The southern state of Mississippi has a population of nearly 3 million people, over 16% of whom are aged 65 and older. For seniors who need companionship and some assistance with activities of daily living but wish to remain in their own home, in-home care is a viable option that supports privacy and independence. In Mississippi, non-medical in-home care costs $3,432 per month, which is considerably lower than the national average. The state offers several resources for those who need non-medical in-home services and closely monitors agencies that provide these services.

Keep reading to learn more about the cost of this type of care in Mississippi and how it compares to other senior care options and to learn about available financial assistance programs, free resources and frequently asked questions regarding in-home care.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Mississippi

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

According to cost data published in Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Mississippi pay $3,432 on average for in-home care. This is about 22% lower than the national monthly rate of $4,290 and near the median cost of this type of care in Mississippi’s bordering states. More affordable care may be available in Louisiana and Alabama, where respective attendant care services cost $3,218 and $3,394. In Arkansas and Tennessee, costs are a little higher at $3,623 and $3,813.

$3432

Mississippi

$4290

United States Average

$3218

Louisiana

$3623

Arkansas

$3813

Tennessee

$3394

Alabama

Cost of Other Types of Care in Mississippi

In-home care is among the most affordable options for seniors who need help with some activities of daily living. Home health care, which provides skilled nursing services along with attendant care, is a little more expensive than in-home care at $3,527 per month. Assisted living, which provides these services in a community setting, is about $100 more than attendant care at $3,524 monthly. The most expensive type of senior care in Mississippi is nursing home care, an institutional setting in which seniors pay $6,844 per month on average for a semi-private room. Adult day care, which provides a planned program of activities in a professional care setting, costs $1,398 monthly.

$3423

In-Home Care

$3527

Home Health Care

$1398

Adult Day Care

$3524

Assisted Living Facility

$6844

Nursing Home Care

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

Comparing Costs Across Mississippi

Across Mississippi, in-home care costs vary widely depending on the cost of living and the number of agencies available in a given area. In Hattiesburg and the Gulfport area, costs are on par with the statewide average at $3,432 per month. In Jackson, seniors typically pay a little less, with monthly costs averaging $3,194. In the nearby city of Hammond, LA, seniors typically pay about $3,146 per month, and in Memphis, TN, which lies to the north of Mississippi, seniors pay $3,768 monthly.

$3194

Jackson

$3432

Hattiesburg

$3432

Gulfport Area

$3146

Hammond, LA

$3768

Memphis, TN

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Mississippi

Independent Living Waiver

The Independent Living Waiver is a home and community-based waiver program that provides services for adults who would otherwise need nursing home level care. This statewide program, which is implemented jointly by the Division of Medicaid and the Department of Rehabilitation Services, covers services such as case management, personal care attendant services, home modifications, medical equipment and supplies and assistance with transitioning from a nursing home to a private home or community setting.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for the Independent Living Waiver, applicants must be eligible for Medicaid and have physical or cognitive impairments that would require skilled nursing. They must be able to communicate verbally or nonverbally with caregivers, personal care attendants and others involved with their care. While this program isn’t exclusively for seniors, there are many diagnoses that qualify older adults for this program, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease or joint fractures.

How to Apply
To apply for this program, seniors should contact the Department of Rehabilitation Services by calling 800-443-1000.

Elderly and Disabled Waiver

The E&D Waiver is for seniors who would require nursing home placement if not for the services received under this program. This waiver is administered and operated by the Office of Long Term Care and promotes aging in place by providing supports for seniors and caregivers. Participants receive services according to their care plans, which are prepared by case management teams comprised of a registered nurse and a licensed social worker. Some services that can be administered under this program include adult day health care, home-delivered meals, personal care services, in-home respite and therapy.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for the E&D Waiver, applicants have to be at least 65 years old or aged 21-64 and designated as disabled by Social Security, and they must require nursing home care. They must also qualify for Medicaid.

How to Apply
To learn more about this program or to apply, seniors should contact the Division of Medicaid Long Term Care at 800-421-2408.

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 Mississippi

Mississippi has several free and low-cost resources that provide options counseling, referral services and support for seniors and caregivers. These programs are designed to prevent or delay nursing home placement and give seniors the care they need to remain in their homes.

