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Home care assistance—Homemakers, Housekeepers, Personal Care Assistants

Through Mass. Rehabilitation Commission, Mass. Health, Private Agencies, Senior Agencies

Many patients with ME/CFS and FM are sufficiently disabled that they may frequently or periodically need some kind of in-home assistance with the daily tasks of lifesuch as buying food, preparing meals, laundry, house cleaning, picking up medication, etc. When you are in a bad relapse, even getting out of bed and doing the smallest task is nearly impossible. There are times we all need help. If you don't have a family or friends to help, you may need to the assistance of homemaker, housekeeping or personal care attendant services.

Homemakers assist with shopping, cleaning and meal preparation. They can often be hired, at an hourly rate, through home care agencies and visiting nurses associations.

For those of limited means, payment for such services is sometimes available through public agencies assisting the disabled. In Massachusetts, the Mass. Rehabilitation Commission's Home Care Assistance Program provides homemaker services free of charge to low-income people with disabilities (ages 18-59, with no children in the household.) There is a waiting list for services, however people with "unmet nutritional needs" are prioritized. For information, call MRC at 617-727-1595.

Mass. Health (Medicaid) offers MassHealth Home Health Servicesthe program can provide home health aide care. Mass. Health also offers Senior Care Optionsthe program provides home health care and other social services.

Older disabled persons may be able to obtain homemaking assistance from local senior care agencies. Some health insurance programs may provide payments for these services for a limited period.

Personal Care Assistants (PCAs)The PCA program is funded by Medicaid and administered by the independent living centers. To be eligible for the program you must need a certain number of hours of personal care assistance (help with food shopping or preparation, personal hygiene, household maintenance, etc.) per week and be Medicaid eligible. To find out more, call your local Independent Living Center. Call, 1-800 462-5105.  If you are not eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to obtain personal care assistance through your local Visiting Nurse Association, Senior Care agency, or private personal care assistance agency.

Delivery of food and medicine

Some supermarkets will take a shopping order for delivery by phone or computer. In many areas in Massachusetts, Stop and Shop, through Peapod, will take a computer order and deliver your food to your door. Shaw's supermarkets in the Boston area have a delivery service. You can check with your local supermarket or food store to see about possible delivery of an order.

Some pharmacies may have home delivery services. If you are too sick to pick-up your medications, your local taxi company will often pick-up and deliver your medication for a fixed cost.