Beautiful scenery, mild weather, world-class health care and friendly tax policies are just some of the reasons seniors are drawn to the state of Washington. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, more than 1.23 million people in Washington are aged 65 and older, which is double the number from 1980. This number is expected to grow to 1.86 million seniors by 2040. As the population ages, the need for great health care, such as the University of Washington Medical Center, and quality home care options will also increase.

In Washington, the average cost is $6,547 for in-home care and $6,578 per month for home health care. The light medical services provided by home health care explain the small price difference. These rates account for 40 hours of service per week.

This guide compares the cost of home care in Washington with nearby states, between cities within the state and against other types of senior care available. It also covers the resources that are available to seniors who want to age in place. 

The Cost of In-Home Care in Washington

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2021 shows that the average cost of home care in Washington is $6,547, which is about $1,600 more per month than the national average of $4,957. Idaho at $5,434 and Montana at $5,339 per month are both more than $1,000 less expensive per month. At $6,006 per month, Oregon has the closest average to Washington, but it is still about $500 less per month. 

$6547

Washington

$4957

The United States

$5434

Idaho

$5339

Montana

$6006

Oregon

Among the major cities in Washington, there is a range of home care costs from $5,911 per month in Wenatchee to $7,245 per month in Mount Vernon. Olympia, the state capital, which costs $6,673 per month, is closest to the state average. Seattle at $6,769 per month is just slightly more expensive. Spokane in the eastern part of the state has a median price of $6,387. Longview in the south has an average rate of $6,054 per month. Finally, Yakima costs $5,958 per month, which is below the state average.

$6769

Seattle

$6673

Olympia

$6054

Longview

$7245

Mount Vernon

$5958

Yakima

$6387

Spokane

$5911

Wenatchee

The median price for in-home care in Washington is $6,547 per month. The average rate for home health care is $6,578. The only more expensive type of senior care is a nursing home, which has an average price of $9,249 per month. Adult Day Health Care is the most affordable option for seniors who just need some supervision and care during daytime hours. Assisted living communities in Washington have an average price of $6,000 per month. 

$6547

In-Home Care

$6578

Home Health Care

$2600

Adult Day Health Care

$6000

Assisted Living

$9429

Nursing Home

Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Washington?

Washington’s Medicaid system, known as Apple Health, can pay for home care services within its managed care program and through a waiver program. If you are covered under Washington Apple Health Classic Medicaid coverage, you may be eligible for Health Home, which provides comprehensive care management, transition planning, individual and family support services, community referrals and health education. A coordinator will create a Health Action Plan that accounts for your health care and long-term support needs. To qualify, you’ll need to be eligible for Medicaid and have a qualifying chronic condition, such as cancer, respiratory disease, dementia and other physical and mental conditions. 

Long-term services and supports coordinated by Health Home are delivered within guidelines for the Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) program and Tailored Supports for Older Adults (TSOA) program. Services include everything from homemaking and personal errand running to skilled nursing and therapy.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Washington

New Freedom Waiver

The New Freedom Waiver is a program that lets seniors at home direct their own care and manage their service budget. Each participant is given a spending plan and budget based on their assessed needs and preferences. A care coordinator will decide if you remain eligible for the program on an annual basis. Financial management consultants can help ensure you spend your program dollars wisely. You can use the funds from New Freedom to pay for:

  • Personal Assistance Services: Activities of daily living, health-related tasks, homemaking and transportation.
  • Treatment and Health Maintenance: Specialized therapies, health prevention and therapeutic massage.
  • Participant Directed Goods, Services and Supports: Assistive technology, environmental supports, home-delivered meals, home repairs, durable medical equipment and trained service animals
  • Environment and Vehicle Modifications: Ramps, grab bars, widened doorways, accessible bathrooms, fire safety adaptations and specialized electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Training and Education Services: Caregiver training in areas related to the needs of the beneficiary.

This program is currently limited to seniors living in King and Pierce Counties. You can apply by contacting your local Home & Community Services office. The numbers are 206-341-7750 for King County and 253-476-7200 for Pierce County.

