According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 16% of all Kentucky residents are 65 and older. The state’s Department for Aging and Independent Living provides a variety of services for older adults, including self-directed care and extra support for caregivers, creating a positive environment for seniors. Older adults who want to remain in Kentucky should know that the Kentucky Division for Health Care closely regulates in-home care, ensuring that seniors receive quality care from trained professionals. At $3,813 per month, the average cost of in-home care in Kentucky is also lower than the national average.

Keep reading to learn more about the cost of home care in Kentucky, which programs offer financial assistance for in-home care and the many resources available to Kentucky seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Kentucky

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, older adults can expect to pay an average of $3,813 per month for in-home care, sometimes called homemaker care, in Kentucky. This is below the U.S. national average of $4,290 per month. Although in-home care in Kentucky costs more on average than in nearby West Virginia, the average monthly costs are much lower than they are in the surrounding states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Kentucky has the same average cost of in-home care as neighboring Tennessee.

$4481

Illinois

$4290

United States Average

$4334

Indiana

$4290

Ohio

$3813

Kentucky

$3432

West Virginia

Cost of Other Types of Care in Kentucky

In-home care is significantly less expensive than skilled nursing care, which costs an average of $6,905 per month in Kentucky and $7,513 per month nationally. On average, in-home care in Kentucky costs about the same per month as hiring a home health aide; however, adult day care and assisted living are both more affordable, coming in at an average of $1,560 and $3,497, respectively.

$3813

In-Home Care

$3813

Home Health Care

$1560

Adult Day Care

$3497

Assisted Living Facility

$6905

Nursing Home Care

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

Comparing Costs Across Kentucky

The cost of in-home care in Kentucky varies by about $1,000 between the top five most populous cities in the state, with Louisville coming in at an average cost of $4,195 per month, around $300 more than the state average. In Lexington, in-home care costs about the same as the state average. Although it has fewer residents than Louisville, Bowling Green has higher average costs for in-home care, averaging about $4,429 per month. Covington and Owensboro are the most affordable, with costs averaging $3,146 to $3,623 per month, respectively.

$4195

Louisville

$3813

Lexington

$4429

Bowling Green

$3623

Owensboro

$3146

Covington

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Kentucky

Kentucky Homecare Program

Kentucky’s Homecare Program coordinates in-home services for older adults, including meal delivery, chore services and assistance with home management. The aim of the program is to help older adults remain in their own homes as they age. Respite care is also available to prevent gaps in care when an older adult’s regular caregivers are unavailable.

Who is Eligible?
The Homecare Program is available to adults who are at least 60 years old who meet at least one of the following requirements: 1) Unable to perform at least two activities of daily living. 2) At risk of institutionalization. 3) Unable to perform at least three instrumental activities of daily living. 4) Living in an institution but can return home if appropriate services are provided.

How to Apply
The Kentucky Homecare Program is administered by the Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living. Potential applicants should contact their nearest AAIL location or call (502) 564-6930 for more information or to request an application.

Kentucky Hart-Supported Living Program

The Hart-Supported Living Program provides state funds to help adults with physical or psychological disabilities remain in their homes rather than entering skilled-nursing facilities or other institutions. Under this grant-based program, eligible participants receive the support they need to participate in the community, maintain their autonomy and develop the skills they need to be more independent. Funding is available to pay for personal care services, skills training, medical equipment and modifications needed to make a home more accessible to a disabled adult.

Requests are filled on a one-time or ongoing basis. Examples of one-time requests include the purchase of adaptive equipment, home modifications and the payment of a security deposit to help an eligible individual rent an apartment. Ongoing requests include personal care services, homemaker services and services provided by a community resource developer, an individual who helps a qualifying individual develop and maintain relationships in the community.

Who is Eligible?
Grants are available to disabled adults whose goals include living in their own homes, participating in the community and deciding what support is needed to remain independent. Applicants should also be willing to arrange for and manage their own support services. The Hart-Supported Living Program uses the definition of disabled incorporated into the Americans with Disabilities Act: “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” Each applicant’s disability must meet the ADA definition to be considered for Hart-Supported Living funds.

How to Apply
Eligible individuals can request an application for Hart-Supported Living grants by visiting the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services website or contacting a coordinator in one of Kentucky’s seven regions. The website also has an eligibility worksheet to help interested individuals determine if they qualify.

Kentucky Personal Care Attendant Program

Kentucky’s Personal Care Attendant Program is designed for adults with severe physical disabilities. The aim of the program is to provide the support needed for disabled adults to remain at home instead of entering skilled-nursing facilities or other institutions. Program funds can be used to hire a personal care attendant to provide assistance with housekeeping, shopping, cooking, personal care and other daily activities.

