The Senior Care Guide: Cost of Senior Care

Estimated costs for different types of home care

You've done the research, and talked to friends, family, and trusted doctors. You and your elderly parent have decided which type of care is best. But, there's so much you still have to learn, especially when it comes to the cost of senior care.

Here's a run-down of costs for the basic categories of senior care available in the U.S.

Telephone Call Assurance

  • Many of these phone call "care" systems are free through volunteers, charitable organizations or municipal programs; contact your local Council on Aging, or police agency, or local state legislator for references.
  • Most of these services are free although some charge a very low rate, such as $6 per month to cover basic costs.

Home Health Aides

  • According to MetLife in 2007, the average hourly cost of a home health aide worker $19 per hour.
  • In some states the surveyed rate was as high as $30 per hour and as low as $9 per hour.

Respite Care Providers

  • According to the federal government site,, "The cost of respite care varies with the type of agency and the services needed, but federal and/or state programs may help to pay for it. Long-term care insurance policies may cover some of the cost of respite care. Your local AAA will have more information on whether financial assistance is available, depending on your situation and where you live."
  • Specific costs for respite providers range from $8 to $30 per hour depending on whether the provider is employed by an agency or not and what state you live in.  The cost for Boston Home Care may be different than Denver Home Care.

Visiting Nurses

  • Services may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Private care from qualified nurses will cost approximately $25-$60 per hour.
  • Many nursing agencies offer modified payment plans for qualified individuals.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

  • At the high-end, seniors can spend $20-400 K to purchase space in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (or CCRC) as well as a monthly fee of approximately $1-4K for maintenance.
  • Fees vary according to whether one owns or rents; the size of the space -- cottage, studio, or apartment -- and its location; any amenities chosen, sucg as mobile emergency monitoring; whether the living space is for one or more individuals; the type of service contract chosen; and the senior's current health status.

Assisted Living Facilities

  • In a smaller or shared environment, the cost ranges from $850 to $4000 per month.
  • If you qualify for financial assistance, the senior pays part of the rent (based on the person's financial picture) and government funding covers the rest. This is generally true in subsidized senior housing -- which is sometimes called congregate housing, Section 8, or HUD housing.

Nursing Homes

  • According to a MetLife survey in 2007, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home is over $77,000 per year, or $213 per day.
  • For a semi-private room, the MetLife survey found the average to be $189 daily or over $68,000 per year.

Hospice Nursing

  • This may be free via funds donated by individuals, companies or communities.
  • The cost may be covered by the government and/or by Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Additional expenses paid by the senior may be required if one does not meet criteria for Medicare, Medicaid or Veterans benefits.

Once you have assessed options and costs, then you are on your way to choosing the best care that you can afford.  Let help you be talking to our Senior Care Advisors and staff today! 

Lisa Tabachnick Hotta is the mother of two young children and a freelance writer, editor and researcher.
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Comments (14)
Nanci B.
I was hired, as a caregiver to a very wealthy family, who hired a supervisor to be in charge of us caregivers, come to find out in the first 2 months, 2 people walked out on her and she had let 5 others do. I came highly recommended to her and we got along great, she told me, I did an excellent job, her son and daughter told me I brought back their old mom again, I really grew attached and went above and beyond what I was suppose to do, then one night she came in and just started yelling at me her blood sugar and accused me of giving her something I wasn't telling her about,she was like a different person, Im a diabetic, so I knew what to do, so after that she never answered any of my calls, or texts. Do I have any recourse? as I never signed an agreement or anything, I honestly thinks she has bipolar, and I have caught her lying about many things, I brought this to her sons attention, but nothing happened, now she told the girl who highly recommended me that I quit. I was so attached to the 2 people I took care of, Just wanted to know if there is anything I can do legally?
Posted: June 12, 2015 at 10:42 AM
Kathy P.
What is the average pay scale for a live-in caregiver ( 24 x 7)? If room and board is part of compensation, what is room and board worth?
Posted: April 05, 2015 at 6:26 PM
Glenda W.
I just want to say that is an amazing website. I have been referring to your site for a couple of years to get information for myself and my friends. This is just a note to thank you for your candor and your honesty. Your website is extremely helpful and to the point. Thank you for caring that others need care just like you. May God bless you and bring you peace for the love and concern that you obviously show to others.