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Washington

To qualify for home care service under Medicaid in Washington, you’ll need to meet the income requirements. As a single applicant, you may not earn more than $10,092 per year and not have more than $2,000 in assets. Couples may not earn more than $15,132 per year and own more than $3,000 in assets. In most cases, your home does not count as an asset.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Washington

Income Limits*
Asset Limits

Single Person

$10,092

$2,000

Two-Person Household

$15,132

$3,000

*Per Year

If you meet the income requirements, Medicaid also requires you to be:

  • 65 or older or Medicare eligible
  • A U.S. citizen or documented resident
  • A resident of Washington 

How to Apply for Medicaid in Washington

The quickest way to apply for Medicaid in Washington is to use the online application system at washingtonconnection.org or the WAPlanfinder app. Apply over the phone by calling the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Center at 855-923-4633. You can also print and fill out an application then mail it to DSHS or fax it to 888-338-7410. You can also take your filled-out application to your local Community Services Office (CSO).

What Information You Will Need

To complete an application for Washington Medicaid, you will need to provide:

  • Social security numbers
  • Immigration status
  • Birthdates
  • Income information
  • Asset information, such as bank statements, trusts, deeds and retirement accounts

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you’re unable to apply for Medicaid on your own for any reason, the following organizations may be able to help. Assistance is available in a variety of languages and mediums. 

Contact
Area Served
Services Provided

877-501-2233

Entire State

The Customer Connect program offers assistance with Medicaid applications at Community Services Offices and over the phone. Agents can help you find out which Medicaid programs you might be eligible for and the best way to sign up for those services. The program is run by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

Online Only

Entire Country

Use Benefits.gov to determine if you are eligible for Medicaid or any other state or federally funded programs that can help pay for home care. The site includes a calculator that families can use to see if they are eligible for benefits based on their income.

360-725-3548

Entire State

ADRCs throughout the state of Washington help disabled seniors living at home access the services they need to age in place, including Medicaid coverage. Agents can evaluate your situation and help you apply for the programs that cover the in-home services you need. 

Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Washington?

In general, Medicare does not cover the cost of non-medical home care. That being said, there are situations in which Medicare provides some coverage for medical home care, referred to as “Home Healthcare.” There are several eligibility restrictions for coverage, including that individuals must be homebound and have a referral from their doctor specifically for home healthcare services.

Below is an overview of some of the skilled medical professionals whose in-home services are typically covered by Medicare – for more in-depth information, refer to our Guide to Home Healthcare.

  • Physical Therapists: Physical therapy is used to help patients recover from injuries (broken bones, knee injuries, etc.), treat ongoing conditions such as arthritis, and assist in recovery from surgeries and procedures such as a knee or hip replacement.
  • Visiting Nurses: Licensed nurses can provide a number of medical services for those who don’t need to stay in the hospital, but do need regular medical services such as wound care, changing feeding tubes, etc.
  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists help seniors regain or maintain the ability to accomplish normal, daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and other daily activities.
  • Speech Therapists: Speech therapists help seniors who are struggling to adequately communicate due to a stroke, dementia, or any other cause regain the ability to functionally communicate using a variety of means. Additionally, speech therapists help to keep seniors independent by modifying diets, teaching special techniques to swallow safely, and retraining associated muscles.

As mentioned above, in-home care is distinctly different from home healthcare. But, there can be some overlap in services between the two types of care. So, while Medicare doesn’t cover non-medical in-home care, there are in-home care services that may be covered in special circumstances when they’re provided in conjunction with home healthcare (such as an occupational therapist helping with eating or dressing)

Other Financial Assistance Options for In-Home Care in Washington

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 Resources for Seniors in Washington

The following free and low-cost resources can make it easier and more affordable to age in place at home. Services are provided by public and private organizations.

Contact
Area Served
Services Provided

360-485-9761

Entire State

W4A is a statewide membership organization that is made up of the 13 Area Agencies on Aging that serve seniors in communities throughout the state. These agencies provide caregiver support, care management, elder abuse prevention, legal services, nutrition and transportation. AAAs also operate senior centers and Community Living Connections, which are centers that help families access home care services and information about aging in place in their community. 

