With your help, your loved ones are able to stay at home due to your generous care. You may not expect to be paid, but now you can…with a program that recognizes the value of what you do.
In 2013, the State of Connecticut expanded the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) and the Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Waiver to include a new service, Adult Family Living (AFL).
What is this program?
AFL pays for “personal care and supportive services that are furnished CHCPE and PCA participants who reside in a private home by a principal caregiver who lives in the home,” according to the Department of Social Services (DSS).
The most common scenario is a family caregiver caring for a loved one, but the program is not exclusively for people who are related to each other. Spouses cannot be caregivers under this program.
What type of care is covered?
There are four levels of service, depending on the care recipients’ need:
- Level 1: Individuals who require cueing or supervision to perform Activities of Daily Living, and who may also require management of cognitive or behavioral challenges.
- Level 2: Individuals who require hands-on assistance with two or more Activities of Daily Living on a daily basis.
- Level 3: Individuals who require hands-on assistance to perform three or more Activities of Daily Living or two Activities of Daily Living and assistance for the management of co-occurring challenging behaviors or cognitive deficits.
- Level 4: Individuals who require hands-on assistance to perform four or more Activities of Daily Living or three Activities of Daily Living and assistance for the management of challenging co-occurring behaviors or cognitive deficits.
The principal caregiver is responsible for ensuring that the health and safety needs of the individual are met around-the-clock care.
What if you need a break?
An alternate caregiver, who could be another family member or a friend, can be named to allow the primary caregiver to take time off. Adult day health for respite is an option, and families can also pay privately for care.
The regional access agencies access agencies for the CHCPE and PCA Waiver programs refer individuals to Adult Family Living, and service providers, such as Caregiver Homes, a national provider of the Structured Family Living model of care, provide services and support throughout the state.
Once an individual is placed in a home, the on-ramp for the program proceeds as follows:
- Caregivers and care recipients receive training, as well as in-home assessments during the startup phase.
- Support continues through bi-monthly home visits; some service provider agencies also offer additional weekly telephone support.
- Caregivers have access as needed to a nurse; some service providers also offer behavioral health specialists for consultations.
Adult Family Living is an excellent option for these reasons:A care recipient may not be comfortable with “strangers.”
- Principal caregivers receive compensation for their services.
In many cases, caregivers have been providing care for free with no expectation of being paid. This program recognizes the value of their contribution in helping individuals at risk of nursing home placement remain in the community instead.
[Source:Christine Anderson, Caregiver Homes]
Listen here for other ways a caregiver can be compensated.
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