Kentucky Homecare Program: In Home Assistance for the Elderly

Program Description

The Kentucky Homecare Program provides elderly Kentucky residents, who are at risk of being placed in a nursing home, with necessary in-home services. This allows the individual to continue to live at home, while continuing to get the assistance he or she needs in order to do so. Assistance might include a variety of services, such as care coordination, personal care, bathing, dressing, meals delivered to the home, house cleaning, and respite relief for family caregivers.

This category of program is sometimes called a nursing home diversion program. In addition to helping seniors, its intent is to reduce wasteful spending by preventing individuals from unnecessarily entering into Medicaid-funded nursing homes simply because they lack the funds for limited home care.


Eligibility Guidelines

This program is open to all Kentucky residents who are at least 60 years of age and who are at risk of needing to live in an institutionalized setting, such as a nursing home. However, applicants cannot be eligible for the same type of services via Medicaid.

Functionally, applicants must be unable to complete two activities of daily living (ADL), which includes self-care, such as dressing, eating, brushing one’s teeth, and moving oneself from one location to another, OR be unable to perform three instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), such as cooking, shopping, driving, managing finances, and medication management, OR be unable to complete one ADL and two IADLs. A complete list of the activities and instrumental activities of daily living is available here.

While this program is available to anyone who is over the age of 60 that has deficits in their daily living activities, income does play a role in whether or not an eligible applicant has to pay a fee for services. As of 2018, a single individual whose income is no greater than $1,315 is not assessed a fee, while a family of two is allowed income up to $1,783 without paying a fee. Those who have income greater than the allowed amounts may still receive services, but will be required to make a co-payment. (The co-payment fee ranges from 20%-100%). However, certain medical expenses, such as outstanding bills and prescription co-payments, may be deducted from one’s income in order to lower the amount of the co-payment.

Applicants who are currently residing in a nursing home, but could live in a home setting with needed assistance, are also eligible for this program.


Benefits and Services

While the Kentucky Homecare Program is available throughout the state of Kentucky, the services offered may vary based on location. Services offered may include a home health aide who can assist with ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, and other personal care needs, as well as IADLs, like delivery of meals, coordination between caregivers and local non-profit agencies in the area, household chores and laundry, and doing minor household repairs. This program may also allow for respite, including Alzheimer’s respite care services, giving caregivers a needed break from providing care for the eligible applicant. Adult day health may be another available option.  

As mentioned previously, there may be a fee for services based on a sliding scale, which is based on the applicant's income. Any fees, should they apply, are well below the market rate for similar services.


How to Apply / Learn More

The Kentucky Homecare Program is administered by the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) through Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living (AAAIL); there are 15 area agencies throughout the state.  For more information about this program, or to request an application, contact the AAII in your area here or call 502-564-6930. You can also find limited information about this program here.  Area agencies include the following:

  • Barren River Area
  • Big Sandy Area
  • Bluegrass Area
  • Buffalo Trace Area
  • Cumberland Valley Area
  • FIVCO Area
  • Gateway Area
  • Green River Area
  • KIPDA Area
  • Kentucky River Area
  • Lake Cumberland Area
  • Lincoln Trail Area
  • Northern Kentucky Area
  • Pennyrile Area
  • Purchase Area

Make note that there be waiting lists in some of these areas. The waiting list is needs based, meaning applicants with lower income and greater functional need are given priority.