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What You Need to Know About Home Care in Seattle

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October 07, 2016

What You Need to Know About Home Care in Seattle

Home care in Seattle, by the numbers:

Seattle is one of the largest urban centers by population on the West Coast of the United States. As of a 2015 estimate by the census bureau, there are 684,451 people living in the city. Of those, an estimated 10.8% are over the age of 65. This means that there are around 74,000 residents in Seattle past retirement age, and this figure is expected to grow by nearly 140 people per day. While not known as a metropolis for the aged, Seattle is, by the numbers, one of the largest communities of retirees in the Pacific Northwest. Home care in Seattle is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years.

Seattle is slightly more affluent than many other cities in the nation, such as New York. The median household income is estimated to be $67,365 per year. Census records indicate that more than 14% of Seattle residents live in poverty, which means that many of the city’s retirees may not have the income or wealth to be able to afford moving to a retirement home. Thus, home care has become a viable option for those seeking care services.

What you need to know about the home care industry in Seattle:

In Seattle, there is a state-mandated licensing requirement for all home care companies. The state does not, however, differentiate between home care providers and home health providers. In some states, the difference between the two types of agency is the level of certifications they require and the services they offer. Home health agencies offer medical-related care services at home that are administered by a healthcare worker, such as a visiting nurse. Home care services agencies offer non-medical services, such as helping those with limited mobility, cooking, cleaning, bathing, among many other services. In Washington, the two types of agency fall broadly under the umbrella of In-Home-Care Agencies.

There are an estimated 15 home care agencies in Seattle, equating roughly to five thousand seniors to every one agency. It is by no means a saturated market. Therefore, those seeking home care in Seattle should be aware that some agencies may be at full capacity.

Another special consideration in Seattle are the requirements for licensing that the state mandates. While it may appear to be a good idea to use a website that helps you find an independent contractor for less than what it costs to hire an agency, know that these workers are unlicensed and often poorly trained. Because the state mandates certain requirements of agencies, these tend to be more trustworthy and offer a higher standard of care.

What is the cost of home care in Seattle?

Agency pricing will vary widely depending on the types of services they offer. A home health agency, for example, will charge more than a home care services agency. It is also important to remember that cost of living in certain parts of the city may affect pricing for those areas. On average, however, the cost of home care is around one tenth the cost of moving into a dedicated facility.