The Senior Care Job Guide: How Much to Charge for Senior Care

Pay rates for elder care providers

Once you choose a job you will pursue, you'll have to decide whether to work for an agency or institution, or become an independent contractor. If you work for an agency or institution, they will set your pay rate, but if you work independently, you will need to assess how much to charge.

For home care aides, rates vary significantly according to:

  • geographical location. Pay rates will be different in different cities.  For example, Dallas Senior Care Aides may charge a different price than Austin Senior Care Aides and Houston Senior Care Aides. Compare prices in the towns and cities near you.
  • job requirements, type of care provided, number of hours, and time of day (day-time vs. overnight)
  • level of skill, experience, and whether or not a person is certified

According to AARP, the average pay rate for home care services for adults in 2008 was $19 an hour for home care aides, versus $38 an hour for Medicare-certified health aides.  These rates, however, varied depending on hours of the day that care was provided, as well as region of the country. People were paid at a lower rate for services that were only needed a few times a week and at a higher rate for 24-hour care.  To see the most recent cost of care data, refer to the Genworth 2011 Cost of Care Survey.

Therapists (physical, occupational, speech, and mental health) who come to the home generally charge between $50 and $125 a visit.

Licensed nurses who treat a senior at home generally charge between $50 and $100 a visit. One senior hospitalized in Manhattan paid $5,000 for three days of 24-hour private nursing care, averaging approximately $70 an hour.

Now that you know approximately how much to charge, the next step is to prepare for a job interview.

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Comments (41)
How much to pay for overnight care for an elderly person? No prescribed duties just being in the house to make sure all is okay.
Posted: June 20, 2016 at 2:46 PM
Photo of Christina C.
Christina C.
Hi, I would like to give some feedback. I'm a 45 yr. old single woman, 15 years experience with agency and private duty home health care (mostly Alzheimer's). I have CPR certification, mental health crisis certifications for youths and adults, and am a dual high honors psychology and nursing degree major. I have my own TB, drug and criminal screens and stellar references (most of my live-in cases were 2 years or longer). I am a member of many academic honor and nursing societies including the Alzheimer's Chapter of SE PA. I plan on practicing as a Geri Psych nurse one day. All this being said, at this juncture of my career educationally and experience-wise, I flat out refuse to work for agencies. I can bond myself. They do nothing for me but steal my wages--yes, it's true. I cannot work for people that have zero clue about what I do every day--they are business folks with zero interest in elder care except for the money--who bill the client $30/hr but offer me $14. IT'S INSULTING AND JUST PLAIN ROBBERY. I am fortunate that I live and study in a wealthy PA suburb (Chester County, PA). I am a CNA and know my position and what can and cannot be done. Nonetheless, my rate is $23/hr and to be honest I HAVE NEVER HAD AN ISSUE NEGOTIATING THIS RATE. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT LESS. For 24 hr care I bill for 18 hrs vs. 24--it's still A GREAT DEAL. My advice for other care-givers---no matter your back ground: YOUR time and your life has VALUE. This is a DIFFICULT JOB THAT FEW WANT TO DO, OR CAN DO WHICH IS WHY THE FAMILIES SEEK YOU OUT. Do NOT sell yourself short! DOG WALKERS CHARGE $15/30 MINS WHERE I LIVE!!! If you accept anything LESS THAN $15/HR YOU ARE PLAIN CRAZY. We all need to stand together and fight for not just the rights and dignity of our patients, but OURS AS WELL. PEACE!
Posted: May 28, 2016 at 3:50 PM
Marissa Smith
Barbara Covington, is an amazing representative who specializes in finding Assisted Living Faculties in the NJ area. She has been so very helpful, and a true blessing during this search for a nursing facility for a family member. After doing numerous searches on my own, with no end result, in a matter of an hour or so, she has located a facility and provided answers to all of my questions.

