Aging Well Discusses Family Caregivers with AFC

A program dedicated to helping family caregivers succeed was the topic of discussion when Adult Family Care (AFC) director Jeanne Leyden recently appeared on Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT).

Leyden was a guest on Aging Well, a monthly production of Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES), to discuss how AFC serves older adults and people with disabilities.

“It’s a program for people who want to stay at home, but they need assistance with activities of daily living,” said Leyden. “They need help and the caregiver provides it in a home setting.”

Funded by MassHealth, AFC provides a tax-free stipend to caregivers of eligible participants, along with caregiver respite and ongoing training through nurses and social workers. Leyden said the overarching goal is helping caregivers succeed.

“Being a caregiver is a 24-7 job,” said Leyden. “There’s a lot that we do with caregiver stress, with teaching about medications—anything that comes along. We’re a support for families, and give validation that it’s not always easy being a caregiver.”

AFC is provided at no cost to the person receiving care, provided they are MassHealth eligible and have a chronic medical or psychiatric diagnosis that necessitates assistance with at least one of the following: bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring between positions, ambulating or eating.

On the caregiver side, they must be able to meet those needs and live in the same home as the person receiving care. Friends and family are eligible to become live-in caregivers—but legal guardians and spouses are not.

AFC currently serves about 260 families, with participants ranging from age 16 to 104.  Leyden said most AFC clients are friends or family, though roughly 20% of caregivers and recipients are matched through the program.

AFC is a program of SCES, with a service area that covers much of the Greater Boston Area and North Shore.

Aging Well airs on SCATV Channel 3 at the following times:

  • Sundays at 10am
  • Mondays at 7:30am
  • Tuesdays at 1pm.

Episodes are also be available through the SCES website, the SCES Facebook page, and the new SCES Youtube channel.

For more information about Adult Family Care, follow AFC on Twitter and Facebook, call 617-628-2601 or visit