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How Much Does Home Care Cost? A State-by-State Guide

17 minute readLast updated October 24, 2023
fact checkedon October 24, 2023
Written by Claire Samuels
Reviewed by Leslie Fuller, LMSW, CDPLeslie Fuller, a Licensed Master Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner, is the owner of Inspired Senior Care.
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Many older adults prefer to age at home without assistance, but sometimes this isn’t possible due to declining health or dementia. One option to help seniors remain in their homes longer is in-home care, a type of nonmedical help with day-to-day life provided by trained aides. But how much does home care cost, and is it the right next step for your loved one?

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In-home care costs

The national median cost of home care is $30 an hour, according to A Place for Mom’s proprietary data.[01]

Costs for in-home care may vary based on several factors, including your loved one’s location and their care needs. For example, if they live somewhere with a high cost of living, you should expect to pay higher rates. The opposite is true for seniors who live in areas with a lower cost of living. State regulations affect the cost of care as well — several states require that agencies and/or their caregivers are certified, while others have capped costs for elder home care.

Private pay home care rates by state

The following table provides the median hourly rates for in-home care in each state in 2023, based on data collected from A Place for Mom’s home care partners.


Hourly rate



New Hampshire$33
New Jersey$33
New Mexico$32
New York$33
North Carolina$28
North Dakota$35
Rhode Island*
South Carolina$30
South Dakota$34
West Virginia$25

* A Place for Mom does not have home care cost data in these states.

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Costs of in-home care vary by need

How much your family will pay for home care ultimately depends on a few factors, including what home care services your relative needs and how often they need this support.

Before beginning your search for in-home care, consider how much help your loved one requires. Do they live independently but want assistance with a few chores? Or do they require full-time help due to changes in physical or cognitive abilities?

Agencies will help you with this step if you’re unsure. They’ll perform a needs assessment and work with you and your loved one to develop a personalized plan of care. This plan might include companionship, homemaker services, hands-on help with activities of daily living (ADLs), like dressing and bathing, or some combination of these. Services that require a higher level of training, such as dementia care, or that are provided more frequently, such as live-in care, may cost more.

How are rates structured?

Most home care aides and agencies charge by the hour. They often have a minimum number of contracted hours — generally two to four hours per day or seven hours per week — to cover transportation and staffing costs.

Some home care agencies will offer contracts for weekly or monthly care if a family determines their elderly loved one needs significant assistance on a regular basis.

Cost of in-home care: A progression based on health

By starting home care early, seniors may be able to age in place longer without worrying about isolation, nutrition, or household responsibilities. Some common schedules and costs are listed below. These price estimates are based on A Place for Mom’s median in-home care cost of $30 an hour.

Common in-home care cost plans

7 hours a week: $910 a month. Healthy, independent seniors may be able to get all the care they need from a few short visits a week. Housework, companionship, meal preparation, and cleaning can be accomplished in this time frame for less than $1,000 a month. Seven hours a week is generally the minimum requirement for home care agencies, though some have higher or lower thresholds.

15 hours a week: $1,950 a month. A two-to-three-hour daily check-in can benefit seniors who need more care but are independently mobile and cognitively sound. Several hours in the morning could provide necessary assistance with bathing, dressing, and preparing meals for the day.

30 hours a week: $3,900 a month. A 30-hour week may be ideal for seniors living with family caregivers who work. It’s also ideal for seniors who prefer companionship and social stimulation. Thirty hours a week equates to six hours a day for five days, time a senior would otherwise be alone while their family caregiver is at work.

44 hours a week: $5,720 a month. Forty-four hours of care would provide coverage for a family caregiver who works full-time and doesn’t want their senior loved one to be alone. An aide could assist with all ADLs, including toileting, dining, and bathing. For an aging loved one who requires help with a chronic condition that prevents them from being alone safely, this may be an ideal schedule.

Live-in home care: $21,840 a month. Agencies and private caregivers have different price structures for more intensive schedules like round-the-clock care and live-in home care. For example, the price of live-in care depends on the number of care aides needed, sleeping arrangements, and room and board. The costs of this this type of care can vary greatly on a case-by-case basis.

Private vs. agency in-home care expenses to consider

Families looking for in-home caregivers have two options: hiring a private—or independent—caregiver or using a licensed home care agency. There are benefits of and drawbacks to each, but both options are usually paid for privately.

