Ensuring caregivers of the elderly enjoy a carefree vacation
Caring for an aging parent or loved one can be a difficult responsibility. According to 2020 U.S. Caregiving Report, more than one in five Americans acts as the caregiver of a loved one. Often, family members take on this essential role at the expense of their own financial and physical well-being. Independent home help agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport, Conn., is making sure all caregivers get through this summer, while being paid by the state.
ALS is an accredited provider of the Adult Family Living/Foster Caregiver (AFL) program, a program that helps frail older adults continue to live in private homes instead of moving to assisted living communities or retirement homes. This program works by providing financial assistance and support to family members or friends who act as both primary in-home caregivers for an older person.
As an added and timely benefit, many seniors who participate in the AFL program are eligible to receive substantial respite coverage on an hourly or temporary basis, while their caregiver travels for summer vacation.
“With Covid ending and mask mandates lifted, many Connecticut families are finally taking that long-awaited vacation, but for caregivers, it may seem impossible,” said Mario D’Aquila, MBA, director of the operating at Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport. “The Adult Family Caregiver program gives them the time they need, while their elderly loved one is safe at home.”
D’Aquila notes that the AFL program offers four levels of compensation for caregivers based on the range of activities of daily living needed by the aging person. The family carer must go through an agency acting as an intermediary, such as the ALS. In addition, the income is tax exempt as Care Difficulty Allowance.
“This is a perfect initiative for family members or friends who often have to reduce their hours, take time off or quit their jobs altogether when caring for an aging relative,” adds From Aquila. “In total, a caregiver can earn up to $29,382 per year.”
Additionally, D’Aquila notes that many caregivers are still working full-time or part-time jobs, while simultaneously managing their elderly relative or friend under the same roof. Here, the AFL program can serve as a way to help cope with the country’s rising inflation rates and current 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 Seniors (CHCPE) or the Personal Care Assistance Program (PCA). Care recipients must have both a functional and financial need for care and the caregiver cannot be a legally responsible relative, such as a spouse. For a complete list of eligibility criteria or to request 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 was launched in 2013, it is not necessarily well known,” adds D’Aquila. “As an accredited provider, we not only encourage new carers to apply, but we also help them access the tools, training and financial compensation 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 provided quality care to Connecticut residents with more than 700 caregivers. ALS has been named to the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence”, a designation given to the nation’s top home care providers. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or call
Gigi Torres is full-time carer for her husband’s grandmother, Benedicta Martinez, through Assisted Living Services Inc. in Cheshire and Westport which oversees a state scheme that pays relatives to caring for elderly family members at home.