206-328-5696

Entire State

Catholic Community Services is a nonprofit organization that offers volunteer services to help seniors who are living at home and need assistance. Services include housework, laundry, local transportation, yard care, shopping and minor home repairs. A volunteer coordinator will visit your home and evaluate your specific needs. They will then match you with a trained volunteer based on their availability and skills.

Entire State

Washington's property tax exemption program for seniors may reduce the amount you owe for excess and regular levies. The program can also freeze the value of your home for tax purposes, saving you money in the long term. To qualify for this exemption, you must be at least 61 years of age and occupy the home receiving the exemption for at least six months out of the year. You must also not earn more than 65% of your county's median income or $40,000, whichever is greater. The state also offers a property tax deferral program.

Entire State

The Washington State Department of Commerce contracts with local agencies in your community to help weatherize your property, saving you money on your heating and cooling bills. The program coordinates funds from LIHEAP and the weatherization program created by the U.S. Department of Energy. Service includes everything from insulation installation to door and window repair. The Department of Commerce also runs the Home Rehabilitation Loan Program.

866-227-7457

Entire State

One of the main goals of the Washington chapter of the AARP is to give families in the state the information and resources they need to age in place gracefully at home. The organization hosts online and in-person support groups, educational seminars and guides. Many of these resources are free, but you can also sign-up for a low-cost membership to take advantage of discounts and rewards in your community. 

COVID-19 Rules for In-Home Care Providers in Washington

In order to protect seniors at home from the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC mandates that home health care workers in Washington state must be vaccinated against the SARS-COV-2 virus. As of April 2022, this mandate is still in effect in Washington, but this may change at a later date. Contact your local AAA or health agency to learn if your area is still mandating vaccination. You may also want to ask if there are other protection measures in place for home care workers in your community, such as wearing a mask or other PPE. Home care agencies may have their own special rules or guidelines.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health is responsible for licensing home care agencies that provide nonmedical services to seniors. The DOH also conducts on-site, unannounced surveys periodically to ensure licensed agencies are operating according to state rules and requirements. The following table provides an overview of the rules and regulations governing Washington home care agencies.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Washington
Scope of Care
Home care agencies in Washington may provide various nonmedical services to clients. These include assistance with personal hygiene, dressing, toileting, ambulation, transferring and eating. Home care aides may also perform household chores and essential shopping tasks, prepare meals, accompany clients to medical appointments and provide respite support to family caregivers.
Care Plan Requirements
A credentialed agency employee must develop a written care plan to be approved by the client, based on an on-site assessment and discussion. The plan must include the client's nutritional needs/food allergies, functional limitations and the specific nonmedical services an HCA will provide and how often. The plan must be updated after any change in the client's condition or needs and every 12 months at minimum.
Medication Management Requirements
Home care aides may provide reminders about taking medication, and may even hand a medication to a client, as long as the senior is fully aware of what they are doing.
Staff Screening Requirements
Individuals who are already certified as home care aides must have a fingerprint background check completed by the DSHS when applying for work with a home care agency.
Staff Training Requirements
Before individuals can begin work as home care aides, they must complete a 75-hour DSHS-approved training program and pass the HCA certification exam. Twelve hours of continuing education must be completed annually for a worker to maintain their certification.
Medicaid Coverage
Washington Medicaid offers several programs that may help pay for in-home care. Eligible seniors may qualify for assistance through the Medicaid Personal Care, Community First Choice Option and Medicaid Alternative Care entitlement programs. Other alternatives are the Community Options Program Entry System and New Freedom waiver programs.
Reporting Abuse
Suspected neglect, exploitation or abuse of a vulnerable Washington resident aged 60 or older may be reported to Adult Protective Services online via the agency's central intake form or by calling 877-734-6277.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Programs to Cover Home Modifications in Washington?

There are five government programs in Washington that offer financial assistance for accessibility and safety modifications: The Medicaid Alternative Care, Community First Choice Option, Community Options Program Entry System and New Freedom Medicaid programs, as well as the non-Medicaid Tailored Supports for Older Adults program.

Does Washington Medicaid Pay for In-Home Care?

The Washington Medicaid plan offers several programs that may cover some or all of the cost of in-home care. Eligible seniors may qualify for assistance through Medicaid’s Personal Care, Alternative Care and Community First Choice Option entitlement programs or the COPES and New Freedom waiver programs.

