The Wolf Administration announced a 14-county expansion of the Living Independence for the Elderly program, a long-term care program that helps seniors live in their home and coordinates their health and personal needs. Through this expansion, LIFE programs, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Services, will be established in Bradford, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clearfield, Elk, Fulton, Jefferson, Monroe, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wayne counties.

“All Pennsylvanians deserve to age in place in their community with family and peers as they are able. LIFE programs around Pennsylvania help make this possible,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We are pleased to be able to bring the LIFE program to more Pennsylvanians around the commonwealth.”

Many older Pennsylvanians wish to continue living in their homes and their communities for as long as economically and medically feasible; and Pennsylvania’s LIFE program enables participants to stay out of nursing homes and remain in their own homes and communities and live happier, more productive, and more fulfilling lives.

“This LIFE expansion will give seniors and their loved ones what we know they want — the opportunity to get the care they need without being separated from the community and family they’ve grown comfortable with,” said Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres. “Social isolation remains an enormous concern for the aging population, so having this long-term care option made more accessible in 14 counties will benefit many Pennsylvania families.”

The program was first implemented in Pennsylvania in 1998 and is known nationally as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. People who are 55 or older who meet the level of care for a skilled nursing facility or special rehabilitation facility, are able to be safely served in the community, and live in an area served by a LIFE provider are eligible for LIFE. LIFE participants must also meet financial eligibility requirements or privately pay for services.

LIFE is an option that allows older Pennsylvanians to live independently while receiving services and supports that meet their health and personal needs. The LIFE program is one of Pennsylvania’s home and community-based services options, currently serving more than 7,000 people across the state.

The expansion of the program will allow more people in more parts of the state to be served by LIFE. The service areas of Carbon, Monroe, Susquehanna, Wayne and Centre counties have been assigned to LIFE Geisinger. LIFE Geisinger is currently active in nine other counties. The Clearfield, Jefferson, Elk and Cameron service areas have been assigned to LIFE Northwestern Pennsylvania, which is currently active seven other counties. In addition, the Bradford, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga and Fulton service areas have been assigned to Community LIFE, which is currently active in two other counties.

For more information on the LIFE program, visit http://dhs.pa.gov/citizens/life.