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 (33)
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
Photo of Linda P.
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
Trying to determine going rate to pay for pca overnight care for a MS patient. Needs to be put on side every two hours from 12 to 7 a.m. Don't know whether to do a flat rate or hourly rate and what to pay for each. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
Posted: October 09, 2014 at 5:57 PM
Photo of Fetina M.
Fetina M.
I charge the 24 hour care according to the long hours that you are required to be away from home and your family, even if you sleep at night you are still at the care of your client. It is not to be away from our families 24 hours a day, that's a whole away from your family. I value my time, so I believe if anyone me to stay 24 hours and take care their loved one, I will expect my time there to be paid.
Posted: October 07, 2014 at 2:54 PM
What would be a fair wage for a neighbor to come in the morning 5 days a week just to make sure that my Mom's meds are taken properly.
Posted: August 30, 2014 at 10:20 PM
Photo of Katie M.
Katie M.
I was hired at $15 an hour for 25hrs a week as an independent contractor for a senior and two children under the age of 4. The senior is diabetic and I have to administer insulin, etc. I also cook meals for the three and clean up after them. Also, occasional laundry, vacumming. Am I being severely underpaid?
They did not mention the diabetic assistance or housework in their ad. The senior is non ambulatory.
Posted: July 20, 2014 at 11:12 PM
@ Kathy you shouldn't be paying rent!!!!! They or her POA should be able to pay you at a lesser rate.
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM
Photo of Denise S.
Denise S.
I work 24 hour shift at the rate of 160.00 per day .I think it's not fair,my goal is to start my own business. Can I get a insight on starting my own business. Denise S.
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Photo of Kathy R.
Kathy R.
Posted: December 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM
We have live-in caregivers and Michigan Wage and Labor says they have to stay at least 5 days at work. Please check with wage and labor in your state the company you work or worked for might have done you wrong! Get back what you deserve!
Posted: November 05, 2013 at 7:58 PM
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