicaid eligibility and complete the application process.
Delaware Health and Social Services(800) 372-2022Entire StateDelaware Health and Social Services oversee the Medicaid program for the state of Delaware. It can help answer any questions seniors may have about their Medicaid eligibility, completing the application and available services.

Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Delaware?

In general, Medicare does not cover the cost of non-medical home care. That being said, there are situations in which Medicare provides some coverage for medical home care, referred to as “Home Healthcare.” There are several eligibility restrictions for coverage, including that individuals must be homebound and have a referral from their doctor specifically for home healthcare services.

Below is an overview of some of the skilled medical professionals whose in-home services are typically covered by Medicare – for more in-depth information, refer to our Guide to Home Healthcare.

  • Physical Therapists: Physical therapy is used to help patients recover from injuries (broken bones, knee injuries, etc.), treat ongoing conditions such as arthritis, and assist in recovery from surgeries and procedures such as a knee or hip replacement.
  • Visiting Nurses: Licensed nurses can provide a number of medical services for those who don’t need to stay in the hospital, but do need regular medical services such as wound care, changing feeding tubes, etc.
  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists help seniors regain or maintain the ability to accomplish normal, daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and other daily activities.
  • Speech Therapists: Speech therapists help seniors who are struggling to adequately communicate due to a stroke, dementia, or any other cause regain the ability to functionally communicate using a variety of means. Additionally, speech therapists help to keep seniors independent by modifying diets, teaching special techniques to swallow safely, and retraining associated muscles.

As mentioned above, in-home care is distinctly different from home healthcare. But, there can be some overlap in services between the two types of care. So, while Medicare doesn’t cover non-medical in-home care, there are in-home care services that may be covered in special circumstances when they’re provided in conjunction with home healthcare (such as an occupational therapist helping with eating or dressing)

Other Financial Assistance Options for In-Home Care in Delaware

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 Resources for Seniors in Delaware

The state of Delaware offers a variety of free and low-cost resources that can help seniors remain in their homes longer.

ResourceContactAreaServedService
Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center(800) 223-9074Entire StateThe Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center maintains local offices throughout the state. It serves seniors aged 60 and over living in the state of Delaware. The agency offers a variety of services, including Medicaid and Medicare counseling, congregate and home-delivered meals, and caregiver support. It also manages the state’s Ombudsman Program.
Delaware Aging Network(302) 478-9411Entire StateThe Delaware Aging Network manages over a dozen senior centers throughout the state of Delaware. It also provides transportation for shopping and medical appointments and hosts a variety of senior-friendly events and speakers during the year. Furthermore, the agency offers care management services, including assessments and referrals.
Weatherization Assistance Program(302) 504-6111Entire StateThe Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It helps low-income families, including seniors, make home improvements and upgrades to minimize their energy consumption and lower their energy costs. Examples of their services include the installation of new doors and windows, insulation of attics and crawl spaces, and upgrades to HVAC systems.
Delaware Office of Veterans Services(302) 739-2792Entire StateThe Delaware Office of Veterans Services assists veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, spouses, and eligible dependents. It connects veterans to all eligible services, including health care, transportation, food and housing. The agency can also help veterans apply for federal, state and local benefits and provide referrals when necessary.
DART First State(800) 652-3278Entire StateDART First State serves as the transit authority for the state of Delaware. It offers seniors aged 65 and over discounted fares on all state-managed bus systems. It also provides paratransit services for seniors who are unable to utilize the local bus system. The agency can also connect seniors to the Senior Citizens Affordable Taxi, which offers a 50% discount to all seniors living in the state.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Delaware

Delaware Health and Social Services regulates home health care providers throughout the state. The agency periodically conducts on-site compliance checks to ensure all laws and regulations are upheld. The following table describes a list of rules and regulations in-home care providers must follow.

TopicRule
Scope of CareIn-home health care providers assist with activities of daily living. This includes non-skilled services like grooming, bathing, meals, housekeeping and transportation.
Staffing RequirementsHome health aids must have at least one year of practical experience in a Department licensed facility, such as a hospital or nursing home. These individuals must also complete a home health care course or must be an individual who is currently pursuing a degree in nursing and has completed the clinical practicum.
Care Plan RequirementsBefore providing in-home care to a patient, staff members or the agency must provide the senior with a detailed list regarding the types of care offered and the fees that will be charged. Patients have a right to help provide their own treatment plan.
Medication ManagementIn-home providers may help patients in developing a medication schedule and keep patients educated on the types of medications they take, how often it should be taken and any side effects that could occur.
Medicare CoverageThe Elderly and Disabled Home and Community-Based waiver helps seniors who require assistance paying for in-home care.
Reporting AbuseThe Health and Social Services department investigates and analyzes any issues that arise in regard to elder abuse in home care or within any long-term care facility. To report abuse, contact the Division of Health Care Quality at 1-877-453-0012.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Delaware

Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one, finding a quality home care provider can be a stressful process. When you hire an in-home care aide you’re placing a lot of trust in the hands of the person by inviting them into your home, so you’ll want to be diligent in your search. At Caring.com, we’re here to help – we’ve created a helpful checklist below that can help guide you through the process of both determining your needs and finding a home care agency that will provide the best care possible.

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Finding a Home Care Provider Checklist
Finding a Home Care Provider Checklist

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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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