Adult Foster Care: Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be a Member?
To participate in the AFC Program an individual must:
- Be 16 years of age or older and be a MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth recipient
- Have a chronic medical diagnosis and be unable to safely live alone.
- Need supervision and/or hands on assistance with at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL’s :bathing, dressing, toileting, ambulating, or eating).
- Maintain an on-going relationship with a Primary Care Physician and have had a complete physical within the last 12 months and an office visit within the last 90 days.
- Be willing and able to work with Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc. and the AFC caregiver in developing and following a Plan of Care to meet your individual needs.
What are the benefits of being a Member in the AFC Program?
- An opportunity to receive the care and assistance you need without having to be placed in a residential environment.
- The ability to strengthen current family/caregiver relationships or to develop new caregiver relationships.
- Professional training and support provided by both a Registered Nurse and a Social Worker/Care Manager from GSSSI, including 24/7 on-call support.
What does it mean to be an AFC caregiver?
An AFC caregiver is an individual who is paid to provide daily care and supervision to an older adult/disabled person who lives in the same household.
Are family members eligible to be a caregiver?
Currently spouses, parents of a minor child, or a family member who is also the court appointed legal guardian are not allowed to be paid caregivers. Other than that, any responsible individual, 18 years of age or older, may be eligible to be a paid caregiver, including family members.
What are the benefits if you meet the qualifications to become a paid caregiver?
- A generous tax-free stipend in exchange for providing personal care and living assistance to the Member.
- If the care is provided in your home, additional payments will be provided per day from the Member for room and board expenses.
- A unique opportunity to make a difference in an older adult or disabled person’s life by providing the care and support they need to remain in the community and avoid placement in a skilled nursing facility.
- Professional training and support provided by both a Registered Nurse and a Case Manager.
- Paid time off
- Caregiver support group meetings exclusively for GSSSI AFC caregivers
What is the difference between AFC and PCM (Personal Care Management Program also know as PCA)?
There are a few differences but the main difference is AFC is a tax free stipend and requires 24/7 care/supervision and PCM pays an hourly rate that is taxed. With the PCM program you are paid for the hours worked and do not have to provide 24/7 supervision. PCM services require 2 hands-on ADL deficits, while AFC requires the need for supervision and/or hands on assistance with at least one ADL. Additionally, a PCM program participant does not have access to the support and training provided by the AFC program.
Are there restrictions to how the caregiver stipend can be used?
How the stipend is used is up to the caregiver; there are no GSSSI restrictions.
Can I still work and be an AFC caregiver?
You may still be able to work. However, the caregiver must be able to devote the appropriate amount of time needed to provide personal care and to ensure the member’s well-being at all times. The AFC team will work with you to ensure member has 24/7 coverage and all needs are adequately met.
Can AFC be combined with other programs such as Home Delivered Meals (HDM) and Adult Day Health (ADH)?
AFC Members are not eligible for HDM. ADH may be combined with AFC. Your assigned Case Manager can help decide what auxiliary programs are appropriate.
Why choose GSSSI over another AFC program?
GSSSI offers a generous monthly stipend and well qualified, accredited staff who will assist our caregivers and members with their specific needs. Our AFC Teams (RN and CM) are partnered together to provide a personal experience to ensure that the needs of the member and the caregiver are met. Additionally, GSSSI provides an inclusive AFC Caregiver Support Group to help caregivers deal with issues that are unique to their situation.
For more details, please contact contact:
GSSSI's Information and Referral Department at 413-781-8806, Ext. 452