Dallas Aging-in-Place

“Aging in place” sounds like sitting around, but it describes what most of us want: the freedom to live in our own homes, safely and comfortably, for as long as we choose. Whether your home is a Preston Hollow ranch house, a Craftsman cottage near the Bishop Arts District or a high-rise condo in Highland Park, there are services to help you with everything from home adaptations to daily chores and health routines. The most common are homemaker services–which help you with cooking, cleaning and personal care—and home health aide services for seniors who need regular help with medication, monitoring, and therapies.

Who pays for these services?

If your doctor confirms that you need care to live safely at home, you’ve got options for reimbursement of homemaking services and home health care. Long-term care policyholders can often use their benefit to cover in-home care. Low-income seniors may qualify for Medicaid coverage of in-home care. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services provides homemaking, home health help, and accessibility remodeling services for seniors who qualify. Wartime veterans may qualify for the VA Aid & Attendance pension benefit to pay for in-home care.

How much does it cost to age in place?

Your age-in-place expenses will depend on your housing costs, the cost of safety adaptations such as grab bars or a wheelchair ramp, and the services you need.

Nationally, the median daily rate for full-time in-home care is about $123 ($122 for homemaking services and $125 for home health aide services). That comes to about $3,800 per month. In Dallas and the Metroplex, in-home care costs are lower: an average of $116.50 a day for homemaking and home health aide services, and a monthly median rate of about $3,540 for full-time help.

What should you look for in a provider?

Look for providers who come recommended by people you trust: neighbors, relatives, friends, colleagues and members of your congregation or social clubs. Check for positive online reviews and a good rating with the Dallas Better Business Bureau.

When you consider a company, ask about their licensing, training, bonding and insurance. Find out what background and identity checks the agency runs on its workers. Ask in detail about scheduling and payment policies, and ask for a copy in writing. Make sure you understand all the terms before you sign a contract or agree to pay for services.

Are there other options besides home health and homemaking providers?

Regular homemaking and health help can help you handle a lot of tasks. If you’re not ready for that level of help yet—or if you need extra help to avoid overloading your current caregivers—there are more options than ever, thanks to the rise of internet-based service platforms.

In Dallas, your choices include Rover.com for dog walking and pet sitting, Handy for housecleaning, Favor and TaskRabbit for miscellaneous errands and chores, and Porch.com and Amazon Home Services for everything from small home repairs to major remodels. As you do with care agencies, make sure you understand the policies, training, and screening before doing business with an online service platform.

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