Elder Services of Berkshire County provides a variety of in-home services designed to enable an elder to remain independent at home.
When an illness or disability strikes, or when your ability to perform the normal activities of daily living diminishes, there may be the need for a variety of Home Care Services that will allow you to remain at home or return home.
We take referrals from elders, families, concerned community members and agencies. We make every attempt to refer to appropriate resources when Elder Services of Berkshire County is unable to provide services.
Eligibility Requirements for Home Care Services
Home Care services is based on three criteria:
Critical Needs: bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, walking, transferring from bed to chair, meal preparation, food shopping, transportation to chemotherapy, dialysis, and radiation treatments.
Non-Critical Needs: (including) laundry, housework, taking medication.
In addition, there are some other factors we are required to take into consideration when determining eligibility. Once Home Care services are requested, a Home Care case manager will conduct an assessment.
Home Care Service Options:
Homemaking: Laundry, shopping, housework and in some cases, meal preparation.
Personal Care: Assistance with dressing, bathing, and personal hygiene.
Adult Day Health/Social Day Care: A daytime program with nursing supervision, a hot meal and personal care as needed.
Home Delivered Meals: A hot noon meal delivered to the elder’s home.
Personal Emergency Response: A device which can summon emergency assistance 24 hours a day.
Chore Service: Assistance with heavier household chores, such as window washing, carpet/oven cleaning, refrigerator defrosting.
Companion: An elder who visits weekly, helping with errands, correspondence, taking the client to appointments, and providing ongoing companionship.
Transportation: Coordination and access to transportation including medical visits.
Respite services, which do not have income limits, are also available to assist caregivers.
The thrust of the program is to relieve the stress and fatigue caused as a result of daily care of an elder with multiple impairments.
Respite program services are arranged by Case management and parallel the services available for the Home Care Program.
Eligibility Requirements for Respite Care
There is no income eligibility determination for Respite Care. All Respite clients must pay a co-payment, depending in income level, however. All Respite cases pay less than private rates and get free case management. Income for the respite co-payment fee is determined by the sum of the income of the client and spouse (if any).
There must be a complaint of stress on the part of the caregiver(s). We are not allowed to accept a referral for respite services for an elder who will soon move to the area; the stress of care giving cannot occur before the care itself.
We cannot provide respite services to assist a paid caregiver.
We cannot provide respite services primarily so that the caregiver(s) can work.
Respite workers must replace tasks that a caregiver performs. For instance, if the caregiver does not provide personal care for the client, the Respite worker cannot provide personal care.
Elder Services Respite clients may receive some respite every week, or more intensive blocks of services may be provided periodically on a short-term basis.
Referrals can be made to the Home Care Program by calling (413) 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. An Intake and Information Specialist completes a basic telephone screening for eligibility. Once initial eligibility is determined, a Case Manager makes a home visit to assess the needs of the older person. If eligibility requirements are met and the elder agrees to accept services, an initial home care service plan is discussed during the home visit. Other available community services or public benefits are also reviewed. The final service plan is later developed in consultation with a nurse and supervisor. The Case Manager then sets up services and monitors and evaluates the service plan. Clients make co-payments for services based on client income and a sliding fee scale set by the state. There are no co-payments for Medicaid recipients.