About 15% of the population of Louisiana is over the age of 65, equating to around 690,000 residents. As a resource for these individuals, the state of Louisiana offers several government agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs and the Department of Health, Aging and Adult Services. Through these departments, the state provides support for caregiving services, including financial assistance, access to affordable food and transportation access. The cost of living in Louisiana is relatively low; as such, senior care costs are around $3,218 per month, well below the national average.

This guide offers information about costs of care in Louisiana, financial assistance for seniors and other low-cost and free resources to aid those in need.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Louisiana

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Louisiana can expect to pay an average of $3,218 per month for in-home care. The national average is around $4,290, so seniors in Louisiana have access to care for about $1,000 less per month than many other areas. The cost is also more affordable than all of the states surrounding Louisiana. While some states, like Alabama and Mississippi, aren’t notably higher, seniors in Louisiana can enjoy more affordable pricing in comparison to most other areas.

$3218

Louisiana

$4195

Oklahoma

$3956

Texas

$3623

Arkansas

$3432

Mississippi

$3394

Alabama

Cost of Other Types of Care in Louisiana

In-home care is among the most affordable options for those living in Louisiana, with an average cost of $3,218 per month. However, there are other alternatives available. For those who need nursing support beyond what standard home care can provide, home health aides are only marginally more expensive, averaging $3,241 per month. People who want to pay substantially less for daily care can choose adult day care, which averages $1,625 per month. If assisted living is needed, pricing is higher, around $3,650 monthly.

$3218

In-Home Care

$3241

Home Health Care

$1625

Adult Day Care

$3650

Assisted Living Facility

$5435

Nursing Home Care

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

Comparing Costs in Louisiana

In general, larger metro areas cost more than their rural counterparts, and this is somewhat true in Louisiana as well. However, New Orleans, Louisiana’s largest city, is actually more affordable than the state average, with in-home care averaging $3,194 per month. The second-largest city, Baton Rouge, is priced higher at an average of $3,384, as is the fourth-largest city, Lafayette. On the other hand, Shreveport, the third-largest city, is more affordable. Lake Charles, with a population of just 70,000, is the most expensive of the major metro areas.

$3623

Lake Charles

$3384

Baton Rouge

$3241

Lafayette

$3194

New Orleans

$3051

Shreveport

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Louisiana

PACE, or Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

PACE, more formally known as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a federal program that serves seniors who would like home care versus nursing home care in a facility. With availability across Louisiana, PACE can be an excellent way for those with Medicare or Medicaid to pay for necessary services.

As a fairly inclusive program, PACE can cover a wide variety of services, including primary care, personal care, nutritional support, social work services and transportation. Care plans are customized based on the needs of patients and personal health requirements. For those who start out with home care and later need assisted living or a nursing home, the PACE program can evolve with individual requirements. If PACE services are no longer required, participants can disenroll at any time.

Who Is Eligible?
All Medicare and Medicaid members who are at least 55 years of age may join the PACE program provided a local PACE organization is available. Participants must receive certification by the state that they require a nursing home level of care. In addition, they must meet the state requirements for Medicaid, with individual earnings of no more than $2,349, or $2,000 in total resources. Note that PACE isn’t available throughout the entirety of Louisiana; only those living in qualified zip codes may apply.

How to Apply
Application for the PACE program requires contacting the headquarters in each overarching district. In Louisiana, the PACE program offers contact numbers for greater Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette. People who meet the criteria can enroll without any additional screening requirements.

Louisiana Community Choices Waiver

The Louisiana Community Choices Waiver, a benefit waiver that replaced the Elderly and Disabled Adult Waiver program, provides support to seniors and disabled adults to help them maintain independence. The goal of this program is to avoid institutionalized nursing home care and replace these resources with in-home care, adult day care and assisted living.

In addition to providing funding for those who choose in-home care, the waiver program includes coverage for Monitored In-Home Caregiving. This benefit allows for paid caregiving by a family member or friend. Under this option, seniors can move in with an adult child, or a caregiver can move into the senior’s home. This option is also available for spouses who act as primary caregivers. To qualify, caregivers must abide by department rules and be certified by the state.

While the benefits under the Louisiana Community Choices waiver program can be very helpful, there is usually a waiting list for these services. People requesting care are placed on the Request for Services Registry and contacted as spots become available. Priority is assigned based on health and select outside factors rather than a first-come, first-served basis. Some more severe medical conditions, such as ALS, are often prioritized over those with comparatively minor challenges.

Who Is Eligible?
Anyone on Medicare or Medicaid over the age of 65 or Medicaid between ages 12 and 64 may apply. Successful applicants must be certified as requiring nursing home care but choose to utilize alternatives instead. Further, applicants cannot have income above more than 300% of the SSI Federal Benefit Rate or countable assets of more than $2,000. Homes and cars aren’t included when considering assets.