Private in-home caregiver considerations

Private in-home caregivers will generally cost less than an agency because they don’t have the same overhead costs. However, it’s worth considering more than hourly rates when deciding whom to hire. Costs that are usually covered by an agency become the client’s responsibility.

Additional costs for the family may include conducting background checks or having an attorney review contracts. Also, private caregivers may not have worker’s compensation insurance, making any accidents on the job potentially costly to families.

There’s no specific payment structure for hiring a private caregiver. A caregiver and a client must work together when developing a care plan and drawing up a contract, which may offer both parties more flexibility when it comes to rates, hourly minimums, and other terms.

Agency in-home caregiver considerations

Families typically pay more for agency caregivers than for private caregivers. This is because agencies cover overhead costs such as background checks, workers’ compensation, and liability insurance. Plus, agencies often provide continued training and certification for their employees.

Though agency care is generally more expensive, it removes scheduling and paperwork burdens from families. Agencies take care of hiring and administrative tasks like contracts and taxes. Using an agency may also provide peace of mind to families. For example, if a caregiver is sick or unable to work, the agency will provide another aide, preventing gaps in care.

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Home health care costs

The cost of home health care after a surgery or illness depends on the amount of care a senior needs and their insurance coverage. Because short-term home health care services are typically prescribed by a doctor, Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance plans will usually cover at least some of the costs if a senior meets certain criteria.

Medically necessary services such as injections, wound care, and physical and occupational therapy are usually covered in addition to prescribed durable medical equipment.

Nonmedical services such as assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and other homemaking tasks may be covered if these services are part of a patient’s post-surgery care plan.

Cost of home care vs. nursing homes and assisted living

The national median cost for assisted living is $4,807 per month, according to data collected from A Place for Mom’s partner communities. [01] The cost of nursing home care is considerably higher with the median cost of a private room totaling $9,034 each month.[02] But it’s important to keep in mind that, beside the differing costs, there are several characteristics that set these care types apart.

H3: In-home care vs. assisted living

At $4,807 per month, the cost of assisted living is slightly lower than the cost of a 40 hour per week in-home caregiver, which totals $5,280 per month.[01]

Caregivers at assisted living facilities offer similar services as home caregivers, from help with ADLs to housekeeping and transportation. These types of care are not designed for seniors in need of extensive medical care.

Here we compare assisted living and home care by looking at what’s included in the price:

  • Assisted living includes maintenance-free living, with costs of housing, utilities, repairs, and housekeeping included. While home care includes household tasks and chores, clients may still have a mortgage or rent. If they do own a home, they must also cover taxes and maintenance costs. They also have to arrange for maintenance independently if they own their home.
  • Assisted living also includes restaurant-style meals and snacks. Home care aides help with meal preparation but don’t cover the cost of those groceries.
  • Assisted living communities have on-site nighttime staff in case of an emergency. Unless a senior and their family opt for live-in care or 24/7 care, overnight supervision is not included with home care.

H3: In-home care vs. nursing homes

Nursing homes provide comprehensive medical care in addition to personal care services. That’s why, at about $9,034 a month for a private room, nursing home costs are the most expensive among senior care facilities.[02]

The following list illustrates some other important differences between in-home care and nursing home costs:

  • Nursing homes offer round-the-clock nursing care and medical oversight, neither of which are standard with home care.
  • Nursing home care is one inclusive monthly price for room and board as well as care, while home care charges clients by the hour.
  • Nursing homes employ licensed medical professionals to assist with chronic conditions, wound care, rehabilitative therapies, and much more. Home care aides generally aren’t qualified to provide medical assistance.
  • Home care aides provide one-on-one assistance, while nursing homes often have a large, rotating staff.

How to find home care

Caring for an aging parent can be challenging, especially when they prefer to age in place. But families who need assistance often turn to in-home care for help providing care for their loved one and respite for themselves. If you think home care may be the right choice for your family, A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors can help simplify your search by connecting you with local agencies that fit both your loved one’s needs and budget.


  1. A Place for Mom. (2023). A Place for Mom proprietary data.

  2. [1] A Place for Mom. (2023). A Place for Mom proprietary data.Genworth Financial. (2022, February 7). Cost of care trends and insights.

Meet the Author
Claire Samuels

Claire Samuels is a senior copywriter at A Place for Mom, where she helps guide families through the dementia and memory care journey. Before transitioning to writing, she gained industry insight as an account executive for senior living communities across the Midwest. She holds a degree from Davidson College.

Edited by

Leah Hallstrom

Reviewed by

Leslie Fuller, LMSW, CDP

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