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The Cost of In-home Care Today

The cost of in-home care can vary with care needs, the number of hours required, location, type of caregiver, and even how the caregiver is hired. There are also different ways to pay for home care and strategies to help make it more affordable.
According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of non-medical in-home care across the USA was $26.00 per hour. In addition, costs have increased above the rate of inflation in many areas due to COVID and it is unclear if they will come down anytime soon.

In-home care is paid for by the hour but for full-time 44hrs/week it works out to be about the same monthly cost of an assisted living facility and roughly half the cost of a private room in a nursing home.

When planning in-home care for you or a loved one it is worth understanding the factors that influence the cost. These are some of the major ones:

  • Number of hours required.
  • Caregiver qualifications and experience.
  • Location.
  • How a caregiver is hired.
In many cases, modifications to a care plan can be made to help contain the cost while still providing all the safety and comfort you or a loved one needs.

Number of hours required.

In-home care is usually paid for by the hour and so the number of hours of care required each week is the biggest factor in deciding the overall cost. You only pay for the number of hours the caregiver is in the home, performing an errand on your behalf or accompanying you or your loved one on an outside visit. Occasionally you may need to reimburse your caregiver for any additional expenses incurred while performing their duties, such as mileage or parking fees, but you are not expected to pay for travel to and from the home - this should be covered in the hourly rate.

Caregiver qualifications and experience.

The more complex a person's care needs, the more qualified and experienced a caregiver may be required and a caregiver may want to charge more for more skilled or intensive work. Within the scope of non-medical home care, though, this is usually not a big factor. For example, qualified Home Health Aides (HHAs), who can provide extensive personal care and even some less-skilled medical tasks, typically cost $0.50 to $1.00 more per hour than less qualified caregivers. When skilled medical care is required in the home this is provided by licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) and costs substantially more.


The cost of home care differs significantly with location. Urban centers are more expensive and rural areas , can be up to 20% cheaper. In addition, the further a caregiver needs to travel to and from their client's home, the more they will need to charge per hour to cover time and mileage. With that in mind, privately hired caregivers may offer a marked discount for work with an easy commute or to look after those within their local community.

How a caregiver is hired.

Caregivers supplied by home care agencies cost more - often a lot more - than a privately hired caregiver. In addition, home care agencies offer little or no flexibility to negotiate caregiver rates and hours. Many agencies also have a minimum number of contracted hours a week which further inflates the weekly cost if fewer hours than the minimum are needed. On the flip side, privately hiring a caregiver means more work for the care recipient or their family who will need to find, vet, and schedule a caregiver themselves but it is an effective way to contain home care costs. This article describes the different ways to hire an in-home caregiver and discusses the pros and cons of each.

Making Home Care Affordable

Paying for in-home care for yourself or a loved one can seem daunting, especially as it is likely to be for an extended period. Some ways to help make home care more affordable, include the following:

  • careful assessment of a person’s care needs will help decide how many hours a week of professional in-home care is required and needs to be paid for.
  • consider having a family member or friend do the shopping once a week or engaging with free services such as Meals On Wheels to meet certain needs without professional care.
  • bundle care tasks together into contiguous blocks of time as far as possible. Working for longer hours less frequently is more cost-effective for the caregiver than more frequent but shorter periods of work. They save on travel time and associated expense and this will be reflected in their hourly rate.
  • many caregivers will negotiate on rate to secure longer-term work, or to have some flexibility in schedule to meet their own family responsibilities.
  • look into privately hiring a caregiver rather than going through an agency. OndeCare attracts and vets professional caregivers and eliminates the work associated with finding, vetting, and scheduling care when needed.
  • building a strong, respectful, and positive relationship with you or your loved one's caregiver is essential when in-home caregivers are in such great demand. Like all of us, caregivers want to enjoy their work and may look for a premium if they don't!

Paying for In-home Care

How you or a loved one pays for in-home care depends on your circumstances and plans, and can also vary from State to State. We discuss the various ways of paying for in-home care in this article.

Adult In-home Care from OndeCare

On-demand, in-home adult and senior care. All the ease and security of an agency with the flexibility and control of private hire.

  • Replace the work associated with finding, vetting, and coordinating schedules with caregivers.
  • Select from a short list of qualified, professional in-home caregivers that match your desired schedule and needs.
  • All OndeCare Heroes are thoroughly pre-screened, background checked and reference checked care professionals.
  • You have full control of schedule, services provided and what you pay.
  • Arrange care in under a day.
  • Get 24/7 concierge support and automated backup if needed.
  • No up-front or subscription fees. Only pay when care is fulfilled.

Ondecare is present in Northeast Ohio, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland.