Home Care in California

Senior home care is a wide range option for individuals who need care a few times a week or even those who require 24-hour medical care. The intention is to keep seniors in their homes and allow them to remain as independent as possible. There are about 3,049 home care agencies in California with an average monthly cost of around $4,385.


Find Senior Caring Options by County

Home Care in California - Cost Comparison

California home care allows you or your loved one to receive care in a familiar setting tailored to one’s individual needs. Licensed medical professionals or non-medical paraprofessionals are the main classifications of caregivers in the home health care field, with many overlapping roles and duties. Generally speaking, nurses, physician’s assistants, physical and occupational therapists among others are able to administer medical attention and services. Health aides, personal care attendants, homemakers, or companions provide more general caregiving services like hygiene assistance, general shopping, medication management, and transportation. Location, license type, and the amount of time required of your caregiver will affect the price of home care. 

There are a number of cities throughout California that have senior home care agencies but the median monthly costs range from:

  • Highest cost: San Francisco $5,339
  • Lowest cost: Visalia Area $3,760

CityHomemaker Services Monthly CostsHome Health Aide Monthly Costs
Los Angeles$4,315$4,290
Orange County$4,052$4,052
San Francisco$5,720$5,720
San Diego$4,481$4,576
Santa Cruz$4,290$4,290

Recreation & Attractions in California

There are many things to see in California such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Sea World, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and more exciting attractions throughout the state. Depending on your location, a trip to the National Sequoia Forest to see massive, ancient trees can also be a wonderfully serene experience. Besides these attractions, there are also other activities to fill your time: walking in the park, going to the beach, and bus trips to take you sightseeing. Depending on your mobility, you may want to consider joining a senior center for plenty of fitness programs and community activities. 

California's Climate, Geography & Cultures

Because California is such a large state, the climate is very diverse. In northern California, along the coast is always windy with large waves, but inland the summer reaches around 85 degrees and the winters can be expected to be 54 degrees. The San Francisco Bay Area has surprisingly cool summer days because of the fog - dropping the temperature into the 50s. The winters are typically rainy with temperatures in the range of 30 or 40 degrees. The Central Valley is known to be sunny. The northern area gets significant winter precipitation, while the rest is desert like with summer temperatures commonly exceeding 100 degrees and winter temperatures never really falling below 60 degrees.

Southern California’s weather is almost the same all year round. There is minimal rain with summers regularly being above 90 degrees and winters in the 60s. Lightweight clothing is recommended during the says with an option for a warmer layer for evenings and during the cooler months.

California’s culture helps to shape the culture of the rest of the United States with its creativity seen through Hollywood and then also wine, food, and technology. In essence, the culture is very laid back and progressive with residents feeling a keen sense of statewide independence. Between the performing arts, bands, style, the friendly residents and nice weather, California is a great place to spend time however you please!

Crime & Safety in California

Sperling’s Best Places ranked California 46 on a scale of 100 (1 being the lowest crime) for violent crime and 41 for property crime; the United States overall ranked 41 for violent crime and 44 for property crime. California has many well-known organizations focused on preventing crime and protecting their citizens.  Some of the groups are California Crime Prevention Officers’ Association and Crime Prevention Program, both focused on preventing crime, delivering information to citizens, and offering services to protect or inform people.

Here are some of the safest cities found throughout California:

LocationViolent Crimes Per 1,000 ResidentsProperty Crimes Per 1,000 Residents
Rancho Santa Margarita0.544.10
Aliso Viejo0.695.39
Laguna Woods0.367.16

(source: safewise.com)

California's Home Care Regulations & Laws

As determined by federal legislation (42 CFR 484.36), each Medicare-certified home health agency may only employ home care professionals who meet the state-approved training program requirements. These regulations ensure that each medical professional or non-medical paraprofessional has received a federal minimum of 75 hours of training, including 16 hours of supervised practical training and an additional 12 hours of training every following year. 

Payment Options for California Home Care

It is possible through several methods to pay for home care in California. Based on your financial situation and individual needs, some payment options will be more sound decisions than others. 

Firstly, Medicare does not pay for non-medical in-home care services. Mostly, it is used for its Supplemental Insurances to cover Medicare copayments and deductibles. In order to qualify for Medicare coverage for in-home care, it must be deemed medically necessary. 

U.S. veterans can receive assistance for home care by using the Improved Pension or Homebound and Aid & Attendance Pension. To apply for these benefits, contact your local Veteran’s Association or Area Agency on Aging for more details and eligibility requirements. 

Most seniors will choose to pay privately to avoid the hassle of maintaining insurances and other qualifications. Besides using one’s own savings to pay for care, others may choose to pay through a reverse mortgage, by opening a home equity line of credit or by converting their life insurance policies. If you had purchased long-term care insurance earlier in life, this option is also very viable. 

Medicaid is another joint federal and state insurance program available to seniors and their families with low income. The rules, eligibility requirements, and benefits of Medicaid are state-specific and will vary based on your location. This program refers to care received outside of a nursing home as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).

Senior & Elderly Rights for Home Care in California

As a senior receiving home care from a Medicare-approved home health agency, you retain various guaranteed rights and protections. When you start with your care, it is required that the home health agency’s caretaker must provide you with a written copy of your rights. Firstly, you are entitled to choose your own home health agency, although if you are on a managed care plan your choices may be fewer. Caretakers are to treat you and your personal property with respect at all times, minding your preferences for privacy when necessary. You are also encouraged to make decisions about the services medical or non-medical you are to receive. 

If there comes a point when you are unable to make decisions regarding your own medical care, you have the right to entrust this responsibility to a family member or legal guardian. Remember, you also retain your Constitutional rights and those afforded to you by the Bill of Rights as a citizen of the United States. If you believe that you have experienced a violation of your rights, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer familiar with elder law or have someone advocate for you. 

California Home Care: Medical Record Rules & Regulations

It is a common misconception that this information cannot be released to you due to privacy laws, however, this is simply not true. While receiving home care or any other medical service in California, your rights to obtain written or digital copies of your medical records is possible via written request. While some cases warrant the denial releasing your information, your healthcare provider must respect your requests and respond within 30 days, or as many as 60 days later including a statement addressing the delay. 

Details of your mental and physical health are included in your protected health information which includes medical records, billing records, claims adjudication records, and other private documents. By reviewing your information you’ll always be able to make any corrections needed with the supervision of your healthcare provider and ensure the overall accuracy of these records. 

Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.