How to Apply
Interested seniors can start the application process by contacting the Louisiana Options in Long-Term Care Help Line at 1-877-456-1146 or by downloading the informational PDF.

Long Term – Personal Care Services

For those who require long-term services rather than temporary help, Louisiana offers Long Term – Personal Care Services resources to qualifying seniors and those with disabilities. This program doesn’t provide nursing services but instead focuses on common duties of in-home caregivers, including eating, bathing, dressing, transferring and light housekeeping services.

This program supports seniors who may not need care in a nursing facility or more comprehensive aid but still require financial assistance to pay for help with activities of daily living.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for Long Term – Personal Care Services, applicants must receive Medicaid benefits and:

  • Be over 21
  • Qualify for a nursing facility level of care
  • Require at least some level of assistance with activities of daily living
  • Be able to direct care needs individually or through a representative
  • Be in a nursing home with discharge availability if community options are available, be likely to require admission to a nursing facility in the next 120 days or have a primary caregiver who is disabled or over 70 years old

How to Apply
To apply, candidates must call the Louisiana Options in Long-Term Care hotline at 1-877-456-1146 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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 Louisiana

Paying for the cost of care isn’t the only expense seniors with financial needs may be facing. To attempt to address this, senior resources in Louisiana also provide additional options to minimize expenses.

ContactServices Provided
Food for Seniors: Louisiana Commodity Supplemental Food Program1-800-522-3333 or (225) 357-9099The Commodity Supplemental Food Program provides affordable food options to seniors over 60 years of age who meet income requirements of no more than 130% of the federal poverty level.
Administration for Community Livinghttps://acl.gov/contactA federally operated resource for seniors, the Administration for Community Living strives to make home-based care more accessible so that seniors can age in place and avoid nursing home facilities.
National Age in Place Councilwww.ageinplace.org/The NAPC provides free resources for seniors, including a template that helps with long-term care planning.
Area Agency on AgingContact your local Area Agency on AgingArea Agencies on Aging in Louisiana can connect seniors with local resources, including nonprofits, access to food and regional transportation services.
Transportation Services for the ElderlyContact the agency in your parishTransportation services are available through a number of different companies throughout Louisiana, providing support for rides to medical appointments and necessary services.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Louisiana

In an effort to protect those who require in-home care, the state of Louisiana maintains strict regulations regarding who can provide care.

Scope of CareA home care provider is defined as a company, either for profit or not-for-profit, that provides home care services for individuals in need.
Care Plan RequirementsCaregivers must put together individual service plans for each client that meet their goals and objectives based on the individual’s strengths and areas of need.
Medication ManagementMedication management is considered an instrumental activity of daily living and is included in care plans as necessary.
Staff Screening RequirementsStaff members are required to undergo background checks prior to hiring. Those hired cannot have a criminal record or appear on sex offender registries.
Staff Training RequirementsStaff members must undergo comprehensive training before being permitted to work with clients.
Medicaid CoverageMedicaid programs can be used to cover care where eligible or applicable.
Reporting AbuseElder abuse can be reported to Elderly Protective Services at 1-833-577-6532 or (225) 342-0144, 24 hours a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does In-Home Care Cost in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, in-home care is quite affordable, averaging $3,218 per month. This cost is nearly $1,000 lower than the national average of $4,200. However, some cities in Louisiana, such as Baton Rouge, do demand a higher price for full-service home care. For people who require additional nursing resources, home health care is available for several dollars more a month, with a monthly average of $3,241.

Does Medicaid Pay for In-Home Care?

Yes, Medicaid can pay for in-home care for those who qualify in Louisiana. Care under the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, the Louisiana Community Choices Waiver and Long Term – Personal Care Services can all be covered by Medicaid. Some programs, such as Long Term – Personal Care Services, require Medicaid coverage for eligibility.

Are There Financial Assistance Programs for In-Home Care in Louisiana?

Yes, there are several financial assistance programs for in-home care in Louisiana, including the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, the Louisiana Community Choices Waiver and Long Term – Personal Care Services. These programs can provide support to seniors who meet income and eligibility guidelines, making in-home care affordable for those living on a fixed income.

What Are “Activities of Daily Living”?

Activities of daily living, or ADL, are tasks that are essential to live a normal life. These include things like washing, dressing, eating, cleaning and transferring. ADL are the primary duties performed by in-home caregivers. These individuals can also provide things like companionship, cleaning and food preparation for seniors unable to accomplish these tasks solo. Caregivers providing ADL assistance don’t offer comprehensive medical care; they’re limited to basic first aid.

What Is the Difference Between In-Home Care and Home Health Care?

The primary difference between in-home care and home health care relates to the number of health care responsibilities required. In-home care focuses on activities of daily living rather than nursing care, and caregivers are limited to basic first aid and medication management. Home health care involves nursing assistance and provides sophisticated care for those with more complex medical issues.

Home Care Services in Louisiana (100)