Finding Home Care in Iowa

Senior home care in Iowa is designed to provide comprehensive care ranging from light housework and companionship to 24-hour medical attention. Ideally, home care allows seniors to remain independent while living in a familiar environment and carrying out their routines as normal. There are about 459 home health care agencies in Iowa with an average monthly cost around $4,385.

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Home Care in Iowa - Cost Comparison

Finding home care in Iowa will vary from each city to the next depending on what services you need from a caregiver, including the degree of medical attention required. Home care services can provide you or your loved one assistance with the activities of daily life, or more involved medical care depending on the licensing of the medical professional or non-medical paraprofessional of your choice. Since these roles and license types can overlap in their duties, it’s important to have a clear understanding of one’s individual needs in order to make the best decision. 

There are a number of cities throughout Iowa that have senior home care agencies but the median monthly cost ranges from:

  • Highest Cost: Des Moines Area $4,767
  • Lowest Cost: Davenport Area $3,647

CityHomemaker Services Monthly CostsHome Health Aides Monthly Costs
Cedar Rapids$3,766$4,385
Des Moines$4,671$4,528
Iowa City$4,004$4,004
Sioux City$3,813$4,004

Recreation & Attractions in Iowa

With so many wonderful attractions to choose from it's hard to know where to start! Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the the Grotto of Redemption, Englert Theatre, the Maquoketa Caves State Park, and so much more. The Iowa State Fair is also one of the largest state fairs in the country, lasting a total of 11 days and displaying prized farm animals, agricultural marvels, and plenty of food!

Even if you're not as mobile as before, Iowa contains numerous options for seniors to do and see. There are senior centers throughout the state that provide senior-oriented activities such as technology classes, exercise classes, games, and help with taxes. Specialized senior trips are also available to places such as the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, or the Field of Dreams.

Iowa's Climate, Geography & Culture

The climate in Iowa supports four seasons with the average summer high temperature being 86 degrees and the average winter low being 10 degrees. The fall and spring are often unpredictable, displaying varying degrees of precipitation. Typically there are 200 sunny days throughout the year and approximately 90 of measurable precipitation. Iowa receives an average of 30 inches of snow per year. 

Iowa's culture is largely centered around its strong agricultural background and political life. The state holds the Iowa caucuses which have become instrumental to the bipartisan presidential election cycle. Generally speaking, Iowa is a mostly rural state made up of friendly Midwesterners who have made lives for themselves through farming and hard work in many industries. 

Crime & Safety in Iowa

According to Sperling’s Best Places, on a scale of 1 to 100 for violent crime, Iowa ranks a 40 for property crime and 37 for violent crime. The averages for the United States is 41.4 for violent crime and 44 for property crime. To make home care as effective as it can be, it can be useful to know which areas are safer than others. Here are a few of the places in Iowa with low crime rates:

LocationViolent Crimes Per 1,000 ResidentsProperty Crimes Per 1,000 Residents
Orange City0.166.12


Iowa's Home Care Regulations & Laws

Medicare-certified home health agencies in Iowa are required by federal legislation (42 CFR 484.36) to only employ health aides who are trained and evaluated by programs approved by their respective states. A total of 34 states and the District of Columbia require the minimum federal standard of 75 hours of training, along with 16 hours of supervised practical or clinical training and 12 hours of additional education every 12 month period. These regulations provide the subject areas and required skills, as well as the qualifications for trainers approved to administer the competency evaluation process.

Payment Options for Iowa Home Care

Paying for home care in Iowa can be achieved in several ways, each based on what fits your unique situation and care needs. 

First off, seniors may look to Medicare to receive coverage for their copayment and deductibles for medical home care through the Medicare Supplemental Insurances program. However, keep in mind that Medicare does not cover non-medical home care whatsoever. If this is an issue, it may be necessary to look to the other remaining methods of payment. 

Next, U.S. veterans can receive assistance for home care through benefits like the Improved Pension or Homebound and Aid & Attendance Pension. To apply you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging.

Most of the time, seniors will choose to pay for their home care privately using their own savings, assets, or pensions. If these options are unavailable to you, it may be reasonable to consider paying through a reverse mortgage, by opening a home equity line of credit, or by converting your life insurance policy to cash. 

Finally, Medicaid is an insurance program for low-income seniors and their families that can be used to pay for non-medical home care, home health care, and other home support programs. Since Medicaid rules are state-specific, your eligibility and benefits will change based on location. Care received outside of a nursing home is generally referred to as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).  

Senior & Elderly Rights for Home Care in Iowa

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. 

Although there may be the possibility that you will lack the ability to make reasonable or informed decisions about your home health care, you can appoint a family member or legal guardian to act on your behalf. Remember, you still retain your rights as a United States citizen as afforded to you by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In the case of these rights are violated, contact an elder law professional to help you and your family understand the proper legal actions to take. 

Iowa Home Care: Medical Record Rules & Regulations

As a senior receiving home care in Iowa, you have the right to obtain copies of your medical records by submitting a request to your healthcare provider. Although health care workers may mistakenly argue that these records cannot be released due to privacy laws, this is a common misconception. You are not required to provide a reason as to why you are making this request, although it is likely you’ll be charged a fee to receive your records. 

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. Receiving these records can take up to 30 days, or as long 60 days if your healthcare provider utilizes their single extension period. If this limit is exceeded, you must be provided with a written statement as to why the delay occurred.

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.