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In-Home Supportive Services is a State and Federally funded program that enables the elderly, blind and/or disabled who qualify, to remain in their home with the aid of a care provider. IHSS uses SSI/SSP income and resource standards as income guidelines in determining eligibility. The applicant must have current Medi-Cal eligibility.
The applicant must have a disabling condition resulting in a functional impairment that is expected to last at least twelve (12) consecutive months, or that is expected to result in death. The applicant must be unable to remain safely in his/her own home if in-home care services are not provided. In-Home Supportive Services is an alternative to out-of home care.
The potential recipient may be referred to IHSS in several ways. A self-referral is most common. Referrals are also received from family members, friends, medical personnel, and other agencies. Occasionally referrals are even made anonymously. Once an intake is completed which may be done in-person or by telephone, the applicant is mailed an application. A home visit to assess the applicant’s need for services is scheduled once the application has been returned to the IHSS office.
IHSS is a time-for-task program and hours are determined based on the recipient’s ability to care for him or herself. Consideration is given to the applicant’s abilities and disabilities, living arrangements and community resources which are available or already being utilized. The recipient’s medical care providers are also consulted in the assessment process.
Available domestic and related services include housekeeping, laundry, shopping/errands, meal preparation and clean up. Personal care services include respiration, bowel/bladder/menstrual care, feeding, bathing, dressing, ambulation, moving in/out of bed, rubbing skin, range-of-motion, and accompaniment to medical appointments. Paramedical services (giving injections, wound care, etc.) may be provided with medical need verification. Protective Supervision may also be authorized in special cases.
Once approved for IHSS, periodic home visits are made by IHSS and Quality Assurance social workers to assess the recipient’s continued need for services. The social workers check on the recipient’s welfare, ensuring that the recipient’s needs are being met and the home is being cared for properly. This is a good time to bring problems and concerns to the social worker’s attention. In-between the home visits the recipient can call the IHSS office to talk with a social worker.