She has done a wonderful job and I will highly recommend her to anyone that I know, that is beginning their search for nursing facilities. She found a perfect place for my family member at an amazing cost. She is very though, follows-up and is nice and NOT pushy like "normal" people helping you find assisted living facilities. I canâ t say enough positive things about her.
Posted: May 10, 2016 at 12:08 AM
Whoa! Hello out there...
I live in a Condo and I had a dog I paid $15.00 per hour to have someone come and take him for a walk while I was at work. Later I moved him to a daycare facility so he could play with other dogs and have someone around all day while I was at work, that cost me $20.00 per hour! Just saying...
I understand there are people out there on both sides of the fence (some ) that would take advantage of the elderly, sick, afflicted and disabled. It is up to the families or the individuals seeking care to determine their needs and a fair and equitable salary for that care. I also understand there are people that take advantage of people that provide care by offering them some lesser pay because they are unemployed and need work, not licensed, or are just "helping out" so the salary is less. But, seriously if you are caring for a human being the salary should reflect the level of care you are providing regardless of your qualifications. If you are cleaning house, doing laundry, making meals, running errands, taking on the responsibility for someones medications, shuttling them places etc. at a minimum $20.00 per hour is fair compensation. I am considering taking on two people locally and I will not accept less than it cost me to have my pet taken care of! I am not a licensed professional in the health care industry but I will not take on the responsibility of any task that requires me to be responsible for those duties. In general when you are spending most of your time helping someone that is incapable of doing for themselves then you need to charge accordingly. If someone had to go hire a licensed health care provider they would be paying far don't under estimate the service you are providing even if you are not an educated and licensed professional. Just my thoughts...
Posted: April 01, 2016 at 10:23 AM
Photo of Felicia A.
Felicia A.
Ok so I work with a family and I take care of the mother and wife of a 58 year old man. The mother has dementia and has to have assistance transferring,showering, being taken to the bathroom,giving medication etc,. The wife has ataxia and bad anxiety so I have to watch her closely and assist her to the bathroom and changing, setting up for showers. Some days she is able to do a lot for herself but most days I have to help. Also I do meal prep, clean and put away dishes, clean kitchen, floors, dust, laundry, make beds, clean bathroom, vacuum basically all house hold duties. And I get paid $10 per hour 35 hours per week. I don't feel like this is right. What should I ask to be getting paid without asking too much?
Posted: March 30, 2016 at 10:05 AM
I am being offered a job I currently work with an agency or I should say through an agency but the lady cannot afford to pay the agencies rates so they are offering to pay me under the table what should I look into or what should I be looking at should I take it or still go through the agency? Thanks in advance
Posted: February 24, 2016 at 11:34 PM
it is hard to get an idea on what to charge.Being a care giver is not a minimum wage job. There is a lot to factor in plus what the family is willing to pay. You can look online and the national average "in home" care is $15-19 an hour. It also depends if you are Certified, your experience, what is within your scope of practice, what level of care the person needs. I am a certified CNA, I was offered a job in home care for 10 an hour. The state i am in, the average CNA pay is $16 to start. The client has a degenerative disease, I would have considered her a level 2 care and the family only wanted to pay $10 an hour. I did not take it. As someone who is Certified, we have to do continuing education classes as well as pay for our recertifications, so. $10 an hour to take care of someone with a degenerating disease is very low. We are care givers. Most of us do this because we have big hearts and genuinely care for people. We can be easily taken advantage of as well. My advice is, know your worth first, then do some research Online to get compatible wages.
Posted: January 06, 2016 at 3:13 PM
J. Zachariah
I am currently watching my great-aunt who is 94 yrs old. She is showing early signs of dementia and the doctors have advised that she not be left alone. She cannot afford assisted living because her monthly income is only $1,069. I am with her from 10pm until 10am 7 days a week. My only duties are to make sure she takes her nightly medications, be there because she becomes very confused @ night, make breakfast in the morning, and make sure she takes her morning meds. She usually goes to bed around 11:30pm. She does not sleep well, so I am usually up with her @ around 4:30am until it is time for me to leave, which is anytime after 10. I am not sure what I should be charging, because I basically just adult-sit her. She can still take her own baths by her self as well as get her own food. She is family and I don't want to over charge her, especially since she only receives $1069/mth. Can someone advise me on what to charge. Thank you.
Posted: December 30, 2015 at 4:27 AM
Dave M.
I work taking care of a 96 year old woman. She is an invalid, incontinent, has dementia, she cannot walk and has to be lifted, and is deaf. I sleep in her room so she will not climb out of bed, cook, shop, clean house do laundry,give medications. I have a helper who relieves me 4 hours in morning 5 days a week. I am here the remainder of the week 148 hours. I get paid 790.00 per week. What would be a fair weekly wage? No taxes are deducted. Recently the son tried to charge me 15.00 per month for WiFi. Told him fine but I will begin charging him for picking up prescriptions, grocery shopping on my time which I do during the 4 hours.I live and work in San Francisco. Have worked for Helen for 5 years. We have a great friendship. But I really feel under compensated.
Posted: August 17, 2015 at 1:46 AM
Photo of Laura S.
Laura S.
I've been working as a caregiver since I was 15 years old. It was a punishment at 1st. because my coach thought I had too much time on my hands. I had to volunteer everyday after I left school before I was able to go to track practice. The deal was if I wanted to run track I had to volunteer some of my time at a nursing home in the neighborhood. Because, of that reason I was able to meet some awesome elders. Getting to know them and hearing their stories and shearing in their experience I truly believe it I am who I am now.

