Families may have noticed changes in an elderly loved one over the holidays that raise questions about his or her ability to live independently. Every January, Assisted Living Services co-founder Ron D’Aquila says they see a jump in phone calls inquiring about in-home care.
He says there is a way for loved ones to care for the family member as a credentialed provider. There is a relatively new “CT Adult Family Living /Foster Caregiver Program” providing financial compensation. The Department of Social Services added the Caregiver program as a new service under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders and the Personal Care Assistance Waiver Program in 2013.
Under the program, the caregiver can receive a tax-free stipend of up to $500 per week/$26,288 per year.
In order to qualify, applicants must be a Connecticut resident, 65 years or older, who meets financial eligibility criteria. The applicant must be at risk of nursing home placement needing assistance with critical personal care such as bathing, dressing, eating, taking medications, toileting.
D’Aquila says the state has recognized the unique contribution family caregivers provide to prevent people from needing institutional care. Assisted Living Services provides oversight to caregivers--including orientation, education, training, and on-going support. D’Aquila notes that most people prefer to remain in their own home. He says 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 care for their loved-ones themselves.