Recognizing the importance of caregivers, DSHS launches new services

Release Date: 
Nov 02 2017
DSHS Office of Communications
Chris Wright
chris.wright@dshs.wa.gov
(360) 902-8338

OLYMPIA - As Washington celebrates National Family Caregiver month, recognizing the incredible work of more than 830,000 Washingtonians who provide care to their loved ones, the Department of Social and Health Services is announcing the availability of new services and supports for caregivers.

“We are so proud to provide these new options to the people of Washington," said Aging and Long-Term Support Administration Assistant Secretary Bill Moss. "We know most people want to stay at home while they age and their family members want to help them stay at home. We are the first state in the country to support caregivers on this scale and we know it has the potential to truly transform the lives of thousands of people.” 

These new services are part of Washington State’s Medicaid Transformation Demonstration and build on the state’s successful Family Caregiver Support Program, administered through local Area Agencies on Aging. Washington's family caregivers provide an estimated $11 billion in care each year. By supporting unpaid family caregivers, with access to services such as specialized equipment and supplies, training and support groups, and respite and housekeeping, the state is helping older adults remain at home and helping caregivers continue to provide care while prioritizing their own well-being. A similar set of services is also available for older adults who meet the eligibility requirements, but don’t have a family caregiver helping them.

“Caring for your loved one at home can be incredibly rewarding. At the same time, for many, it can become overwhelming. With these new programs, we are trying to make it a little easier for family caregivers to care for their family members while taking care of themselves," said Moss. 

These new services are available state-wide to people who meet certain age requirements and requirements related to their daily needs and financial eligibility. 

Medicaid Alternative Care – supports caregivers 18 and older who are taking care of someone 55 and older.

Tailored Supports for Older Adults – supports people 55 and older who may or may not have a caregiver.

More information on these programs is available at your local Community Living Connections/Area Agency on Aging office.  You can find your local office online at www.waclc.org under the Connect section or by calling toll free 1-855-567-0252

Additional resources for caregivers are available online at www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/home-and-community-services/caregiver-resources .

To learn more about the Medicaid Transformation Demonstration in Washington State, visit www.hca.wa.gov/about-hca/healthier-washington/medicaid-transformation

 

DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.