I've work in many facilities: nursing homes, hospitals, hospice care, dialysis centers, I have my EKG, I am a phlebotomist and I'm now classified as a patient care technician. I'm in school and soon finished with my Healthcare Management certification. My goal is to open my home up as a home health facility. At the moment I have four son that are in college and a 12 year old son at home. In five years I should be completely ready to open my facilitie.

At the moment I am working with a Client who had an aneurysm and suffered from a stroke after her surgery. She's not able to walk, dressed herself or prepare meals,she needs assistant with everything. I work with her Monday through Friday from 8a.m. to 4p.m. at $13.50 an hour. If she goes in the hospital I do overnight care,day shift or whatever is needed to assist.... I still charge my hourly rate. If I work 24 hours or over I'm still getting paid $13.50X24hr.=$324.00
I only do light housekeeping which entails: doing her laundry after I give her a shower (bath towels and sleep clothes) I would put away clean dishes from out the dishwasher and whatever is in the sink I would put it in the dishwasher and I would clean her bathroom once a week. I make all her doctor's appointment or cancel them whichever one is needed. I'm also the one who takers her to all her Dr. and PT/OT appt. I handle all of her personal care like: shopping for clothes or food. I take her to get her nails and hair done. We go to movies, meet up with her friend for lunch or dinner. We also go to music concerts and plays.

I have been blessed with my clients that I've been working with. I've learned to extablish from the beginning MY WORTH!!! I come in the door telling them what I'm offering... my experience, my references and my goals.

I have a coworker that work alongside of me. If I need to go on another case for the short term she covers for me. She also handles my clients if I go on vacation. That is one of the perks that offer as well.

My fellow coworkers you have to remember you are selling yourself when you go on these interviews. Be prepared you are now a business woman/man and you are trying to grow your business. If you do not believe in yourself and know your worth why should anyone else? I have business cards, flyers and brochures to promote my business. I also have an Independent contractor agreement for healthcare providers. I also have in my files my hourly rates. So, when I present myself I am showing them that I am prepared and that I am not just making things up as I go.

I hope someone was able to find this in couraging and also informing. May God continue to bless you all and good luck in all that you're trying accomplish in life.
Posted: July 28, 2015 at 2:21 AM
Linda P.
Liz, Live-care usually pays for 10 hours a day and food is included. Nobody wants to pay for you to sleep over. I am a caregiver, but I am a senior advocate. People who take advantage of elders and their families are wrong on so many levels. One day they will need care and karma might be there to apply for the job.
Don't be taken to the cleaners!!

