HEADLINES

Ensuring Caregivers of the Elderly Enjoy a Care-Free Vacation

Caring for an aging parent or loved one can be a difficult responsibility. According to the Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 report, more than one in five Americans are acting as a caregiver to a loved one. Many times, family members take on this critical role at the expense of their own financial and physical wellbeing.  Independent homecare agency Assisted Living Services, Inc (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport, Connecticut is ensuring that all caregivers get away this summer, while getting paid by the State.   

ALS is a credentialed provider for the Adult Family Living/Foster Caregiver (AFL) program, a program that helps frail elderly individuals to remain living in private homes instead of moving into assisted living communities or nursing homes. This program works by providing financial assistance and support for family members or friends that act as both primary in-home caregivers of an elderly individual.

As an added and timely benefit, many seniors who participate in the AFL program are eligible to receive a significant amount of respite coverage on either an hourly or temporary live-in basis, while their family caregiver is travelling for summer vacation.

“With Covid winding down and mask mandates being lifted, many Connecticut families are finally taking that long-awaited vacation, but for caregivers, it can seem an impossibility,” said Mario D’Aquila, MBA, Chief Operating Officer at Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport. “The Adult Family Caregiver program gives them their necessary time away, while their elderly loved one is safe and secure at home.”

D'Aquila notes that the AFL Program offers four levels of compensation for care providers based on the total activities of daily living needed for the aging individual.  The family caregiver must work through an agency acting as an intermediary, like ALS.  What’s more, the income is tax-free as a difficulty of care stipend.

“This is a perfect initiative for those family members or friends who often have to cut back on working hours, take a leave of absence, or quit their job entirely when caring for an aging relative,” adds D’Aquila.  “When totaled, a caregiver may earn up to $29,382 per year.”

Further, D’Aquila notes that many caregivers are still working full-time jobs from home, or part-time jobs, while simultaneously managing their senior relative or friend under the same roof.  Here, the AFL Program can serve as a way to help deal with the nation’s rising inflation rates and ongoing turbulent economy by providing financial stability through additional income.

The AFL program is open to Connecticut residents statewide who are eligible for the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) or the Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program. Care recipients must have both a functional and financial need for care and the caregiver cannot be a legally liable relative, such as a spouse.  For a full listing of eligibility requirements, or apply for an assessment, visit the Connecticut Department of Social Services website at https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/Health-And-Home-Care/Connecticut-Home-Care-Program-for-Elders/Connecticut-Home-Care-Program-for-Elders-CHCPE.

“Even though the AFL program launched in 2013, it is not necessarily well known,” adds D’Aquila.  “As a credentialed provider, we not only encourage new caregivers to apply for it, but also, help them access the tools, training and financial compensation that they need to ensure their success, including bilingual professionals available to translate.”

For more information, visit www.assistedlivingct.com.

About Assisted Living Services, Inc.

Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut with more than 700 caregivers.  ALS was ranked on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as a “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence”, a designation given to the best home care providers in the nation. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 

PHOTO

Gigi Torres is the fulltime caregiver for her husband’s grandmother, Benedicta Martinez, through Assisted Living Services Inc. in Cheshire and Westport that oversees a state program that pays relatives to care for elderly family members at home.

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