Originally intended to assist individuals with Alzheimer’s, the charter of the Senior In-Home (SIH) Services program has been expanded in recent years to provide services to all low income, elderly Alaska residents with limited mental or physical capabilities. This type of program is occasionally referred to as a nursing home diversion program, in that the objective is to help individuals who might otherwise require nursing home care to remain living in their homes.
This program focuses on providing non-medical assistance, such as with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), like dressing, bathing, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and light housecleaning. Some additional services, such as chore services and respite, are provided based on a sliding scale of the applicant’s income.
The SIH program is administered by the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’, Senior and Disabilities Services Home and Community Based Grants Unit.
Senior In-Home Services are intended to assist the low income, elderly population, but not those individuals who are so impoverished that they are already receiving benefits from or are eligible for Medicaid. Therefore, the first eligibility requirement is that the candidate not be receiving Medicaid benefits, such as the Alaskans Living Independently Medicaid Waiver. However, one may be eligible for the SIH program if they are on a waitlist for Medicaid services.
Other requirements include age: Participants must be at least 60 years old and be cognitively or physically impaired, unless they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body, Parkinson’s, etc. (There is no age requirement for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia). Participants must also be Alaska state residents, must be living at home or in the community in some fashion, and must require minimal assistance. In-Home Services are not provided to nursing home residents.
For most of the services provided via this program, there is no income limit or asset limit. However, services are provided based on need. Therefore, the lower income and fewer assets a candidate has, the more likely it is they will be eligible to receive assistance.
Services provided under this program are selected to help individuals remain living in their homes. Services may vary based on geographic location and may include:
For assistance with ADLs, IADLs, and chore services, one may receive up to 10 hours of care per week.
In addition to the services listed above, this program provides for unspecified “Supplemental Services”. These supplemental services grants may be for anything that enables the participant to remain living at home independently, such as personal emergency response systems (PERS) and minor home modifications. In 2020, the value of which is limited to $500 per household per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Make note, there are income restrictions for those applying for this grant. In 2020, these limits remain the same as they have for the past few years. An individual applicant must not have monthly income in excess of $2,022, and additional members of the household may not have income in excess of $913 / month. Assets (resources) are not considered.
Please note that service amounts may change year to year and based on the geographic location within the state.
To see a list of service providers, click here.
To apply for this program, interested parties should contact the Senior & Disabilities Services Regional Office located nearest them. Potential program candidates should be aware that services are provided based on need, not based on a first come, first serve basis. Priority is given to seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another related dementia, live alone, are physically disabled, have the greatest financial need, or live in an area that is rural.
550 W. 8th Ave
(907) 269-3666 or 800-478-9996
240 Main Street, Suite 601
(907) 465-3372 or 866-465-3165
751 Old Richardson Hwy., Suite 100a
(907) 451-5045 or 800-770-1672
Some very limited information is available about this program on the State of Alaska, Health and Social Services website. A program brochure can be downloaded here.