Overview of the Adult Foster Care Program
Through the Massachusetts’ Adult Foster Care (AFC) Program, program participants reside in a private home (an adult foster care home) with a caregiver who provides around-the-clock supervision, personal care assistance, and homemaker services. This program is intended for state residents who require assistance due to an inability to independently complete their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs include bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, mobility, and toiletry. While a program participant can be as young as 16, this program is particularly relevant to seniors, as physical limitations due to the natural process of aging, medical conditions, and cognitive issues, such as those commonly seen in persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, can be cause for needed assistance.
The live-in caregiver, who must be 18+ years old, may be a close friend or a family member. This includes an adult child, grandchild, niece / nephew, or sibling, but unfortunately, does not include a spouse or a person legally responsible for the care recipient. Caregivers are employed and paid by Adult Foster Care providers that are contracted by MassHealth. Up to three program participants can reside in an adult foster care home.
The home in which the program participant resides must be a private home. The live-in caregiver may move into the home of the program participant or the program participant can live in the caregiver’s home. An AFC program participant cannot reside in a rest home, an assisted living residence, or a group home. However, there is another MassHealth program, the Group Adult Foster Care (GAFC) Program, which allows program participants to reside in assisted living residences.
The AFC Program is an entitlement, which means meeting the state’s Medicaid eligibility requirements guarantees one will receive benefits. This means the state does not limit the number of persons who can receive adult foster care services.
The Adult Foster Care Program may also be called the Adult Family Care Program. It is a long-term service and support that is offered under Massachusetts’ Regular State Plan Medicaid program. The Medicaid Program in MA is called MassHealth.
Benefits of the Adult Foster Care Program
Benefits available via the AFC Program are as follows:
- 24-Hour Supervision
- Caregiver Training – initial and continuing
- Care Management
- Nursing Oversight – provided by a registered nurse
- Bathing – includes grooming and personal hygiene
- Dressing / Undressing
- Meal Preparation / Clean Up
- Maintenance of Wheelchairs and Adaptive Equipment
- Medication Management – includes assistance with paperwork to receive prescribed medications
- Shopping for Essentials
- Transportation – to appointments.
Eligibility Requirements for MassHealth Adult Foster Care Program
The AFC Program is for MA state residents who are 16+ years old who cannot live alone due to a condition that prohibits them from independently completing their Activities of Daily Living. The condition may be medical or mental in nature. Additional eligibility criteria are as follows and is only relevant for seniors 65+ years of age.
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