Navigating Care Options for IDD Adults

Persons living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) are eligible for adult waiver services when they reach the age of 18. They can transition from the Children’s Extensive Services (CES) waiver or the Children’s Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP) waiver. For those who have not been receiving children’s services, they must apply for adult waiver services.

Once the application is approved, the IDD Individual may begin receiving Home and Community Based Services – Supported Living Services (HCBS-SLS) and/or be placed on a wait list to receive Home and Community Based Services for the Developmentally Disabled (HCBS-DD). There are currently more than 3000 persons on Colorado’s wait list; transition from the list is based on the order in which the application was received unless special needs or emergency situations create priorities.

Two Adult Waiver Options

There is a lot to understand about adult service options for persons with IDD and their families, starting with the two adult waiver options that are available.

  1. Supported Living Services (HCBS-SLS)
  • Non-residential waiver
  • Services support the Individual’s integration into their community and living independently as much as possible in their own home or the family home.
  • Services are available to the Individual on a capped/fixed budget.
  • Individuals can choose the supports/services they need and prioritize how they utilize their budget.
  • A variety of services is offered:
  • Community Integration Services
  • Self-Advocacy Services
  • Medical Services
  • Professional Services
  • Technology & Adaptations
  • In-Home Services
  1. Developmentally Disabled (HCBS-DD)
  • Residential / Comprehensive Waiver
  • Individuals covered under this waiver must receive 24/7 residential and support services.
  • Uncapped budget, however, many services have fixed limits
  • Persons must receive Residential services, but other services are available according to the person’s needs and choices.
  • A variety of services are offered:
  • Residential Services
  • Medical Services
  • Professional Services
  • Community-Based Services

Residential Options

The HCBS-DD Waiver offers two options. The Group Residential Services and Supports (GRSS) option is based on a group home model where 4 to 8 IDD Individuals share group living with on-site direct care, and rotating staff to provide 24/7 care, support, and supervision. The Individual Residential Services and Supports (IRSS) option offers a choice of four service models.

  1. Host Home Model – Individuals (typically one or two) live with a host family or Host Home Provider (HHP) who provides room, board, and direct care services in their home. They are vetted, trained, and monitored by a PASA.
  2. Personal Care Alternative (PCA) Model – A home-like, small group setting typically accommodates about three people with on-site direct care staff available 24/7.
  3. Independent Living Model – One Individual lives independently in their own home or apartment with support provided by a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA). The amount of in-home support varies according to the Individual’s needs but the PASA is on call and available 24/7.
  4. Family Caregiver Model – The IDD Individual can choose to live with a family member who provides care and support as a paid caregiver, employed by or contracted with a PASA.

Regardless of the residential model chosen, services must be person centered in that they meet the person’s needs based on their choices, provide the least restrictive setting the Individual can manage, and allow for choice and control over the lives they have chosen. This includes engaging in community life, seeking employment, controlling personal resources, and receiving services in the community to the same degree as individuals not receiving waiver services.

The Family Caregiver Option

Colorado’s Family Caregiver Act provides broader choices for Individuals who are already receiving services funded by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) in terms of where and from whom services are received. Eligible family members who wish to provide care for an IDD family member must complete training, maintain documentation, and provide care equal to the requirements HHPs must meet.

The home must meet Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards including having:

  • Adequate emergency exits
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Locks on bedroom doors
  • Locks on bathroom doors
  • A key to the home made available to the Individual
  • No use of cameras, door alarms, window alarms, etc. in a way that is invasive of privacy

Learn more about the Family Caregiver option and other care models for IDD Individuals at Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC), the Family Caregiver FAQ page on our website, or from the resources below. We’re happy to help you navigate your options.

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Evergreen Service Providers
5460 Ward Rd # 230
Arvada, CO 80002
PHONE: 303-431-0306
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