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"How much do you charge for services?" 

It’s what everyone wants to know, and the answer will certainly weigh into your decision when choosing a home care company.  However,  shopping on price alone without a greater understanding of exactly what you will receive is not necessarily wise.  Consider asking yourself the following:  “How much does it cost to stay in a hotel room for the night?” or, “How much does it cost to go out to dinner?”  The answer of course is dependent upon a number of factors – where you’re staying, the quality of the hotel, fast food vs. fine dining, etc. - and similar variables exist in home care. 

With home care, there are three primary components that determine what a company charges:  Caregivers, Management, and Overhead.  What goes into each of these dramatically affects the underlying cost for a home care company to provide services.  Let’s explore the considerations for each:

Caregivers: All home care companies will provide a caregiver for you, but not all caregivers are the same.  As in any other industry, attracting and retaining a quality work force requires a decent wage and benefit package - and good caregivers are not minimum wage earners.  Some companies however do pay their caregivers minimum wage or just a little more, and they may  certainly charge less, however the quality of care is likely to suffer.  Lack of hands-on skills, poor cooking ability, limited English comprehension - these are just a few of the common characteristics of low-paid caregivers.   

Management:  This component consists of everything that goes into the delivery of services, including training, scheduling, customer service, and administrative functions.  Some companies pay no regard to these items at all and act more like a personnel service, simply sending a caregiver and sending a bill, without much else going on in the process.  Companies that focus on professional management tend to have more refined and organized ways of providing services, resulting in an overall better experience for clients.

Overhead:  These are a company’s expenses – taxes, insurance, marketing, printing, utilities, rent, etc.  Some companies cut corners to limit expenses; others may be a part of a larger health system with inherently higher overhead costs.  There needs to be a good balance here, with enough tools and resources available to effectively deliver services without sacrificing the quality of care.

"So knowing all of this, how much does home care cost?"

Every year, the Met Life Mature Market Institute surveys thousands of providers to determine the average cost of home care in each state.  In 2012, the average cost in California was found to be $21.00 per hour.  How close a company falls to that average is determined in large part by the factors above.  The survey can be found here.

With Colonial, our pricing depends upon a combination of two factors - the level of care required and the number of service hours on a recurring basis.  Our cost range however, is generally at or below Met Life's average for most situations.

Got a low-ball price quote?  It may be too good to be true.  You’ve no doubt been told to be wary of the contractor who significantly underbids all others.  He’s probably unlicensed, pays his workers cash under the table, carries no insurances, and generally does a shoddy job.  Well, this happens in home care too.   If you have been quoted a price for home care well under Met Life’s average, chances are you are dealing with a company that uses similar tactics to reduce its costs, such as misclassifying caregivers as independent contractors, avoiding taxes, and not purchasing essential insurances to cover clients in the case of an accident or mishap.  More on this can be found here.

Our Advice:  When comparing home care providers, do not strictly shop on price, but get a clear understanding of what exactly you will receive for what you pay.  Home care is a very personal service, not a commodity.  Call or contact us today and we’ll discuss your individual home care needs, and help tailor a package that fits your budget.  You will find that our rates are not only competitive, but that we offer a level of service and additional value unparalleled by others. 


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North Orange County
Headquarters And Training Center

326 W. Katella Ave., Suite F
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 289-7220


South Orange County
27281 Las Ramblas, Suite 200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(949) 426-2180

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