I wish you all the best. Research what agencies are charging and go from there.
Posted: June 23, 2015 at 10:43 PM
Adilene Vargas
Need advise I was offered a job taking care of my bosses parents both 80 years old. I just graduated from high school where I took medical classes so I sort of know that to do.
Since I'm not certified or licensed to do it. How much should I charge? That are looking at $8.00 an hour from 8 to 3 seven days a week.
Posted: June 05, 2015 at 2:43 PM
I take care of a 90 yr. old woman who lives in Pensacola, FL and can do nothing for herself. Not even get a kleenex out of a box. I have to dress, feed, bathe, she's incontinent and wears a brief, and I have to clean her after having BM's, do her hygiene/makeup/hair, manually lift (she's can't even stand), cook/prepare meals, answer the phone, turn off the phone, surf TV channels, turn the volume up/down, look the mailbox, wipe her drippy nose, house cleaning, provide transportation and take her to all her doctor appts and social gatherings (which were not a part my duties when hired) because I am the only one that has a vehicle that she can easily get into. I rarely get compensated for this. She must think a $5 Meal Deal is enough. I bring my own meals/food. Also, I call in all her medications for refills and make sure her box is filled each week and administers her meds. She's very demanding. There's just too much to list. She has 2 other caregivers and requires around (24hr) the clock care. I work day shift for 9.5 hours and then rotate to night shift for 14.5 hours. On average I work 70 hours per week, unless one of the other caregivers is a no-show and I'm stuck with their shift. What hourly wage should I be charging her?
Posted: May 25, 2015 at 3:25 PM
I have a relative who will be 95yrs this year. She has dementia. The aid is a HHA who was working out of an agency 3days a week at 15per hr. Carfare was also paid. The aid is now working independently.My relative had a fall and was taken to the ER since this time the aid had been staying 24/7 at a rate of $10 per hr. This was temp until she was strong effort to stay along at night. My relative is paying $1680 per week - The aid's mother is now in the picture to relieve the daughter. Please advise. Thank you
Posted: May 20, 2015 at 2:34 PM
nat larsson
I'm a Certified MA. I have someone who wants me to do home health care. I have no idea how much to charge per hour.i live in Florida
Posted: May 03, 2015 at 11:59 AM
I have a friend that is willing to come sit with my Mom for a few hours to give my Dad ( caregiver) sometime to himself so he breathe and know Mom is being looked after. The friend is not certified , but has helped others in this same situation. Mom can do things for herself but this would be just to keep her company while Dad is out. What would be a fair amount to reimburse her?

Thank you.
Posted: April 05, 2015 at 11:56 AM
I'm a part time live-in caretaker at 50 a day for about 16 days.. Not much I know but I'm open 4 opinions.. They want me to go fulltime with days off maybe 6 or 8 days off.. Opinions and info plz.. Thx
Posted: March 26, 2015 at 6:36 PM
Dorothy gross
What should be the rate for an assignment that requires an aide to take care of two seniors in the same home. The aide lives in and does all duties as assigned
Posted: February 14, 2015 at 9:37 AM
I wonder how much I should ask to provide my basment one bedroom apt all furnished plus all utility, do the wash/dry , prepare my foods @ 3 meals a day or 90 per mth with soup/desert and snck mid-day and take care of a senior 86 yrs on a 24/7 for min 6 mths or until the relative find a available place at a nursing home how much should I charge per mth in my own home does anyone know , the person is a stranger to me I`m only friend with the son,and the son or brother don`t want to look after that person tks
Posted: November 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM
Photo of Jody M.
Jody M.
Is there anything current pay wise for 2014? I charge $17.00/hr. I keep seeing these $10-$15 rates. Crazy! I know I should at least be charging $20.00 but people tend to go with who charges less. You get what you pay for. It's hard to figure out a baseline pay. A lot of seniors don't have a lot of money and the people hiring aren't willing to pay what you are worth. How do you show them the value of your services? I'm not sure how to charge for a 12 hr. shift. I've been asked recently to work more hours, Great but at the end of the day it would work out to a lot less (especially if I have to take a cut in pay, which I don't think I'm willing to do). I can charge less if I work more, just not sure how much. It's money I wouldn't be getting in the first place though...Thoughts??
Posted: October 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM
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