“Families may have noticed changes in an elderly loved one that raise questions about his or her ability to live independently,” said Ron D’Aquila , RN, Co-Founder and Vice President of Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Meriden. “Every January we see a big jump in phone calls inquiring about in-home care.”
As one of Connecticut’s leading homecare agencies, ALS understands the emotional and financial stress that families face when determining how to care for aging family members. Now, ALS is making it easier for families to personally care for loved ones as a credentialed provider of the relatively new “CT Adult Family Living /Foster Caregiver Program”.
“The State of Connecticut has recognized the unique contribution family caregivers provide to prevent people from needing institutional care,” explained D’Aquila. “The program provides the financial compensation that they deserve.”
In its role, ALS provides the oversight that helps caregivers succeed, including orientation, education, training, and on-going support with the “tools” needed to be comfortable and successful at caregiving. Under the program, the caregiver can receive a tax-free stipend of up to $500 per week / $26,288 per year.
As a credentialed provider, Assisted Living Services, Inc. will:
· Provide the caregiver with orientation, education, training, and on-going support by a Registered Nurse that visits regularly (usually every 6 weeks, or more frequently if needed).
· Ensure that the home is properly maintained as required by the State.
· Make sure the Foster Care provider is meeting the health and safety needs of the participant.
· Pay the caregiver weekly and offer direct deposit for convenience.
· Provide respite coverage for Foster Caregiver. Time off / vacation is available.
· Enlist resources, such as a Certified Dementia Care Specialist, to assist in certain circumstances.
· Utilize the company’s unique and innovative program called CarePlus that combines caregiving and technology to help address client needs at no additional cost.
· Provide technological devices that help reduce the risk of falls, improve medication compliance, or improve access to emergency care.
“There are products that can do everything from monitoring a loved one’s whereabouts throughout the day, to those that can turn the stove off if a pan on the stove has been left unattended,” said D’Aquila. “Personal care supplemented with wireless devices is the perfect combination.”
The Department of Social Services added the Caregiver program as a new service under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) and the Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Waiver Program in 2013. In order to qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:
· 65 years of age or older
· A Connecticut resident
· At risk of nursing home placement. Meaning, the applicant needs assistance with critical personal care such as bathing, dressing, eating, taking medications, toileting.
· Meet the program’s financial eligibility criteria.
Each applicant’s needs are then reviewed to determine if the applicant may remain at home with the help of home care services.
Adult Family Living / Foster Care is defined as personal care and support services that are provided to participants who reside in a private home by a principle caregiver that lives in the home. The direct provider may be a relative of the participant as long as they are not a legally liable relative (such as a spouse). Even non-relative live-in caregivers can qualify.
There are four different levels of care that depend on the complexity of care needed. When a referral is made to the Department of Social Services, a case worker visits the home for an assessment.
D’Aquila notes that most people prefer to remain in their own home. This program not only reduces the State’s budget strain by reducing the number of residents in an institutional care facility, it gives a family the financial freedom to make the choice to actually care for their loved-ones themselves.
Assisted Living Services, Inc. and Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. are based in Meriden, Connecticut with branch locations in Clinton and Glastonbury. The company has over 400 employees serving clients across the state. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203-634-8668.
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