Subsidized Home Care
For many seniors, a small amount of in-home services can make the difference between being able to live at home and losing independence. For seniors with limited income, purchasing those services can seem out of reach, and a subsidized program can make it possible to receive these services.
The Massachusetts Home Care Program provides on-going case management and supportive in-home services to help seniors live independently at home. A case manager assesses your need for services and helps you develop a service plan. If eligible, you can choose to either hire your own worker to provide services or you may receive services through a local provider who contracts with Springwell. All services listed on the In Home Services page are available through this program including: Personal Care, Homemaking, Chore, Laundry, Home Health Aide, Companion, Adult Day Care, Home Delivered Meals, Grocery Shopping, Transportation, and Personal Emergency Response Systems. There are multiple levels of service available depending on your needs and eligibility including: Standard Home Care, Enhanced Community Options Program, Community Choices, and Respite Over-Income (see Service Details, below).
Massachusetts has designated Springwell as an Aging Services Access Point (ASAP). In this role, Springwell is the single point of entry for eligible seniors to receive care advice and home care services through the Commonwealth's State Subsidized Home Care Program. A Springwell Care Advisor conducts a comprehensive in-home assessment in consultation with a nurse, to determine program eligibility. The senior, family members and Springwell Care Advisor develop a care plan, which is reassessed on a regular basis.
Eligibility for the MA Home Care program is based on functional ability and not a medical diagnosis. Although eligibility may vary, in general to be eligible for a state subsidy a person must be:
- Age 60 or older
- Have an annual income of less than $26,561 for an individual or $37,583 for a couple (this changes every year on January 1)
- Have an assessed need for services, and
- Live in Belmont, Brookline, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley or Weston.
Springwell acts as a single point of access for a number of state and federal government programs that can subsidize in-home care for seniors. The programs, and their basic eligibility criteria are listed here for your information. A Springwell Care Advisor can help you sort through the details, eligibility requirements, and enrollment.read more
Standard Home Care
A senior can receive services that on average cost $260 per month through the standard Home Care Program. Seniors can choose to hire their own worker or they can receive services from a worker from a vendor agency that Springwell subcontracts with. A Springwell Care Advisor has regular contact with the senior to ensure services meet needs and visits the elder a minimum of every 6 months.
Enhanced Community Options Program (ECOP)
ECOP provides a higher level of service to seniors who are ineligible for MassHealth Standard, but meet the requirements of nursing facility services (as determined by a nursing assessment, provided by Springwell). As of January 2012, the services the senior required, as determined by the social worker, would have to cost a minimum of $533.00. Seniors can choose to hire their own worker or they can receive services from a worker from a vendor agency that Springwell subcontracts with. Seniors receiving services through ECOP are visited by their Care Advisor a minimum of every three months.
The Community Choices Program, offers the frailest seniors additional support. This program is designed to provide intensive services to seniors who are at imminent risk of nursing facility placement. To be eligible for the Community Choices Program a person must meet all of the following 4 criteria:
- Mass Health Member, age 60 or older
- Enrolled in The Home and Community Based Waiver Program (also referred to as 1915 (c))
- Be clinically eligible for nursing facility services (130CMR 456.409)
- Require, as determined by Springwell, services at a projected cost of at least two times the monthly MA Home Care program level.
Seniors whose income is too high for the MA Home Care Program, but who have a caregiver who needs respite in order to continue providing care, may be eligible for the Respite Over-Income option of the Home Care Program. The goal of respite care is to support families giving care so they can continue to help their relative. (Respite care is not intended to provide custodial care while the caregiver is at work.) The cost of respite service is determined on a sliding fee schedule. People of any income can be served. Individuals can choose to hire their own worker or they can receive services from a worker from a vendor agency that Springwell subcontracts with. To be eligible for the Respite Over-Income option, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The caregiver is 18 years of age or older. (The caregiver does not have to be a relative of the elder.); and
- The person receiving the care is 60 years of age or older, or has a medical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease; and
- One caregiver is providing daily care to an elder on an ongoing basis. (Paid caregivers are usually not eligible.); and
- The caregiver is feeling stressed because of providing care.
Subsidized Home Care programs are one way of paying for In Home Care, but there are other ways to get these valuable services.