Page Reviewed / Updated – Oct. 23, 2020


This page is designed to help Delaware residents understand assisted living, home care, and adult day care costs in their state. It investigates payment options throughout the state, and provides insight into programs that offer assistance with financing for residential or facility care.

The best method of searching for the most appropriate assistance for your situation is to use our Resource Locator Tool. By answering a few questions, it will search for a comprehensive set of programs available at the national level. These program options will complement what is available here at the state-specific level.

Delaware Elder Care Costs for 2020

Cost of Care Calculator

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Assisted Living / Memory Care

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019, the average cost of assisted living in Delaware in 2020 is $6,035 / month. However, in the Dover area, the average cost of assisted living is slightly higher at approximately $6,180 / month. Alzheimer’s or Memory Care (in assisted living, not nursing homes) costs 20% to 30% more than regular assisted living. This means this type of care costs approximately $1,508 more per month.

Home Care

In 2020, per the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average hourly rate for home care in Delaware is $24.50. In Dover, the hourly cost is slightly higher than the statewide average hourly rate at $25.00. Home health care (as opposed to non-medical home care) costs roughly the same each hour.

Adult Day Care

Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019 indicates that adult day care, in 2020, costs Delaware residents $83 / day, on average. However, the average daily rate in the Dover area is much lower at $60.

Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Assistance Programs for the Elderly

Medicaid in the state of Delaware will pay for nursing home care for low-income elderly and frail individuals, as well as limited personal care in the home. As of July 2014, Delaware has foregone the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (Elderly and Disabled) Waiver system in favor of a statewide, managed long term care Medicaid program. 

This program is called the Diamond State Health Plan Plus (DSHP-Plus). Despite being a managed care model, the program continues to allow for consumer direction of certain services, such as attendant care, and covers some medical and personal care services in assisted living facilities and adult foster care. Via DSHP-Plus, seniors receive a number of benefits, such as adult day care, personal care, home modifications, personal emergency response systems, and hospice care. Nursing home care is also available via DSHP-Plus.  Find out more here.

The state of Delaware requires that in order to qualify for Medicaid as a disabled or elderly person, one must be a resident at least 65 years of age, or under 65, but disabled. As of 2020, the income limits are set at $1,957.50 for single persons, and $2,937.50 for married couples in which both spouses are applying for services. (The income limits are set at 250% of the current Social Security Income / Federal Benefit Rate standard). For married applicants who have non-applicant spouses, up to $3,216 / month in income can be transferred to their non-applicant spouses. This is called a monthly maintenance needs allowance and is intended to prevent non-applicant spouses from having too little income from which to live. 

Assets for a single individual cannot exceed $2,000, and assets for married couples with both spouses as applicants are limited to $3,000. Some assets are considered exempt, such as the home in which the elderly person resides (up to a home equity interest of $595,000), household items, personal belongings, and a single vehicle. Married couples with a single applicant have different limits. As of 2020, non-applicant spouses can retain up to $128,640 in assets. This rule is also in effect to prevent non-applicant spouses from becoming impoverished and is known as the community spouse resource allowance. 

State (Non-Medicaid) Assistance Programs

The state of Delaware offers two non-Medicaid assistance programs, all of which provide financial assistance to keep the disabled and elderly residents from having to leave their homes and to move into more costly skilled nursing facilities. Click on the programs below to get more information on specific benefits and eligibility guidelines.

1) Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Day Treatment Programs – via these programs, seniors are supervised during daytime hours, while also receiving non-medical care. Medical care is also provided via the Alzheimer’s Day Treatment Program. These programs are open to both non-Medicaid and Medicaid recipients.

2) Delaware Assistance for Caregivers Program, previously called the Caregiver Assistance, Respite, Education (CARE) Delaware Program is intended to support caregivers by offering respite care, support groups, and skills training.

Other Financial Options for Care

There are additional financial options for care aside from the programs available from the state. The Resource Locator Tool can help to locate different federal and non-profit options available to Delaware residents. If those seeking assistance are elderly veterans, there are also programs available to help them, as well as tax credits, loan options, and home modification assistance. Search here at no charge to find the most suitable program based on your circumstances. 

Finding Affordable Care in Delaware

Our organization provides free services to help families with the process of matching specific care needs with providers in the right price range and in the desired geographic location. In a small state like Delaware that does not have much price variability throughout the state, it is important for families to consider care in neighboring states (should they be considering assisted living as an option). Our partnered service also allows families to check care costs at multiple locations in multiple states. Get started here.

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

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Top Cities for Senior Care in Delaware

For more information about the costs and resources available in Delaware cities, click on the links below.

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

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  • Search over 400 Programs