Page Reviewed / Updated – July 17, 2020

Program Description

The State of Iowa has a program called the Senior Living Program and the portion of that program which provides assistance to families is referred to as the Case Management Program for Frail Elders. Often times this is abbreviated as CMPFE.  CMPFE provides a variety of different services, all of which are intended to make it easier for elderly individuals to remain living in their homes and to delay the need for nursing home placement. This program is also intended to help family members that act as caregivers.

Under CMPFE, certain family members can be paid as caregivers of their loved ones.

Program participants are assessed by a case manager and a plan of care is developed, which outlines, in detail, their needs and the services they will be provided under this program. CMPFE allows for consumer direction of some services.  Phrased another way, this program permits the participant to choose from whom they receive care.  In some cases, family members can be hired to provide personal care services.

Eligibility Guidelines

This program is open to all legal Iowa residents who are at least 60 years of age and have a functional need for assistance. Participants cannot have such a high level of care needs that they must live in a nursing home, but they must need assistance with at least two activities of daily living, such as walking, using the bathroom, dressing, or feeding oneself. Applicants must also require at least two services offered via this program.

This program does not have strict, published, income limits, nor does it have published asset / resource limits. However, it is intended to assist low-income elderly persons with limited resources. Incomes are considered when determining if and how much to charge for ongoing assistance services.

Benefits and Services

Some services under CMPFE are always provided free of charge, while other services may have fees associated with them. Typically, these fees will be determined according to a sliding scale based upon the program participant’s income.  Benefits are specific to the individual program participant.  The exact type and amount of services are determined during an assessment, detailed in a plan of care and can include any of the following:

  • Adult day care – daytime supervision and assistance during the work week
  • Assistive technology – grab bars, walkers, canes, etc. 
  • Chore services
  • Companion services 
  • Home and vehicle modifications (to accommodate a disability)
  • Home health aide – assistance with activities of daily living, such as mobility, toiletry, dressing, and eating
  • Homemaker services – housecleaning, shopping for groceries, meal preparation, etc. 
  • Meal delivery services – may include liquid supplements
  • Mental health outreach
  • Nursing care (but the care recipient cannot reside in a nursing home)
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Personal emergency response services (also known as PERS, Life Alert or Medical Alert services)
  • Respite care (temporary caregiving assistance to relieve primary caregivers)
  • Transportation assistance (especially for medical appointments, but not emergency transportation)

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

  • Discover all of your options
  • Search over 400 Programs

How to Apply / Learn More

The Case Management Program for Elders is under the administration of the Iowa Department of Aging and it provides assistance to approximately 12,000 state residents each year.  On a local level, this program is managed by the network of Area Agencies on Aging. To begin the application process one should contact their local Area Agency.

It is not necessary to re-apply for this program each year.  However, participants must be re-assessed annually to ensure both that their needs are being met and that they continue to be eligible for services.   The state maintains a webpage on the program, which unfortunately provides little additional information.