Mass Home Care Budget Request Fact Sheet

Elder protective services

Elder abuse is a prevailing issue across Massachusetts. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimates that up to five million elders suffer from some form of elder abuse each year, or about 1 in 8 Americans age 65 and older. In Massachusetts:  
  • Elder protective services was contacted by over 30,000 instead individuals who were seeking help.
  • Protective services has experienced an average of 11% increase of referrals in each of the past three years.
  • We can anticipate the FYI19 cost will be approximately a 9% increase above the governor’s budget.

 The Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) is working with Aging Service Access Points (ASAPs) to restructure and improve this program.  The Administration has recommended an increase of $2.7 million for elder protective services funding over the FY18 appropriation, however, increasing caseloads and program improvements will still leave this program with a shortfall in FY19.   Mass Home Care requests $2,600,000 over the Governor’s H2 recommendation for elder protective services.

9110-1636 for the elder protective services program, including, but not limited to, protective services case management, guardianship services, the statewide elder abuse hotline, money management services and the elder-at-risk program …………………………… $34,211,680

Elder nutrition

State funded Home Delivered Meals, combined with other federal and state resources, provide the base of the elder nutrition program. Through a partnership between EOEA, Area Agencies on Aging, and ASAPs, the program serves over 8.6M congregate and home delivered meals to eligible elders each year.  Meals are provided at more than 400 congregate meal sites in Massachusetts and through home-delivered meals to senior citizens (age 60 or older) and some people with disabilities under age 60.  Though the number of meals served, and the cost of those meals, continues to grow, elder nutrition funding has been level funded for the last two years.  For FY19, the Governor recommends level funding at $7,268,675.  Mass Home Care requests an additional $750,000, appropriation for FY 19.

9110-1900 For the elder nutrition program ……………………………………. $8,018,675.

 

Workforce

ASAPs experience high turnover in key case management and nursing positions, as workers can find similar positions paying as much a $10,000 per year more. Turnover among homemakers and home health aides is often as high as 60% in the first year. This request will provide immediate rate relief to support the wages and benefits earned by Homemakers/Personal Care Homemakers, $1.43 per hour; Home Health Aides , $.72 per hour, and  $5,650,000 for ASAP personnel and operations.

“9110-1635 For adjustments to rates and capitations for home and community based services provided through line items 9110-1630, 9110-1633, 9110-0600, and 4000-0601;  provided further that $5,650,000  shall be provided for an add on to established capitations  in line item 9110-1633; provided further that $15,724,284  shall be provided for an adjustment to approved program rates issued under line items 9110-1630 and 9110-0600 to provide a rate add-on for wages, compensation and/or salary related costs for personnel providing homemaker and personal care homemaker services; and provided further that $7,488,000 shall be provided for adjusting rates for home health aide services funded through line item 40000601  for the purpose of providing Title XIX services…….  $28,862,284

Protective Services: Ralph’s Story

Ralph* is a 78-year-old MA resident. His daughter, Kim, now in her mid-40’s, suffers from substance abuse disorder, specifically using heroin. Four months ago, after being evicted from her apartment, Kim went to live with her father.

An employee at Ralph’s bank started to notice changes in her regular customer. Ralph would arrive without his familiar smile; instead he was stressed and started withdrawing large amounts of money. Recognizing this as a red flag for suspected financial exploitation, the employee filed a Protective Services report.

Our Protective Services caseworker, Marie, went out to meet with Ralph at his home and listened to his concerns. Ralph was conflicted- he knew his relationship with his daughter was threatening his financial security, but he was also depending on her as his primary caregiver.

“Kim takes good care of me…sometimes,” he explained to Marie. “She helps me with laundry; she goes to the grocery store for me and makes dinner once in a while.”

Marie talked to Ralph about the home care program and suggested that Ralph could benefit from services provided from someone outside of his family.  As Marie worked to put home care services into place, Ralph shared that he was worried about having enough money to pay his mortgage.

Marie quickly discovered that Ralph had already missed several mortgage payments and he had received a notice of foreclosure.

Marie, working with Ralph, along with his mortgage company, his bank and the police, was able to put a plan in place to protect Ralph from the foreclosure process. The Protective Services team continues to work with the District Attorney’s office to investigate the charges of financial exploitation.

*Names have been changed

For more information contact Jack Hall at 781-316-4948, or jack@halltrask.com

Stay Connected

Sign up for news, highlights, and events delivered right to your inbox.

Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138