Most Americans want to remain in their homes throughout retirement or if they have a disability, but the cost of home health care can varies widely between metropolitan areas of the United States. Higher costs can reduce the likelihood that seniors can age in place or that those who are disabled can remain in their homes.
Wallethub, an online financial tool company for consumers, looked at the top 150 populated U.S. cities to determine where in-home care services cost the least and the most.
Cities with the lowest annual cost of in-home services:
1. Brownsville, Texas
2. Shreveport, Louisiana
T-3. Montgomery, Alabama
T-3. Fayetteville, North Carolina
5. El Paso, Texas
Cities with the highest annual cost of in-home services:
T-146. Seattle, Washington
T-146. Tacoma, Washington
T-148. San Francisco, California
T-148. Oakland, California
T-148. Fremont, California
The cost of in-home services was twice as much in the highest cities as the lowest cities, according to Wallethub.
Experts agreed that while not everyone will choose to live somewhere based on the cost of home health care, these measures are important to think about, as it could free up resources for other expenses.
“You have a right to live comfortably and inclusively in your community and you should make choices based on that expectation,” says Megan Conway, assistant professor of education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “But at the same time, you sometimes have to put certain considerations above other in order to ensure your own quality of life. This comes into play when you are deciding where to live, how to spend your resources and what kind of job to look for.”
Best and Worst Cities for Disabilities
Using the cost of home health are as one of 21 metrics, Wallethub also compiled the best and worst cities for those living with disabilities, measuring the number of physicians per capita, park accessibility and more.
Nearly one in five Americans lives with a disability, according to data from the Census Bureau, and older adults are much more likely to live with a disability than younger generations.
Here are the best and worst 150 cities for people with disabilities, as ranked by WalletHub:
Top 10 best cities:
1. Overland Park, Kansas
2. Scottsdale, Arizona
3. Peoria, Arizona
4. Tampa, Florida
5. St. Petersburg, Florida
6. Huntington Beach, California
7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
8. Gilbert, Arizona
9. Honolulu, Hawaii
10. Santa Clarita, California
Experts noted policies that would make it easier for people with disabilities to get around their areas or get to work would also benefit the community at large and improve a community’s ranking.
“The policies that would facilitate travel and free movement of people with disabilities would also benefit all members of the community,” Kenzie Elizabeth Latham, assistant professor of sociology at the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, told WalletHub.
This notion is something that many architects and designers agree with and have remarked as a major consideration for baby boomers who plan to age in place.
Written by Amy Baxter