Wind-swept snow covers the ice on Lake Williams in Marlborough/Photo by Douglas Flynn

The Adult Family Care (AFC) Program, also known as Adult Foster Care, is a program designed to help people on MassHealth age 16 or older who cannot safely live alone due to medical, physical, cognitive or psychiatric difficulties.

Many AFC members are frail elders who receive assistance from family members, while others are younger adults with disabilities who may be involved with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) or the Department of Mental Health (DMH). Some members work, while others attend Adult Day Health programs.

Eligibility requirements for the AFC Program

Here is a breakdown of the eligibility rules for the program:

  • Must be 16 years of age or older
  • Must be unable to live alone because of a medical, physical, cognitive or mental condition
  • Must need daily assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Cannot require full-time skilled nursing care
  • Must be willing to live with your caregiver
  • Must be eligible for MassHealth or able to pay privately
  • Caregiver cannot be spouse or another relative legally responsible for the care recipient (including parents of a minor child)
  • Must be approved for AFC by a physician and an Aging Services Access Point

What caregivers need to know about the AFC Program

  • There are two levels of care in the AFC program. Level I is for people who need daily assistance with at least one ADL. Level II is for people who need assistance with three or more ADLs or two or more ADLs and caregiver intervention for wandering, resisting care, being physically or verbally abusive or socially inappropriate or disruptive behavior.
  • With the exceptions noted above for spouses and those legally responsible for the care recipient, caregivers can be family members or non-family members.
  • Caregivers must be approved by the AFC program and able to provide 24-hour supervision.
  • Caregivers can receive a monthly stipend for their services.
  • To apply for the program, contact your local Aging Services Access Point.

What MetroWest caregivers should know

BayPath Elder Services, Inc., the ASAP serving 14 MetroWest communities, recently launched its Adult Family Care Program. People in Ashland, Dover, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland and Westborough can call BayPath at 508-573-7200 and ask for someone in the AFC Program.

For residents of Needham and Wellesley, contact Springwell at 617-926-4100 for information about its AFC Program. Likewise, people in Bellingham, Franklin, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon and Milford should contact Tri-Valley about its AFC Program at 508-949-6640.

Related information and additional web resources

  • The Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care has extensive information at it’s website.
  • The Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care also has a Provider List.

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