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.

$5339

Delaware

$4597

The United States

$5529

New Jersey

$5339

New York

$5148

Maryland

$4957

Pennsylvania

$4767

Virginia

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.

$5339

Dover

$5529

Ocean City

$5529

Atlantic City

$5329

Philadelphia

$4957

Baltimore

$4957

Salisbury

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.

$5339

In-Home Care

$5339

Home Health Care

$1661

Adult Day Health Services

$5995

Assisted Living

$12273

Nursing Home Care

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.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Delaware

Income Limits*
Asset Limits

Single Person

$25,230

$2,000

Two-Person Household

$50,460

$3,000

Married with One Spouse Applying for Benefits

$25,230 (applicant)

$2,000 applicant/$137,400 non-applying spouse

* per year

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

  • A legal resident of Delaware
  • A U.S. citizen, legal immigrant or lawful alien

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.

Contact
Service Area
Services Provided

(302) 300-4390

Entire State

The 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.

(800) 282-8611

Entire State

The 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.

(800) 372-2022

Entire State

Delaware 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.

Contact
Service Area
Services Provided

(800) 223-9074

Entire State

The 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.

(302) 478-9411

Entire State

The 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.

(302) 504-6111

Entire State

The 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.

(302) 739-2792

Entire State

The 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.

(800) 652-3278

Entire State

DART 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.

COVID-19 Rules for In-Home Care Providers in Delaware

All health care workers in the state of Delaware must receive the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and booster unless they meet the stringent exemption rules. This mandate includes all in-home and home health care providers. These requirements have been in effect since December 2021, but the federal or state government could change these requirements at any time. It’s recommended to contact your local Area Agency on Aging for more information regarding the most up-to-date COVID-19 requirements. Additionally, each health care agency may also have its own rules and regulations, such as the use of PPE or COVID-19 testing policies, that go beyond state and federal mandates. Seniors should check with each agency regarding its specific rules and regulations. 

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.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Delaware
Scope of Care
In-home health care providers assist with activities of daily living. This includes non-skilled services like grooming, bathing, meals, housekeeping and transportation.
Staffing Requirements
Home 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 Requirements
Before 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 Management
In-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 Coverage
The Elderly and Disabled Home and Community-Based waiver helps seniors who require assistance paying for in-home care.
Reporting Abuse
The 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 much does in-home care cost in Delaware?

According to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of in-home care in Delaware is $4,671. In-home care services means a caregiver comes to the home and provides services like medication administration and assists with grooming and meals. This option for seniors is less expensive than moving to an assisted living community, which costs on average $6,035 per month.

Are there transportation assistance programs?

Delaware’s statewide public transportation provider, the Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC), provides rides at reduced or for free for seniors and those with disabilities to and from medical appointments. Rides must be scheduled at least a day in advance and include features like wheelchair lifts and low-floor buses for easy access.

Does Delaware state Medicaid pay for in-home care?

In Delaware, the Diamond State Health Plan Plus (DSHP+) helps pay for some services provided by in-home care. Individuals who qualify receive all the benefits provided by Medicaid, including housekeeping, a social day care center, respite care and an emergency response system.

What does it mean to age in place?

Aging in place refers to individuals who prefer to live in their home as they get older instead of moving into an assisted living community or nursing home. Assistive technology and in-home care makes this possible for many seniors. Assistive technology refers to any products or devices that help seniors improve or maintain their quality of life while they age.

What is the difference between in-home care and home health care?

The main difference in in-home care and home health care is home care services are typically any non-medical service that provides assistance with daily living, including companionship, grooming assistance, light housekeeping and transportation. Home health care is usually doctor prescribed and requires a nurse who can provide wound care, IV care, injections and administer medications.

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.

Finding a Home Care Provider Checklist

Find Home Care Agencies Near You

To find quality home care providers near you, simply input the zip code or city where you would like to start your search. We have an extensive directory of home care agencies all across the nation that includes in-depth information about each provider and hundreds of thousands of reviews from seniors and their loved ones.