G. Williams
Posted: February 22, 2015 at 5:48 PM
Mona L.
What is the going rate on being a Caregiver per hour? I run arrands for them,clean their house, pay their bills,water their front/back yard, make breakfast, lunch,and dinner, take them shopping, give them their vitamens and Meds. Also I'm a friend to them and I watch somtimes movies with them? I don't take them a bath, change them and I don't spent the night with them. Can you please give me advice? Thank You - Linda
Posted: January 26, 2015 at 2:59 PM
Sara S.
My concern is your loved ones safety and well being. I can administer medication,experienced in wound care,IV Certified,have worked in Geriatrics most of my career as a LPN. I believe in keeping family involved in all aspects of their loved ones plan of care. I can be certain not to tolerate neglect, and making sure all needs are met and documented if there are HHAs assigned to patient. I can be a full time Nurse, a Live-In Caregiver, or a Respit Care,to relieve those full time caretakers that need a day or week to take time to rest and need some time off.
Posted: June 13, 2014 at 4:33 PM
Photo of Claudette C.
Claudette C.
my name is Claudette I work for agency for five years I know what seniors care is all about I work with them day and night they need love someone to talk to them be there
Posted: April 28, 2014 at 9:55 PM
Karen F.
To Patty H I have been hiring care givers for years to help take care of my Mom...I've learned more about this system then I ever cared too. I have never ever heard of an Insurance Co. paying for a care giver for someone. When coming home from the hospital, the insurance may pay for 30 to 60 days of "In Home Care" meaning a nurse, PT or OT or aide may come for an a hour to help with showering, taking vitals, but insurances do not pay for an all around care giver. Unless your client has paid in to an insurance policy over the years,which will now help her pay for help at home. Most people can't afford such policies, but who knows, maybe that is what she means by her insurance will pay you. If that is not the case and she does not have such a policy, then possible if she had been married or her herself been in the military she could apply for VA Pension monies. That money could be used to pay for your services. Have her contact a VA office if she thinks she can qualify,most elderly people do not know they are entitled to this money. Good Luck and God Bless
Posted: November 04, 2013 at 1:11 PM
Casey S.
Hi, My father had a stroke and needs someone with him at night. What is the going rate for a CNA night caregiver 7 days a week. Do they get an hourly rate or a salary?
Posted: October 06, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I have an elderly Mother with alzheimer who lives in her home. We pay $750.00 per week for 24 hr. care. We also provide diapers and ensure plus a monthly food allowance. The caregiver lives across the street from Mom so the she takes Mom to her home during the day. Good Luck
Posted: August 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Photo of Barbara G.
Barbara G.

As a nurse myself, you would have the option of in home nursing or nurse aid care depending on the needs of your mother. You need to call her insurance company and see what they cover. Hope this helps.
Posted: July 30, 2013 at 2:17 AM
I have a question my mother had a stroke and is paralyzed on the right side. Is there any other options besides a nursing home.
Posted: May 25, 2013 at 9:00 PM
Photo of Mary S.
Mary S.
Hi Patty. My name is Mary Stehle and I am a senior care advisor at Thanks for your question. Without knowing more details of your situation, I would suggest that you talk with your prospective client. She should reach out to her insurance company and find out what their system is. Most likely she will need to pay you directly and then get reimbursed by the insurance company. She needs to clarify with them and then let you know how to handle it. Good luck!
Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Photo of Patty H.
Patty H.
I have a question.....I provide in home senior care/companionship, which is non-medical. I have a prospective client very interested in hiring me and told me her insurance company covers 80% of this. She then asked me how we would handle that.....I have NO idea! Can anyone please provide me some assistance? I don't want to lose this opportunity!
Posted: April 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM
A friend of mine wants to pay me for taking care of her.She is 85.Cooking,shopping sometimes bathing and has a dog.Can you please give me some idea what to charge?May bring to my house some times,it is an hr drive(approx 60 mi) to her house(some cleaning also thank you
Posted: July 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM
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