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The Senior Care Job Guide: How Much Should You Charge for Senior Care?

Figure out your pay rate based on location and job requirements.

Once you choose a job you will pursue, you'll have to decide whether to work for a home care agency or institution, or become an independent elderly care 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:

  • 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 data, use Genworth's comparison tool for long-term care costs in the U.S.

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.

Interested in working as an in-home senior care aide? Create a Senior Care Provider account on Care.com.

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