Lifesharing Through Family Living

DCI is looking for people interested in becoming Lifesharing providers! Please call (814) 274.3253 .

Description of service provided:

Lifesharing is somewhat different from other licensed homes as these settings provide for Lifesharing arrangements. People live in host homes and are encouraged to become contributing members of the family unit. Lifesharing arrangements are chosen by people and families in conjunction with host families and in accordance with the person’s needs.

The process begins with an assessment of the host home and the family. A survey is designed to take a look at the physical structure of the home as well as how the family interacts, their needs, and values. A survey is also completed with the individual. The survey is designed to get a sense of the individual’s wants, needs, and desires. Should a tentative match be found between an individual and a host home, an introduction is made. If there appears to be interest on both parties, a “getting-to-know-you” period begins. It is a combination of visits, activities, short term, and long term stays at the home. The process can take as long as six months. If at any point of time, the individual expresses a desire to live with the host family, and the host family agrees, a representative from the Office of Developmental Program is contacted to conduct a licensing review of the home. Once approved, the individual is free to move into the home. All host home providers must undergo training before becoming eligible to become a provider of Lifesharing services. Up to 30 days per year of substitute care is available to Lifesharing Providers to allow them time away from the individual to deal with personal issues.

Services assist individuals in acquiring, retaining, and improving self-help, socialization, and adaptive skills necessary to reside successfully in home and community-based settings. They can include help with cooking meals, house cleaning, laundry, and activity planning. They may also assist with personal care, taking medications, attending medical appointments, or exercising. These supports are designed to promote independence while allowing each person to accomplish everyday tasks in order that they may live a quality life. While residing in a Lifesharing home, individuals attend some type of day programming. Day programming varies from one individual to the other involving formal and informal activities. Services must meet regulatory requirements of homes licensed under the 55 Pa. Code Chapter 6500, and fall within the Waiver Service Definitions authorized by the Office of Developmental Programs and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

Dickinson, Inc, has been certified as a Qualified Provider of these services by the Cameron/Elk Behavioral & Development Programs, and the Office of Developmental Programs.

Geographic area of service:

This program serves individuals that reside in Potter County, but can include individuals from anywhere in Pennsylvania. The program would like to expand into both Elk and Cameron counties.

Admission Criteria:

Individuals seeking admission must have a diagnosis of mental retardation prior to the age of 18. Generally individuals are able to self-preserve meaning able to evacuate with minimal or no assistance in response to a fire alarm.

How to Access Service:

Persons interested in services must contact the local administrative entity (AE- Potter County Human Services). The AE in collaboration with Supports Coordination will work with the individual and their family in meeting financial eligibility requirements.

Address and Hours of Operation:

(Mailing address)
Potter County Lifesharing Program
43 Servidea Drive
Ridgway Pa 15853

(Potter County Office Address)
605 North Main Street
Coudersport Pa, 16915
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday

The Lifesharing homes operate 24 hours a day; 7 days per week; 365 days per year.

How Individuals Pay for the Service:

Applicants may be determined eligible for funding provided through the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Developmental Programs and local Administrative Entities such as the Cameron/Elk Behavioral & Development Programs and Potter County Human Services. The primary source of payment is Consolidated Waiver which uses federal and state monies to pay for authorized services. Administrative Entities may also use monies provided by the local county to fund services. This is called Mental Retardation Base Funding. In some cases an individual may have enough private funds to pay for the service. All residents must pay rent. Payment is made to the Lifesharing Provider in the form of a tax-free stipend.