Cost and Comparison 

How Much Does Home Care Cost?

There comes a time when all of us are faced with making health care choices for ourselves or a loved one. The decision will likely be based on a number of factors including health care needs, personal preferences and, of course, the cost of the options available. So, what is the cost of home care? 

There are several options for seniors and their families to consider. An RBC survey found that 91% of those surveyed said they want to stay in their home or in their neighbourhood and live independently as long as possible. They far preferred that option to moving into a retirement home, going to a long-term care facility, or moving in with family to assist with their care. 

To help make the right decision, it is important to understand what home care costs are and additional requirements associated with each option. 

    Cost of Home Care for Seniors:

    Typically, when it comes to receiving home care services, a senior will have some additional help and support. This isn’t always required, however, having family, friends or neighbours involved in the care or companionship of a senior, can drastically reduce the overall cost of home care. 

    Publicly funded home care is NOT available to Canadians on a universal basis, and in Ontario less than 10% of total health expenditures are awarded to subsidized home care services. Statistics show that an estimated 30% of Canadians cared for a family member or close friend with a serious health problem, and those family caregivers provide 80% of care at home, supplementing the government-funded service. Research also shows that the average family caregiver spends and average of 20 hours per week caring for their loved ones over a period of 4 years, while one quarter of caregivers spends 40 hours/week. 

    Private care is typically contracted once government subsidies and family members are maxed out. Based on many reports, this tipping point usually occurs at approximately 20 hours of combined help per week. A good private care agency should be able to work around subsidized hours and family schedules to fill in the holes. Just over 170,000 Ontarians purchase an additional 20 million hours of home care services annually in order to remain in their homes, proving that supplementing additional care needs through private care is a common occurrence. 

    The average client of Affinity Health spends $1696 per month on average to remain at home. Some clients spend as little as $75 per month to help with some basic needs such as housekeeping or foot care, and at the other end of the spectrum there are clients that receive 24/7 support during crisis or palliative situations. With no contracts, the service can be as flexible as you need ensuring that you maximize the service required and minimize cost wherever possible. 

    Cost Overview of Institutional Care:

    For those that choose other options, such as a retirement home or nursing home, there are many options to choose from. Here is a breakdown of Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Long-term Care costs in Ottawa (costs may vary and change). 

    Cost of Independent Living

    • Non-government regulated, client pays privately
    • Range $2075 – $4750 (average $2789)
    • $550 – $1600 for additional person
    • Meals can be available but not often included
    • No personal support
    • 24-hr staffing for emergencies
    • Social/recreation programs often available
    • Availability of or include housekeeping/linens

    Cost of Retirement Home (Assisted Living)

    • Non-government regulated, client pays privately
    • Range $1760 – $5500 (average $3204)
    • $600 – $1000 for additional person
    • Includes all meals, housekeeping, laundry
    • Personal support and assistance with activities of daily living, meds are available for purchase
    • 24-hr staffing for emergencies
    • Social/recreation programs

    NB: homes that provide care for individuals with advanced dementia average about $4584 per month. 

    Cost of Nursing Home Care (Long Term Care)

    • Government regulated, client pays the accommodation cost
    • Require CCAC assessment to determine eligibility
    • Range $1990 – $2840


    • 24-hr care is available, however it is usually minimal with an average ratio of 12:1 patients to caregivers
    • Includes all meals, housekeeping, laundry
    • Over 20,000 people on waiting lists, often waiting a 2-3 years.

    Important Considerations:



    Example of Cost Comparison between Affinity Health and a Retirement Home:

    Client requires 3 hours per day of Personal Care, help with meals, medication reminders.
    Average Price of Retirement Home in Ottawa = $3204 per month (for one person).
    Cost of hourly care = $36/hour.

    Option1 – Retirement Home:

    • Client moves to Retirement Home on one-year contract – $3204 per month
    • Assume 1 hour per day of Personal Care included – 2 hours per day are charged – 2 hours x 30 days x $36/hour = $2160 per month
    • Meals included – $0
    • No nursing visits – $0
    • Cost summary: $3500 + $2160 = $5364 per month

    Option2 – Affinity Health:

    • Client hires Affinity Health Services, remains in their own home, no contracts – $0
    • Grocery bill for one person – $350/month
    • Utilities – $400/month
    • Regular nursing visits included – $0
    • Personal/home support – 3 hours x 30 days x $36/hour = $3240 per month
    • Cost summary: $300 + $400 + $3240 = $3990 per month

      Note: the average Affinity health client spends less than $1700 per month on average but we have used $3240 for comparison purposes. This would suggest that the average Affinity Health client would likely spend less than $2400 per month. 

    Locations Served