This article was written by Maritza Velez, an Intake Coordinator at Caregiver Homes of Massachusetts. 

Those who serve elders and adults with disabilities often receive – and ask – questions about various programs, including questions about eligibility. Here are some helpful facts for residents and professionals in Massachusetts:

Adult Foster Care (AFC), also called Adult Family Care, is a program for elderly adults and adults with disabilities who cannot live alone safely. AFC adults live with trained paid caregivers who provide daily care. Caregivers may be family members (except legally responsible relatives), or non-family members.

AFC programs are for adults who need daily help with personal care, but want to live in a family setting rather than in a nursing home or other facility. The caregiver provides meals, companionship, personal care assistance, and 24-hour supervision.

To be eligible for Adult Family Care, including Structured Family Caregiving (which is the type of program offered by Caregiver Homes) a person must:

  1. Be an elder or adult with a disability over 16 years old.
  2. Have (or be eligible for) Masshealth Standard, Commonhealth or the Home and Community Based Waiver (HCBW).
  3. Have a physical or mental condition that requires the Need for Supervision or Physical Assistance with one or more activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and toileting.
  4. Cannot live alone- requires 24-hour care and supervision.

Who can be a Caregiver?

  1. A family member with the exception of a spouse (as defined by federal law), parent of a minor or a legal guardian.
  2. A non-family member

Examples of Caregivers include, but not limited to:

  • Parent of a mentally or physically disabled adult
  • Friend
  • Partner
  • Son or daughter caring for one or both parents

In addition:

  • A Caregiver can care for up to 3 individuals in the same home.
  • The Caregiver must live with the consumers.
  • The Caregiver must be physically and emotionally able to provide care