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    800-AGE-INFO: Additional Information for Massachusetts Elders
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    LGBT Aging Project

    Personal Care Attendant

    MANAGE YOUR OWN CARE

    The Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program helps people with chronic illnesses or permanent disabilities who are living in a home environment.  Consumers are allowed to hire, train and supervise their own Personal Care Attendant to assist with activities of daily living.  If the consumer is unable to manage this responsibility, a surrogate may be named to act in his or her place.

    Services are state funded through MassHealth and are intended to allow for maximum independence.   There is no cost to the consumer for this service as long as their insurance coverage is active.

    Consumer Eligibility:

    • Persons eligible for MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth coverage or enrolled in a SCO plan.
    • Who have a physician referral for personal care services
    • Who have a chronic or permanent disability for which they cannot perform ADLs without physical assistance
    • Who need physical assistance with 2 or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) which include:  Mobility and transfers, Medications, Bathing and grooming, Dressing and Undressing, Eating, Toileting, Range of Motion Exercises

    Personal Care Attendant Services:

    The Personal Care Attendant employed by the consumer will be able to assist with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, transfers, prescribed range of motion exercises and medication management.  Additionally, the PCA can assist with household tasks such as housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, and shopping.   Consumers in this program may hire their legal guardians, friends, neighbors, or a family member to be the PCA.  Spouses and parents of children under the age of 18 cannot be hired as PCAs.  Services cannot be duplicated or provided by other agencies.

    Tri-Valley’s Role:

    A Skills Trainer will conduct a home visit that will include an initial screening and information about the PCA program.  After the consumer’s primary care physician initially approves participation, a nurse and occupational therapist will conduct a needs assessment and develop a plan of care.  The plan of care must then be approved by both MassHealth and the primary care physician.  Training will then begin to help the consumer develop skills to hire and direct a Personal Care Attendant.  The Skills Trainers also train the consumer about the necessary paperwork required by the Fiscal Intermediary for payment to the PCA.  This is not an emergency service and may take three or more months to have the PCA service in place.

    To make a referral for PCA services:

    Start by contacting Tri-Valley’s Information & Resource Department

    Hiring a PCA or looking for work as a PCA – go to the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Workforce Council’s referral directory. The directory will put those needing PCAs in direct contact with PCAs looking for work.  http://www.rewardingwork.org