MI Home Help Program

Published on
July 26, 2023
Last updated
February 29, 2024
Written by
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Katie Wilkinson
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Michigan's Home Help Program is a waiver initiative offering a comprehensive range of services and support to help eligible individuals maintain their independence and live safely in their own homes, with an option for family caregivers to receive compensation for their caregiving services.
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The Home Help Program in Michigan plays a crucial role in the healthcare system. It supports individuals who wish to maintain their independence by living at home instead of in adult foster care homes, nursing facilities, or homes for older adults. This Medicaid waiver program offers diverse services to those who require assistance to live safely and comfortably in their own homes. Whether through non-Medicaid services or Medicaid-covered support, the Home Help Program strives to enhance the quality of life for vulnerable adults.

Overview of Michigan's Home Help Program

Michigan's Home Help Program is a vital Medicaid waiver initiative that supports individuals who prefer to live independently in their own homes rather than transitioning to institutionalized care settings such as adult foster care homes, nursing facilities, or homes for older adults. The program offers various services designed to help recipients maintain their ability to live safely and comfortably within their familiar surroundings.

The primary purpose of the Home Help Program is to empower vulnerable adults, including seniors and individuals with disabilities, by offering assistance with various activities of daily living. These activities include eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, moving throughout the home, using the toilet, and transferring from one position to another. Additionally, the program caters to people with more complex care needs, including medical procedures and treatments like catheter care, wound care, respiratory treatments, and more.

One of the Home Help Program's key objectives is to enable individuals to lead fulfilling lives while fostering a sense of dignity, autonomy, and self-sufficiency. By offering personalized support tailored to each recipient's specific requirements, the program strives to improve the overall quality of life for those it serves. Furthermore, it aims to alleviate the strain on institutional care facilities, allowing participants to remain connected to their communities and support networks, which can positively impact their mental and emotional well-being.

The program also recognizes the vital role of family caregivers in the healthcare system. By providing opportunities for eligible family members to serve as paid caregivers, it seeks to address the issue of uncompensated caregiving and ensure that caregivers receive fair recognition for their invaluable contributions.


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Eligibility Requirements for Michigan's Home Help Program

To qualify for Michigan's Home Help Program, individuals must meet specific criteria demonstrating their need for assistance with daily living activities. The program's eligibility is determined based on income limits, disability status, and other relevant factors. Here are the requirements:

  1. Residency: Applicants must be legal residents of the state of Michigan.
  2. Age or Disability Status: The Home Help Program is open to individuals who are either elderly (age 65 and above) or have a disability, as defined by the program guidelines.
  3. Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assistance: Applicants must need assistance with at least one activity of daily living, such as eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, transferring, or moving throughout the home.
  4. Income Limits: The program considers the applicant's income to determine eligibility. Specific income thresholds may apply, and participants must meet these requirements to qualify for assistance.
  5. Medicaid Eligibility: For certain services under the Home Help Program, individuals must be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid coverage is essential for availing personal care services through the program.
  6. Functional Assessment: An adult services worker will conduct an in-home assessment to determine the applicant's need for assistance with daily living activities.

The eligibility process may differ for non-Medicaid and Medicaid-covered services within the Home Help Program. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact their local Department of Health & Human Services office to obtain detailed information and initiate the application process.

Services and Supports Available under Michigan's Home Help Program [H3]

Michigan's Home Help Program offers a comprehensive range of services and supports aimed at assisting eligible individuals to live safely and independently in their own homes. These services cater to individuals who require assistance with daily living activities and may include:

  1. Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assistance: Help with essential tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, transferring between positions, and moving throughout the home.
  2. Complex Care Services: Specialized healthcare services for individuals with more complex medical needs, including catheter care, colostomy care, respiratory treatments, wound care, and ventilator assistance.
  3. Medication Management: Assistance with administering or setting up medications.
  4. Laundry: Support with washing and organizing clothing and linens.
  5. Light Housework: Assistance with light cleaning and household chores.
  6. Meal Preparation: Help with preparing and cleaning up meals.
  7. Shopping for Essential Items: Assistance with grocery shopping and obtaining essential household supplies.
  8. Travel for Shopping/Laundry: Support for transportation to shopping and laundry facilities.

The Home Help Program emphasizes home and community-based services (HCBS), promoting community engagement and enabling individuals to remain connected to their support networks. Moreover, the program may also provide assistive technologies to enhance participants' independence and safety within their homes.

For those who require additional specialized medical care, the Home Help Program's provision of complex care services ensures that individuals with complex healthcare needs can receive the necessary support while continuing to reside in their homes. This comprehensive array of services enables eligible recipients to maintain their autonomy, dignity, and quality of life within their familiar surroundings, fostering a sense of independence and well-being.


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Compensation for Family Caregivers

Under the Michigan Home Help Program, unpaid family caregivers can receive compensation for their caregiving services. This unique feature is part of the self-directed option offered by the program. Eligible participants can hire and employ their caregivers, relatives, friends, neighbors, or healthcare agency employees. However, there are restrictions; a person's spouse or a parent caring for a minor child cannot be paid by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) to provide care.

This self-directed option empowers family caregivers by recognizing their essential role in supporting their loved ones. It allows caregivers to be compensated for their dedicated efforts, ensuring they receive proper recognition and financial support for their valuable contributions to the well-being of the program's participants.

A Note from Givers

If you or someone you know provides caregiving support to a loved one, take a step towards recognition and compensation. Fill out this form to determine eligibility for caregiver compensation.

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