Maine is home to around 1.3 million people and more than 21% of residents are aged 65 and above. The state’s seniors are well-served by Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services, which oversees a range of local and statewide services that support older adults. Seniors choosing to continue living at home have the peace of mind of knowing that in-home care providers are closely monitored to ensure they provide appropriate levels of care. However, seniors in Maine pay an average of $5,117 per month for home care, which is substantially higher than the national average.

This guide provides more information about the cost of in-home care and senior living in the state, as well as financial assistance available and additional free and low-cost resources for seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Maine

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

The average cost of in-home care in Maine is $5,117 a month according to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care 2019 Survey. This is more than $800 higher than the national average of $4,290. However, Maine’s in-home care costs are more affordable than nearby states. In Rhode Island the price is slightly higher at $5,148 and in Massachusetts and Vermont costs are similar, at $5,186 and $5,196 respectively. Maine’s neighbor, New Hampshire, has the highest in-home care costs in the area, with seniors paying an average of $5,243 in the state.

$5117

Maine

$4290

United States Average

$5148

Rhode Island

$5186

Massachusetts

$5196

Vermont

$5243

New Hampshire

Cost of Other Types of Care in Maine

Both in-home care and home health care cost $5,117 per month in Maine and are among the more affordable senior care options in the state. Adult day care is the least expensive type of care in both Maine and nationally, with seniors in the state paying just $2,513 a month. The cost of assisted living is $52 higher than in-home care, at $5,169, while nursing home care is by far the most expensive care type in Maine at a cost of $10,038 per month.

$5117

In-Home Care

$5117

Home Health Care

$2513

Adult Day Care

$5169

Assisted Living Facility

$10038

Nursing Home Care

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

Maine’s biggest cities have a difference of almost $200 in the cost of in-home care. Lewiston is the most affordable at $5,148 and seniors in Bangor pay $5,220. Portland has the most expensive in-home care in the state at $5,339. Cities close to Maine are on the higher end of the cost spectrum. In Manchester, New Hampshire, seniors pay $5,291 per month, while Boston’s average of $5,334 is higher than any of Maine’s cities.

$5148

Lewiston

$5220

Bangor

$5339

Portland

$5291

Manchester, NH

$5334

Boston, MA

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Maine

Consumer Directed Attendant Services Program

Maine’s Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, has an entitlement program called Consumer Directed Attendant Services (CDAS). It covers personal and attendant care provided to Medicaid recipients who live in a group living environment, their own home or the home of a loved one. As a self-directed option, participants can select, hire, train and manage their care providers. Certain family members, including adult children, can be hired to provide care through the program.

The services provided to each individual are determined during enrollment in the program and can include personal care, homemaking services, meal preparation and case management. The program can also cover skills training for the person hired as a Personal Care Attendant.

Who is Eligible?
Applicants must be financially eligible for MaineCare to be accepted into the program. In addition, they must have a permanent and verifiable disability and cannot be receiving care through another MaineCare program.

How to Apply
Seniors can apply through their local Department of Health and Human Services office.

MaineCare Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver

The MaineCare Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver funds services and supports that help older adults to remain living in their homes or the community. Applicants receive a customized care plan based on their needs that details the services they can access. Available services can include transportation, personal care, homemakers services and emergency alert systems. Home modifications can also be funded through the program.

Participants can have the state manage their care or choose to self-direct under the Participant-Directed Option. The self-directed option allows seniors to choose their own caregivers and some family members can be hired. Those on the Participant-Directed Option must also use a third-party financial management company to help them manage payroll and employer tax obligations.

Who is Eligible?
Applicants must be residents of Maine who meet the financial eligibility requirements of the program, which are tied to Medicaid eligibility. In addition, people over the age of 65 must be assessed as needing a nursing home level of care. Those aged 18-64 must be disabled as determined by Social Security.

How to Apply
Local Department of Health and Human Services offices manage applications and queries.

Consumer-Directed Home Based Care Program

The Consumer-Directed Home Based Care (CDHBC) Program is a non-Medicaid program that provides personal assistance services for those not eligible for MaineCare. It is a consumer-directed program, so seniors have the responsibility of hiring, training and managing their care providers, although payments are made directly to caregivers by the administering agency.

CDHBC can provide up to 40 hours a week of services, with the support available based on the individual’s care plan. The range of services can include personal care, home health services, chore and handyman services and non-medical transportation. In addition, there is a budget for assistive technology, such as a personal emergency response system. The services are limited to those that are essential to prevent placement in a nursing home or other residential care facility.

Who is Eligible?
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and meet medical and financial eligibility criteria. In general, seniors must need help with two activities of daily living and one instrumental activity of daily living. However, the program has several levels of care needs and applicants may still qualify if their needs don’t fit this pattern. Participants must also be capable of directing their own care. Financially, the program is available to those who earn too much to qualify for MaineCare, although the exact income limits and asset limits depend on individual circumstances.