Who is Eligible?
Participation in the Kentucky Personal Care Attendant Program is limited to adults with severe disabilities, defined as recurrent or permanent loss of function in at least two limbs. Applicants must need between 14 and 40 hours of services per week and be capable of supervising their attendants and preparing required payroll documents.

How to Apply
Interested individuals should request an application from one of the Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has a list of AAIL locations organized by region.

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 Kentucky

Kentucky residents have several resources available to help them age in place in their own homes. These resources include meal delivery services, home modifications and care coordination.

ContactServices Provided
Kentucky Senior Living Association(502) 938-5102The Kentucky Senior Living Association provides in-depth information on services and events available to help older adults remain in their communities.
KATS Network(800) 327-5287The KATS Network aims to help older adults and adults with disabilities access the assistive technology they need to remain independent.
The Council on Aging(859) 283-1885Kentucky’s Council on Aging helps to bridge gaps between the needs of older adults and the services available in their communities.
Department for Aging and Independent Living(502) 564-6930The Department for Aging and Independent Living administers many of the programs created to help older adults and adults with disabilities in Kentucky, including the Hart-Supported Living Program.
Kentucky Department of Insurance(502) 564-3630Kentucky’s Department of Insurance handles insurance-related complaints and offers a licensee search to help consumers verify that they’re working with licensed insurance professionals.
Nutrition Program for the Elderly(502) 564-6930, ext. 3495The Nutrition Program for the Elderly provides nutrition screening and meal delivery for older adults living in Kentucky. Nutrition counseling and education are also available.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Kentucky

The Kentucky Division of Health Care implements and enforces the regulations that apply to personal service agencies, home health services, personal care homes and skilled-nursing facilities in the state.

Scope of CarePersonal service agencies are permitted to provide attendant care that aims to help older adults perform activities of daily living and maintain their independence. Nursing, medical services and other health-related services are excluded from this type of care.
Care Plan RequirementsPersonal service agencies are required to accept input from their clients when developing care plans. Each client should receive a written plan with details regarding the services to be provided, the fees that will be charged for each service and the days and times the services will be provided.
Medication Management RequirementsEmployees of personal service agencies are permitted to help clients with self-administered medications.
Staff Screening RequirementsAny personal services agency that provides direct services to clients must conduct criminal background checks on applicants. An employment offer should not be made until the applicant’s background check has been completed. Personal services agencies aren’t permitted to hire applicants or retain employees convicted of the following crimes: sex crimes; abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child or disabled adult; abuse or sale of illicit drugs; or felony offenses involving theft.
Staff Training RequirementsIn Kentucky, home health aides must satisfy the minimum training requirements established by the federal government. These requirements include 75 hours of training, including 16 hours of hands-on clinical training, and 12 hours of continuing education for every 12 months of employment. To work for a Medicare-certified home health agency, a home aide must also be certified.
Medicaid CoverageThe Home and Community Based Services waiver program covers part or all of the cost of hiring a personal care attendant for qualified individuals.
Reporting AbuseAbuse should be reported to Kentucky Adult Protective Services by calling the 24-hour hotline at (800) 752-6200. Adult Protective Services accepts anonymous reports.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does in-home care cost in Kentucky?

According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, in-home care costs an average of $3,813 per month in Kentucky, about $300 less than the national average of $4,290. The cost of in-home care is lower in Kentucky than it is in the nearby states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Out of the five most populous cities in Kentucky, Owensboro and Covington have the lowest monthly costs, averaging $3,623 and $3,146, respectively.

Does Kentucky Medicaid pay for in-home care?

In Kentucky, the Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver can be used to pay for in-home care. Medicaid pays for these services to ensure that older adults can age in place while maintaining their safety and independence. The Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver can be used by seniors remaining in their own homes, living with family members or living in adult foster homes.

Are there transportation assistance programs in Kentucky?

Transportation assistance programs are available in some regions of Kentucky, including Jefferson, Shelby, Bullitt, Henry, Spencer, Trimble and Oldham Counties. Senior transportation is available to adults who are at least 60 years old and do not qualify for other forms of public transport. Transportation may be available to and from nutrition sites, non-emergent medical appointments and senior centers. In some cases, transportation vouchers are available to reimburse care providers for transporting their clients to non-emergency medical appointments.

What does it mean to age in place?

Seniors who age in place choose to remain in their homes instead of moving to nursing homes, personal care homes or assisted-living facilities. Many seniors choose aging in place because it allows them to maintain important community connections, remain independent for as long as possible and spend as much time as they can in familiar surroundings.

What are “Activities of Daily Living”?

Activities of daily living are the routine activities that people should be able to do each day without assistance. Using the toilet, getting dressed, bathing and eating are some of the most important ADLs. For seniors with mobility problems, balance problems or other health issues, it may be necessary to hire a personal care attendant to assist with some of these activities. For example, an older person with poor balance may have a personal care attendant assist with showering to reduce the risk of falls.