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DHS News October 2012

Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Dom Care

AAA Dom Care UnitFirst established in 1978, AAA’s Domiciliary Care (Dom Care) program provides a supportive, home-like setting for adults 18 years and older who are unable to live independently. The program matches older adults and individuals who may have physical or mental challenges with families who are willing to open their homes and provide care and support.  Dom Care providers offer nutritious meals, housekeeping and laundry service, help with daily living activities as well as companionship and emotional support. Currently, the staff is providing Dom Care homes to more than 120 consumers in private residences and several group homes.

Along with a supervisor and two case aides, Dom Care staff includes three consumer care managers who help the individuals who are referred for Dom Care to find suitable homes. They also provide ongoing care management to participants who are residing in Dom Care homes. In addition, a provider care manager works with provider applicants through the certification process and with existing Dom Care Providers to ensure continuing compliance with certification requirements.

Dom Care is beneficial for both the consumer and the provider. Even though Dom Care providers currently receive a payment of $954 a month to help with expenses, many of them say the greatest benefit that they receive from the program is not the money but the feeling of well-being they get from positively affecting someone’s life. Since Dom Care homes can only host three people, participants benefit from individualized attention and support, and often consider their caregivers as family. A financial supplement is available for participants on a limited income to assist with the provider payment and to ensure that they have personal spending money.

Roseanne Kwait, Dom Care supervisor, explains that the importance of the program can be summed up in the stories of its participants. “One of our consumers is a 79-year-old woman who has resided in Dom Care for more than 12 years. She was extremely close to her first Dom Care provider and considered her to be like a sister. Unfortunately, the provider became ill and passed away. The Care Manager found another home for the consumer where she is thriving; she now feels the provider and the other consumer in the home are like family. In addition to gaining these close connections, she has even re-connected with two of her former community supports, a senior center and a church, through Dom Care.” She adds, “It truly warms my heart to hear these great stories about the genuine love that often exists between Dom Care providers and consumers.”

Dom Care moved it's location to 2100 Wharton Street, Second Floor, Pittsburgh, 15203. To make a referral or learn more, please visit the DHS website Dom Care page or call 412 350-5105 to speak to the care manager on duty.

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