6 – Household help

Fact sheet no. 6

Many people need help with shopping, cooking or with cleaning living spaces.

On request, the medical insurance company will cover the costs for household help due to serious illness, particularly after a hospital stay. (See information sheet no. 1 Home care).

People who receive cash benefits from the nursing care insurance fund can use this for household help they themselves have arranged.
If care benefits or a combination of benefits are claimed, household help can be provided by outpatient care services (see information sheet nr. 2 Criteria for long-term care).

Household help must be paid for privately if there is no entitlement to household help from a medical or nursing care insurance. If the private income is insufficient to pay for household help, financial support from social services is available. (See information sheet no. 37 Assistance for nursing care)

There are several options available for household help:

Help with shopping

  • use of a shopping trolley
  • support by the municipal mobility assistance services (see information sheet no. 20 Mobility assistance)
  • special offers or cooperation with housing cooperatives or associations
  • various service providers, some offering car services

Delivery service

  • larger supermarkets and beverage shops, some only accept online orders
  • delivery of medication by the pharmacy
  • various service providers

There is generally a minimum order amount for home delivery at a small extra charge.


Community lunch

Inexpensive lunch can generally be found within the community. There are many offers, especially for the elderly, e.g. from

  • nursing homes
  • city centres, neighbourhood volunteers, senior centres
  • public administration canteens, company canteens
  • snack bars and restaurants
  • butcher shops

Meals on wheels

Through meals on wheels programs, hot or frozen meals are available for daily or weekly home delivery. Many service providers offer meals that cater to different health choices, e.g. whole foods, bland foods, as well as various dietary restrictions (e.g. for diabetics or pureed foods).
There are price differences between the various providers, so a price comparison is recommended. The service providers also have food warmers, freezers and microwaves available for lease at a small fee.

In the case of low income, financial support can be applied for at your local social welfare office. This depends on the amount of your income and assets.

Delivery service of lunch / dinner is also available from:

  • canteens – caterers
  • butchers, delivery area is generally limited
  • snack bars and restaurants

Weekly cleaning

There are many services providers that will clean homes and windows or take care of other household duties. The employees of these services are covered by social insurance. Some housing cooperatives or associations have their own low-cost offers or can recommend partner companies.

Anyone who employs private help should keep in mind that social insurance is required even in the case of marginal employment. Registration can be made with the medical insurance company of the person you have hired for household help.
Further information can be obtained from the mini-job centre at:
Tel. 0355 2902-70799 Monday to Friday, 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.