- Written by Janis Merrell
- Published: 20 March 2020
LifePath has expanded their Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program further east into Worcester County. This expansion is in response to Montachusett Home Care opting to terminate their PCA Program this year, along with MassHealth not awarding contracts to five other Personal Care Management Agencies (PCMs) during the recent contract procurement process.
3,915 PCA consumers across the state were affected by these changes and needed to be transferred to new PCMs. LifePath is now the Personal Care Management agency for approximately 600 of them. These new consumers are primarily located in Worcester County, including towns like Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Lunenburg, and many others.
LifePath is now the Personal Care Management agency for approximately 600 new consumers in Worcester County.
The PCA program fosters independence in individuals with disabilities by supporting them in the management of their own home-based services. To qualify for the PCA Program, an individual must require physical assistance with two activities of daily living, such as help with mobility and transfers, medication assistance, bathing and grooming, dressing and undressing, toileting, and feeding. Consumers find and hire their own Personal Care Attendants and pay them with funding from MassHealth. PCAs can include family members and friends, although spouses are not yet eligible (legislators are working to change this).
Sometimes consumers need help managing the employment of PCAs. These consumers utilize volunteer surrogates who can help hire, train, and supervise their PCAs. Surrogates can be family members, friends or volunteers. As of January 2020, consumers can also utilize Administrative Proxies to assist with certain functions of PCA management. An Administrative Proxy can be the member's legal guardian, a family member, or any other person who is responsible for performing certain administrative functions related to PCA management that the consumer is unable or unwilling to perform.
LifePath PCA Skills Trainers help individuals gain approval from MassHealth for PCA services, provide training to consumers to become employers of Personal Care Attendants, and provide ongoing support.
If you are interested in becoming a PCA, you can register on the statewide PCA Directory at www.masspcadirectory.org or call 1-888-MASSPCA.