SeniorsPlus awarded grant for enhanced care coordination services

The project is designed to meet assistive technology needs.

January 26, 2024



SeniorsPlus was awarded a $500,000 grant through the Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS), who has partnered with the National Disability Institute (NDI) for the project. The project is designed to enhance care coordination services to Section 19 waiver members with assistive technology needs. Services include a comprehensive assistive technology assessment, and—as needed—device selection, installation, training, and tech support.

The goal of the project is to improve Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) through innovation that will be scalable and lead to improved quality of life, independence, and housing stability. The program also aims to reduce hospital re-admissions and reliance on hands-on personal care services.

“The expectation is that the project will increase client independence and reduce hours of personal care, potentially reducing client and taxpayer dollars,” said Betsy Sawyer-Manter, President and CEO.

As per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (HCBS), “Home and community based services provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings. These programs serve a variety of targeted populations groups, such as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or mental illnesses.”

Partners on the project include Brandeis University for data analytics and benchmarking, the University of Pittsburgh Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, and 3i Housing of Maine (3iHoME).

At SeniorsPlus, the project is led by Long Term Services and Supports Director Tracy Smith. A licensed occupational therapist with assistive technology expertise has been hired as the care coordinator for the project. The project goal for SeniorsPlus is to enroll up to 30 participants by the end of 2024. Potential candidates for the program must be enrolled in SeniorsPlus Care Coordination services and should contact their assigned Care Coordinator by email or phone.

Since 1972, SeniorsPlus has been improving the lives of older adults and adults with disabilities. As the designated Area Agency on Aging for Western Maine, SeniorsPlus provides statewide services with an emphasis on Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties for core services (ie nutrition and information and assistance) that support independent living, healthy aging, and fight isolation. The overall program goal of SeniorsPlus is to assist older people and adults with disabilities in its tri-county area to remain safely at home for as long as possible.  The mission of SeniorsPlus is to enrich the lives of older people and adults with disabilities, their families and communities, and to support them to make informed choices. SeniorsPlus envisions a future where all older adults and individuals with disabilities are engaged and respected while living quality, independent lives in the communities of their choice. Annually, SeniorsPlus serves more than 8,000 individuals and fields 100,000 phone inquiries. SeniorsPlus offers a network of support, including information and assistance, short-term care management, Medicare counseling, caregiver support and respite, health and wellness education, benefits counseling, and Meals on Wheels and congregate dining.