Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services views its aging population as a valuable and somewhat vulnerable state asset. With roughly 31% of the population at least 55 years old and the nation’s highest proportion of residents at least 85 years old, the Office of Healthy Aging is implementing a comprehensive strategy for Rhode Island residents to age healthy, happily and safely in their community and homes. The 2023 Strategic Plan incorporates choice, connection, equity, safety and performance to manage senior care resources. This program coaches aging residents about available in-home resources so they can make informed decisions about their health care needs.

Those who need assistance with daily tasks as they age, may want to employ a home health care agency to provide these services. The cost of in-home care in Rhode Island is $5,148 monthly, which is $858 higher than the national average of $4,290.

Read on for more information on costs for Rhode Island’s in-home care services and available personal, health and financial assistance resources for seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Rhode Island

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

Based on data from the Genworth Financial 2019 Cost of Care Survey, Rhode Island residents can expect to pay $5,148 per month for in-home care services. This cost is higher than the national average of $4,290, and neighboring Connecticut and New York. In-home care in Rhode Island is also slightly lower than costs in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

$5148

Rhode Island

$4290

National Average

$4195

Connecticut

$4767

New York

$5196

Vermont

$5186

Massachusetts

$5243

New Hampshire

Cost of Other Types of Care in Rhode Island

Adult Day Health Care is the most affordable senior care service in Rhode Island at $1,1771, but that’s reflective of the type of day time, group care it provides. In-home care, which includes help with daily tasks like bathing, dressing and errands and home health care services, which provides the same activities of daily living plus light medical care, tie for second at $5,148 each. Assisted living is only slightly higher than in-home care at $5,199. Skilled nursing care, for seniors with medical conditions that require 27/7 medical care and supervision, is the most expensive, in-state and nationally, at $9,961 in Rhode Island.

$5148

In-Home Care

$5148

Home Health Care

$1771

Adult Day Health Care

$5199

Assisted Living Facility

$9961

Nursing Home Care

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

Comparing Costs Across Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s largest cities are in the same region as Providence, so they will likely have similar in-home care costs. These costs are right on par with the state average of $5,148 for monthly in-home care. Cities in nearby states indicate that in-home care fees in Providence are average for the area. In Norwich, CT, and Worcester, MA, fees are lower by $381 and $953, respectively, while in Boston, MA, and Barnstable Town, MA, prices are higher by $286 and $763 per month.

$5148

Providence

$4195

Norwich, CT

$5911

Barnstable Town, MA

$4767

Worcester, MA

$5434

Boston, MA

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Compact Medicaid Waiver

In 2009, Rhode Island consolidated all state Medicaid and waiver plans into the Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Medicaid Waiver. This all-inclusive suite of services includes every aspect of a senior’s life from personal care, meals, and transportation to home health, homemaker services and skilled nursing care. The plan’s total lifestyle approach for complete home and community care allow seniors to maintain an extended level of independence.

Who is Eligible?
Eligible applicants must be Rhode Island residents and at least 65 years old. A patient assessment is also completed to verify financial need to determine services and benefits.

Exceptions exist for residents 55 or older that qualify for PACE-RI or have a Social Security Administration designated disability.

How to Apply
Applicants can contact the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging at 401-462-4444 or 2-1-1 to speak with a specialist. You may also visit http://oha.ri.gov/what-we-do/access/ for additional information.

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 Rhode Island

There are many free and low-cost in-home services in Rhode Island for seniors, and information about these resources is available in one place thanks to Rhode Island’s 2023 Strategic Plan.

ContactServices Provided
Care Partners

401-462-4444or 2-1-1Care Partners provide respite assistance for primary caregivers to rest and recharge while their loved ones continue to receive needed support.
Adults with (Dis)Abilities


401-462-4444or 2-1-1Adults with Disabilities provides disabled Rhode Islanders with resources and support services to help them to age strong.
Food and Nutrition

401-462-4444or 2-1-1This creative nutrition program provides healthy meals for seniors through community tables, home delivery or food box meals.
Home Care

401-462-4444or 2-1-1Home Care connects seniors with in-home, adult daycare, assisted living and senior companion resources for an enhanced lifestyle. It also provides resources for residents with dementia and their families.
Housing