How to Apply
Seniors can apply through the Office of Aging and Disability Services on 208-287-9200.

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 Maine

Seniors in Maine have a variety of resources available that help them to remain living independently in their home as they age. These include nutrition services, home modifications and more.

ContactServices Provided
Home Accessibility and Repair Program

207-626-4684MaineHousing’s Home Accessibility and Repair Program provides grants to low-income homeowners for repairs or improvements to their homes. Improvements can include modifications necessary to help people with disabilities to remain living at home, such as wheelchair ramps or a walk-in tub.
Area Agencies on Aging

1-877-353-3771Maine has five Area Agencies on Aging that provide information and assistance to older adults. AAAs can refer seniors to services within their community and also have educational opportunities available. AAA counselors are able to advise seniors about long-term care options as well as Medicare and health insurance.
Nutrition Services

Contact a local Area Agency on Aging

Maine has a number of programs to help older adults continue to eat a balanced diet. Congregate meals are available in community dining locations across the state and home-delivered meals can help individuals unable to leave their home. In addition, nutrition education and counseling is offered to help seniors improve their nutrition.
Maine CITE

207-621-3195Maine CITE is dedicated to making assistive technology available to residents of Maine. It provides education and training about assistive technology and has equipment available for loan. In addition, there is an equipment reuse program and the organization can connect residents with financial resources to purchase equipment.
Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman

800-499-0229The Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman investigates complaints regarding long-term care, including home care services. It can also help seniors receiving home care and their families understand their rights as consumers.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Maine

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Licensing and Certification licenses home health care in the state. The regulations are intended to ensure seniors receive quality services that have safe outcomes.

Scope of CareHome health care providers are entities that provide health services through professional nursing or therapeutic services. They can also provide non-clinical support such as personal care services.
Care Plan RequirementsA care plan must be developed by a registered nurse or, where appropriate, by a licensed professional such as a physical therapist or social worker. Clients who are under physician supervision must have the care plan reviewed at least every 90 days.
Medication Management RequirementsMedication can be administered by licensed professionals. Records must be kept of the medication provided, the patient’s response and any changes in physical or mental status.
Staff Screening RequirementsProviders must obtain criminal history information of employees and must not hire those who are prohibited from working in home care. This includes individuals who have abused, neglected or misappropriated the property of individuals in a health setting.
Staff Training RequirementsCaregivers hired to perform health services must be licensed to practice their health care discipline in the state of Maine. Home health aides and certified nursing assistants may perform personal care services and must have basic certified nursing assistant training and orientation, and receive at least 12 hours of on-the-job training annually.
Medicaid CoverageThe Community Directed Attendant Services program and the Elderly and Adults with a Disability Waiver can cover some or all of the costs associated with in-home care.
Reporting AbuseAbuse should be reported to the Home Health Hotline on 1-800-383-2441. If an investigation is undertaken by the provider, reports must be made available to the Department upon request, and any complaints involving a certified nursing assistant must be reported to the Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does in-home care cost in Maine?

The average cost of in-home care in Maine is $5,117 per month, according to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care 2019 Survey. Seniors who require skilled nursing assistance may wish to explore home health care, which also averages $5,117 in the state.

Does Maine Medicaid pay for in-home care?

Maine’s Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, provides support for in-home care through the Consumer Directed Attendant Services and MaineCare Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver programs. Seniors who are eligible for these programs can have some or all of the costs associated with in-home care covered. Seniors who are ineligible for the program may be eligible for the non-Medicaid Consumer-Directed Home Based Care program.

Are there programs to cover home modifications in Maine?

MaineHousing, Maine’s state housing authority, has a Home and Accessibility Repair Program available to low-income homeowners in the state. The program provides grants to help people make necessary home repairs and modifications. This can include a wide range of improvements designed to help people with disabilities or those with physical barriers to living independently at home, including wheelchair ramps and bathroom modifications.

What does it mean to age in place?

Aging in place is a term used to describe people who remain living in their residence of choice as they age. Most seniors need to make changes to their lifestyle or home to support their decision to age in place. This can include making modifications to the home to make it safe or using technology that allows the senior to call for help if needed. In-home care is another option that helps seniors complete tasks and stay as independent as possible as they grow older.

What Support Can Help Me Age at Home?

Each senior has unique needs, but there are tasks that commonly become more difficult with age and can make it difficult to remain living independently. Support is available to ensure that these tasks are still accomplished and help seniors age in home. Many seniors need assistance with activities of daily living, such as grooming, bathing and getting around, and personal care can help with these tasks. Seniors can also receive help with chores, such as cleaning and home maintenance, and meal preparation or delivery.

Home Care Services in Maine (125)