The hourly rate for caregivers varies by state, depending on the level of care required and their experience, among other factors. For instance, in California, caregivers cost between $17 and $26 per hour. In Colorado, caregivers earn on average between $16 and $23 per hour.
The national average monthly cost for a live-in caregiver is about $4,000. This number is vastly different at assisted living facilities versus skilled nursing facilities. For example, the median monthly cost for care at an assisted living facility is approximately $4,300; for a private room at a nursing home, it is nearly $9,000.
Pro Tip: If you’re considering a nursing home, be sure to read my guide on nursing home costs to learn about how to afford this type of care.
Types of In-Home Care
In-home caregivers help aging seniors with activities of daily living ranging from transportation and bathing to medication management. Because of this, there are many different types of in-home care. A custodial caregiver can perform routine tasks in the home, such as cleaning and cooking, whereas more complex tasks may require a professional.
If you’re looking for more comprehensive services, home health care, which is provided by registered nurses and other health personnel, is a smart choice. The services offered include everything from physical therapy treatments to helping patients with specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Some caregivers may have very little caregiving experience, while others may be registered nurses. For instance, if you are a caregiver, you can take a course in basic caregiving. Other training includes home health aide training and dementia care certification.
If you’re looking for in-home care assistance, you can contact in-home care agencies, get recommendations from health care providers, or hire independent caregivers. If you use an in-home care agency, they’ll present you with licensed health care professionals and caregivers.
Live-in caregivers usually reside at the home of the individual they take care of. Contrary to popular belief, live-in caregivers do not provide 24-hour assistance. Usually, room and board is provided to the caregiver. One of the pros of having a live-in caregiver is not having to adjust to multiple caregivers or isolation. Additionally, working with a live-in caregiver gives a senior or aging patient the chance to bond and build a strong relationship with them.
However, hiring a live-in caregiver can be just as costly as other options, such as assisted living and nursing homes. Many live-in caregivers are paid about $24 per hour, which is approximately $150 to $300 a day for 6-12 hours of care. And, according to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary of a live-in caregiver is $35,713 annually. When compared to independent living communities, which can cost between $1,500 and $6,000 per month, this arrangement can often be just as costly.
FYI: Caregiving is a rewarding but challenging job. Show the caregiver in your life how much you appreciate them with my list of caregiver gift ideas.
How to Find an In-Home Caregiver
If you’re looking for an in-home caregiver, contact a certified home care agency in your area. Alternatively, you can find certified in-home caregivers through referrals and word of mouth. If you decide to use an agency, the cost might be higher, but at least you’ll have peace of mind with agencies that thoroughly screen and conduct background checks on caregivers.
They’ll also handle all the paperwork related to taxes and payroll. However, if you want to hire an independent in-home caregiver, you will have to do your own research. You might also want to speak with a tax professional since you will be employing the caregiver. Luckily, there is a lot of information online to help you find a qualified in-home caregiver who can provide respite and long-term assistance.
Take advantage of your own social network. Chances are, someone you know may be able to recommend a trusted in-home caregiver. To learn how to find the right home care professional, you can read my guide on How to Hire the Right Home Health Aide.
How Much Should You Pay a Caregiver?
When determining how much you should pay a caregiver, it’s important to consider the type and length of care required. Additionally, you’ll want to check the average pay rate for caregivers in your area, as certain markets dictate higher rates.
Also, since you will be employing a personal caregiver, it may be a good idea to consult with a tax professional to figure out the details. The level of care also varies, so you must decide whether you need a health aide on a more consistent basis or if you need a short-term caregiver who can provide assistance with daily living activities, run errands, and help with transportation and other needs.
When hiring caregivers or health aids, find out if they have any degrees, certifications, or specialized training that might increase their hourly rate. As always, be transparent with your caregiver regarding income and other benefits.
Maintaining good communication with your caregiver and understanding their needs will help foster a healthy and positive relationship. This involves being honest and supportive about any changes, issues, or schedule modifications regarding your loved one. You should get to know your caregiver on a personal level and learn about their hobbies and interests. This will help them feel included and appreciated.
After all, caregivers play an important role in your life on a daily basis. To retain them long-term, make sure your caregiver isn’t overwhelmed and understands their duties. Check in with them regularly to review tasks and address any concerns they may have. For instance, be transparent about pay and ask if they need respite care or any other resources to help them navigate their caregiving journey.
On average, caregivers earn between $11 and $18 per hour, though this varies from state to state. In general, the median hourly rate for caregiving is $16, depending on the level of care and certifications and training.
According to Salary.com, certified caregivers typically earn between $31,368 and $40,969 per year.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here