Home Instead – Wilmington, DE

1701 Shallcross Ave, Suite A, Wilmington, DE, 19806

We have had Home Instead for the care of our elderly, blind mother for three years. Home Instead found the perfect match of a caregiver for our our Mom in 2018. We began with limited hours and days pe … (read more)
We have had Home Instead for the care of our elderly, blind mother for three years. Home Instead found the perfect match of a caregiver for our our Mom in 2018. We began with limited hours and days pe … (read more)

Right at Home New Castle County

1500 North French Street, Wilmington, DE, 19801

We started using Right at Home in November. They provide a home health aide for personal care and also live-in coverage at different times if I am not able to be here, so that there is somebody here 2 … (read more)
We started using Right at Home in November. They provide a home health aide for personal care and also live-in coverage at different times if I am not able to be here, so that there is somebody here 2 … (read more)


Griswold Home Care

5145 W. Woodmill Road, Suite 22, Wilmington, DE, 19808

They’re making sure she is safe and reminding my mom to take her medicine. The agency listens and responds to us.
They’re making sure she is safe and reminding my mom to take her medicine. The agency listens and responds to us.

2019

Silver Lining Home Healthcare – Dover, DE

110 North Main St., Ste A, Camden, DE, 19934

They ensure my mother’s safety. They worked hard to make sure they filled the shifts.
They ensure my mother’s safety. They worked hard to make sure they filled the shifts.

Nurturing Angels Home Care – Delaware

3826 Kennett Pike , Greenville, DE, 19807

I don’t have to be there all the time, so that’s a big help. They’ve been very nice to my mom. It was very easy to get it set up.
I don’t have to be there all the time, so that’s a big help. They’ve been very nice to my mom. It was very easy to get it set up.

Wrapped N Love Home Care LLC

1005 Pontiac Road Suite 430, Drexel Hill, PA, 19026

I enjoy the way they take there time with there clients. Very caring and nurturing. Always so helpful and kind. They arrived promptly and without hesitation they jumped right in to lend a helping hand … (read more)
I enjoy the way they take there time with there clients. Very caring and nurturing. Always so helpful and kind. They arrived promptly and without hesitation they jumped right in to lend a helping hand … (read more)

Comfort Keepers of Wilmington Delaware

92 Reads Way, Suite 207, New Castle, DE, 19720

Comfort Keepers of Wilmington Delaware has been great. The people they’ve sent here for my mother-in-law have done a good job, so we’re happy. They just provide her with companionship. The billing is … (read more)
Comfort Keepers of Wilmington Delaware has been great. The people they’ve sent here for my mother-in-law have done a good job, so we’re happy. They just provide her with companionship. The billing is … (read more)

JJ’s & M Home Care

211 Delamore Pl, Wilmington, DE, 19805

JJ’s & M Home Care came in for a few hours each day just to do a wellness check and just to provide some company for mom for a few hours a day. That’s all it was. The caregiver was very good and v … (read more)
JJ’s & M Home Care came in for a few hours each day just to do a wellness check and just to provide some company for mom for a few hours a day. That’s all it was. The caregiver was very good and v … (read more)

Griswold Home Care – Delaware

109 Market Street, Lewes, DE, 19958

This is the most incredible company! Our dad has end stage cancer and rapidly went downhill while on vacation and when we contacted them they provided superb service and THE most compassionate caregiv … (read more)
This is the most incredible company! Our dad has end stage cancer and rapidly went downhill while on vacation and when we contacted them they provided superb service and THE most compassionate caregiv … (read more)

Addus HomeCare

1675 S State St, Room A, Dover, DE, 19901

We hired a caregiver from Addus HomeCare for a short period of time. We didn’t have a problem with her. She was very nice and very caring and did light household chores. She was great.
We hired a caregiver from Addus HomeCare for a short period of time. We didn’t have a problem with her. She was very nice and very caring and did light household chores. She was great.

Radnon Home Care (RHC)

3906 Concord Pike, Suite E1, Wilmington, DE, 19803

She does everything like mopping the floor. The person I have is really good.
She does everything like mopping the floor. The person I have is really good.

Four Seasons Healthcare Wilmington

1521 Concord Pike, #301, Wilmington, DE, 19803


Home Care Associates

1500 Walnut Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA, 19102



Visiting Angels Wilmington

3101 Limestone Rd., Wilmington, DE, 19808


Your Own Home, LLC

3622 Silverside Rd, Wilmington, DE, 19803


Interim Delaware

92 Reads Way, Suite 108, New Castle, DE, 19720


Interim HealthCare of Smyrna, DE

100 S. Main St., Suite 203, Smyrna, DE, 19977


Maxim Healthcare Wilmington, DE

1523 Concord Pike, Suite 100, Wilmington, DE, 19803