Are you caring for an aging individual or someone with a disability? If so, we are here to offer you options. LifePath’s Adult Family Care (AFC) Program provides care for MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth (Medicaid) members who need help with some activities of daily living (ADLs and IADLs), including bathing, eating, walking, toileting, dressing, and transferring. Caregivers receive a tax-free stipend ranging from $920 – $1,773 per month, as well as monthly home visits by professionals, and coaching in between visits as needed for the member and caregiver.
Each placement is different. Donna Marshall is a vibrant woman who resides in Athol with her son Nathaniel, 33, and adoptive 23-year-old son Travis. Both Nathaniel and Travis receive services through LifePath. Nathaniel and Donna have been a part of the Adult Family Care (AFC) program since 2009. Donna has been a caregiver for over 45 years. She was a Licensed Practical Nurse for 20 years, she has cared for her children, was a caregiver for her mother, and took care of many foster children through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Program. One memory she shared was that of a 16-year-old girl from Vietnam she cared for, who loved to cook and made amazing meals.
I’ve taken care of sick people my whole life, the kids nobody wanted . . . those are God’s special children. Every child deserves a chance, especially the ones with disabilities.
In 1990, her son Nathaniel was born with Down Syndrome. When the doctor went to break the news to her, they called in the hospital psychiatrist because she did not react the way they thought she should have. She wasn’t crying and upset. All she asked was, “Is he healthy?” because she knew some children with Down Syndrome had heart defects. She told them she was going to take him home and care for him just like she did all her other children. Donna stated, “I’ve taken care of sick people my whole life, the kids nobody wanted . . . those are God’s special children. Every child deserves a chance, especially the ones with disabilities.”
Donna chose to enroll Nathaniel in LifePath’s AFC Program in 2009 to access additional support and resources to complement her medical background and years of caregiving experience. The program’s stipends and visits from nurses and social workers can help caregivers and participants thrive and find satisfaction and contentment.
She shared that while doing foster care she asked a young boy what his favorite ice cream flavor was and he responded, “Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip.” She replied, “Mine too.” No one had ever asked him about his favorite ice cream before. Donna shared, “It’s the basic human things in life that mean the world to people.”
If you are currently caring for someone in your home or would like to open up your home to someone in need, please contact LifePath’s Information & Caregiver Resource Center at (413) 773-5555 or email@example.com.