Page Reviewed / Updated - May 22, 2019
This guide provides information on the different types of senior care available in Durham, including how the cost of assisted living, home health care, adult day health care and nursing home care compares to those of neighboring cities. It also provides an overview of the financial assistance options available, particularly to low-income seniors, and community resources that are available to older residents. To learn more about senior care in the state as a whole, review our North Carolina guide.
The cost of senior care in Durham is relatively pricey, with most types of care costing more here than in the state as a whole. According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the cost of nursing home care in Durham is about $275 higher than the state average, and adult day health care costs about $330 more than the state average. Home care accounts for the most significant difference in price, with average monthly services costing $620 more in Durham than in the state as a whole. Assisted living is relatively affordable here, however, with average monthly costs in Durham coming in nearly $550 below the state average.
Compared to the national average, senior care in Durham is fairly affordable. Assisted living in Durham costs about $850 below the national average of $4,000 per month, and nursing home care in this city is about $200 less than the national average of $7,441 per month. Adult day health care in this city is roughly on par with the national median cost of $1,560. Home care in Durham is more costly than in the nation as a whole, with average costs coming in about $140 higher than the national median of $4,004 per month.
The cost of assisted living in Durham is below the median of the major cities surveyed, with average monthly costs coming in at $3,150. More affordable care may be found in Fayetteville, Burlington and Rocky Mount, where average monthly costs range between $2,750 and $3,100. Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston are pricier cities for this level of care, with the cost of care ranging between $3,803 and $5,750.
Of the cities surveyed, Durham is the most costly for home care services. On average, homemaker services cost $4,147 per month or $21.75 per hour, versus the statewide average of $3,527 per month or $18.50 per hour. The most affordable care is found about 80 miles away in Rocky Mount, where the average monthly cost for homemaker services is $3,214. In Raleigh, which is just 20 miles away, this type of care costs a little less than $3,800 per month.
Durham is an expensive city for adult day care. In fact, of the major cities surveyed, Durham was the priciest city for this type of senior care, with the average monthly cost coming in a little over $1,500. The closest city with more affordable care is Raleigh, which is about 20 miles away at $1,192 per month. The most affordable city for this type of care is Fayetteville, 90 miles away, where, the average monthly cost for adult day health care is well below $900.
While nursing home care in Durham costs almost $300 more than the statewide average, it is near the median cost of the cities surveyed. The most expensive city for this level of care is Greensboro, where seniors and families pay about $700 more. The cheapest city for nursing home care is Fayetteville, which is about 90 miles away. Nursing home costs in this city are well over $1,000 lower per month than in Durham.
Low-income seniors in Durham may receive free or low-cost health insurance through the state’s Medicaid plan. While Medicaid used to only provide financial assistance for seniors residing in nursing homes, the program has expanded to also cover services provided in residential care settings, including assisted living facilities and adult foster care homes. The Personal Care Services Program, which is part of the state Medicaid program, covers care services received by those who need assistance with the activities of daily living.
To qualify for Medicaid, Durham seniors must be U.S. citizens and permanent residents of North Carolina, and they must meet income and asset guidelines. As of 2019, single applicants could have a monthly income of up to $1,041 and up to $2,000 in countable assets. If both spouses are applying for Medicaid coverage, the income limit is $1,409 per month, and the countable asset limit is $3,000. The applicant’s home, personal belongings, pre-paid funeral arrangements and one vehicle are excluded from the asset total.
Those whose income and assets are outside of Medicaid’s eligibility requirements may still qualify for Medicaid. The Medically Needy Pathway, also called the spend-down program, allows those whose income is over the limit to put their excess income toward medical expenses. Once they’ve spent down their income to Medicaid’s income limit, the program covers the rest of their medical bills. Those whose income and assets are both over Medicaid’s limits may receive services through Medicaid planning. The state Medicaid plan, including the Personal Care Services Plan, is an entitlement, which means that all who are eligible for the program are guaranteed to receive covered services. Seniors may contact their local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.
Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults
The Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults is a Medicaid waiver program that provides services to adults over the age of 18 who are at risk of being placed in an institutional setting. Some services covered by this program include adult day health care, personal aide services, meal preparation and delivery and respite services.
Medicaid's income and asset eligibility limits apply to this waiver program.
Unlike regular Medicaid, CAP/DA has an enrollment limit, and eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list until services become available to them. To learn the full scope of the services covered, visit our CAP/DA guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.
Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty
The Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty program is a state-funded program for caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Some services covered by this program include respite care, caregiver education and caregiver assessments.
To be eligible for Project C.A.R.E., the one receiving care must have been diagnosed by a doctor to have Alzheimer's or dementia. There are no age requirements and no income requirements, though those with low income may be given priority.
This program has limited funding, and eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list. For more information about Project C.A.R.E, caregivers may visit our guide or contact the Duke Family Support Program at (919) 660-7510 or (800) 646-2028.
Special Assistance In-Home Program for Adults
The Special Assistance In-Home Program for Adults program provides a cash supplement to low-income individuals who are at risk of being placed in a residential care setting. Applicants undergo an assessment that evaluates their functional ability, their ability to obtain care and support from loved ones and formal service providers and their ability to pay for housing.
To be eligible for this program, applicants must be U.S. citizens, residents of North Carolina and at least 65 years of age. They must need adult home level care as verified by their doctor but wish to remain in their home. Additionally, while this program is not part of Medicaid, applicants must meet Medicaid's income and asset eligibility requirements.
Funding for this program is limited, and eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list. Seniors may find more information on SA/IH in our guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.
Special Assistance Program
The Special Assistance Program provides a cash supplement for low-income seniors, which may be used toward the cost of care in a residential setting. Those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia who reside in a special care unit in a licensed adult care home may receive a different rate of assistance through this program.
To be eligible for this program, applicants must be 65 or older and reside in a facility that is approved to receive funds from this program, and the facility must agree to accept the state rate for special assistance residents.
Eligible applicants are not guaranteed to receive services and may be placed on a waiting list until services are available to them. To learn more about this program, review our guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.
In-Home Aide Services
The In-Home Aide Services program provides support for those who need assistance with the activities of daily living. Some services provided by this program include personal care services like bathing and dressing and home management services like cleaning and cooking. Services are provided by an in-home aide from a licensed home care provider.
To qualify, applicants must be at least 60 years of age, live in their own home and require assistance with essential activities of daily living. There are no income or asset limits for this program. Because this program has limited funding, an applicant's eligibility does not guarantee that they will receive services. Find out more information regarding this program in our guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.
|Maplewood Square||(919) 402-1684||Maplewood Square manages 32 one- and two-bedroom affordable and energy efficient apartments for seniors in Durham. Occupancy is restricted to adults age 55 and over whose income is less than 60 percent of the median area income.|
|Durham County Tax Administration||(919) 560-0300||Durham County Tax Administration provides two property tax relief programs for seniors, including the Elderly/Disabled Homestead Exemption and the Circuit Breaker Elderly/Disabled Deferment Program.|
|Emergency Energy Funds||(919) 560-8000||The Durham County Department of Social Services Emergency Energy Funds provides financial assistance with past-due energy bills for low-income residents of Durham. Seniors may also receive kerosene vouchers through this program.|
|Durham Hosiery Mills||(919) 682-4866||Durham Hosiery Mills, which is located in a historic mill complex that was built in 1898, provides 151 apartment homes for low-income seniors age 62 and over.|
|Morehead Hills Apartments||(919) 683-2713||Morehead Hills Apartments is comprised of 75 one- and two-bedroom units for low-income seniors age 62 and over. Rent is based on income and includes utilities.|
|JFK Towers||(919) 477-9813||JFK Towers provides affordable housing for seniors age 62 and up. Residents' rent is based on income, and the rent amount includes a utility allowance.|