ContactServices Provided
Area Agencies on Aging

Varies by Location

Mississippi’s 10 Area Agencies on Aging provide an array of services for seniors, including congregate and home-delivered meals, transportation services and legal assistance. The agencies also implement home and community-based programs that provide homemaker services and family caregiver support programs to enable seniors to age in place.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program

Regional AAA Office

SHIP is a counseling program that provides guidance for seniors researching health insurance options. The program has volunteers who provide free, unbiased information regarding Medicaid, Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare supplements, helping seniors compare policies and evaluate costs. Volunteers also help clients understand Medicare visits, organize medical bills and explore long-term care options.
Family Caregiver Support Program

601-359-4500The Mississippi Family Caregiver Support Program provides support for those caring for older relatives. The program works in partnership with local Area Agencies on Aging and other community service providers to  inform and assist seniors in accessing services, counseling, respite care and supplemental services.
Mississippi Access to Care Center

844-822-4622MAC Centers are located throughout the state and are places where seniors and caregivers can receive unbiased information in applying for benefits or locating long-term care facilities or supportive services. Assistance can be provided in the local centers, over the phone or in the individual’s home. All assistance is free and confidential.
Adult Protective Services

601-359-4929Adult Protective Services is a program operated by the Department of Human Services to protect those who may be vulnerable to abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation. It also raises public awareness of these issues and educates mandated reporters and their reporting responsibilities.
Mississippi VA

877-203-5632Mississippi VA supports veterans living in the state by providing access to state and federal benefits, including those that may help pay for in-home care. The center provides counseling services, referrals and assistance with applying for programs such as Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits or the VA pension.
Senior Centers

601-359-4929The Mississippi Department of Human Services operates four senior centers throughout the state. These centers serve as congregate meal sites and provide services such as wellness screenings, fitness programs, trips and social activities.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Mississippi

In Mississippi, hired caregivers that perform non-medical in-home care are officially called home health aides. The State Department of Health governs and regulates agencies and individuals that provide this type of care and enforces regulations regarding the type of care that can be provided, training requirements and protocol for reporting abuse.

Scope of CareHome health aides perform personal care activities including helping the patient with personal hygiene, eating, dressing, shaving and ambulating. They may also provide services taught by a health professional employee for a specific patient, such as reinforcement of dressing, simple urine tests for sugar and measuring and preparing special diets.
Care Plan RequirementsEach patient must have a written care plan that is developed by a registered nurse based on the patient’s environment, resources and care needs. Care plans must include patient problems, anticipated goals and time frames, care approaches and who is responsible for providing each service. The care plan must be updated at least every 60 days.
Medication Management RequirementsHome health aides aren’t permitted to administer medications.
Staff Screening RequirementsPrior to hiring a new employee, home health agencies must conduct a criminal background check and a disciplinary check to ensure the prospective employee hasn’t had disciplinary action taken against them by another agency. Staff members must also be screened by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner prior to employment and on an annual basis.
Staff Training RequirementsAgencies are responsible for developing Department-approved training programs for newly employed home health aides. This training must include topics such as the role of a home health aide as a member of the health services team, principles of good nutrition, the process of aging and what to report to a supervisor. Additionally, aides must complete 12 hours of ongoing training annually.
Medicaid CoverageIn-home care in Mississippi may be covered by Medicaid under the Independent Living waiver program, which is for those living with disabilities, or the Elderly and Disabled waiver.
Reporting AbuseCases of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation should be reported to the Mississippi Department of Human Services. To make a report, individuals may either call the Vulnerable Person Abuse Hotline at 844-437-6282 or fill out an online report.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does in-home care cost in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, seniors pay $3,432 per month on average for in-home care, which is about 22% lower than the national average and comparable to care in surrounding states. Across the state’s major cities, average costs vary between $3,194 and $3,432.

Does Mississippi Medicaid pay for in-home care?

Mississippi Medicaid covers in-home care services via two waiver programs, including the Independent Living waiver and the Elderly and Disabled waiver. To qualify for these programs, seniors must meet guidelines pertaining to income, assets and functional abilities. Limited funding is available, so eligible seniors may be placed on waiting lists.

Are there transportation assistance programs in Mississippi?

Mississippi’s Area Agencies on Aging provide transportation assistance for older adults aged 60 and over. These transportation services are locally organized efforts to help seniors get to medical appointments, complete errands and attend local entertainment venues. To receive services, seniors should contact their local AAA.

What does it mean to age in place?

Aging in place means to be able to live in one’s home without excessive medical interventions, such as 24/7 skilled nursing care. Those who age in place are typically somewhat independent and need assistance with daily tasks that may increase as the years go on. In-home care enables seniors to age in place by providing the care services they need to live at home, safely and comfortably.

Does Medicare pay for in-home care?

Original Medicare doesn’t cover non-medical in-home care. However, many seniors opt for Medicare Advantage plans, which often have additional benefits such as transportation, housekeeping and personal care.