The Homemaker Services Program primarily provides elderly individuals with assistance with the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Sometimes referred to as chore services, these tasks include housekeeping, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and assistance managing prescriptions. Limited assistance is also provided with some activities of daily living (ADL), such as bathing and grooming. To be clear, this program is not intended to cover all of a participant’s personal care needs.
The Homemaker Program is under the oversight of the Idaho Commission on Aging (ICOA) and is managed locally by the Area Agency on Aging network. The goal of this program is to provide assistance to individuals in their homes so that persons who might otherwise require residential care, such as a nursing home facility, can remain living at home.
Age – Applicants must be at least 60 years of age.
Residency – Applicants must be Idaho residents, and be living independently (as opposed to in adult foster care, assisted living, or in a nursing home).
Functional Ability – Program candidates are evaluated based on their ability to manage their activities of daily living and their instrumental activities of daily living. Consideration is also given to the availability of the applicant’s friends and family to help provide assistance.
Financial Criteria – The Homemaker Program does not have strict financial income or asset requirements. However, individuals whose income exceeds the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will be required to pay a share of the cost of providing services. Persons under the federal poverty level receive services free of charge. As of 2020, for an unmarried, widowed, divorced or otherwise single applicant, the federal poverty level is $1,063 / month or $12,760 / year. For married couples or two-person households, the limit is slightly higher at $1,437 / month or $17,240 / year.
The Homemaker Services Program is available to residents of Idaho statewide. One can begin the application process by contacting their local area agency on aging. Candidates should expect an initial telephone screening followed by a more thorough examination of their financial situation. While it is not required to share personal financial information, failure to do so will require the participant to pay the full cost for services.
Limited additional information is available about this program on the ICOA website. One can also call the Idaho Commission on Aging at (877) 471-2777 for additional information. Readers should be aware that waiting lists can exist and candidates are prioritized for assistance using a variety of factors including their functional need, the level of support they currently receive, the condition of their home and if they are geographically isolated.