49 Blackburn Center, Gloucester MA | 100 Cummings Ctr, Ste 106H, Beverly, MA


Apr 19, 2019

SeniorCare’s mission is to provide information and support services to the older adults of our nine communities on the North Shore. Our vision is to assist each individual to live as independently as possible in the location of his or her choice for as long as possible. There can be challenges in our work. Fortunately, there are programs in place to help meet those challenges. One such program is the recently state-funded Executive Office of Elder Affairs Advocacy & Navigating Care in the Home with Ongoing Risks program, otherwise known as ANCHOR.

ANCHOR allows a more time intensive and rigorous level of care management for those elders with behavioral health needs, who are at risk of institutionalization or homelessness due to the inability to accept or retain services.

Previously, the state funded a program for “Intensive Case Management Care Managers” (ICM).  State funding for ICM ended a couple years ago.

The state has revamped the ICM program, and now offers the ANCHOR program. The purpose of ANCHOR is to connect, advocate, build rapport and relationships, while assisting the elder in navigating care and community resources in an effort to stabilize and receive services through a home care program. When we determine that a person has been offered services, but refused services—placing a high level of risk on that person—ANCHOR allows the Care Manager more time to try to work with the client in accepting services.

Elders in need of this level of care management are generally those with suspected or confirmed behavioral health diagnosis that reduce their ability to accept services. However, behavioral health is not a requirement of the program. Related behaviors may include chronic homelessness, suspicion or paranoia, history of housing instability, history of refusing workers, dysfunctional family dynamics, and constant level of risk in their lives.

These individuals may often be “pre-Protective.” The additional support may prevent the need for active Protective Services intervention. However, ANCHOR is not a substitute in any way for Protective Services.

One of the many benefits of ANCHOR is the one to two month coordination of case management with Protective Services. This collaboration can bridge the gap in care and ensures continued support. It is an interdisciplinary team approach, which is an effective way to terminate Protective Services ongoing services.

ANCHOR’s goal is to get these consumers to accept homecare services. It can be very time consuming to reach this goal. The ANCHOR program provides at minimum a monthly visit and bi-weekly phone calls. The home care manager with a typical case load simply cannot spend the required time needed.

The state gives the ANCHOR care manager six to nine months to transfer the client to home care services. If more time is needed a request is made to EOEA for an extension.

A lot can happen in nine months. ANCHOR helps to keep a set of eyes on a case that is more concerning. It is a safety net. For example, if someone who is in the ANCHOR program is hospitalized and comes home, they are already enrolled in the program. Support services may more quickly be available as a result.

The ANCHOR program allows time to think outside the box in order to reduce risks. It allows you to find ways to get someone on board. The ANCHOR care manager does their best for the client, but needs to remember that they cannot solve all the issues. The consumer continues to have the right to say no to services.”

Referrals can come from outside sources. A few examples of individuals who may be appropriate for ANCHOR include:

  • A consumer who is resistant to accepting services
  • A consumer who states they will accept service, but then has a history of turning workers away, changing worker to worker, changing provider agency to provider agency thus not accepting services.
  • A consumer who may need extra time, extra efforts, and reassurance in order to accept necessary services to maintain safety and health and welfare.

For more information about the ANCHOR program or to make a referral, contact SeniorCare’s Information & Referral Services at 978-281-1750.