Adult Family Care
Adult Family Care operates from the premise that individuals thrive and grow to meet their maximum potential for independent, fulfilled lives when they have strong, ongoing personal relationships, access to community activities and individualized care that matches their unique needs and capabilities.
Adult Family Care is a residential option for individuals who cannot safely live alone, but don't require the level of support typical of group residences.
In 2007, regulations changed so that individuals who qualify for the Adult Family Care program may remain at home with their family members who provide, in the privacy and comfort of their home, everyday care and support.
Other Adult Family Care adults may choose to move into the home of a host family.
FAQ for Caregivers and Individuals
A Medicaid/MassHealth funded program, Adult Family Care pays family and non-family caregivers for their care of eligible adults with physical, cognitive, or medical disabilities.
Individuals age 16 or over who have or are eligible for MassHealth and have a medical, physical, or cognitive disability that requires daily physical assistance, prompting or supervision to successfully complete Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are eligible to apply for Adult Family Care.
Caregivers receive a monthly, tax-exempt stipend in addition to a room-and-board payment from the individual’s benefits.
For individuals to be considered, they must
- be at least 16 years of age
- be covered by MassHealth Standard or MassHealth CommonHealth
- have a medical or cognitive disability that requires daily supervision or physical assistance with at least one of the following:
- Physician approval is required
A nurse and social worker completes a detailed inquiry and assessment of the individual’s needs and capabilities. A physician completes a Patient Summary and makes a recommendation for Adult Family Care. A third-party administrator determines eligibility.
Approved caregivers may be parents who are not legal guardians of their child who is over 18. Other family members (siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.) and friends of the family may also be approved through Pathlight's home-study process as caregivers. When needed, the agency will provide and train a caregiver, who will care for the individual.
Spouses and parents who are legal guardians cannot receive payment through Adult Family Care. If their child is over 18 and the parents are co-guardians, one parent can receive the stipend if the other relinquishes guardianship or another person becomes the guardian.
In order to explore caregiving, you must:
- own or rent a home
- be willing and able to give the time necessary to care for the individual
- be willing and able to provide the medical care and physical assistance required to care for the individual
- successfully complete a review process:
- home visit
- pass a CORI and drug test
- multiple meeting with the individual requiring care
- agree to monthly visits by a nurse and/or caseworker
- complete orientation training, CPR, and First Aid Certification
- be single or married
- be employed elsewhere
- A referral is made to Pathlight. A family can self-refer by calling 800-652-2201 ext. 153.
- A Registered Nurse and Case Manager meet with the potential individual and an assessment is made
- When criteria is met, a Primary Care Physician (PCP) approves the recommendations
- It typically takes approximately 8 weeks from intake to placement
- When an individual is approved, a Pathlight employee will review all AFC policies and procedures
- If necessary, a host family will be identified
- The participant and host family will have several meetings, including an overnight visit
- If all agree, a start date is selected
- A Pathlight nurse will make weekly visits for the first four weeks following placement
- Thereafter, monthly (or as needed) a Pathlight nurse or case manager will visit to facilitate the transition
- The nurse will monitor medical needs and the case manager will monitor psycho-social needs on a regular basis
Successful care providers understand the individual’s viewpoint, are highly motivated to make a difference in their life, and have the flexibility to adapt as the living situation evolves, as families do.
Whether a host family or the individual's biological family you have an ability to set boundaries; provide structure; be open, honest, and stable; function easily as part of a team; be involved in their community; and adapt flexibly as everyone’s needs and abilities change with personal growth.
Before you begin providing services, you receive six weeks of training, which helps you to understand the history of developmental and other disabilities, your role in establishing a successful relationship, and the importance of community integration and working as a team.
In addition to an annual stipend, the Pathlight team is there to support you.
"I like living in a home with a family, I was living in a nursing home and this is much better. I can eat when I want to, I have more freedom to do the things I like and have become a part of my community."
~ Bill (pictured right)
"AFC is a wonderful program, I work in long term care and I see just how this program enhances the lives of the participants and caregivers. AFC has been a valuable addition to my life, my family, and Bill's life."
~Jared (Bill's caregiver)