Many of us help out family members and friends who are older, sick, or have a disability but don’t think of ourselves as caregivers—when in fact, we are. Caregiving can range from providing short- or long-term financial assistance or running errands to providing comprehensive round-the-clock care. Although some people receive care from paid caregivers, many rely on unpaid assistance from family members, friends, and neighbors.
Recently, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a proclamation designating November as Family Caregiver Month in honor of unpaid family and kinship caregivers. To assist unpaid caregivers, Washington’s new innovative Medicaid Demonstration programs have expanded their services.
Aging and Disability Services offers these expanded services through two new programs called Medicaid Alternative Care (MAC) and Tailored Support for Older Adults (TSOA). These free benefits enable unpaid caregivers to continue to provide care to their loved one and focus on their own health and well-being. TSOA will also support individuals who do not have an unpaid caregiver. There is no estate recovery and, depending on the situation, the person could receive up to $550 each month in services and supports.
- Care receiver must be 55 years or older, his or her income must be $2,205 or less per month, and resources must be less than $53,100 for an individual or $108,647 for a married couple.
- Care receiver must need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, walking, and medication.
- Caregiver assistance services—housework and errands, bath aide
- Respite or personal care—in-home care, adult day center
- Training and education—medication management, physical therapy consultation
- Supplies and equipment—bath bench, raised toilet seat, personal emergency response system
- Information about caregiving and community resources—home-delivered meals, yardwork
MAC and TSOA services are not subject to estate recovery, so participants’ estates will not be required to repay the state for services.
For more information or to see if you qualify, contact Community Living Connections at 1-844-348-5464.
Contributor Lori Mina is a planner for Aging and Disability Services—the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle-King County.