Waiver Program Available to Serve Consumers Without Wait

PCA is getting the word out to the community that, for older adults who qualify medically and financially, there is no waiting list for in home services through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s (PDA) Waiver Program. Older adults who qualify for the waiver program can receive services based on their needs, including home-delivered meals, adult day services, assistance with bathing and personal care, escorted transportation and more. PCA currently has 4,525 waiver consumers, and can now accommodate many more. "There is ample funding from the state to support additional waiver consumers," said Ann Danish, director of care management.

An advertising and promotional campaign is underway to locate waiver-eligible seniors. Outreach is being conducted at hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and health clinics. During three weeks in June, print advertisements were run in community newspapers, including the minority publications Al Dia (Spanish) and Dong a Daily News (Korean). The August issue of PCA’s Milestones newspaper will include a feature article about a waiver consumer who says her "quality of life has been enhanced beyond words."

To be eligible for the PDA waiver, a consumer must be at least 60 years of age and require nursing facility level of care. Consumers must also meet financial guidelines, including a monthly income of $1,869 or less and no more than $8,000 in assets. As with all of PCA’s long term care programs, an assessment is first conducted by LTCA. "We look at the consumer’s illnesses and health conditions and how they impact their ability to perform daily tasks," said Ann.

PCA is pleased to provide immediate openings in waiver, since the options program has a waiting list of 1,400. Options provides home- and community-based services to people who are nursing home eligible or ineligible. Differences in funding sources and budget for the two programs account for the difference in the number of consumers who can be served.

"State and federal governments are committed to shifting funding of long term care from institutional care to support home- and community-based services. These programs are vital for keeping older adults in their homes and communities, where most prefer to live," said Ann.

If you know someone who might be eligible for the waiver program, tell them to call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040. Seniors can live independently with support.