Alaska Senior In-Home (SIH) Services Program

Program Description

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 and instrumental activities of daily living, like meal preparation, grocery shopping, dressing, and bathing. This program also provides other services, such as chore services and respite care. Services 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 Grants Unit.

Residents should also be aware of the Pioneer Homes Program.  These state-funded assisted living residences offer a higher level of care than SIH but less than a Medicaid funded nursing home. 

 

Eligibility Guidelines

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 eligible for the Alaskans Living Independently Medicaid Waiver.

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. 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.

This program does not have specific, published income and asset limitations. However, services are provided based on need and therefore the lower income and fewer assets a candidate has, the more likely it is they will be eligible to receive assistance.

 

Benefits and Services

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:

  • Meal preparation - grocery shopping, meal design, storage, and labeling
  • Assistance with activities of daily living – mobility, toiletry, dressing, eating, bathing
  • House work - laundry, cleaning, and minor maintenance
  • Yard work - maintaining the safety of the premises
  • Other chores - as needed
  • Respite care - in home caregiver relief up to approximately 40 hours / month
  • Extended respite care - in residential (includes assisted living facilities and nursing homes) or adult foster care situations up to 7 days / year
  • Case Management

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, such as personal emergency response systems (PERS). In 2017, the value of which is limited to a one-time grant of up to $500. Make note, there are income restrictions for those applying for this grant. 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.

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

 

How to Apply / Learn More

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. 

Contacts

Anchorage
550 W. 8th Ave
(907) 269-3666 or 800-478-9996

Juneau
240 Main Street, Suite 601
(907) 465-3372 or 866-465-3165

Fairbanks
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 grant manual which is not intended for a consumer audience but does provide some helpful information is available here.