Page Reviewed / Updated - October 25, 2020
The Arizona Non-Medical, Home and Community Based Services program, abbreviated as NMHCBS, is a state funded program designed for seniors that need assistance with three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and/or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), such as mobility, bathing, eating, preparing meals, and going grocery shopping. As the name implies, the Non-Medical HCBS program provides a variety of non-medical care services and supports to elderly residents in their homes or at other locations, such as the home of relatives, within the community. This program, which is also simply referred to as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) or, in Maricopa County, Senior Adult Independent Living (SAIL), is intended to help individuals who might otherwise need to move to a care facility, such as a nursing home, to remain living at home.
Each participant will have a care plan developed that describes their care needs and the services they will receive. Care plans are created with a degree of "consumer direction." This means the beneficiary or their family members are active in determining what services are helpful and how those services are delivered. In some states, consumer direction means participants may choose and hire their own service providers. However, in Arizona, in the context of NMHCBS, consumer direction is more a philosophy that respects the participants' wishes and desires.
To qualify for the NMHCBS Program, Arizona residents must be at least 60 years of age or between the ages of 18 and 59 and be disabled. For certain services (such as adult day care, personal care, home health aide, and homemaker), individuals must be assessed to require assistance with at least three ADLs and/or IADLS, such as bathing, grooming, eating, or transferring. Typically, individuals with Alzheimer's, especially those at the later stages, will qualify for this program. Please make note of an exception. For some services via this program, such as home modifications and adaptive aids, an assessment of ADLS and/or IADLS is not required. That being said, an assessment may still be completed to ensure the program’s funds are best being allocated.
There are no hard financial restrictions, such as income and asset limits. However, individuals cannot be qualified to receive care from Arizona's Medicaid (Arizona Long Term Care System). One can read about AZ Medicaid's eligibility here.
This program provides a variety of non-medical services and supports that offer assistance to both the elderly individual and their caregivers. Actual benefits are determined case-by-case and may include the following:
As one of the goals of this program is to prevent nursing home placement, this program may pay for other services or technology not included above. One should ask their case administrator about Personal Emergency Response Service (PERS) coverage, Medication Management devices, and walk-in tubs if those would be helpful in maintaining the care recipient's independence.
There is no required payment for benefits, but donations are encouraged.
The Non-Medical HCBS Program is a collaboration between the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Department of Aging and Disability Services and the local Arizona Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). It is worth noting that there may be waiting lists to participate in this program. Priority is not on a first-come, first-served basis. Rather, priority is given to those with the greatest functional and financial need.