Seniors in Delaware have access to a variety of state and federal resources to help improve their quality of life. Provided by the Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), these programs include counseling, information and assistance concerning aging and service enrollment support that helps match individuals with programs based on needs. Approximately 19% of the population in Delaware is aged 65 and older. Seniors who require skilled nursing care and prefer to remain in their homes can expect to pay approximately $4,671 per month, which is more than the national average.

Continue reading to learn more about the cost of in-home care in the state, the available options for financial help and to discover a list of free and low-cost programs for seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Delaware

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

According to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of in-home care in Delaware is $4,671. This is almost $400 more than the U.S. National average of $4,290 per month. Compared to neighboring states, Delaware is about $200-$300 more expensive than both Maryland and Pennsylvania for in-home care. Fees in both New Jersey and New York are higher than in Delaware, but only by $96 a month.

$4671

Delaware

$4290

National

$4481

Maryland

$4767

New Jersey

$4767

New York

$4385

Pennsylvania

Cost of Other Types of Care in Delaware

In-home care, which refers to homemaker services such as help with bathing, grooming, and meals, and home health care, which includes both homemaker services and light medical care, in Delaware cost the same at $4,671 per month. An assisted living community costs around $1,364 more and nursing home care is the most expensive care option at $10,897. Seniors who live with family or those with nightly caregivers who only need care during the day will find adult day care the most affordable option at $1,797 per month.

$4671

In-Home Care

$4671

Home Health Care

$1797

Adult Day Care

$6035

Assisted Living Facility

$10897

Nursing Home Care

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

Comparing Costs Across Delaware

Compared to other cities in the area, Dover has the most expensive monthly in-home care cost at $4,767. In Philadelphia, PA, and Atlantic City, NJ, care costs around $4,671 per month, while the average cost in Lancaster, PA, and Baltimore, MD, is $4,624. Salisbury, MD, costs approximately $4,385 while Vineland, NJ, is the least expensive option at $3,623.

$4767

Dover

$4671

Philadelphia, PA

$4624

Lancaster, PA

$4624

Baltimore, MD

$4385

Salisbury, MD

$3623

Vineland, NJ

$4671

Atlantic City, NJ

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Delaware

Caregiver Assistance, Respite, Education (CARE)

CARE supports caregivers providing in-home care by offering support groups and skills training. While the program doesn’t offer financial assistance to individuals in in-home care it does offer respite care free of charge on a weekly basis, which indirectly helps keep seniors in their own homes for longer.

Who is Eligible?
Individuals who require help must be at least 60, must live in their own homes and must have a primary caregiver. While there are no income requirements, the program favors those on limited incomes.

How to Apply?
Contact the Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1-800-223-9074 to learn more about the program, including how to apply.

Diamond State Health Plan Plus (DSHP+)

DSHP is in partnership with the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) to provide assistance with long-term care costs. The plan provides a wide range of assistance for low-income seniors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and in-home care. It doesn’t pay for room and board, but does help with the cost of daily living tasks.

Who is Eligible?
Eligibility is limited to seniors who have an income 250% below the current Social Security Income standard

How to Apply?
Eligible seniors may apply through the Delaware Health and Social Services by downloading a brochure or by calling 1-800-996-9969.

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 Delaware

ContactServices Provided
Senior Companion Program

1-800-372-2240The Senior Companion Program provides volunteer companions to keep individuals company throughout the day. This is especially helpful for those who choose to age in place. In some cases the Home and Community-Based Services waiver can cover companionship fees.
Home Delivered Meals Program

1-800-372-2022The Home-Delivered Meals Program provides nutritious and hot meals during the day to seniors in their homes who are 60 and older of those 18 and older with disabilities. The program also provides bagged meals.
DART First State

1-302-652-3278The Delaware transportation department has a SCAT program that provides a 50% discount on rides for seniors and disabled individuals to and from medical appointments and necessary outings. Approved applicants receive a photo ID that is shown to a driver upon pickup for verification. Individuals must be at least 65 years old or 18 with a physical disability that prevents them from operating a motor vehicle.
Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (DPAP)

1-844-245-9580Seniors aged 65 and older who receive SSI and whose income is at or below 200% of the Federal poverty level may receive help through DPAP. Once approved seniors may receive medications with a 25% co-payment or a minimum of $5. To apply, an applicant must provide proof of income and or proof of SSI benefits. This plan is not open to individuals who currently have any type of Medicaid of health insurance plan.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Call 1-866-408-1899 ext 2 or email dph_pac@delaware.gov.The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for seniors in long-term care facilities and in other living arrangements, including in their own homes who receive daily assistance. Under the program, grievances are investigated and resolved. Individuals may also apply through the program as volunteers to serve as visitors and advocates for those in nursing homes.

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.

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 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.