How Much Does In-Home Care Cost in Washington?

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019, home care in Washington costs an average of $5,720 on a monthly basis. This is over $1,400 higher than the national median cost, but $95 less per month than home health care services.

What Support Can Help Me Age at Home?

There are various forms of support available. Home care aides offer help with daily personal care, medication reminders and household tasks. Home health aides may provide wound care and administer medications or injections. Intermittent skilled nursing care and speech, physical and occupational therapies may also be provided in-home.

What Types of Services Does a Home Care Aide Provide?

Home care aides can assist with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, grooming and self-administering medications. They can also perform basic housekeeping tasks, prepare meals, provide transportation and accompany clients to medical appointments and for errands.

How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Washington

Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one, finding a quality home care provider can be a stressful process. When you hire an in-home care aide you’re placing a lot of trust in the hands of the person by inviting them into your home, so you’ll want to be diligent in your search. At Caring.com, we’re here to help – we’ve created a helpful checklist below that can help guide you through the process of both determining your needs and finding a home care agency that will provide the best care possible.

Finding a Home Care Provider Checklist

Find Home Care Agencies Near You

To find quality home care providers near you, simply input the zip code or city where you would like to start your search. We have an extensive directory of home care agencies all across the nation that includes in-depth information about each provider and hundreds of thousands of reviews from seniors and their loved ones.

2017, 2020, 2021, 2022

Right at Home Seattle and Eastside

11222 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA, 98125

The client enjoys talking with the caregivers because they are pleasant. Things were shaky with a lot of personnel changes at the beginning and I had to do a lot of training on how to move the client … (read more)
The client enjoys talking with the caregivers because they are pleasant. Things were shaky with a lot of personnel changes at the beginning and I had to do a lot of training on how to move the client … (read more)

2022

Visiting Angels of King County

12020 113th Ave N E, Suite 180 Bldg C, Kirkland, WA, 98034

Our family of caregivers provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Our caregivers are employees of the agency that are certified, go through an extensive interview and background check, and r … (read more)
Our family of caregivers provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Our caregivers are employees of the agency that are certified, go through an extensive interview and background check, and r … (read more)

2021, 2022

Always Best Care of Pierce County WA

10324 Canyon Rd E , Suite 208, Puyallup, WA, 98373

They provide quality care and really care about their patients. They were able to get us on the schedule right away and are very easy to work with.
They provide quality care and really care about their patients. They were able to get us on the schedule right away and are very easy to work with.

2021, 2022

Acti-Kare Responsive in-Home Care

6134 NE Bothell Way Suite C, Kenmore, WA, 98028

It was a rocky start but were are at a 10 now. I like our caregiver Veronica.
It was a rocky start but were are at a 10 now. I like our caregiver Veronica.

Homewatch CareGivers of Western WA

6912 220th St SW, Ste. #107, Mountlake Terrace, WA, 98043

My father’s caregivers are awesome. He has 3 different caregivers that come on different days and they are wonderful. My mother enjoys them too. She loves talking to them about all kinds of things … (read more)
My father’s caregivers are awesome. He has 3 different caregivers that come on different days and they are wonderful. My mother enjoys them too. She loves talking to them about all kinds of things … (read more)

Home Instead – Seattle, WA

3221 Eastlake Ave E, Suite 120, Seattle, WA, 98102

Nidhi is our care coordinator and does a superior job of seeing that my mother is well taken care of. She always calls to let us know what is happening for the week and on on several occasions came h … (read more)
Nidhi is our care coordinator and does a superior job of seeing that my mother is well taken care of. She always calls to let us know what is happening for the week and on on several occasions came h … (read more)

SYNERGY HomeCare of East King County

505 NW Gilman Blvd, Issaquah, WA, 98027

The caregiver from SYNERGY HomeCare of East King County was wonderful. We had to change caregivers a couple of times, and the agency was with us the whole time and helped a lot. The caregiver’s attitu … (read more)
The caregiver from SYNERGY HomeCare of East King County was wonderful. We had to change caregivers a couple of times, and the agency was with us the whole time and helped a lot. The caregiver’s attitu … (read more)

Home Instead – Federal Way, WA

32700 Pacific Hwy S, Suite 10, Federal Way, WA, 98003

All our questions and concerns answered and service begun the first day Paul was home from Rehab.
All our questions and concerns answered and service begun the first day Paul was home from Rehab.

