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AARP Expert

10 Tips on the Financial Matters of Caregiving - TIP #7: Use Home- and Community-Based Services

One of the most difficult tasks for caregivers is to find the money to pay for care. It's often like a puzzle with many pieces coming together to finance the overall care. 


If you're caregiving for someone at home (in their own home or your home), there are services and supports available through the aging network and other organizations which bring care and help to your loved ones at home or are offered in the local community. These services are called "Home- and Community-Based" services. The services are often available at no cost or at a reduced cost, or on a sliding-fee-scale (the cost is based on the recipient's ability to pay). Some services are based on income (for example if they are provided through Medicaid), but many are not income-based and are available to any older adult or person with a disability. 


Home- and community-based services may include:

  • Senior centers
  • Adult daycares
  • Congregate meal sites
  • Home-delivered meal programs
  • Personal care from a care aide, home health aide, certified caregiver or other qualified professional (dressing, bathing, toileting, eating, transferring to or from a bed or chair, etc.)
  • Transportation
  • Home repairs and modifications
  • Home safety assessments
  • Homemaker and chore services
  • Information and referral services
  • Financial services
  • Legal services, such as help preparing a will
  • Telephone reassurance
  • Caregiver support programs

To find out if any of these services are available, contact the local area agency on aging by going to the Eldercare Locator website or calling 1-800-677-1116. Explain your loved ones' situation and ask if there are any services or programs that might be helpful. Available programs vary from state to state and county to county, so it's a good idea to talk to someone in your loved ones' local area. 


You can also check the Community Resource Finder to look for local services and supports. 


Check out the AARP State Caregiver Resource Guides for your loved ones' state to learn more and to find out about any special programs available in your state. 


These services may cost less than if you are paying someone individually to provide them, and they may also free up some of your time so you can work. They may not solve all of the costs of caregiving, but home- and community-based services can be pieces of the puzzle that help you stay afloat. 


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving


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