New Hampshire’s Transitions in Caregiving (TIC) Program is somewhat unique in the world of care programs in that rather than focus on the individual in need of care, it focuses on their family caregiver(s) as a target for assistance. It is a non-Medicaid program and the theory behind the program is that by helping family members to care for their loved ones, the need for Medicaid funded nursing home care can be prevented or at least delayed. In fact, the pilot program’s original name was the Nursing Home Diversion Modernization Grant.
Services provided in the Transitions in Caregiving program include information and referral, caregiver counseling, caregiver support groups and perhaps most importantly respite care delivered in the Cash and Counseling model. For those unfamiliar with this term, Cash and Counseling refers to a program that is consumer directed or in which the beneficiary is provided with a budget and empowered to select their own service providers rather than have the providers chosen by the state. This program is appealing in that other family members or friends can be hired to provide respite care as long as they do not live in the same household.
To be eligible for assistance under the NH’s Transition in Giving program, an individual must be the primary caregiver for someone incapable of caring for themselves. While it is not a requirement, most recipients live with the individual for whom they are providing care.
The program is intended to limit Medicaid spending and therefore the individual for whom care is being provided cannot also be eligible and receiving Medicaid funded services. Persons are usually eligible for Medicaid if they have less than $2,000 / month in income and less than $2,000 in assets.
The Transitions in Caregiving Program provides a variety of services and supports to the individual caring for another person incapable of caring for themselves. These include:
-One on one care counseling either in person or on the phone
-Help finding and applying for other state and federal assistance programs
-Caregiver training and support groups
-Respite care or a budget to allow participants to hire respite care
This program began as a pilot program in 2 counties and now is available in all NH counties. The program is run by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS). Interested individuals can learn more about the program by downloading the Participant Guide or apply for the program by contacting their local New Hampshire ServiceLink Resource Center.