By: Nicole Avizinis, LSW
For over one hundred years, All Care VNA, Hospice, & Private Care has helped countless patients access home healthcare services regardless of their ability to pay. Through All Care’s new Adult Foster Care (AFC) program many individuals who utilize Mass Health/Medicaid as health insurance have been able to explore the option of aging in place at home rather than in a skilled nursing facility or group home setting.
Take Ana for example, Ana had been living on her own in an apartment for 15 years in the Boston area but over the course of several of months, she required many hospitalizations due to the progression of her disease process. Ana’s last hospitalization resulted in a short term stay in a rehabilitation hospital. During this transition, Ana was not making the anticipated progress and was experiencing increased cognitive deficits and had difficulty caring for herself without physical assistance. It got to the point where Ana was refusing to eat, grew increasing agitated, more forgetful, and wasn’t sleeping at night due to anxiety of being in an unfamiliar setting. It was recommended that Ana stay in the facility and live the rest of her days on the long term care unit. This was not a plan that Ana was happy about nor looking forward to; fortunately though, the facility’s social worker spoke to the family about another option: their mother being able to return home with the live-in assistance of one of her children through All Care’s Adult Foster Care Program.
Adult Foster Care is a structured program which allows individuals who are unable to live independently due to medical, mental, or any other disabilities to stay in their home with a family member or caregiver who receives a tax free stipend to provide care.
This program helps to provide dignity, independence, and overall emotional well-being and positive reinforcement to those who require supervision and/or physical assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These individuals will be able to stay in their homes and receive the care they need, rather than requiring placement in a skilled nursing facility or a group home. Caregivers receive a financial stipend to supplement any financial burdens that they may endure because of their inability to work while caring for their loved one.
Ana was on Medicaid/Mass Health so she was eligible to receive the AFC Benefit allowing her to return home and for her daughter to get paid to care for her. Ana’s daughter, Katherine, moved in with her mother and provided the care that she needed in order to age in place and Katherine receives a tax free stipend twice a month to help alleviate the cost of caregiving.
Since Ana she has been at home she has been feeling better, her appetite and memory have improved, and she has remained out of the hospital since being discharged home. Ana was not ready to live the rest of her days away from her family; she finds great joy in spending weekend visits with her great-grandchildren and eating her favorite meals in the comfort of her own home. Her family receives ongoing support and case management through All Care’s AFC nurses and social workers who visit monthly to provide support, ensuring that the home remains a positive, safe, and stable environment.
For over 100 years, All Care has been delivering the highest quality, cost-effective home health care to our patients in the 50 communities we serve throughout Greater Boston, the North Shore, and the Merrimack Valley. From VNA, Hospice, Private Care Services, Adult Day Health, and Adult Foster Care, All Care is prepared to meet all your needs at every level of care. For more information on All Care’s AFC program or to learn more about alternative home healthcare options and accessibility, please visit www.allcare.org or call 800-287-2454.