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PCA’s Domiciliary Care (Dom Care) program seeks providers

PCA Domiciliary Care (Dom Care) providers provide room and board, supervision of medication services, help with hygiene and laundry and other assistance to adults with disabilities. (ThinkStock)

Could you share your home with someone who needs help living independently? Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) seeks providers for its Domiciliary Care (Dom Care) program. The program serves individuals 18-plus who have a disability. Dom Care providers offer the following services to participants: room and board, housekeeping, laundry, assistance with personal hygiene and budgeting, supervision of medication administration, and assistance with medical appointments. In exchange for their services, care providers receive companionship, a monthly stipend of up to $979 for each individual served, and ongoing training and support from the PCA staff.

Thousands of individuals have participated in PCA’s Dom Care program since it began 40 years ago.  “We have three participants who have been in Dom Care 40 years and one participants who has lived in the same home for 31 years,” said Jean Janik, PCA director of community living options.  “We continue to seek more Dom Care providers to meet growing needs.”

Eligibility

Providers:  Provider applicants go through a certification process that includes an assessment to determine the type of care the provider is able and willing to provide. Providers must give references, pass a background check, participate in initial and continued training, and undergo a home study. All provider homes are certified and monitored annually to meet state fire and safety regulations, and also for basic cleanliness and security. The home must have a private room for each participant, who should also have access to bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities as well as dining and living space. A limit of two participants may live in each provider home. Participants cannot be related to the provider.

Participants: Adults age 18-plus must have some type of physical disability or mental health diagnosis that impedes them from living alone. An assessment helps determine if the program can support the individual’s needs and discusses his or her preferences for a home or area of the city. The individual pays the provider a monthly fee, usually through Social Security, SSI and/or a retirement account, for room, board and services.

 Making a match

 PCA Dom Care social workers match participants and home providers according to the individual preferences of both and continue to work closely with providers and consumers to ensure that the match remains mutually beneficial.

A provider’s perspective

 Barbara Hough, 58, is one of 150 providers who are part of PCA’s Dom Care program.

“The woman living with me is my age, but she has physical challenges,” says Hough. “She’s very pleasant, but needs help and can’t be alone for too long.” Hough decided to become a provider because she understands the need firsthand. “I have a cousin who’s in the same situation. I see the challenges that my aunt goes through. If my aunt wasn’t there to help, I would step in and help my family. For those who don’t have anyone, the Dom Care program is a blessing,” says Hough.

“It’s rewarding for me because I get to see her growth and to be a part of giving her something that she may not have had in her life,” she says. “When I say something positive to her, she just lights up and it’s a joy to see. My family knows I’m a caring person. Everyone gets along and treats her like one of the family.”

For information about becoming Dom Care provider, call 215-765-9000, ext. 5365. For inquiries about becoming a Dom Care participant, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040.

CAPTION: PCA Domiciliary Care (Dom Care) providers share their homes with adults who need help living independently and provide meals, supervision of medication  help with hygiene and other assistance. (ThinkStock)