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Adult Family Living (AFL)—also known as Caregiver Homes of Connecticut—is a program the helps frail elderly individuals to remain living in private homes instead of moving into assisted living communities or nursing homes. The program works by providing financial assistance and support for family members or friends that act as both primary in-home caregivers and hosts of an elderly individual. The program is akin to a type of foster care for adults.
Starting in 2013, the Connecticut Department of Social Services offers the AFL option under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders and the Personal Care Assistance programs. The eligibility is the same across these programs. However, the benefits offered through the service are sufficiently different that we discuss here as a separate program.
Under AFL, an elderly individual moves into the home a family member or friend, or the family member or friend moves into the home of the elderly individual. The intermediary agency provides training, quality oversight, and support for the family member or friend working as the caregiver. The Connecticut Department of Social Services must accredit the intermediary agency.
They receive compensation for providing the elderly individual with assistance completing their activities of daily living. AFL has four levels of compensation for the care providers. The rates range from approximately $43 to $108 per day. However, the family caregiver must work through an agency acting as an intermediary. The agency takes a cut, estimated at 20 - 40 percent of the wage.
The AFL program is open to Connecticut residents statewide who are eligible for the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) or Personal Care Assistance (PCA). Briefly care recipients must have both functional need for care and a financial need. One can read about the CHCPE eligibility criteria here and PCA eligibility criteria here.
Benefits of the AFL / Caregiver Homes program should be thought of on two levels: the benefits to the individual in need of care and the benefits received by their care provider.
Care recipients receive personal care, supervision, assistance with the activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing and mobility. In addition, they receive assistance with the instrumental activities of daily living, such as transportation, shopping, and meal preparation. Elders also benefit by living in a family home with care being provided by someone with whom they are comfortable and familiar.
Care providers receive compensation for their caregiving efforts. In the case of family members, caregivers are paid for work that they would have likely provided for free. AFL offers four levels of compensation depending on the care needs of the individual. However, caregivers do not receive the full amounts listed below. They should expect between 60% and 80% of these amounts. The following levels are current as of January, 2017:
For questions about the program or to apply, visit the website of the CHCPE Alternative Care Unit of the Connecticut Department of Social Services here.