Rewards HomeCare – Edmonds, WA

9613 Firdale Ave, Edmonds, WA, 98020

We proudly provide non-medical home care services to seniors and individuals with disabilities, injuries, difficulties with mobility, or illnesses. We are composed of highly trained and competent staf … (read more)
We proudly provide non-medical home care services to seniors and individuals with disabilities, injuries, difficulties with mobility, or illnesses. We are composed of highly trained and competent staf … (read more)

Senior Helpers of Seattle

1101 Harvey RD NE Unit 101, Auburn, WA, 98002

Senior Helpers of Seattle is part of a national franchise. We have a very hands on approach to client and family relations. We work as a team to match the right caregiver with the right client. We wil … (read more)
Senior Helpers of Seattle is part of a national franchise. We have a very hands on approach to client and family relations. We work as a team to match the right caregiver with the right client. We wil … (read more)

Denali Care Services, LLC.

31620 23rd Ave South, Ste. 302, Federal Way, WA, 98003

Denali Care Services is a licensed home care agency located in Federal Way. We serve all of King County. Providing chores / light housekeeping, transportation, escort to and from appointments, running … (read more)
Denali Care Services is a licensed home care agency located in Federal Way. We serve all of King County. Providing chores / light housekeeping, transportation, escort to and from appointments, running … (read more)

Promise Home Care Seattle

2211 Elliott Ave, Suite 200, Seattle, WA, 98121


Amicable Healthcare Inc. – SeaTac, WA

15220 32nd Avenue South, Seattle, WA, 98188


SYNERGY HomeCare of North Seattle

1833 N. 105th Street, , Suite #200 , Seattle, WA, 98133

SYNERGY HomeCare is an affordable, compassionate home care agency for individuals and families who want to see their loved one stay at home rather than going to a nursing home or assisted living faci … (read more)
SYNERGY HomeCare is an affordable, compassionate home care agency for individuals and families who want to see their loved one stay at home rather than going to a nursing home or assisted living faci … (read more)

Utopia In Home Care Solution

8621 244th St SW, Edmonds, WA, 98026

We provide a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury.
We provide a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury.

Honey Healthcare

14406 N Creek Dr #1331, Mill Creek, WA, 98012

We are a top-tier, comprehensive licensed Home Health Agency. We provide basic home care services such as personal care, ambulation/transfer assistance, meals, housekeeping, companionship, and med … (read more)
We are a top-tier, comprehensive licensed Home Health Agency. We provide basic home care services such as personal care, ambulation/transfer assistance, meals, housekeeping, companionship, and med … (read more)

AIMS Home Healthcare Services

8320 185th Street Ct , Puyallup, WA, 98375

Personal Care & Companionship <p></p> Our well-trained caregivers will help our clients maintain their dignity as they age while receiving the needed care to stay independent, safe, and healthy in t … (read more)
Personal Care & Companionship <p></p> Our well-trained caregivers will help our clients maintain their dignity as they age while receiving the needed care to stay independent, safe, and healthy in t … (read more)

Fedelta Home Care

9725 3rd Avenue NE , Suite 301 , Seattle, WA, 98115

They could improve the food and communication. They could speak a little better. Their primary responsibility is food and that could get better.
They could improve the food and communication. They could speak a little better. Their primary responsibility is food and that could get better.

Husky Senior Care

7017 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA, 98117

They need to know what to do and how to do it. They could teach their people how to prepare a meal.
They need to know what to do and how to do it. They could teach their people how to prepare a meal.

BrightStar Care of Bellevue / North Seattle

1102 8th Street, Suite A, Kirkland, WA, 98033

I had Bright Star Care providers assist me with transportation, medication management, and meals following surgery. The 2 care providers were professional and very pleasant.
I had Bright Star Care providers assist me with transportation, medication management, and meals following surgery. The 2 care providers were professional and very pleasant.

Home Care Services in Washington (233)