401-462-4444or 2-1-1This program helps aging seniors adjust to their evolving housing needs by making safety modifications to existing homes.
Legal Assistance

401-462-4444or 2-1-1The Legal Assistance program provides resources to empower aging residents with information to avoid and report financial or physical abuse.
Long Term Car

401-462-4444or 2-1-1This program provides Rhode Islanders with chronic illnesses or disabilities support for their daily personal activities to live healthier lives.
Senior Centers

401-462-4444or 2-1-1Senior Centers provide an avenue for aging residents with fitness, educational and recreational activities, and counseling.
Transportation

401-462-4444or 2-1-1Allows eligible seniors to safely travel to their intended destinations using curb-to-curb service, reduced fare bus passes, senior center buses and vans, and non-emergency transport services to medical and other treatment appointments
Consumer Protection Programs

401-462-4444or 2-1-1These resources aid with Medicare issues of fraud, errors and abuse, elder abuse, ombudsman advocates, and surrogate healthcare decision makers to protect aging residents.
Pharmaceutical Assistance

401-462-4444or 2-1-1State funded medication plans that may cover some prescription drug costs for eligible aging residents.
DigiAge

Denise Corsondenise.corson@ors.ri.gov

Voice: 401-462-7857
TTY: 401-222-1679
The DigiAge is an industry, government, and community led program to provide technology resources and training to aging Rhode Islanders to access the Internet.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services is responsible for regulating certification of home care providers in the state. They conduct unscheduled on-site compliance checks, interviews with staff and patients to ensure continued certification compliance. The table below shows an overview of state rules and regulations for Rhode Island.

Scope of CareAllows provisions for eligible seniors to continue living in their communities utilizing an all-inclusive approach of daily living activities, personal care, homemaking, companionship, respite, and other in-home patient services.
Care Plan RequirementsPrior to administering services, home agencies must notify patients of their consumer rights and responsibilities, available case management services, costs and associated fees, structure of the care plan and identify the caregiver.
Staff Screening RequirementsAll staff must undergo a criminal background check and each agency must have a documented infection control plan.
Staff Training RequirementsAll agency and employee state licenses and credentials must be kept current. Each agency must have a continuing education program for core service staff members to refine their customer knowledge and skill sets.
Medicaid CoverageThe Medicaid 1115 Global Waiver provides a centralized view of the state’s Medicaid programs and waivers for eligible residents.
Pharmaceutical AssistanceEnsures facilitators, agencies and individuals participating in the Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly Program (RIPAE) remain compliant with all prescription drug laws, codes and regulations.
Reporting AbuseAbuse should be reported to the office of the long-term care ombudsman at 401-785-3340, toll-free 1-888-351-0808 or https://www.alliancebltc.com/page2.php.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does In-Home Care Cost in Rhode Island?

In-home care and home health care, sometimes referred to as homemaker services and skilled nursing services, respectively, costs an average of $5,148 per month in Rhode Island, according to the Genworth Financial 2019 Cost of Care Survey. This is higher than the national average of $4,290 per month.

Does Rhode Island Medicaid pay for in-home care?

Rhode Island does provide in-home care resources for eligible residents through their Medicaid 1115 Global Waiver Program. The program consolidates the state’s individual Medicaid plans and waivers into one universal waiver, allowing seniors to make the best decision for their diverse and multidimensional aging needs.

Are there transportation assistance programs in Rhode Island?

Yes, Rhode Island does provide non-emergency transportation services for eligible residents to safely make it to their destinations. These include an elderly curb-to-curb service, reduced fare bus passes, senior center buses and vans, and non-emergency transport services to medical and other treatment appointments.

What does it mean to age in place?

Age in place describes the ability for a person to remain in their home, instead of transitioning to a nursing facility, as they get older. With the correct planning and resources, this option provides a greater level of independence and can contribute to a better quality of life.

What are “Activities of Daily Living (ADL)”?

Basic tasks are self-care activities that a person performs daily including managing personal hygiene, changing clothes, eating, maintaining continence, and demonstrating mobility. Instrumental ADLs are more complex tasks like communication, meal prep and cooking, shopping, transportation, household chores, managing medication and personal finances.